A beginning approach to a case of depression I believe needs to include a Bio-Psycho-Social approach. Depending on the age, social location, status, personal background, and biological makeup, etc. we can approach this condition with an idea of the factors influencing the individual and the potential prognosis.
The influence of depression can buildup overtime affecting many areas of our life such as physical health, our relationships with immediate family members, partners, co-workers, etc., and the tendency towards isolation that tends to develop over time, creating thus a vicious cycle that perpetuates and supports the development of the condition. Of course the most feared of all is the risk of suicide that is often present. The risk of suicide is also influenced by trauma early childhood experiences and age group, among others.
Of course there is much to say about the need to address depression adequately and in a timely fashion. I echo what has already been said and just want to add a little of my perspective on this. Just as in some biological conditions, the longer we go without addressing this the more acute it becomes and the higher the risks that could be involved.
Along with this, successful treatment can bring a sense of growth and enhanced functioning, which often happens in the long run through the process of recovery. Thus looking at the bigger picture might help us find a sense of hope.
Gabriel Santiago, MA