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Predictors of Course (Prognosis) of Depression

The chances that an episode of Major Depression will resolve fully with treatment after 1 year are lower if any of the following conditions are present [ref, ref]:

  • The episode endures for 6 months or more
  • The episode is severe
  • The person is female
  • The Major Depressive Episode is superimposed on a Dysthymia (called Double Depression)
  • There are significant problems in the way the person's family functions
  • The person has had at least 2 previous hospitalizations for Depression
  • The person's Major Depressive Episode occurs at a younger age (in a person's 20's)
  • There are psychotic symptoms in the Depressive episode
  • The person also suffers from another psychiatric disorder, such as an Anxiety Disorder or a Personality Disorder.
  • The person also suffers from a general medical condition
  • The person's personality is characterized by high levels of Neuroticism

After a Major Depressive Episode has resolved, the chances of another one occurring within 5 years are increased if any of the following conditions are present [ref]:

 

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Course and Prevalence

Suicide in Depression