ZocdocAnswersCan you just get depression out of the blue?

Question

Can you just get depression out of the blue?

I'm a happy person, but I'm worried about depression. A lot of people in my family have had it and had to take antidepressants. Could I just get it out of the blue? Does something bad have to happen to me to cause it?

Answer

Unfortunately, we don't fully understand why some people get depression and others don't. Depression is state of mood that affects many different aspects of our body. People experience changes in appetite, changes in their sleep pattern, lack of joy in things that used to be fun, and sometimes thought of suicide. A traumatic life event can lead to depression in someone that is susceptible. For example, when there is a death of a loved one, people feel very sad and can have many or all of the above symptoms. However, they should normally go away after a month or so. If they stick around, or get worse, then we consider this to be depression. In many people depression can occur with no apparent cause. The fact that you say you're a happy person makes depression in you unlikely. However, if you have a lot of family members that have depression, then you are probably susceptible to it. Thus, you should watch out for symptoms closely and seek treatment if you see any signs. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You can express your concerns to him or her. Your doctor may ask you a few screening questions to get a baseline of your mood so that any changes can be more easily detected. Good luck.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.