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Depression cycles length/duration


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I have cycles of depression. Who doesn't is what I'm wondering from reading posts here! But I was wondering the lengths of your depressive episodes, how long inbetween, and what you feel like between. Do you constantly worry about another inevitable crash? Or do you find yourself worrying if you have gone a little too far the other way and are becoming manic?

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Funny you should ask......

I just saw a new pdoc the other day, and he has added Lamictal to my current dose of 450mg of Wellbutrin (generic). I am currently in remission, but feel some cracks starting to develop, and yes, I worry quite a bit about falling into the abyss again.

After explaining my history to him, the pdoc said that since my depressions seem to be a cycle of some sort, he wanted to add the Lamictal. He thinks I may be borderline BPII, but I personally don't think I've ever had a hypomanic episode. I have much more in common with a three toed sloth.

I don't feel manic between episodes, and feel, for lack of a better term, normal. That means I have a reasonable amount of energy, am interested in my friends and interested in the world outside CB. I still have days in there where I don't feel great, but since everyone does, I figure it's to be expected. Probably the most noticeable difference when I'm well is that I get up every day without a struggle in my head first.

Anyways, here's how it's been for me:

Episode 1 - occurred in my mid-twenties, undiagnosed and untreated, lasted for several months. (This was in the early eighties when MI and MI meds weren't in the mainstream media like they are today.

Episode 2 - late twenties, lasted several months, undiagnosed and untreated.

Episode 3 - early thirties, got a bit of Zoloft from a GP but it didn't do much, lasted several months, occured following break up with long time lover.

Episode 4 - early forties, lasted a couple of years. Was first diagnosed by pdoc around 40, although I wasn't in a depression at the time, other than dysthymia. I started maintenance meds then and a couple of years later got really sick. This was my worst episode by far.

Episode 5 - mid forties, lasted a couple of years, wasn't as deeply horrible as number 4, but still sucked. Resulted in the current financial shambles of my life.

I'm 49 years old and hope that I can beat the odds and never be depressed again.

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I had one that lasted maybe a year and a half when I was thirteen, ones that lasted a couple weeks throughout my adolescence, one that lasted a couple months last year, and this year it's mostly been one that lasts anywhere from half a day to three or four days every couple of months or so.

Then, my primary dx isn't depression-related, so take that FWIW

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I tend to have long episodes of depression with brief reprieves:

17 years old: about nine months of depression followed by a few months of normal

18 years old: a full year of super-deep depression followed by two and a half really good, normal, productive years

21 years old: a brief episode of depression (six months), followed by six months of normal

22 years old: year and a half of way bad depression, followed by three years of good normal

25-28 years old: three years of depression, followed by two years of normal

31-32 two years of depression, two years of normal

34-39 four years of unmitigated hell.

I am now one month into what I hope will be a normal period. I hope it lasts. I fear every day that the darkness might return. Every time I have a "down" moment, I fear that I'm going back down into the pit. Even if this is the beginning of another three year respite (my longest time without a depressive episode), I want more than three years to live and to catch up on all the living I've missed while depressed before the rug is pulled out from under me yet again.

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Just considering the bad ones, severe depression and/or suicidal.

Age:

13-16 pretty much constant.

18 about six months

20 about a year

25-28 constantly moderate depression with multi month long bouts of severe.

Since I'm in one of those bouts of severe now, I'm not giving an opinion based on what I feel right now. Before this last bout, I had stopped being afraid of the depression. Had accepted that sometimes it would come, and I would work around it until it left. Whatever it was - I told myself that I had been through worse before and experience taught that it would pass eventually. If I took good care of myself and took it easy for a while, it would pass that much quicker. And I lived comfortably that way for a couple of years there.

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My depressive bouts seem to be more related to circumstances than anything else.For instance I was happy as a clam without much of a care in the world when I was involved in a relationship with my latest ex,but now that we've broken up I'm just plain miserable.

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Thanks all, it helps to hear about others' experiences while I'm trying to make sense of it all.

I'm trying to work out if my "highs" are hypomanic, I saw my tdoc yesterday and she seemed to think I could do with a mood stabliser, and went to speak to my new pdoc there and then. I have an appt with him next week. She said he wants to discuss the mood swings further.

I've been thinking about it, and whether the highs are in anyway manic or not doesn't really matter, if I get a med for mood swings and it makes life better, more even, or just less drastically changing my mood, it's got to be good. At least if the swings weren't so drastic, I could acclimatise myself to feeling down. Like living somewhere hot, you get more used to it, whereas if it's hot, cold, hot, cold, your body can never quite get time to adjust. She did tell him some basic details, and I have tried to write out what I've noticed, when, and what the effects were on my life.

Fingers crossed he'll be able to get to the bottom of it!

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