Depressive Disorders - Prognosis

Untreated or improperly treated depression is the number one cause of suicide in the United States. Proper treatment relieves symptoms in 80 to 90 percent of all patients. The occurrence of a single episode of depression increases the chances of another such episode. After one episode, a person is 50 percent more likely to have a second episode. After a second episode, the risk rises to 70 percent for a third episode. And after a third episode, the risk reaches 90 percent for yet another episode. For this reason, patients with recurrent (repeated) episodes may require long-term treatment with drugs and/or psychosocial therapy.

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