[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 5,947
Citations 0
Viewpoint
June 24, 2020

Can Depression Be Prevented? If So, How?

Author Affiliations
  • 1IMPACT, The Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, Food and Mood Centre, Barwon Health, Deakin University School of Medicine, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • 2IMPACT, The Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, Barwon Health, Deakin University School of Medicine, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Centre for Youth Mental Health, Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1273

Depression is highly prevalent, heterogenous, and comorbid with multiple chronic physical conditions and remains the leading cause of disability worldwide.1 Research and public health efforts have furthered our understanding of the cause of depression and its treatment while increasing community awareness. However, global estimates suggest that the prevalence of depression may nevertheless be on the rise.1 Increased awareness, subsequent diagnosis, and inadequate reach of effective therapies are potential contributors to this rise, although changing risk factors may play a role. These risk factors for depression are complex and diverse, spanning multiple individual, family, environmental, social, and other domains.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    1 Comment for this article
    SHOULD we prevent depression?
    Walker Ladd, Ph.D. | Saybrook University
    The inherent argument in your viewpoint article is that depression is bad. This representation is supported by the plethora of empirical research published over the last five decades, with one exception--depressive realism (Alloy & Abramson, 1981).

    Perhaps if we expand our paradigm of depressive mood disorders to include the fullest range of the individual's experience, we might learn how to benefit those who report suffering or mitigate stigma.

    Alloy, L.B.; Abramson, L.Y.; Viscusi, D. (1981). "Induced mood and the illusion of control". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 41 (6): 1129–1140. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.41.6.1129. S2CID 54890341.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
    ×