How Will Having Depression Affect My Plans For School And Career?

Question: How will having depression affect my plans for school and career?

Answer: Major depression is one of leading causes of disability in this country. There are more days of productivity from work lost due to major depression than to arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease combined. This is a major problem for society. So if somebody is planning on a career, is launching a career, is going to school, and they're suffering from depression, it's going to be very, very difficult to be successful while they're suffering from depression.

It really is imperative that somebody who's depressed get adequate treatment. All too often, people who are depressed settle for just getting better. They may find that they get into treatment that their mood is somewhat improved, they'll say, "Well, this is good enough," and they might settle for doing somewhat better, but still be depressed. And what we found is that even when somebody's better, if they're not well, they continue to miss time from work, they continue to be impaired at school, they're not good members of their families, they're not able to participate in usual activities, they don't enjoy life.

So we always urge people that when they're depressed, they need to get treatment, and stick with treatment -- keep pushing on until they're all well, all recovered from their depression. Really only when somebody has recovered completely from depression does the disability resolve and are people able to get back to their normal lives.

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