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Depression - What Happens

Depression is different for everyone.

For some people, a bout of depression begins with symptoms of anxiety (such as worrying a lot), sadness, or lack of energy. This may go on for days or months before the person or others think that depression could be the problem.

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Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive mental health services, including screening tests for depression and alcohol misuse, at no cost to you. Learn more.

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And other people may feel depressed suddenly. This may happen after a big change in life, such as the loss of a loved one or a serious accident.

How long does depression last?

If you don't get treated, depression may last from months to a year or longer.

A small number of people feel depressed for most of their lives and always need treatment.

Depression can return, which is called a relapse. At least half of the people who have depression once get it again.1 How likely you are to get depression again increases each time you have a bout of depression. You can make having another bout of depression less likely by following your treatment plan and using your medicines.

Depression and other health concerns

Depression is linked with many health concerns. These include other diseases, drug or alcohol use, and pregnancy. If you have depression and another health concern, you need to deal with both of them.

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 22, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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