Major depressive disorder (MDD) Episodes of MDD can last 6 to 18 months or longer. If you start treatment soon after you experience the first symptoms, you're more likely to recover and prevent future episodes. The duration of depression depends on lifestyle factors and whether or not you receive immediate treatment. It can last several weeks, months, or years.
The symptoms of persistent depressive disorder usually come and go over a period of years, and their intensity may change over time. But symptoms usually don't go away for more than two months in a row. In addition, episodes of major depression may occur before or during persistent depressive disorder, which is sometimes called double depression. So how long do depressive episodes last? Usually, the duration of the depressive episode ranges from six months to eight months, depending on the person.
While some people may have depression that fades away, others may struggle with depression intermittently throughout their lives. In addition, different types of depression disappear over time and are more short-lived by nature. Not only is depression debilitating, it can be life-threatening. It is estimated that one in five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
Dysthymia is a milder but long-lasting form of depression. Also called persistent depressive disorder. People with this condition may also have episodes of major depression at times.