The vault depressive syndrome, or VDS, is a mental health ailment.
VDS was first diagnosed in the mid-21st century by Vault-Tec vault physicians. The physicians' notes and treatment methods were recorded and codified in the Vault-Tec medical protocols. The physicians listed some of the symptoms of this ailment as lethargy, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Some residents who have these symptoms can sometimes act out their insecurities and low self-esteem by bullying other residents. If a resident exhibits these symptoms, the physicians write that the afflicted person should be encouraged to see a vault physician for a diagnosis. If diagnosed with VDS, the afflicted person is prescribed an anti-anxiety medication.
- On July 13, 2268, the two text messaging readers in the cafeteria display this message, "Have you taken your medication?"
- The vault radio offers this piece of helpful advice, "Remember - Vault Depressive Syndrome, or VDS, is a treatable condition. See your vault physician today for an anti-depressant that's right for you."
- In the early 2270s, Freddie Gomez is diagnosed by vault physician James as suffering from VDS. The physician considers prescribing chlorpromazine, an anti-anxiety medication, for Freddie.
The vault depressive syndrome is mentioned only in Fallout 3.