Consequences of depression for the patient and those around him

Depression is a disease that should be taken seriously and the consequences of which are not always predictable. With severe depression you can assume that there will be consequences. Not only for the patient himself, but also for those around him.

Possible consequences of depression

Much is already known about the symptoms, causes and treatment of depression. This article will not discuss this further, but we will consider the possible consequences of depression. What impact do they have on the patient and his environment?


Depression puts a lot of pressure on a relationship. The original balance that existed in the relationship is disturbed. One partner becomes a care provider and the other a care provider. The healthy partner often gets the impression that there is one-way traffic within the relationship because he always gives care and love, but often only gets whining and complaining in return.

Social isolation

Depression isolates people from the outside world. The patient isolates himself because he no longer wants to have contact with anyone due to his depression. The partner also becomes isolated because there is little room left to invite friends or go on excursions.


A depressed person can often no longer cope with the workload and is put on sick leave. This sick leave is often extended and extended again, making it increasingly difficult to pick up the thread again one day. After a long period of illness, dismissal and unemployment can follow, causing the family’s income to drop. The mortgage can no longer be repaid, bills are piling up and people are in financial ruin. The patient’s hopeless situation becomes even more hopeless.


The more hopeless the situation, the more quickly some people turn to alcohol. Others are seduced by the attractiveness of casinos where the money is seemingly there for the taking. One thinks he can drown his problems, the other hopes to recover financially through gambling. However, once one has ended up in this negative spiral, it is not easy to get out without outside help.


A number of patients not only talk about suicide, but also actually make an attempt, whether successful or not.
If you have any questions about suicide or are struggling with it, please contact the suicide line for Belgium or for the Netherlands.

Physical complaints

As depression becomes severe and lasts longer, the risk of other physical complaints increases. Constant depression can lead to a reduced immune system and self-neglect, increasing the risk of other diseases.

Life expectancy

Depressed patients have an increased risk of premature death. Not only because the risk of suicide increases, but also because of unhealthy lifestyle habits. Sometimes medical advice is not always followed properly, which reduces the chance of recovery.

Social costs

Another not unimportant consequence of depression is the social cost that the disease entails. Just think of the costs for the health sector (treatments by doctors, hospital admissions, medicines, disability benefits, etc.). There is a real chance that a long-term depressive will be discharged over time. This in turn results in unemployment benefits.

Reduced school performance

When young people are affected by depression, it can have serious consequences for their school performance. Reduced concentration makes learning more difficult and results at school drop.


Are you depressed yourself or is your partner/child depressed? Then seek professional help in a timely manner and inform yourself well about the disease.
The organizations below (the Listening Line for the Netherlands and tele-reception for Belgium) offer a listening ear and can refer you to the right services.

  • For the Netherlands, you can go to with all your questions
  • For Belgium, contact your telereception on the free number 106 or via for more information
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