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Depression Typically Lasts For At Least How Many Weeks

How Long Does Depression Last Does It Go Away

What is Depression?

Depression is a complex and debilitating disorder that plagues many people. The overwhelming feeling of depression can affect every aspect of a persons life, from their relationships to the professional sphere. It is a considerable weight that can leave a person feeling sad, hopeless, and can even compromise their own self-image. It is critical to address depression, but depressive episodes can still surface, even while receiving care. Asking, Does it ever go away? is a fair question with two distinct interpretations. However, the answer is yes, it can go away whether a person is looking to address the particular depressive episode they feel stuck in, or thinking about addressing their depression as a whole.

Risk Factors For Depression

Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.

Several factors can play a role in depression:

  • Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
  • Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
  • Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.

What Is Major Depression

In major depression, the most prominent symptom is a severe and persistent low mood, profound sadness, or a sense of despair. The mood can sometimes appear as irritability. Or the person suffering major depression may not be able to enjoy activities that are usually enjoyable.

Major depression is more than just a passing blue mood, a “bad day” or temporary sadness. The symptoms of major depression are defined as lasting at least two weeks but usually they go on much longer months or even years.

A variety of symptoms usually accompany the low mood and the symptoms can vary significantly among different people.

Many people with depression also have anxiety. They may worry more than average about their physical health. They may have excessive conflict in their relationships and may function poorly at work. Sexual functioning may be a problem. People with depression are at more risk for abusing alcohol or other substances.

Depression probably involves changes in the areas of the brain that control mood. Nerve cells may be functioning poorly in certain regions of the brain. Communication between nerve cells or nerve circuits can make it harder for a person to regulate mood. Hormone changes may also negatively affect mood. An individual’s life experience affects these biological processes. And genetic makeup influences how vulnerable a person is to getting this illness.

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When Should I Call The Doctor

Call a healthcare provider if your child has any signs of depression or anxiety. If your child is showing signs of suicide, get help right away. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This hotline connects you to a national network of local crisis centers for free and confidential emotional support. The centers support people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an emergency, call 911.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

While it may be difficult to watch your child dealing with depression or anxiety, help is available. The right treatment can ensure your child continues to grow and thrive throughout their development. In addition to medical help, you can support your child by making sure they have a healthy environment at home, at school and in the community. Always let your child know they can communicate openly and honestly about their feelings.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/17/2020.

References

How Do Antidepressants Work

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The most common antidepressant medications for children are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . These medications increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that can help increase feelings of happiness and well-being.

Use extra caution with antidepressants in children. Some children show no improvement with the medications, or may even feel more depressed. If a healthcare provider recommends antidepressants, watch your childs condition closely. Never allow your child to stop taking antidepressants suddenly. Doing so can cause serious side effects or make depression worse.

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Who Is At Risk For Depression

Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.

Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.

Other Methods Of Treating Depression Symptoms

Sometimes, electroconvulsive therapy is used in the management of depression that does not respond to other treatments. In this case, an electrical current is used to stimulate a person’s brain.

Another form of therapy is light therapy, affecting serotonin circuitry in the brain. This is a vital part of mood regulation. It balances the serotonin circuit activity, which has shown to be effective in treating a major depressive disorder, as well as seasonal affective disorder. Light therapy can be used on its own or in combination with medicine and psychotherapy.

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How Can I Take Care Of Myself

Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:

  • Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
  • Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Eat regular, healthy meals.
  • Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
  • Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
  • Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
  • Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.

Breathe Deeply And Relax The Muscles

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Deep breathing techniques are an effective way to calm anxiety and soothe the bodys stress response. Slowly inhaling and exhaling has physical and psychological benefits, especially when done on a daily basis.

Anyone can practice deep breathing, whether in the car, at work, or in the grocery store. Plenty of smartphone apps offer guided deep breathing activities, and many are free to download.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another helpful tool for those experiencing depression and anxiety. It involves tensing and relaxing the muscles in the body to reduce stress. Again, many smartphone apps offer guided progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

We have reviewed some meditation apps that can help with depression and anxiety.

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Causes Of Depressive Episodes

The causes of depressive episodes include biological, social, and psychological elements. It is important to remember that depression can occur as a single episode or as part of a chronic condition.

The following points could be risk factors in causing depression:

  • Comorbidity – having other mental health disorders like ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder
  • Family members’ history of depression
  • History of problems with sleep patterns
  • Changes in brain function
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Lack of personal support
  • Environmental factors – exposure to stressful life events, or social isolation, making someone vulnerable to recurrent depressive episodes
  • Childhood traumatic events
  • Psychological trauma in losing a loved one or a job
  • A history of depressive episodes

Separate Yourself From The Depression

A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.

A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.

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Will My Depression Ever Go Away

Yes, you can manage your depression with the right kind of care. If left untreated, some depression can become more severe or lead to other secondary problems. Other mental health problems may arise, or depression could also snowball into suicidal ideation. In some cases, people will turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and develop a substance abuse problem on top of their depression. When this occurs, dual diagnosis treatment becomes necessary.

Our Banyan mental health center helps people move past their mental health problems and learn how to better manage their symptoms. It is possible to live a full and happy life despite depression or any other mental health disorder.

To get help for yourself or a loved one, call our mental health treatment center now at .Related Reading:

What Are The Complications Of Depression

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When depression becomes very severe, dark thoughts can emerge and these can even lead to suicide. If you are having thoughts of suicide, talking to someone you trust can help.

