Avani V. – BASIS Phoenix

BASIS Phoenix Senior Avani V.

The Silent Struggle: Public Knowledge and Perception of Major Depressive Disorder

Project/blog link: The Silent Struggle: Public Knowledge and Perception of Major Depressive Disorder
BASIS Advisor: Alissa Sabatino
Internship location: Lighthouse Psychiatry
Onsite Mentor: Chung Trinh, MD, President/CEO

Project Abstract

According to the CDC, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the US between ages 18-44. Ensuring the proper treatment of MDD through public awareness and education poses major social and financial implications. Furthermore, lack of understanding from the general public about MDD may lead to a stigmatized view of the disease. By surveying a random sample of the general public, I will gain insight into the social perceptions of depression and the level of public knowledge about MDD. To further my individual understanding of MDD throughout the study, I will be interning at Lighthouse Psychiatry under the guidance of Dr. Chung Trinh. I will meet many patients suffering from depression and I will observe their therapy sessions, which will allow exclusive insight into their experiences. I hypothesize that if the public is not receiving necessary information about the biological foundations of MDD and the multiple ways the disorder can be treated, then the public will be less likely to seek treatment for themselves or loved ones, thus feeling stigma towards the diagnosis. Stigma is still a huge issue in the psychological community. By recognizing that part of it may be due to lack of knowledge, we can take steps towards educating the community and destigmatizing this disease.

The Silent Struggle: Public Knowledge and Perception of Major Depressive Disorder