Little is known about how to prevent depression, but getting exercise and avoiding alcohol and drugs may help. Exercise may also help prevent depression from coming back
(relapse) and may improve symptoms of mild depression.
You also may be able to prevent depression by
avoiding alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can contribute to depression. And using
them can be a sign that you have depression.
Preventing depression from coming back
You may be
able to prevent a relapse or keep your symptoms from getting worse if
- Take your medicine as prescribed. Depression often returns if
you stop taking your medicine or don't take it as your doctor advises.
- Continue to take your medicine after your symptoms improve.
Taking your medicine for at least 6 months after you feel better can help keep
you from getting depressed again. If this isn't the first time you have been
depressed, your doctor may want you to take medicine even longer. You may
benefit from long-term treatment with antidepressants.
cognitive-behavioral therapy after your symptoms
improve. Research shows that people who were treated with this type of therapy had less
chance of relapse than those who were treated only with antidepressants.3
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Get regular exercise.
- Get treatment right away if you notice that
symptoms of depression are coming back or getting
- Have healthy sleep patterns.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
January 11, 2013
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