How can depression be prevented?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are simple tips that can help everyone fend off blue moods and prevent depressive symptoms. Ensuring adequate sleep, getting enough exercise, reaching out to social supports, getting exposure to sunlight, and taking in omega-3 fatty acids all are great first-line strategies to fight depression.

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Many prevention programs implemented across the lifespan have provided evidence on the reduction of elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Effective community approaches to prevent depression focus on several actions surrounding the strengthening of protective factors and the reduction of risk factors.

Examples of strengthening protective factors include school-based programs targeting cognitive, problem-solving and social skills of children and adolescents as well as exercise programs for the elderly. Interventions for parents of children with conduct problems aimed at improving parental psychosocial well-being by information provision and by training in behavioral childrearing strategies may reduce parental depressive symptoms, with improvements in children’s outcomes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.