Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Vol. 76, No. 5, 2007
Background: Self-treatment and treatments of friends or relatives is a controversial issue, tolerated by some and discouraged by others, including professionals. The author studied the attitudes toward self-treatment of depression among psychiatrists in Michigan. Method: A questionnaire asking whether the psychiatrist would or did self-treat for depression was mailed to 830 members of the Michigan Psychiatric Society. Results: The response rate was 68.3% (567 psychiatrists). Almost 43% of responders would consider self-medication or would self-medicate if afflicted with mild/moderate depression. Seven percent would self-medicate or consider self-medication for severe depression or if suicidal ideation became a component of one’s depression. In the past, 15.7% responders treated themselves for depression. Conclusion: These results suggest that a considerable number of psychiatrists would treat themselves for depression, possibly because of fear of stigma or fear of a permanent record, or other reasons.