Is depression permanent?

Posted by rollinsk @rollinsk, Aug 1, 2020

Depression burst on my after extended pressureful work for long with little rest in 2007. Ever since I am drugs. My question, is depression permanent?

@al4terry

Keep in touch with me and let me know what I can help you with. I will see what I can find out for you and if there is anything I can help you with I will let you know.

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Thanks. Maybe I'll have a priest talk to us first. There seems to be no hope for me. Divorced or not.

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@mariajean03

Thanks. Maybe I'll have a priest talk to us first. There seems to be no hope for me. Divorced or not.

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Ive been where you are. Ive always been told its always the darkest before the dawning.Maybe you could take a walk and think it over.Im sure you have run it through your head a thousand times.I know you are at your wits ends as to what to do next.I had my sister to rely on when I first seperated from my ex.I wish I knew what to say to you to help you feel better.Dont give up, you are strong enough to face anything. Once you get thrrough today everything will get better tomorrow.
.

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@mariajean03

Thanks. Maybe I'll have a priest talk to us first. There seems to be no hope for me. Divorced or not.

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@mariajean03 Yes, to talk with your Priest or a counselor that deals with divorce. I know it's hard. Letting go of a partner I have heard can be just like death, except he is alive. My niece and her husband got divorced and it was a big surprise to me. They had a lot of counseling, because they had a teenage daughter. She was cutting herself and having a hard time dealing with it so they had counseling with her too. We have mental illness that runs through our family. Take care of yourself I can't imagine what it must be like. Like Marcie said take one day at a time and I will pray you will get through this.

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I will see if a priest can come over this week and talk to the both of us about divorce. Therapy is a waste because I have no desire to get closer. Thanks. Maria.

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@mariajean03

I will see if a priest can come over this week and talk to the both of us about divorce. Therapy is a waste because I have no desire to get closer. Thanks. Maria.

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@mariajean03 There are counselors that help you through the process of divorce.

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I'm my experience, it doesn't have to be a permanent state, I've had depression a couple different times and had full recovery each time. Most recently in 2010 for about a year, a had a .great therapist, minimal medication, daily meditation, life coach, and focused on my resources, was able to find how I had inner conflict w my main life values and lies I was believing
about my life. I was able to turn around to normal

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@mariajean03

Thanks. I need to get a legal aid lawyer but am so depressed I can't concentrate on what he'd be saying! I have no one to help me. Maria.

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Take it one step at a time. Be kind to yourself, make a list everyday
I found it helpful to have several notebooks to keep running lists cause my memory was really affected and lists kept me on track. Make time for meditation but keep meditation positive,

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My understanding – and I've been at this for over 30 years – is that not all depression is permanent. Some depression is caused by a particular situation, like work, or tough going at home, and will be relieved when the situation resolves. Some depression is permanent, like mine. I have treatment-resistant depression caused by screwed up neurotransmitters in my brain; I am actually Bipolar II with depression the dominant force. I will always have this problem, but I have found a great psychiatrist and psychologist who have finally given me a diagnoses and helped me find the combination of drugs that works best for me. If I am qualified to give any advice, it would be for you to do the same. Find a psychiatrist and psychologist (both are very important) and work with them to handle your depression. There are answers out there, but you have to be persistent in finding them. Good luck to you.

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I was just taking part in a conversation about this in a group for people like me who are dealing with severe pain from neuropathy. Some of the people in that group might want to share their experience with depression. Hank @jesfactsmon will, I hope, join me here.

I went to an appointment with my pcp in 2002, and told him that what I was feeling could be depression, but I wanted to rule out any possible organic problems that could be causing me to feel tired all the time, feeling hopeless, becoming unable to function in my job. He prescribed Celexa (I think) that day, and we started doing a variety of tests, one being a sleep study, when I found that I had sleep apnea. After not very many nights with a cpap machine, I started feeling better. I was really sleep deprived, so I slept more than 12 hours a day for a month.

Over the next few years I found and dealt with several other physical problems, and I'd feel better for a while, but it didn't last. At an appointment in 2004, I asked my doctor if there was something cheaper than Celexa, and he said, "Sure. Prozac is cheap." That took me by surprise. I told him, that's an antidepressant! I hadn't understood that the Celexa I was taking was an antidepressant. So, Prozac it was. From then until late 2005, I tried a bunch of antidepressants, but nothing helped until I got to Wellbutrin.

