If someone has a first serious depressive episode, how likely is it that they will have another depressive episode in their life?

Answered by: Alexander Glassman

About half of individuals experiencing a major depression will only have a single episode in their whole life, but in the other half the episode will recur. Once it starts to recur, with each additional episode it becomes more likely to recur again.

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Alexander Glassman, M.D.
Chief: Clinical Psychopharmacology 

Alexander H. Glassman, M.D., is Chief of Clinical Psychopharmacology at New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He is an authority on depression and antidepressant drugs, and has altered the standard of care for depressed patients.

He showed that inter-individual differences in metabolism of imipramine influenced clinical outcome and that delusional unipolar depression responded very poorly to antidepressant drugs alone. His work has clarified the safe treatment of depressed patients with cardio...
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