People experiencing a mood disorder value and want holistic mental health care, but don’t always receive it, according to a new paper by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), a coalition of academic medical centers dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by depression and related mood disorders.  

The paper, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, surveyed more than 6,000 adults living with depression or bipolar disorder and asked respondents to answer a series of questions around their symptoms, treatment plans and how they defined “wellness.” The survey was part of DBSA’s effort to better understand how people experiencing a mood disorder define wellness and which treatment options they prefer.  

Of those who responded, 91 percent agreed there should be better ways to treat and provide care for people with depression and/or bipolar disorder. About 54 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the care and treatment options available to them. 

“The lived experience of people with mood disorders may be leveraged to inform priorities for research, define key treatment outcomes, and support decision-making in clinical care,” said Phyllis Foxworth, DBSA Advocacy Vice President and a co-author of the study. “As an organization whose mission is to provide hope, help, support, and education to those who live with mood disorders, DBSA is proud to have worked with our NNDC partners to contribute to this important study that provides insight into how people with depression and bipolar disorder experience the impact of symptoms, their treatment preferences, and their definitions of wellness.” 

View the full study here.