Jordan University of Science and Technology

An audit on public awareness of depression symptoms in Jordan.

Authors:  Al-Azzam S
Alzoubi KH
Ayoub NM
Khader YS
Karasneh RA
Al-Husein BA
Al-Horani MA

OBJECTIVES: Depression is a common mental health disorder. The aim of this study is to determine the level of public awareness regarding this illness, its symptoms, associated factors, available forms of treatment, and the attitude towards depressed people. METHODS: A self administered questionnaire was filled in by approximately 5000 individuals selected from various regions of Jordan. RESULTS: The majority of participants thought that depression is a treatable condition that can affect patient at any age, and may be controlled by the will power. Loss of interest in things and presence of negative feelings were the most commonly recognized symptoms of depression, while, unemployment and poverty were found to be the most recognized risk factors for depression. In addition, most participants considered support from family and friends (93.6%) as well as exercise (80.4%) to be the best available forms of depression treatment. Respondents found it acceptable to work, make friends with, or marry depressed individuals. The first choice persons for seeking help by most participants were family members and friends (49.8%). CONCLUSION: Collectively, the level of awareness of depression was acceptable. However, further efforts are necessary to establish public educational programs related to depression in order to raise awareness regarding the disease.