Survey: People Living with Depression Experience Treatment Complexities

Living with depression is complex and its challenges are often misunderstood. The condition can be a burden on personal relationships and can have a tremendous impact on daily life.

Despite the difficulties many face when managing depression, a Healthline survey reported that only 1 in 6 people living with depression are actively looking to switch to a different medication. And making treatment decisions, understanding its impact, and dealing with drug costs and side effects is no easy feat.

Below are some of our key findings:

How Gender Influences Treatment Decision Making

People living with depression face many questions throughout their health journey when it comes to managing and treating their condition, and they often have varying approaches to making these key decisions.

  • 61% rely exclusively on their doctor for treatment decisions, with men being 27% more likely than women to do so.
  • 50% research treatment options on their own and then make shared decisions with their doctor; women are 27% more likely than men to take an active role.

Treatment Experiences: Compliance, Changes, and Cost Impact

  • Overall, a majority of people living with depression report high compliance with their medication (85%).
  • 32% have had five or more medication changes. Gen Xers and boomers average five medication changes compared to three changes for millennials.
  • 66% are unwilling to take medication if not covered by insurance and 84% do not favor brand-name drugs if they cost more.

Common Treatment Challenges and Unmet Needs Among People with Depression

Marketer Insights

This audience has very specific needs and requires effective treatment information to help them throughout their patient journey. Marketers should make sure they are creating content or aligning with publishers that take varying mindsets, decision moments, gender, and generation into consideration.

Interested in learning more? Healthline can connect you to the right people at the right time, and help your brand address the realities of the patient treatment journey. Send us an email at for more information.

Source: 2018 Healthline MDD Survey. Survey respondents (N=402) were recruited from Survey Sampling International’s consumer panel between September 7-17, 2018.

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