Depression facts

What are the risks and what can psychology do? Facts regarding reoccurrence, success of treatment, and length between episodes.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on January 3, 2003 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

Depression is a highly recurrent illness. Current thinking holds
that the most important factor influencing recurrence is failure to
completely resolve symptoms during treatment. Many experts insist that
drugs are not used long enough or agressively enough. Even so, other
factors play a role. Never-married people are more likely to relapse than
married folk. And women More so than men, because their depression Tends
to be accompanied by other disorders, such as anxiety.

9

in months, period of antidepressant treatment recommended for a
first episode of depression.

3

in months, average duration of an antidepressant
prescription.

30

percentage of depressed persons who do not respond to the first
drug tried for treatment.

5

in years, average length of time between episodes of major
depression.

85

percentage of persons with major depression who relapse within 15
years.

18%

increase in likelihood of recurrence with each prior episode of
depression.