How Long does Depression Last?


Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. One of the most common questions individuals with depression ask is, “how long does depression last?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, as the duration of depression can vary widely from person to person.

For some individuals, depression may only last a few weeks or months, while for others, it can persist for years. The length of depression can be affected by various factors, such as the severity of the symptoms, the individual’s response to treatment, and any underlying medical conditions. (APA,2022)

It’s important to note that depression is a treatable condition, and with the right treatment, many individuals are able to recover and live fulfilling lives.  It is also useful to know that The risk of recurrence becomes progressively lower over time as the duration of remission increases (APA 2022). Treatment for depression may include therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches.


Therapy can be particularly effective in treating depression, as it helps individuals develop coping strategies and learn new ways to manage their symptoms. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating depression (Gautam, 2020). CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to depression.

Medication can also be helpful in treating depression. Antidepressant medications work by balancing chemicals in the brain that affect mood (, 2020).It’s important to note that medication should be prescribed and monitored by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional.

Lifestyle changes can also play a role in managing depression. Engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet (but be careful with supplements that may have limited effect), getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs can all help manage symptoms of depression.

If you are struggling with depression, it’s important to seek help. Depression can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and it’s not something you have to go through alone. The Centre for Clinical Psychology in Melbourne offers a range of services to support individuals with depression. You can book an appointment by calling 03 9077 0122 or online at Remember, recovery is possible, and there is hope for a brighter future.


Depressive Disorders. (2022). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Vol. 1–0). American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Gautam, M., Tripathi, A., Deshmukh, D., & Gaur, M. (2020). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian journal of psychiatry, 62(Suppl 2), S223–S229. [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Depression: How effective are antidepressants? [Updated 2020 Jun 18]. Available from:

Singh, B., Olds, T., Curtis, R., Dumuid, D., Virgara, R., Watson, A., Szeto, K., O’Connor, E., Ferguson, T., Eglitis, E., Miatke, A., Simpson, C. E., & Maher, C. (2023). Effectiveness of physical activity interventions for improving depression, anxiety and distress: An overview of systematic reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine.