Signs of depression often go unnoticed in outgoing individuals

By Staff Writer

Individuals who experience depressive symptoms, but are waiting for a friend or family member to suggest they seek therapy from a treatment facility may never receive the help they need. A new study has found that an individual's personality may make it difficult for other people to notice their symptoms.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center said that when they began the study, they expected to find that the friends and family of introverted individuals would miss depressive symptoms. However, after studying 191 primary care patients and their loved ones, researchers found that depressive symptoms went unnoticed more often in more sociable individuals.

Paul Duberstein, who led the investigation, speculated that this is because friends and family often have expectations that individuals who are normally outgoing will always act in a given manner. These expectations may color their perception of current behavior.

He added that this may lead to many missed diagnoses, which can have serious consequences for individuals who suffer from depression or other mood disorders. Watching for signs of depression in outgoing people may be particularly important, as they are just as likely to develop the condition.