Depression Health (cont.)

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Depending on the severity of your depression, you will see your health-care provider more frequently, perhaps as often as every week or every other week, for the first six to eight weeks after the initial diagnosis of depression.

Be sure to tell your health-care provider about any medication side effects or urges to hurt yourself or others.

Depression Prevention

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People who have risk factors for depression should be "screened" regularly by their health-care provider. This means that when they see their health-care provider, questions should be asked that might indicate depression.

If identified early, those who are at risk for depression are more likely to benefit from treatment.

Depression Prognosis

Untreated episodes of clinical depression typically last from six to 24 months.

Properly treated episodes are much shorter in most people.

  • About two-thirds of people will recover and be able to return to their normal activities within days or weeks.
  • About 25% of all people will continue to exhibit moderate to severe symptoms for months to years after the initial episode.
  • Nearly 10% of people with depression will have continuous or intermittent symptoms for two or more years. A person who has one episode of depression should be on the lookout for recurrent episodes of depression, since these occur about 50% of the time. However, quick treatment will usually be effective for these recurrent depressions, as well.

Getting Help: Support Groups and Counseling

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Additional information about depression can be obtained from these organizations:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
730 North Franklin Street, suite 501
Chicago, IL 60610-3526
1-800-826-3632 or 312-642-0049
Web site:

National Foundation for Depressive Illness
PO Box 2257
New York, NY 10116
1-800-239-1265 or 212-268-4260

National Institute of Mental Health
1-866-615-6464 or 301-443-4513

National Mental Health Association
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
1-800-969-NMHA (6642) or 703-684-7722

National Organization for Seasonal Affective Disorder (NOSAD)
PO Box 42490
Washington, D.C. 20015

Postpartum Support International
927 North Kellog Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014

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