A depressive episode in the context of a major depressive disorder is a period characterized by low mood and other depression symptoms that lasts for 2 weeks or more. When experiencing a depressive episode, a person can try to make changes to their thoughts and behaviors to help improve their mood. Symptoms of a depressive episode can persist for several weeks or months at a time. Less commonly, depressive episodes last for over a year. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 16.1 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2015.
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