how long does depression last

How Long Does Depression Last? 3 Red Flags to Look Out for!

how long does depression last

Depression is a serious yet common medical illness. This condition will negatively affect how you feel, act, and think.

Symptoms of depression can run from mild to severe and include:

  • Change in appetite- either causing weight gain or loss that is not associated with dieting
  • Having a depressed mood means you feel sad
  • Excessive sleeping or trouble sleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Increased fatigue or loss of energy
  • Inability to sit still, handwringing, pacing 
  • Slowed speech
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Trouble concentrating, thinking, or making decisions
  • Feeling guilty or worthless

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Symptoms from depression must continue over a two-week period or more and show a change in previous functioning levels to receive a diagnosis of depression.

Causes of Depression

There are numerous causes for depression:

Death or Loss of a Loved One

Grief or sadness after a death of a loved one, even if the death is a natural cause, increases depression.

Certain Medications

Some drugs, such as interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, and others, can increase the risk of depression.


Elderly people are at a higher risk of depression and can be caused by living alone or a lack of social support. 


Emotional, sexual, or physical abuse makes a person more vulnerable to depression later in life. 

Major Events in Your Life

Even good events can lead to depression, such as graduating, getting married, becoming pregnant, and a number of other situations.

While there are many reasons a person can become depressed and a list of symptoms a person can experience, there are 3 red flags to watch for with this condition. 

How Long Can Depression Last and 3 Red Flags to Watch for? 

For some, it is difficult to see the difference between sadness or anxiety and depression. According to the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are distinguishing signs between these conditions.

You should seek help if one of these three symptoms persists for more than two weeks:

       1. Unable to Concentrate

There are times when all of us forget simple things, such as a person’s name or where we’ve left the remote control. You may have days when you feel scatter-brained or foggy, but with depression, you will be unable to concentrate. This lack of concentration impairs work performance. It may even be difficult to make decisions, and mistakes may increase. 

how long does depression last

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       2. Moodiness, Irritability, and Agitation

It doesn’t mean a person is depressed if they snap at you, but a red flag with depression is heightened moodiness, agitation, and irritability. You will notice little things set you off, such as a loud conversation or an itchy tag on your shirt. Your anger will come out as thoughts of self-harm or the desire to hurt someone else. If you find yourself experiencing these feelings and thoughts, you should seek help immediately. 

       3. Pains and Aches Without Explanation

Depression can manifest into physical symptoms. Almost seventy percent of people who have been diagnosed with depression report pains and aches the doctor can find no medical reason for. You may be surprised. However, mood disorders can display backaches, bloating, and joint pain. 

While these are 3 red flags to watch for with someone suffering from depression, it should be noted that this condition can manifest differently in each person. These are a few events that occur in a person’s life that can result in depression. 

Depression drains your energy, leaving you empty and restless- Click below to get help from mental health professionals.

How Long Does Depression Last After Pregnancy or Giving Birth? 

Pregnancy depression is common and difficult to handle when everyone around you expects you to be happy. Women are especially susceptible to depression when they are pregnant due to surging hormones along with stress, societal pressure, and anxiety. All these factors can place havoc on a woman’s emotional state while pregnant. 

So How Long Does Depression Last After Pregnancy?

Postpartum depression typically begins about three months after giving birth. This depression can continue long-term if you do not receive treatment. According to NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health), postpartum depression is a serious mental illness. This illness can cause an acute sense of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue. This form of depression typically goes away within three to five days. 

If not treated, postpartum depression can last for months, in some cases for years. Effective treatment can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

How Long Does Depression Last After Stopping Birth Control?

Depression symptoms are one of the main reasons women stop taking birth control. Research has not come up with a link between depression and birth control, but this medication does contain hormones. The hormones alter how your reproductive organs work, so they can prevent you from becoming pregnant. 

Since this medication prevents you from becoming pregnant, you should speak to your doctor before stopping the medicine unless you are ready to get pregnant. When you stop taking the pill, it will take some time before your body returns to the normal production of hormones. If you have been suffering from depression because of birth control, it could take from two to three months for all symptoms to disappear. 

How Long Does Depression Last After a Miscarriage?

When you are pregnant, you have the expectation of a healthy baby. You may have created a nursery or picked out a name, so when a miscarriage occurs, it’s devasting. It is normal to feel sad and grief after a miscarriage which can lead to depression. Depression following a miscarriage is typically most severe right after the pregnancy is lost and doesn’t only affect the mother-to-be but can also affect the father-to-be. 

Studies show depression after a miscarriage [1*] will drop over the course of a year, as it takes a long time to recover from this loss. Some parents who have lost their baby to a miscarriage will require therapy or medications to help them heal. 

how long does depression last

5 Tips of Coping With a Depressive Episode

How Long Does Depression Last After Abortion?

It is not uncommon to experience emotional side effects after an abortion, whether it was planned or not. It is typically not an easy decision to end a pregnancy, and in some cases, it is not the choice of the expecting mother. Regardless of the reason for the abortion, the termination of the pregnancy can run from relief to happiness to grief and regret. If negative feelings are persistent and severe, it could be a sign of depression. 

How long depression lasts after an abortion is similar to those of losing a pregnancy by miscarriage. While many feel it was their choice and should be able to make this decision for themselves, it is still not uncommon for an emotional reaction after the procedure. 

The first few days, your hormones will be changing back to a pre-pregnancy state, and this chemical change can cause feelings of sadness. Each woman is unique, and feelings will differ as they are a complex manner. Seeking help to deal with depression is the best solution to get through this difficult time. 

How Long Does Depression Treatment Last?

While it is normal to feel down occasionally, if you are feeling sad most of the time and it is affecting your lifestyle, you may have clinical depression. The type of depression you are experiencing will determine how long it will last as some people find their symptoms come, and go and for others, it is chronic and seldom goes away. 

Depression can appear to have multiple or many causes. How long depression treatment will last will be determined by those causes and how long an individual needs to work through them. In determining a plan for treatment, you have to know what started you to feel depressed and what makes your symptoms worse. There are a number of different medications and therapies to help you through these difficult emotions, and with help, you can reduce or eliminate depression from your life. 

Depression can be helped through lifestyle changes and therapy- Click the button below to get professional advice from our mental health experts.

Where to Seek Help for Depression?

EZCare Medical Clinic offers excellent patient care, and it is our mission to get you on the road to a healthy recovery and improve your quality of life. We continue to offer personalized care through the latest medical technology and will help you find the root of your depression so it can be addressed and handled. It is our commitment to tend to your overall well-being and help you live a better lifestyle , healthy and happy. 

Contact our office and speak to one of our knowledgeable medical professionals and learn how we can work together to create an effective treatment plan.

It is our goal to ensure you receive the best medical attention and treatment possible to make your quality of life the best it can be. Book your appointment with EZCare Clinic today!


+1 sources
  1. Depression and Anxiety Following Early Pregnancy Loss: Recommendations for Primary Care Providers. (2015)
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This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.