A new study highlights how mental health professionals’ lived experiences influence their perspectives on mental health. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, investigates how clinicians’ first-person experiences of depression and their perceptions of their own susceptibility to mental health concerns affect their viewpoints on causes of depression, the connection between depression and burnout, and mental health issues in general.
Researchers found that previous experiences of depression and perceived vulnerability influenced whether clinicians viewed depression as caused by biological or social and psychological factors, as well as whether they viewed depression and burnout as connected or as separate concepts.
The inspiration for the current study was motivated by the significant number of clinicians who have lived experience of struggles with mental health. The researchers, led by Angel Ponew of the Medical University Brandenburg Theodor Fontane in Neuruppin, Germany, write:
“. . . a German study (EKB study) found that over 80% of a self-selected sample of mental health professionals stated to have experienced mental crisis including mental disorders.”
Lived Experience Affects Mental Health Professionals’ Approach