Thursday, April 18, 2024

How Long Does A Depressive Episode Usually Last

Professional Mental Health Treatment

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It can be hard to admit, but sometimes a depressive episode is too big to handle on your own. But accepting professional help is okay. In fact, in many cases it is the best way to get your life back on track and to get rid of your depressive episode.

At Ridgeview Hospital, our adult psychiatric program exists to help people with issues like depressive episodes. Through inpatient care with mental health professionals, we provide evidence-based treatments like:

  • Individual-focused therapy
  • Therapy groups
  • Proactive discharge planning

If youve tried other methods and you still cant get out of a depressive episode, then its time to turn to the professionals. To learn more about how we can help, call our friendly admissions specialists at or ask your questions online. Figuring out how to get out of a depressive episode can be challenging, but well help you get your life back under control.

Are Depressive Episodes Temporary

Understanding depression Everyone goes through periods of deep sadness and grief. These feelings usually fade away within a few days or weeks, depending on the circumstances. However, intense sadness that lasts more than 2 weeks and affects your ability to function may be a sign of depression.

What triggers depressive episode?

Depression episodes can be triggered by factors such as stressful events, loss, illness, lifestyle habits, and substance use.

Can a depressive episode last a few hours?

Disorders characterized by periods with depressive episodes lasting hours to days have been described since 1852 and have been labelled periodic melancholia, intermittent depressive disorder or very brief depression.

What defines a depressive episode?

The American Psychiatric Association defines a depressive episode as a period in ones life of at least two weeks, during which they exhibit the requisite symptoms of major depressive disorder . The symptoms of MDD are diverse, and include the following: Low mood. Sadness .

Why Treatment Is Key

Getting help for depression can improve health and level of functioning. Treatment can also reduce the amount of time that depression lasts along with reducing the severity of symptoms and the risk of recurrence.

There is no single effective treatment for depression and the success rate of each treatment varies from person to person. Some people might respond well to medication, while others may see more improvements through online counseling and therapy. Successful treatment for depression may require trying several different options.

Depression is serious and can impact every aspect of a persons life. However, depression is treatable and there is hope for recovery.

If youre looking for healthy ways to manage depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!

Recommended Reading: How Does Depression Make You Lose Weight

How Long Will My Depression Last

From now on, instead of asking questions like How long does clinical depression last?, as if it doesnt matter what you do, start thinking about how fast you can stop being depressed with your particular approach to depression.

Indeed, the takeaway is that you can get rid of depression extremely fast, even if other people dont, because it depends entirely on what you do.

And since youre taking a course that teaches you step by step how to get rid of depression faster and easier, you can rest assured that you will get rid of depression much faster than most people.

How Long Do Depressive Episodes Last

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There is no average duration for major depressive disorder as a whole since every persons experience and response to treatment is different. Depressive events must last at least two weeks to meet the diagnostic criteria to qualify as a depressive episode.

Studies have found that the average duration of a major depressive episode is between three and four months, while other research has estimated that the average duration is six to 10.7 months.

Also Check: Bipolar Depression How Long Does It Last

Indulge In Your Favorite Things

When youre not in a depressive episode, what types of things make you happy? Whether its watching a comedy, reading a good book, or anything else, try to engage in activities that you know you enjoy. This can be hard, since part of a depressive episode can include not wanting to do things you usually enjoy. But if you go ahead and do them anyway, you may still get some of that enjoyment, which makes this a great coping skill for depression.

What Constitutes A Depressive Episode

Mental Health Education » What Constitutes a Depressive Episode?

Depression affects individuals of all ages and parts of the population. Its adverse symptoms are known to cause harmful effects to ones well-being, hindering their ability to lead a healthy, happy life. A diagnosis of depression is based first and foremost on the appearance of depressive episodesbut what is a depressive episode? And how is it different from other aspects of this disorder? Read on to find out.

Recommended Reading: Ways To Support Someone With Depression

How To Get Out Of A Depressive Episode

Everyone goes through funks in lifetimes where nothing seems to go right. Thankfully, these sad periods tend to go away on their own without causing too much disturbance to daily life. But sometimes, these sad periods are much more severe, and they dont seem to go away easily. These are depressive episodes, and they can indicate a larger problem that may need professional treatment. But why do some people get these periods of sadness? And what can you do about it? Keep reading for crucial information on depression and how to get out of a depressive episode.

Ketamine For Depression Treatment

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Most antidepressant medications or depression treatments can take weeks or even months to begin to provide relief. Ketamine can provide rapid relief from the symptoms, and is a promising new depression treatment. It interacts with the NMDA and AMPA receptors, releasing glutamate, cortisol, and oxytocin helping to restore connections in the brain and essentially rewire it.

