Table 4.

Participant Statements about Barriers to Getting Information about Depression

Lack of motivation to learn when depressed:
  • It [getting information from provider] would have been very helpful. I could have looked by myself or gone to the library. But when you are depressed, you just want things handed to you.

  • They didn’t go into the details, and I didn’t ask for the information. I don’t want to blame them for not telling me more, because I didn’t invite or encourage them to share.

  • I was seeing a psychiatrist, they explained about my depression and why I got it. I wasn’t focusing on that much. I was thinking about a better way to kill myself.

Stigma, denial:
  • I was afraid of counseling because I felt that my family would disown me. I ended up taking medication and I was afraid of dealing with people about this.

  • I guess shame, embarrassment. The Internet is better—I can just do it on my own.

  • Not wanting to just accept that that was going on. You have to get a job, move on, maintain some kind of normality.

  • She said, “When you’re ready, I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff you might want to read, you might find yourself in some of it.” She’d start slowly with the uncomfortable stuff. I just wasn’t ready to hear it.

Limited provider responsiveness:
  • I would have liked to know how medication or counseling, both would work for me. But the doc was like she was doctor and she would know better… . They are not able to show full concern because they are low in staff and funding. The frustration shows because you have to make it clear that you need more than this. For a patient who did not know how to make it clear, you are in a Catch-22.

  • The first counselor referred me to some pamphlets, kind of brushed over the whole subject. He seemed like he had reached a level of detachment with his job. Just totally unmemorable.

  • I did try to talk to doctors about depression. It just wasn’t working. I let my doctors know that. That doctor kept trying to tell me this was the best thing for me; I know there are other medications.

Information-seeking style:
  • I would never sit down and read something about medicine. It has never interested me. I learned more from watching that commercial on television.

  • I don’t seek out information, but if I come across it, then I will take it and read it.