Table 3.

Participant Statements Regarding Sources of Information about Depression

Information from primary care providers:
  • None. Not in the past either.

  • Quite frankly, [PCP told me] nothing. I just told them what I felt, and they identified it as depression. They didn’t go into the details, and I didn’t ask for the information.

  • I actually don’t remember too much. She said that it is nothing to get upset about, and that it is common and she will get help for it.

  • She [PCP] referred me to one of the patient libraries. So I went there and got some info on depression and taking medications and how that should help and what to do if it doesn’t.

  • I had one person tell me it was all in my head, there was nothing anyone could help. That’s why I went to [mental health clinic]. I knew they had counseling and medication.

Information from mental health providers:
  • I was given some brochures, but they seem like they’re written for sixth graders.

  • I was seeing a psychiatrist; they explained about my depression and why I got it.

  • I was given some literature to read and I had discussions with my counselor about it … No more information except research on my own.

  • They [mental health services agency] gave me some flyers that I read. They asked me which category fit me best.

  • The second doctor was very good at gauging my personality, figuring out the best way to talk to me.

  • I got a lot of information from the psychiatrist I saw.

Other sources of information:
  • I remember going to bookstores and reading.

  • My ears would pick up on things if I heard a show on TV, radio, a new article in a magazine

  • I went on the Internet, Web MD, looking for what the symptoms were, what I should be looking for, if it was triggered from a traumatic experience.

  • Just recently heard about synapses, serotonin, what they do. I guess maybe on the Internet I learned it was hereditary, so I can blame my mom and dad… . I think the more I learn about it, the more I understand it and can deal with it instead of just shutting down and assuming I’ll always be depressed. I like learning the scientific reasons for it.

  • I’ve seen that ad on TV—the little bouncing head, talking about things not getting from one synapse to another; I do understand there’s an organic element there. That’s nice to know, otherwise I could just blame myself. I learned more from watching that commercial on television [than from my provider].

  • As far as information about medicine and whatnot, I’d heard of Prozac, Paxil; I really do my research by asking people I know… . Media is a very powerful tool. All those commercials I used to make fun of, I understand now—the [drug name] commercials, …