More than a third of patients with chronic mental health conditions do not feel empathy for their doctors or family members, according to a new study by Oxford Health Care.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, also found that people with depression were less likely to feel empathy than people with other mental health problems.
“A major issue is the lack of social support that we need to get through this,” said study co-author Dr David Hickey, of the University of Oxford’s department of psychology.
“We are in the middle of a social crisis where we are losing a huge amount of people to suicide and a huge number of others to addiction.”
People don’t really feel that they are being listened to, and there is no sense of community around us, and people are often disconnected from each other.
“Dr Hickey said he hoped his findings would help people understand why they had not been listened to by mental health professionals.”
It’s not just about empathy.
There’s also a lack of trust.
And so we need people to see what they’re going through.
“The people that are really hurting are the people that don’t get help, because they are not seeing it as a problem.”
The researchers used data from the UK Mental Health Survey from 2011 to 2013, which asked a series of questions about people’s mental health and health issues.
“I’m not a doctor, but I do understand that if people with mental health issues don’t feel understood, they’re likely to not get treatment,” said Dr Hickey.
“And if people who are not well are excluded from treatment, it’s going to create a lot of trauma for them.”
The study also found a clear gap between mental health services and the general population.
“While there are a number of organisations that do mental health treatment, we know that only about 15 per cent of people who come into care get help,” Dr Hicker said.
This suggests that mental health is just not the priority.””
But the problem is that only around 40 per cent have the support they need.”
This suggests that mental health is just not the priority.
“He said the gap was likely due to stigma and discrimination.”
There’s a lot more stigma around mental health, but also it’s a very personal issue.
People are often judged by the colour of their skin, and the way they walk or their skin tone.
“For many people it’s about being different, and being a different gender, so it can be very difficult for them to get the support that they need.”
Dr Robert Hutton, of University College London’s Department of Psychology, said he was not surprised by the findings.
“What we’ve seen in the past, and what we’ve also seen with mental illnesses, is that we don’t have a sense of how many people are experiencing the same issues that we do,” he said.
“It’s the sort of stigma and negativity that we have about mental illness that prevents people from getting the help that they really need.”
The University of Cambridge’s Professor of Psychology Paul Jaffe said the research did not take into account the number of people in care, which can be difficult to measure.
“Even if we had a good understanding of how often people in the general public were receiving care, and how often they were being seen by mental healthcare professionals, we still wouldn’t know how many are suffering from the same conditions,” he told BBC News.
“When you’re talking about the mental health population, and not just the mental illnesses that we’re talking in, it may be that we know a lot less about what we know about mental health.”