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 trigger depression. And using them is often 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 you:
- 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.
- Continue Reference cognitive-behavioral therapy Opens New Window after your symptoms improve. Research shows that those who continued this type of therapy had less chance of relapse.Reference 2
- Reference Eat a balanced diet.
- Reference Get regular exercise.
- Get treatment right away if you notice that Reference symptoms of depression are coming back or getting worse.
- Reference Have healthy sleep patterns.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry