Host: At what point does not treating depression become risky or dangerous?
Dr. Kim Penberthy: Well, as I said, anytime that a normal reaction to something sad that happened, anytime that is prolonged, that is if it lasts more than two weeks, anytime it crosses over into that area or it starts to interfere with your functioning, then it's really time for treatment because if left untreated, many depressions don't get better on their own. They can become more severe and once you have had one major depressive episode, the research shows that you are more likely to have another one. With each major depressive episode you are even more likely to have others. As we know, depression can become very severe and it can be life threatening. So it is very important to get treatment as soon as it becomes uncomfortable.