My personal experience on the influence of taking time off with depression (and Bipolar Disorder) is simple.
It affected my carreer in such a way, that I never worked again after leaving the school I worked for as a teacher. I'm saying, I never got hired again by any employer because I was recovering for over 4 years. That's a big gap on your CV.
Whatever I tried, whatever level I applied for or whatever my motivation was, to get a job again, employers in Holland see a huge NO GO when they know about your medical history.
Especially when it's a Mental medical history. For receiving a pension because of it, I always had to tell employers the truth. So does time off work affect your future carreer? In my case it sure did but I'm one lucky bastard too.
I live in Spain, I'm an online writer (read Hubber) and I'm a great lover of life with all the freedom in the world!