The effects that depression has on people seems to be different based on their belief in the problem’s origin. For people who believe that there is a biological component, they ascribe a longer, more severe period for the problem than those who do not believe as forcefully that there is a biological component. Those who believe in a biological source for depression also tend to be more optimistic and treatments are often more effective. Based on a finding in the Journal of Mental Health, this group is also more likely to be less judgmental of others who are suffering and to hold less negative attitudes towards those suffering from depression.
Based on a sample size of 319 people, nearly 49% reported having had depression at least once in their lives. These were also the people who were asked about the mental illness. They were asked about their perceptions, whether they had had depression, and if they thought loved ones had suffered from it. Those who had either suffered from depression or had had someone close to them suffer were less likely to be negative toward the mental disorder and to be accepting of the problem. They were also more likely to link depression to biological and genetic causes.
Ultimately, the way people view depression can play a role in not only how effective treatment is likely to be, but whether or not they will seek treatment.
To learn a better understanding of the study and its findings, you can read Depression Viewed Differently When Thought to Be Biological for more details.