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Causes Of A Depressive Episode

The causes of depressive episodes are complex and varied, involving social, psychological and biological factors. Depression may occur as an isolated episode or as part of a chronic depressive condition. While the exact causes are not yet fully understood, the following may increase a personââ¬â¢s likelihood of experiencing a depressive episode:

  • History of depressive episodes

People who have recently had a baby may experience postpartum depression.

Sometimes, there is no obvious cause for the occurence of a depressive episode.

Some health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can cause symptoms of depression. While uncommon, adverse reactions to certain medications can also cause depressed mood. However, treating these underlying causes and disorders should alleviate the symptoms.

Depressive Episodes Vs Grief

Grief is considered the closest to a depressive episode one can experience. Indeed, grief and depressive episodes share many aspects, such as a deep and unrelenting emotional pain tied to a terrible sense of loss.

They differ, however, in both the recognized source of their pain, and in which of their shared features are more commonly related to each experience.

Firstly, it should be noted that unlike depression, grief is not considered a disorder, but a normative part of being alive. A deep and unrelenting emotional pain that one experiences following a significant loss, grief could appear due to the death of a loved one, the loss of ones social standing, a financial disaster, a debilitating illness, or even the loss of an idea, e.g., the belief in a happily ever after, following a divorce. We all deal with loss, and we all grieve for the more important aspects we have come to rely on which are no longer parts of our lives.

It is this inability to come to terms with what makes depression a mental health disorder, and the main difference between it and the grieving process. That said, several distinctions between the two have also been noted: according to the DSM-V, depressive episodes are usually marked by a lowered mood and an inability to feel happiness or enjoy oneself. Grief, on the other hand, is marked more by feelings of emptiness and loss.

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Duration Of Major Depressive Episodes In The General Population: Results From The Netherlands Mental Health Survey And Incidence Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018

Affiliation:Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht and De Galderse Roos, Institute for Mental Health Care, Arnhem
Ron De Graaf
Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht
Rob V Bijl
Research and Documentation Center of the Ministry of Justice, The Hague
Aartjan T. F. Beekman
Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht and Department of Psychiatry, University of Amsterdam
Johan Ormel
Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen
Willem A. Nolen
University Medical Centre, Utrecht and Altrecht Institute for Mental Health Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Jan Spijker, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction , PO Box 725, 3500 AS Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 302971100 fax: +31 302971111 e-mail:

Data on the duration of major depressive episodes in the general population are sparse.

To assess the duration of MDE and its clinical and socio-demographic determinants in a study group drawn from the general population with newly originated episodes of major depression.

The Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study is a prospective epidemiological survey in the adult population , using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Duration of MDE over 2 years was assessed with a Life Chart Interview.


Rapid Cycling In Bipolar Disease

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The phrase rapid cycling refers to four or more cycles in a 12-month period. However, while having four or more cycles in a one-year period means meeting the criteria for a diagnosis of rapid-cycling bipolar illness, rapid cycling is not necessarily a permanent pattern. Rather, rapid cycling can present at any point in the course of the disease. And it can be transient.

While about 2.5% of Americans have bipolar disorder, only about 10% to 20% of those will develop rapid cycling.

Rapid cycling may be more likely to affect those who were young when symptoms first appeared, those who have had bipolar disorder for a longer time, and those who misuse alcohol and other substances.

In addition, the term “ultra-rapid cycling” may be applied to those who cycle through episodes within a month or less. If this pattern occurs within a 24-hour period, the person’s diagnosis could possibly be termed “ultra-ultra-rapid cycling” or “ultradian.” It is often difficult to tell ultradian cycling from a mixed episode.

Also Check: Why Are We So Depressed

Risk Factors For Recurrent Depressive Episodes

Risk factors for depression can include a combination of genetic and environmental factors as well as personal experiences, like stressful events or trauma.

Some examples of risk factors for recurrent depressive episodes:

  • How old the person was when they had their first depressive episode
  • The severity of the first depressive episode
  • The presence of other mental health problems
  • Family history of depression
  • The presence of stressful life events

Potential Triggers For Depression Relapse

Each person also has personal relapse triggers, some of which you can control and some you can’t. These may be interpersonal or family stress, financial problems, job loss, and other real-world issues. The stress of our fast-paced modern world certainly has an impact, says Thomas Gazda, MD, a psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health in Scottsdale, Ariz. What is pleasurable to one person, he says, can be a trigger for depression in someone else: For some, the holidays are stressful, and for others, they are enjoyable and relaxing.

One common trigger for depression relapse is a dangerous love entanglement. Its a phenomenon that engulfs people who become depressed within a high-conflict intimate relationship, says Dr. Brodsky. They receive depression treatment and recover, then stop their treatment and return to the relationship, only to become depressed again in a matter of months.

