Depression Relapse: Is It Possible to Achieve Full Remission?

Following a major depressive episode, remission is that part of the treatment process where symptoms no longer interfere with a patient’s life. Moreover, remission is the aim of depression treatment, whether you’re receiving standard talk therapy, taking medication, or looking into alternative options.

The remission phase usually begins after depressive symptoms have been completely or largely eliminated. However, it is also not uncommon for relapses to occur. So, can you achieve full remission? Is it equal to a full recovery from depression? Get the answers below!

If depression is not treated, it can become more serious. To prevent it from becoming severe, consult a doctor.

Remission In Depression

Remission from depression frequently makes you feel that your actual self is returning. It is a positive indication that your treatment strategy is effective and a reminder that major depressive disorder (MDD) is not a lifelong disability. At this point, your treatment plan may become less strict or gradually stop.

There are two types of remission: full and partial.

  • Full remission is frequently more noticeable than partial one because your depression symptoms may be almost nonexistent.
  • Partial remission means that some depression symptoms improve with time, but others stay the same.

What Are the Symptoms of Remission?

One tool for evaluating the degree of depression remission is the HAM-D. However, the DSM-5 is frequently used by doctors to categorize and identify depression remission.

Remission in the DSM-5: The DSM-5 states that to receive a diagnosis of full remission of depression, you must experience no severe depressive symptoms for at least two months.
The HAM-D rating scale: It is a clinician-administered rating scale that assesses 21 items that are related to depressive symptoms. The severity of those symptoms and, occasionally, how frequently they are experienced are used to determine the final scores.

Can Remission Begin at Any Time?

There is no universal agreement among medical experts as to when remission starts. Remission was defined as a 3-week or longer reduction in depressive symptoms by a 2008 Analysis [2*] . The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code for a single episode of depression remission is 296.26 (F32.5), and for recurrent depressive episodes, it is 296.36 (F33.42).

However, only a healthcare expert can be helpful because there is no set period of time for the remission of depression. Remember that the remission period is distinct from the period of recovery from depression. On the length of time that you need to be in complete remission before being deemed in recovery, there is no medical consensus.

With EZcare, you’ll receive a personalized treatment plan and ongoing support for depression.

Can You Go Into Full Remission With Depression?

It is possible to answer both yes and no to this question. Multiple factors can contribute to full remission.

One hypothesis is that some characteristics of the depression itself can reveal who has the best chance of escaping it. For instance, having less severe symptoms, experiencing fewer episodes, and developing depression later in life may increase the likelihood of remission after depression.

The second hypothesis is that high functioning following depression is predicted by its environment, particularly how an individual responds to it. High functioning is more likely in this situation if a person:

  • was functioning well before the onset of the first episode of depression;
  • has more resources at their disposal, such as friends and money;
  • makes positive changes to their daily routine, job, beliefs, or friends as a result of the depression.

Patients with high-functioning depression are more likely to go into full remission.

What Does Relapse Mean in Depression?

When depressive symptoms return after four months without an episode, it is considered a relapse. You can have different symptoms from those you had during your initial depressive episode, or you might have the same ones.

There could be several triggers for relapse in depression.

  • A loved one’s passing
  • The alterations in hormones that occur during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Situations that cause stress in life, like a job change or financial difficulties
  • Divorce
  • Family structure change
  • Having additional health issues that are stressful


Do you or someone you know worry about depression relapse? The good news is, some persons have complete or partial remission from depressive symptoms and go on to lead fulfilling lives. It depends on your determination and treatment plan. Contact EZcare doctors to obtain an online prescription, start treatment, and reach remission sooner.


+2 sources
  1. Towards achieving remission in the treatment of depression. (2008)
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  2. Towards achieving remission in the treatment of depression. (2008)
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