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Depression, also known clinically as major depressive disorder (MDD), is a chronic condition. It’s also a mood disorder that lasts longer and is more severe than “feeling blue” after a bad day. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 21 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2020. Although MDD is a common mental health concern, many adults aren’t getting the treatment they need to manage their symptoms.

If you’re asking, “Will depression ever go away?” there are a variety of factors that can impact the length and severity of your depression symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about what could be the cause of your mental health problems and where you can get the help you need to recover.

What Are Depressive Episodes?

What Are Depressive Episodes?

A depressive episode occurs when you experience five or more depression symptoms lasting two weeks or longer. These symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal ideation or attempting suicide

You can experience a depressive episode following a variety of events such as loss, diagnosis of medical issues, and more. Keep in mind that experiencing these symptoms as a result of substance abuse or medication side effects does not meet the criteria for a depressive episode. However, if you experience these symptoms for any reason for two weeks or longer, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you identify the cause of these symptoms and find the right treatment methods for your situation.

How Long Do They Last?

If you have recently been diagnosed with depression, you may want to know, “Will depression ever go away?”. Clinical depression is a mental health disorder that impacts daily functioning. The disorder is characterized by persistent low moods and loss of interest in daily activities. Some individuals experience symptoms of depression for several months but it can also be lifelong.

On the other hand, depressive episodes are intense bouts of low mood and a loss of interest in daily activities. Although depressive episodes must last for a minimum of two weeks to meet diagnoseable criteria, there is no maximum amount of time they can last. However, studies show that a major depressive episode tends to last between three to four months but can last as long as six to eleven months.

Types of Depression

There are different types of depression including:

  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD): Also referred to as dysthymia, it’s a mild but long form of depression. The biggest difference between PDD and MDD is the duration of symptoms. Individuals experience continuous low moods and at least two other symptoms for a minimum of two years.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Associated with higher levels of melatonin production during months when days are shorter and there is less sunlight. This tends to occur at the same time every year.
  • Bipolar depression: Shares many of the same symptoms of MDD but is interrupted by symptoms of mania. Bipolar depression can last for weeks to months and can occur at the same time as episodes of mania.
  • Atypical depression: Also referred to as major depression with atypical features, symptoms deviate from the traditional criteria of MDD. One of the biggest differences is mood reactivity, a temporary mood improvement following a positive event.
  • Postpartum depression: Occurs after giving birth. Symptoms of PPD often develop in the weeks after giving birth, but symptoms may not develop until six months after the birth. They can last up to three years and increase the likelihood of developing MDD.

Factors that Affect How Long Depression Lasts

Depression can result from a variety of factors including:

  • Stressful life events
  • Family history of depression (genetics)
  • Presence of other mental health problems
  • Physical health problems
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Environment
  • Trauma

If you are wondering, “Will depression ever go away?”, these factors can impact the amount of time you are depressed. You may not have control over some of the factors, which is why seeking treatment is important. With the help of a mental health professional, you may be able to reduce the time you experience symptoms or prevent worsening symptoms.

Will Depression Ever Go Away?

Mood disorders such as major depressive disorder can’t be cured, but the symptoms can be managed with therapy and medication. However, some types of depression and depressive episodes can be treated before they develop into MDD or another mental health disorder. Some adults with MDD can experience partial or total remission, periods where you no longer experience symptoms, with the right combination of treatments. Therefore, if you’re at risk of developing MDD or experiencing depressive episodes, learning to manage your symptoms as soon as possible can keep your mental health stable.

Why Treatment for Depression Is Key

Why Treatment Is Key

Like with other health conditions, if left untreated, depression can worsen. Individuals can experience significant impairment that can impact their relationships and ability to maintain a job. Moreover, it can lead to self-harm or suicide. Using drugs or alcohol to cope can also worsen symptoms as well as lead to addiction. In this case, the combination of a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder requires comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment to adequately treat.

Your experience with depression is unique. Therefore, it requires individualized treatment. Mental health professionals at Port St. Lucie Hospital can help you find the therapeutic techniques that work best for your symptoms and recovery goals. Some of the evidence-based treatment options at our recovery center include:

A combination of treatment methods is often the most effective. But it’s different for everyone. Adults enrolled in our adult mental health program receive the health care and support they need to overcome their mental health obstacles. Physicians, nurses, therapists, and more will help you re-establish a state of well-being through the program. You will learn how to improve your quality of life with new coping techniques and focus on your overall wellness while in recovery. You won’t have to wonder, “Will depression ever go away?” any longer because your symptoms will be manageable.

Start Managing Your Depression at Port St. Lucie Hospital

Treating depression can help you regain control of your life. Port St. Lucie Hospital provides the highest quality assessment, diagnosis, stabilization, and depression treatment for adults in Florida. Every patient is cared for with dignity and kindness while they recover in our center. You’ll return home with the skills and support you need to manage your symptoms long-term.

For more information on how you can start managing your depression today, reach out to our admissions office at 772-408-5871 or fill out a confidential contact form online. You no longer have to struggle to feel joy on the happiest days.

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