Are There Any Ways To Prevent Or Diminish The Likelihood Of Developing Depression?

Dr. Andrew Stoll answers the question: 'How Can I Lower My Risk Of Depression?'

ByABC News
February 27, 2008, 5:56 PM

— -- Question: Are there any ways to prevent or diminish the likelihood of developing depression?

Answer: Major depression has a lot of causes. In some people it's almost purely biologically determined by their genetics, their DNA. Other people, severe life stressors might be triggering a depression, but some people never get depressed despite severe life stressors.

So there's a big mix of genetics and environment that go into the development of a major depressive episode. But despite all that there is some evidence, limited evidence, that some of these lifestyle or natural treatments can either prevent or, you know, make the depression less severe. There have been studies of omega-3 fatty acids, exercise, acupuncture, proper diet, nutrition. These all can probably help depression, but these things haven't been well studied yet. But you want to use common sense with these things and anything that's actually good for your physical health is going to be good for your mental health as well. But these things require further study.

And whenever you start any treatment, even if it seems benign, you should really work with your doctor; let them know what you're doing around this.

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