Currently, there is scientific evidence that the prevention of depression and anxiety is possible.

Psychological and educational interventions have been shown to prevent depression and anxiety, their effect being low or moderate.




Interventions in which health professionals give brief advice to patients with at-risk alcohol consumption are also effective in helping patients to quit drinking or reduce their intake to safer levels.

This type of advice could also be effective in preventing at-risk alcohol consumption in non-drinkers or low-risk drinkers; however, thus far, there is no evidence of this.

Most psychological and educational interventions to prevent the onset of depression and/or anxiety, which have been evaluated in scientific studies (clinical trials), have an orientation called “cognitive-behavioral”. Although other studies have different methods (interpersonal therapy, acceptance and commitment, positive psychology, biopsychosocial orientation, etc.), to date there is no evidence regarding which of these approaches is most effective in preventing depression and/or anxiety.
No differences were found in the effectiveness of prevention in terms of the intensity of these interventions. That is, brief and less intense educational or psychological interventions can be as effective as those that require many lengthy sessions. There are also no differences in the effectiveness of prevention in terms of the professional who guides the intervention (psychologists, psychiatrists, family doctors, nurses or school teachers, among others), and even interventions without a professional to guide them can be effective.
Most of these prevention interventions included content and training on communication skills, social skills and improving social relationships, stress management, relaxation, decision-making and problem-solving help, exchanging negative or irrational thoughts with more positive or realistic ones, and improving self-esteem. In this prevention section, a set of self-help brochures that address some of these contents is included. Its reading and application can help you to prevent depression and anxiety.
Depression, anxiety and at-risk alcohol consumption usually cause insomnia, but insomnia can also contribute to the onset of depression. Currently, there is a study (clinical trial) that showed that improving insomnia prevents depression. Among the self-help brochures in this prevention section, two of them are dedicated to improving insomnia.
Performing physical exercise also prevents depression, anxiety and also improves insomnia. Scientific evidence indicates that for physical exercise to be effective in the prevention of these diseases, it must be done at least three or four times a week, at a mild to moderate intensity and long term (at least six weeks, but taking into account that if it is not done, it loses its preventive effect). If physical exercise is done in a group, it may be more effective, but done individually, it also has a preventive effect on depression, anxiety and insomnia. Among the self-help brochures in this prevention section, two of them are dedicated to physical exercise.

Bellón JÁ et al. Effectiveness of psychological and/or educational interventions to prevent the onset of episodes of depression: A systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Prev Med. 2015 Jul;76 Suppl:S22-32.

Conejo-Cerón S et al. Effectiveness of Psychological and Educational Interventions to Prevent Depression in Primary Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2017 May;15(3):262-271

Moreno-Peral P et al. Effectiveness of Psychological and/or Educational Interventions in the Prevention of Anxiety: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Meta-regression. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Oct 1;74(10):1021-1029

Bellón D et al. Effectiveness of physical activity for the primary prevention of depression: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials. International Conference on Physical Activity and Health, Cuenca, Spain, 2017.

Jonas DE et al. Behavioral counseling after screening for alcohol misuse in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2012; 157(9): 645–654

Dedert EA et al. Electronic Interventions for Alcohol Misuse and Alcohol Use Disorders: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Aug 4;163(3):205-14

Christensen H et al. Effectiveness of an online insomnia program (SHUTi) for prevention of depressive episodes (the GoodNight Study): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016 Apr;3(4):333-41

Batterham PJ et al. Trajectories of change and long-term outcomes in a randomised controlled trial of internet-based insomnia treatment to prevent depression. BJPsych Open. 2017 Sep 25;3(5):228-235.

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