Depression also has a high risk of recurrence. Individuals who’ve had at least two episodes may have at least one more depressive episode.
A common mental health condition in 2016, more than 16 million adults experienced at least one major depressive episode.
While depression can be treated, and symptoms can be alleviated, depression cannot be “cured.” Instead, remission is the goal. There’s no universally accepted definition of remission, as it varies for each person. People may still have symptoms or impaired functioning with remission.
While not everyone who experiences a depressive episode goes on to have another one, many individuals do have another episode. It’s not always known what reasons this. Further, there isn’t one known reason of depression in general. It’s thought that a variety of things are involved, including biological, genetic, environmental, and emotional factors.
If you have a recurrence, that doesn’t mean you’re weak or that you did anything wrong. Sometimes depression can be triggered by stressors like losing a job, a serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or substance use. Other times, a recurrence can occur because the medication you were taking isn’t the best one for you, or because it’s time to try a new therapy.
Depression can manifest in different ways for different people. Some people may sleep too much, while others might have difficulty sleeping. Keeping a log of your specific symptoms can be helpful, especially when discussing treatment options with your doctor.
- sleep disturbances, such as waking early in the morning, oversleeping, or not being able to sleep
- feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- feeling sadness or empty
- lack of energy or increased fatigue
- changes in weight or appetite
- feeling restless or agitated
- moving or talking slower than usual
- loss of interest or pleasure in activities or things that were previously enjoyable
- trouble concentrating or making decisions
How to prevent a recurrence
Treating your depression can help decrease the risk of another recurrence. Treatment usually contains a combination of some form of talk therapy, as well as medication.
Sometimes people experience a recurrence of depression during their treatment, and that’s okay. Your treatment team can reevaluate your treatment plan and see if it requirements to be changed or tweaked.