Denial, Refusal, Acceptance

November 10, 2020
Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH

Patients' first reactions to a diagnosis of major depressive disorder can be varied. What can you do to help them cope?

According to Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH, a patient's knowledge and understanding of their illness results in fewer symptoms of depression or mania, a greater chance of adherence to recommended medications, an increased time to reoccurence with fewer reoccurences, and fewer or no hospital admissions. Developing illness awareness is incredibly important for a patient's journey.

Dr Noonan is a physician consultant and Certified Peer Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author of four books and a blog on managing depression, most recently Helping Others With Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do (December 2020). Dr Noonan offers peer counseling to fellow patients, including physicians and other professionals, and can be confidentially reached through her website at https://susannoonanmd.com.