Being aware of and avoiding such situations or triggers that set off depression symptoms are steps you need to take whether youre going through depression treatment or have recently recovered.

Also Check: How Much Of The World Has Depression

Major Depression Vs Dysthymia

Major depressive disorder and dysthymia overlap in some ways. But there are key differences.

Dysthymia, now usually called persistent depressive disorder , involves fewer symptoms. But they last longer, at least 2 years. You can be diagnosed with MDD if you have symptoms for 2 weeks.

Both mood disorders are serious. Sometimes dysthymia can disrupt your life more, even with fewer symptoms.

Can Depression Be Cured

Depression is an Illness, Not a Weakness

When someone is experiencing a depressive episode, it can feel like the depression may never end. Unfortunately, there is technically no cure for depression, as its always possible for the condition to occur again in the future. However, there are many different therapeutic approaches that can help treat depression and alleviate the symptoms.

The focus of depression treatment should be to build coping mechanisms and support systems that can be used when depression symptoms occur. It is important to remember that no two people have the same experience with depression, so depression treatment should be tailored specifically to each person.

Also Check: Can I Overcome Depression Without Medication

How Long Can Depression Last If Untreated

How long does it take to get over depression if you dont do anything to improve your situation?

If youre simply playing the waiting game, and not doing anything to get rid of depression on purpose, like deliberately improving youre thinking, then youre hoping to accidentally stop being depressed one day.

For example, youre hoping that one day your situation will change in a way that makes you happy, rather than depressed.

And this could happen. For example, you could meet someone special who inspires you to think more positively about yourself and your life, and in such a way, you could accidentally break free of depression and be happy.

But when you take this approach, how long depression lasts is simply a matter of luck. It could be days, months, or years. Or it could even last your entire life.

And why on earth would you leave depression up to chance, when you can be guaranteed to eliminate depression by improving your thinking and lifestyle?

Reach Out To People You Care About

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation makes depressive episodes even worse. In fact, there is evidence that loneliness and social isolation can greatly worsen an individuals mental health. But by making plans with people you care about, you can get some much-needed social interaction, which can help you get out of your depressive episode. You dont have to do anything big or special eitherjust inviting someone over to sit and talk or watch TV for a few hours can make a world of difference.

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Track Triggers And Symptoms

Keeping track of moods and symptoms might help a person understand what triggers a depressive episode. Spotting the signs of depression early on may help them avoid a full-blown depressive episode.

Use a diary to log important events, changes to daily routines, and moods. Rate moods on a scale of 1 to 10 to help identify which events or activities cause specific responses. See a doctor if symptoms persist for 14 days or more.

Prevention Of Depressive Episodes

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Speaking to a healthcare professional and following the treatment program they recommend is very important in managing depressive episodes.

While there is no known way to prevent a depressive episode, certain positive behaviors may be helpful. These include:

  • Talking about feelings when upset
  • Staying active, e.g. exercising and getting outdoors
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Writing down factors that may be causing the depression and trying to find solutions

Also Check: How Do I Know If Im Suffering From Depression

Factors That Rule Out A Depressive Episode

If a person is experiencing five or more of the above symptoms, including one of the first two, there are still some factors that would either rule out a major depressive episode or would lead to a different diagnosis.

  • The symptoms must not be caused by a substance such as an illegal drug or a medication.
  • The symptoms can’t be caused by a medical condition, such as thyroid disorder, lupus, or a vitamin deficiency.

Duration Vs Cause Of Depression

The cause of your depression symptoms might also affect how long they last if they go untreated.

In most depression cases, seeking the support of a health professional can shorten the duration and intensity of your symptoms.

There are several causes of depression, ranging from genetic to environmental. Common causes include:

  • Biology. indicate that some people with depression have a smaller hippocampus and/or less active frontal lobe. However, scientists dont yet know if this causes depression or is a result of it.
  • Drug use. A history of substance use disorder may lead to depressive disorders.
  • Hormone changes. Menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and giving birth can lead to depression. In some of these cases, symptoms will subside or improve when the root cause is addressed.
  • Environment. Exposure to traumatic events, social isolation, prolonged stress, and poverty can make some people more vulnerable to long-term or recurrent depressive episodes.
  • Family history. Depression can run in families. You might have a higher chance of developing the condition if your family members live with the condition.
  • Medications. Blood pressure medication and sleeping aids may lead to symptoms of depression that will last for the duration of your treatment.
  • Psychology. If you worry a lot, have low self-esteem, or are self-critical and negative, you may experience recurrent depressive symptoms.

Intensity of depression symptoms is classified as:

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