In a national representative survey, 1,403 people were interviewed on their attitudes to depression and its sufferers and their understanding of the causes, treatability and treatment of depression. Some two-thirds of the interviewees regarded depressives as being neither mentally ill, weak willed, nor as feeling sorry for themselves. Stress, bereavement and hereditary were considered to be the most frequent causes of depression. Seventy-three per cent said that depression could be successfully treated. While 81 per cent recommended getting professional help, only 17 per cent mentioned their GP as a source of treatment for depression. People who had depression, or who had a friend or relative who had depression and those who had visited a patient in a psychiatric hospital expressed more positive attitudes to depression and its management.