What can be done to prevent the condition?
Depression may not be preventable. However, some of these steps may be helpful in preventing it:
avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs
avoiding cigarette smoking
getting prompt treatment for other psychiatric disorders
seeking effective treatment for chronic diseases
talking with a counselor after experiencing a major trauma
Depression can lead to suicide. It is important to recognize and treat the condition early. Individuals should be encouraged to talk to someone if they are concerned about depression. There are many people to whom they can talk, including:
a clergy member
a family doctor
parents or a trusted family member
a professional at a mental health center
a school counselor
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
With good treatment, many people recover from depression. Some people experience it only once in their lives. Others have periodic bouts of depression.
If depression is not effectively treated, a person can experience serious difficulties in every area of life. Depression often hurts relationships. It also impairs work or academic performance. In some cases, it leads to suicide.
People with depression are at higher risk for many chronic diseases and conditions, including:
coronary artery disease
What are the risks to others?
Depression is not contagious.