Unfortunately, by that point even I could see that I was deeply depressed, and I made several suicide attempts by OD. My doctor had told me that if I ever needed to talk, just go to his office – no appointment necessary – and in November of '05, I drove the 50 miles to town and sat in his waiting room until he was done seeing patients. I told him how seriously depressed I was and that I had OD'd several times. My wife was with me, and she had no clue what I'd been going through. On his orders, I admitted myself to a facility that was 130 miles from home. We lived in a remote village of fewer than 250 people, 130 miles to any stores.

I stayed there for 6 weeks, though the norm is 3 days. I knew that if I left I'd be dead within hours.

I was in a deep, dark hole from '05 to '07. It took 3 years of therapy, discovery, medications to climb out, and around 5 more years to be safe. I wish it weren't so, but I still have times when my brain tells me that suicide is a rational solution for the way I feel.

So – I seem to take the long way around, getting to my point for writing – is depression permanent?

Doctors like to say that it's a treatable disease. But that doesn't really answer the question. Treatment can look very different to me than it does to you.

I think that part of the answer lies in understanding the cause of my depression. Some people are depressed during the rainy winter months, which is a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder. When the sun comes out and the first spring flowers bloom, depression lifts.

The main label the psychiatrist put on me after I got out of lockdown was Major Depressive Disorder, along with a few other disorders. That's a long term, chronic form of depression. Starting in January of '06, I met weekly with a psychologist, and for several months, I saw the psychiatrist weekly, as well. I was pretty far gone.

I have come to terms with the likelihood that I'll live with major depression the rest of my life, which means managing medications and having therapy. In the past 14 years, I've had 13 therapists. Not by choice, but because the town where I now live isn't big enough to keep therapists because they can make so much more money almost anywhere else. Add to that the fact that I have to find someone who accepts Medicare.

So, why are any of us depressed? I believe that finding the answer to that question will be important as to whether or not it will be permanent. But even knowing that it might be permanent doesn't mean that there's no hope. Over the past 14 years, I've taken time off from therapy two times. I felt that I was at a stable, safe place, and was OK just taking my meds. Then, when I found myself headed back toward that hole, a therapist would be available.

As @gingerw said, it takes hard work. And the process of finding the right antidepressant can be long and frustrating, and I know too well the feeling of wanting to give up. That kind of goes with the territory. And that's why groups like this can be literal lifesavers if we stay connected.

@rollinsk, and others, know today that you're not alone.

Jim. (I'll try not to write such long messages. But no guarantee.)

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@jimhd

I was just taking part in a conversation about this in a group for people like me who are dealing with severe pain from neuropathy. Some of the people in that group might want to share their experience with depression. Hank @jesfactsmon will, I hope, join me here.

I went to an appointment with my pcp in 2002, and told him that what I was feeling could be depression, but I wanted to rule out any possible organic problems that could be causing me to feel tired all the time, feeling hopeless, becoming unable to function in my job. He prescribed Celexa (I think) that day, and we started doing a variety of tests, one being a sleep study, when I found that I had sleep apnea. After not very many nights with a cpap machine, I started feeling better. I was really sleep deprived, so I slept more than 12 hours a day for a month.

Over the next few years I found and dealt with several other physical problems, and I'd feel better for a while, but it didn't last. At an appointment in 2004, I asked my doctor if there was something cheaper than Celexa, and he said, "Sure. Prozac is cheap." That took me by surprise. I told him, that's an antidepressant! I hadn't understood that the Celexa I was taking was an antidepressant. So, Prozac it was. From then until late 2005, I tried a bunch of antidepressants, but nothing helped until I got to Wellbutrin.

Unfortunately, by that point even I could see that I was deeply depressed, and I made several suicide attempts by OD. My doctor had told me that if I ever needed to talk, just go to his office – no appointment necessary – and in November of '05, I drove the 50 miles to town and sat in his waiting room until he was done seeing patients. I told him how seriously depressed I was and that I had OD'd several times. My wife was with me, and she had no clue what I'd been going through. On his orders, I admitted myself to a facility that was 130 miles from home. We lived in a remote village of fewer than 250 people, 130 miles to any stores.

I stayed there for 6 weeks, though the norm is 3 days. I knew that if I left I'd be dead within hours.

I was in a deep, dark hole from '05 to '07. It took 3 years of therapy, discovery, medications to climb out, and around 5 more years to be safe. I wish it weren't so, but I still have times when my brain tells me that suicide is a rational solution for the way I feel.

So – I seem to take the long way around, getting to my point for writing – is depression permanent?

Doctors like to say that it's a treatable disease. But that doesn't really answer the question. Treatment can look very different to me than it does to you.

I think that part of the answer lies in understanding the cause of my depression. Some people are depressed during the rainy winter months, which is a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder. When the sun comes out and the first spring flowers bloom, depression lifts.

