The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~Chinese Proverb~

Exposure To Depression Affects Our Antidepressant Attitude

March 7, 2013

When we participate in a situation through observation, we are experiencing the situation vicariously. Usually there are emotional responses to what we are witnessing. It could be a football game or imagining ourselves climbing Mt. Everest as we read about an expedition.

Vicarious experience gives us information and shapes our perceptions, although the experience is not physically ours.

Knowing someone who has depression and witnessing the struggle is a vicarious experience, one that affects our attitude about the illness and its treatment. We do not choose this experience and purchase tickets or buy the book. When a friend, family member, or coworker has depression the experience chooses us because we are there.

Did You Know . . .

  1. If you have had vicarious experiences with depression, you are more likely to accept and adhere to taking antidepressants, should you need them. This is true whether you had a family member who was treated for depression or your family has no history of it, but you spent time with a depressed friend.

  2. If you have not witnessed people dealing with depression, your attitude about taking an antidepressant, should you ever need one, will tend to be more negative. You will be at higher risk for discontinuing the medication even before it starts to help.

This Is Because . . .

  1. Having a family history of depression is thought to give people a genetic, biophysical perception of the diagnosis. This reduces the stigma that frequently follows depression and implies that it can be treated with medications.

  2. Even without a family history, knowing someone with depression, and vicariously experiencing their journey with it, is also thought to reduce stigma by helping people realize depression is an actual illness, not something to “get over.”  People may also witness a friend being helped by taking an antidepressant.


Read the complete article HERE

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