ZocdocAnswersIs clinical depression a contagious disease?

Question

Is clinical depression a contagious disease?

Is my depression making my family depressed????

Answer

Depression is not contagious in the same sense that a cold or the flu is contagious. That being said, a person's mood is definitely modified by their social environment and their support network. A person with depression, similarly, can place strain on a family system and lead to conflict. These are all things you should discuss with your psychiatrist/ psychologist or primary care doctor. It is, of course, important to treat your depression, likely with medications. If you not already on medications or if the medication that you are on is not effectively treating your depression, then this is something you need to mention. At the same time, if there is conflict or stress in your family system, this is something your psychologist can talk to you about and share some insights and suggestions for how to deal with it. If there is any evidence that a family member might also be depressed, then you should encourage them to talk to their own psychiatrist or primary care doctor. You might also ask your doctors to recommend to you what community resources are available both to you and to your family to help you all together deal with this stress.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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