A doctor’s view
Recovery from depression can take a long time. Although the vast majority of patients (around 80%) recover from an episode of depression within two years, longitudinal studies suggest that approximately 10% of patients remain troubled by depressive symptoms, even after 15 years. Research indicates that patients with chronic depression (i.e. symptoms that have lasted more than two years) have the highest rates of social and occupational impairment, greater psychiatric co-morbidity (for example, higher rates of coexisting anxiety disorders or alcohol abuse) and an increased risk of suicide and non-fatal self-harm.