Flourishing After Depression: Factors Associated With Achieving Complete Mental Health Among Those With A History Of Depression

Deborah LaFond, University at Albany, State University of New York
Esme Fuller-Thomson, University of Toronto
Senyo Agbeyaka, University of Toronto
Mercedes Bern-Klug, University of Iowa

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Fuller-Thomson, E, Agbeyaka, S, LaFond, D, Bern-Klug, M (2016).; Flourishing after depression: Factors associated with achieving complete mental health among those with a history of depression. Psychiatry Research, 242,111-120. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.041


This study investigated factors associated with complete mental health among a nationally representative sample of Canadians with a history of depression by conducting secondary analysis of the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey- Mental Health (n=20,955). Complete mental health was defined as 1) the absence of mental illness, substance abuse, or suicidal ideation in the past year; 2) happiness or life satisfaction almost every day/past month, and 3) social and psychological well-being. The prevalence of complete mental health among those with and without a history of depression was determined. In a sample of formerly depressed respondents (n=2528), a series of logistic regressions were completed controlling for demographics, socioeconomic status, health and lifetime mental health conditions, health behaviours, social support, adverse childhood experiences, and religiosity. Two in five individuals (39%) with a history of depression had achieved complete mental health in comparison to 78% of those without a history of depression. In comparison to the formally depressed adults who were not in complete mental health, those in complete mental health were more likely to be female, White, older, affluent, married, with a confidant, free of disabling pain, insomnia, and childhood adversities and without a history of substance abuse. They were also more likely to exercise regularly and use spirituality to cope.


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