The main label the psychiatrist put on me after I got out of lockdown was Major Depressive Disorder, along with a few other disorders. That's a long term, chronic form of depression. Starting in January of '06, I met weekly with a psychologist, and for several months, I saw the psychiatrist weekly, as well. I was pretty far gone.

I have come to terms with the likelihood that I'll live with major depression the rest of my life, which means managing medications and having therapy. In the past 14 years, I've had 13 therapists. Not by choice, but because the town where I now live isn't big enough to keep therapists because they can make so much more money almost anywhere else. Add to that the fact that I have to find someone who accepts Medicare.

So, why are any of us depressed? I believe that finding the answer to that question will be important as to whether or not it will be permanent. But even knowing that it might be permanent doesn't mean that there's no hope. Over the past 14 years, I've taken time off from therapy two times. I felt that I was at a stable, safe place, and was OK just taking my meds. Then, when I found myself headed back toward that hole, a therapist would be available.

As @gingerw said, it takes hard work. And the process of finding the right antidepressant can be long and frustrating, and I know too well the feeling of wanting to give up. That kind of goes with the territory. And that's why groups like this can be literal lifesavers if we stay connected.

@rollinsk, and others, know today that you're not alone.

Jim. (I'll try not to write such long messages. But no guarantee.)

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@jimhd Hi Jim, thanks for fleshing out what your history has been with depression. Since I mostly only participate in the neuropathy discussions, where you have mentioned only tangentially that you live with it, I didn't have a full picture. I lived with a form of depression from about age 9 or 10 until about 35 (I am 68 now), but I don't feel I have depression any longer so obviously yours is very different than mine. Mine was what I would call a personality issue or disorder. I am not certain there was not some physical component to it, but I think I did not have clinical depression. Let me say right here that I do not know anything about depression other than my own experience, never talked about it at length with anyone who had it, and am coming at it here as only a wide-eyed novice.

My question about your situation, which developed from a post you wrote the other day is how your depression developed? When did you first become aware of something being wrong? Were your childhood, youth and early adulthood okay? Did this seem to happen to you suddenly, or at least over some sort of time frame, where you were "okay" and then eventually you were not anymore? From this I would just like to understand whether there was a physical change in your makeup that brought this on, or whether it all started as a purely psychological problem, and when you think it all began, and what may have triggered it (if there is such a thing as a trigger for depression). I don't know why my personality was so screwed up early in life, it just was. I do know what I did to get rid of it, and it was not drugs at all, and no therapist except my wife, who could have been a therapist, she is pretty talented that way, a natural counselor. It also involved a lot of self introspection, what my wife called "The Work". Maybe I can talk about that another time.

So that is what I wonder about you Jim, i.e. did you have an identifiable depresion-free period in your earlier life and then the Big "D" started, or did you always deal with it in some form, and how much is physical only, etc. I understand that you may or may not have answers to these questions. You always seem pretty open to talking about yourself but I only ask for whatever you feel comfortable revealing. I have never looked back at my own situation much in recent years and I guess I would like to understand better just what did really happen to me and how did I get depressed and then get undepressed. Okay, I will leave it there for now. Best, Hank

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@jesfactsmon

@jimhd Hi Jim, thanks for fleshing out what your history has been with depression. Since I mostly only participate in the neuropathy discussions, where you have mentioned only tangentially that you live with it, I didn't have a full picture. I lived with a form of depression from about age 9 or 10 until about 35 (I am 68 now), but I don't feel I have depression any longer so obviously yours is very different than mine. Mine was what I would call a personality issue or disorder. I am not certain there was not some physical component to it, but I think I did not have clinical depression. Let me say right here that I do not know anything about depression other than my own experience, never talked about it at length with anyone who had it, and am coming at it here as only a wide-eyed novice.

My question about your situation, which developed from a post you wrote the other day is how your depression developed? When did you first become aware of something being wrong? Were your childhood, youth and early adulthood okay? Did this seem to happen to you suddenly, or at least over some sort of time frame, where you were "okay" and then eventually you were not anymore? From this I would just like to understand whether there was a physical change in your makeup that brought this on, or whether it all started as a purely psychological problem, and when you think it all began, and what may have triggered it (if there is such a thing as a trigger for depression). I don't know why my personality was so screwed up early in life, it just was. I do know what I did to get rid of it, and it was not drugs at all, and no therapist except my wife, who could have been a therapist, she is pretty talented that way, a natural counselor. It also involved a lot of self introspection, what my wife called "The Work". Maybe I can talk about that another time.