If someone you care about has severe depression, learn the warning signs, since they may be feeling so bad that they cant see their way out alone.

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How Do I Know If I Have Clinical Depression

A doctor is required to diagnose clinical depression. You may be clinically depressed if you’ve experienced five or more depression symptoms every day for more than two weeks. These symptoms can include:

  • Feeling sad or empty

  • Loss of interest in hobbies, social engagements, or sex

  • Thinking about death or suicide.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. They can help you find the right diagnosis and treatment for your symptoms, which can reduce the length of a depressive episode.

How Do I Know Which Type I Have

If you think you might have any type of depression, its important to follow up with a doctor. All depression types discussed in this article are treatable, though it might take some time to find the right treatment for you.

If youve had a previous episode of depression and think it may be happening again, see a therapist or another mental health professional right away.

If youve never had depression before, start with a primary care physician. Some symptoms of depression can be related to an underlying physical condition that should be addressed.

Try to give your doctor as much information about your symptoms as you can. If possible, mention:

  • when you first noticed the symptoms
  • how theyve affected your daily life
  • any other mental health conditions you have
  • any information about a history of mental illness in your family
  • all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including supplements and herbs

It might feel uncomfortable, but try to tell your doctor everything. This will help them give you a more accurate diagnosis and refer you to the right type of mental health professional.

Worried about the cost of mental health services? Here are five ways to access therapy for every budget.

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How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed

If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:

  • Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
  • Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
  • Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
  • Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
  • Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Recognize The Importance Of Self

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Self-care is essential for good physical and mental health. Self-care activities are any actions that help people look after their wellbeing.

Self-care means taking time to relax, recharge, and connect with the self and others. It also means saying no to others when overwhelmed and taking space to calm and soothe oneself.

Basic self-care activities include eating a healthful diet, engaging in creative activities, and taking a soothing bath. But any action that enhances mental, emotional, and physical health can be considered a self-care activity.

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How Is Depression Diagnosed

To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Children and adolescents may be irritable rather than sad.

If you think you may have depression, talk to your health care provider. Primary care providers routinely diagnose and treat depression and refer individuals to mental health professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists.

During the visit, your provider may ask when your symptoms began, how long they last, how often they occur, and if they keep you from going out or doing your usual activities. It may help to make some notes about your symptoms before your visit. Certain medications and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same depression symptoms. Your provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.

Read NIMHs Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.

How Long Does Depression Last What You Need To Know

Depression comes in many forms. It might be mild or severe, temporary or long-lasting. It can affect your relationships, work, and ability to cope with daily tasks.

Clinical depression is one of the more common and severe forms of depression and is more than simply feeling sad or down. It’s a treatable medical condition, diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional.

Clinical depression can cause painful physical and emotional symptoms. For some people, depression may fade away over time and not come back. However, it’s uncommon for depression to get better on its own and without treatment, the symptoms of clinical depression can become more severe¹.

Many people also experience recurrent episodes of depression, meaning that if you’ve had a depressive episode, it’s more likely that you’ll experience another one in the future.

How long a depressive episode lasts will vary from person to person. For some people, the symptoms might only last a few weeks. For others, they may experience the symptoms of depression for years. In either case, treatment can help reduce the length and severity of depressive episodes and prevent them from appearing again.

Have you considered clinical trials for Depression?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Depression, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available – and be a part of finding a cure.

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The Course Of Major Depression

When a person has experienced only one episode of depression, it is classified as Major Depression, Single Episode. When multiple Major Depressive Episodes occur in a row, and no manic or mixed episodes are observed, the diagnoses changes to Major Depression, Recurrent.

Untreated, a Major Depressive Episode may last, on average, about 4 months. Some people only experience a single depressive episode and thereafter are symptom free. However, many people who experience one major depressive episode will go on to experience multiple major depressive episodes. The more major depressive episodes an individual experiences, the more likely they are to develop future episodes. Approximately 60% of people with MDD who experience a single depressive episode go on to have a second episode, and about 70% are likely to experience a third episode. Similarly, having had three episodes increases the chances to about 90% that a fourth episode will occur.

The course of Major Depression, Recurrent varies across individuals. Some people have isolated depressive episodes that are separated by many years during which mood is normal, whereas other individuals experience clusters of major depressive episodes that occur closely together in time. Still other people with Major Depression experience increasingly frequent episodes as they grow older.

Where Can I Seek Treatment For Depression

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At GIA Miami, we offer the most advanced, evidence-based depression treatments, designed to suit you best.

Our experience in treating a variety of mental health conditions will ensure that any depressive disorders are addressed with individual treatment. GIA Miami’s team of medical professionals and internationally acclaimed experts can help you deal with any symptoms, as well as provide you with therapeutic tools that can improve your life.

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Does Depression Affect Children

Depression can affect people of any age, including children. Although children naturally have mood swings as they grow and develop, depression is different. The disorder can affect how children interact with friends and family. It may prevent them from enjoying school, sports, hobbies or other normal childhood activities.

In children, depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. Anxiety is a medical condition that causes feelings of fear, panic or worry about everyday situations. Sometimes, depression or anxiety in children gets chalked up to growing pains. But if you have any concerns about behavioral or mental health, talk to a healthcare provider.

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