So that is what I wonder about you Jim, i.e. did you have an identifiable depresion-free period in your earlier life and then the Big "D" started, or did you always deal with it in some form, and how much is physical only, etc. I understand that you may or may not have answers to these questions. You always seem pretty open to talking about yourself but I only ask for whatever you feel comfortable revealing. I have never looked back at my own situation much in recent years and I guess I would like to understand better just what did really happen to me and how did I get depressed and then get undepressed. Okay, I will leave it there for now. Best, Hank

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@jesfactsmon Good morning, Hank. I would love to also provide my thoughts to what @jimhd has so eloquently put down. Right now a beautiful dawn is breaking in our state, the rocks are calling to me, so I must tend to that task, with a promise to return later today.
Ginger

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@vickimurray

My understanding – and I've been at this for over 30 years – is that not all depression is permanent. Some depression is caused by a particular situation, like work, or tough going at home, and will be relieved when the situation resolves. Some depression is permanent, like mine. I have treatment-resistant depression caused by screwed up neurotransmitters in my brain; I am actually Bipolar II with depression the dominant force. I will always have this problem, but I have found a great psychiatrist and psychologist who have finally given me a diagnoses and helped me find the combination of drugs that works best for me. If I am qualified to give any advice, it would be for you to do the same. Find a psychiatrist and psychologist (both are very important) and work with them to handle your depression. There are answers out there, but you have to be persistent in finding them. Good luck to you.

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In the spirit of trying to address the question asked by @rollinsk about "Is depression permanent" I have already sort of put in my 2 cents with my reply to @jimhd. For me, depression (or my brand of it) definitely was NOT permanent. I did not get into detail in the previous post as to how I went about pulling out of it, other than to say that with my wife's help and many many discussions with her about my issues among a variety of other topics, I was able to dismantle the drivers of my depression to a large degree. So rather than wait until later to tell this tale I have decided to" just do it" as Nike says.

These drivers began when I was very young, not sure of the exact age but by 9 at least. I felt to a very substantial degree, like I did not fit into the world. I felt much dislike of myself. This was made worse after the age of seven when I started to get fat and spent the next 7 years or so as a chubby kid. I became extremely self conscious. I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror as a kid and pretty much just hating what I saw. At 14 I got skinny after a growth spurt of about 8 inches, so I was not chubby anymore or at least not overtly so. I looked pretty normal in that way. I still thought I was an ugly person (in retrospect, I wasn't).

My father moved us to a different part of the Chicago area when I was 14 so I started my first year of high school not knowing anyone. The kids in the new area were more affluent than in my old town and I had a difficult time relating to them. This move deepened my depression that I was already living with. And it continued into college, then into my post college employment.

What really helped a lot was finding God when I was 24. With a very strong Faith developing I at least had Him as a rock or center for my life, but it did not eliminate the depression, but lightened it somewhat. Then I got married and my wife turned out to be the most amazing counselor. We started to have what we referred to as "coffee time" every morning and would chat for about 1 to 2 hours each day, before I went to work. A few years of this did wonders for me. But I still had many of these same drivers that had made me very unhappy for so long.

Then she watched a show by a therapist named John Bradshaw on PBS, called "Healing the shame that binds you". Also another one of his call "The family". She got a ton of help herself dealing with her demons, especially from the Family series. But then somewhere she read about something she called "The Work". I will have to ask her where it came from exactly, I don't remember. She began doing The Work on herself, and after a time I began to notice changes in her personality. Very good changes. Like a new maturity and a new calmness. After we had dinner with a friend at a restaurant at which he commented on the changes he also was noticing in her, I began to realize I needed to start trying to do this for myself. This was probably when I was around 34 or 35 or so.

Mainly what The Work consisted of for me was dedicating a large amount of time sitting quietly alone in a room, becoming very still and just trying to remember incidents in my childhood in which I was hurt in some way emotionally by someone else, be it my father, mother, siblings or someone else. This involved much dredging up of old memories, which takes a lot of thought and time. I would think of some way that I felt badly about myself and tried to tie it to some specific incident in my childhood. I would try to view the incident in a way in which I could see how I was wrongly hurt by another person (I often was emotionally abused by my older brother for example) . And I would try to realize how wrong that was. I tried to view myself as an objective third person, and tried to tell that person who was me that I had deserved to be loved in that situation, and I tried to feel that love as that little person. Through just giving that small little person who had been me the love I should have been given then, it somehow dismantled the drivers that were created in me by that situation.

I know this is too long, and I apologize, but it's actually just a tiny nutshell version of what I went through, hopefully just enough to perhaps peak someone's interest in trying to do work on themself. I wish good mental health to you all. Hank

PS: If my wife can tell me about where she learned about The Work, I will post that separately. She's still asleep.

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