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As someone that has chronic treatment resistant depression , I think I've come to a place where I have to accept that my depression is a part of my life. That's a very hard thing to accept, everything in me wants to fight it, but I've been fighting so long and so hard that it's begun to feel like failure . I think I need to make a truce with it and realize I may just have to be depressed 60-70 percent of the time . I have a strong  faith and I do believe everything has a purpose. My therapist wants me to still look to a day when I will be depression free, but this has gone on for 30 years. Just because I don't want tbis disease doesn't mean God will take it away. Not every disease gets cured for everybody . Have any of you come to terms or made some sort of peace with chronic depression? I can't seem to figure out how to do this. My urge is to keep fighting , keep looking for that cure, but maybe for me it isn't there. Maybe I'd be better if I could stop longing for something that may never be.

    To help fill in any blanks I'll tell you a quick history. I'm 39, I've been on meds since the age of 11. At 11 I was diagnosed with MDD. GAD, and OCD. That diagnosis hasn't changed. I've gone through Lord knows how many meds and combos . I've been seeing a therapist for 7 months. Therapy has helped to a point. Oh also a big part of my depression is feeling totally unmotivated , which I hate cause I start to think I'm lazy and all I want is to be productive. Depression has made me believe many things that may not be true .

  So, back to my question, have and can you make peace with depression? The idea sounds completely logic , till I hit a bout of depression the next day and feel a total desperation and need to escape it.. Advice and shared stories are much appreciated , thank you.

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I have. Accepting my depression has given me a certain degree of peace and has enabled me to move on. I had spent years and years on top of years looking for a cure. Nothing ever cured me - not meds, not supplements, nothing. Then it hit me that I was not going to find a cure and that I should treat my depression like people treat other chronic illnesses like diabetes. This relieves me of the burden of finding a cure and of interrupting my life while I search for a cure that doesn't exist. I now try to live each day to the fullest I can IN SPITE of my depression.

It actually was quite a relief. 

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That's exactly where I want to be jto7. How do you keep it in perspective when the depression hits? When I'm not depressed or mildly depressed it all is rather logic . But when depression hits harder, my instinct is to fight. To claw and kick and fight against the weight of it, which doesn't do much good except making me feel like I once again failed to keep myself from falling. How do you keep it in perspective in the pit?

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5 minutes ago, toast said:

 It's just something you manage

That's the magic word - manage. I manage my depression. Sometimes that means adjusting meds, sometimes that means getting therapy, and sometimes that means changing my lifestyle.

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1 minute ago, Hopefully said:

That's exactly where I want to be jto7. How do you keep it in perspective when the depression hits? When I'm not depressed or mildly depressed it all is rather logic . But when depression hits harder, my instinct is to fight. To claw and kick and fight against the weight of it, which doesn't do much good except making me feel like I once again failed to keep myself from falling. How do you keep it in perspective in the pit?

Well, I always have a chronic depression more so than episodic depression. I manage mine with meds mostly. My cocktail is pretty effective. I haven't had a suicidal depression in the last 5 years. If something stops working, I will know it and will have to made adjustments accordingly. I already have a plan for if and when my cocktail loses it's efficacy. But I'm reminded every day that I take my meds, that these meds are just managing my depression and not curing it. It actually keeps me pretty compliant. 

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I was only able to come to terms with my depression when I got a little relief from my meds. I could then try non-medical therapies. I find CBT to be helpful in challenging negative thoughts. I also found meditation helpful. You don't need to be Buddhist to practice it. Maybe search for mindfulness for material on the net. I hope you feel better. Never give up. Always have faith.

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My depression  has no set pattern, some days I'm depressed half the day, some days I'm not depressed at all, those days are more rare ever since I had serotonin syndrome 18 months ago. We are always changing and tweeting my meds. 3 weeks ago I got maxed on lexapro and felt great for 2 weeks. But I felt it declining over the weekend, today at work I felt tears spring to my eyes a few times.. Just quickly made myself dry up before anyone would notice. I always seem to have that romance period of 2 weeks with a new med, it's nice while it lasts. Just wait to see what happens now I guess.

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Yes, I have made peace with my MI.  I want to move on and forget about the past, so I've accepted it all.  (The only thing I worry about is remaining stability, but that has been ok). 

47 minutes ago, toast said:

Also, know it's been said many times, but the right medication does make a big difference, provided you have the knowledge to take advantage of it. The right meds will get you functional "enough," but the perfect med for you can be like night and day. I know what's worked for me in the past, and it's criminal to deny someone medication that will help.

Just my two cents.

^^ toast is right.  Medication can make a huge difference.

44 minutes ago, jt07 said:

That's the magic word - manage. I manage my depression. Sometimes that means adjusting meds, sometimes that means getting therapy, and sometimes that means changing my lifestyle.

^^ great point about managing the MI, and things that come with it all (ie, managing meds, therapy, etc).

 

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4 hours ago, jt07 said:

That's the magic word - manage. I manage my depression. Sometimes that means adjusting meds, sometimes that means getting therapy, and sometimes that means changing my lifestyle.

Yup. Just that. I have a hard time managing it some days, the bad days, I'll just be so angry with myself and the world for being crazy. But most of the time I accept that my MI is chronic and I shouldn't fight it, just...roll with it.

And yes, meditation and exercise help, CBT helps, and medication can work, but if it doesn't, maybe ECT is a right option.

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I agree, we got to do what we an to help ourselves with the options we have available . We are lucky to know of the mindfulness and tbe cbt. Those things were not used when I first started out on my road with depression. I wonder what might have been different if I had come to know them sooner . But maybe as a kid I would have dismissed them , who knows. At this point I still feel that medication can provide me some relief, but I keep my options open concerning ect and other methods in the future. Guess that's the best we can do . 

   Thanks to everyone that responded , it's nice to know we arnt the only ones that face this.

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Another one here who has accepted depression as a continual companion.

This does not mean I like it or want it. I take my  meds which luckily work, went thru years and years of therapy and am presently working on mindfulness.

My depression is often triggered which is where the mindfulness comes into play. If I am in a good state and find the trigger, then perhaps maybe possibly I can fend it off at the pass. If however I am sinking sinking sinking down the rabbit hole, I surrender. I do not fight. I find acceptance of my crazy greatly diminishes the extent of the muck and mire. If it is night, I take a sleep aide and go to bed. If it early evening, I go into my bed and read.  During the day, distractions help tremendously. Getting rid of any stress factors.

When I cry, usually it is not depression even if it has the same result. My emotions flood my body, very very different from crashing down the rabbit hole and feeling dead, feeling nothing, feeling hopeless. The crying usually is accompanied by feelings of sadness, overwhelming emotion, deep deep poignancy.  Either way, I do not want to be around anyone and just want to……evaporate. However, I much prefer this full of feeling depression to the one where I am dead inside.

It is very important to know that Depression On Drugs (DOD), usually brings the relief of knowing this will end. The depression will stop. Eventually. 

I cannot emphasize enough how having people in your life who understand what is going on, are able to follow your orders, helps the devastation of depression. I trained hubs to come into the bedroom, hug me and say "Everything will be alright" and then leave the room. He used to get angry thinking there as something he needed to do. Admittedly there are periods where telling me everyitng will be ok does not work, but I do NEED TO KNOW that hubs still loves me. Fights with him, fights with my girl, he now knows to come find me, call me, wherever I ran off to. I need to know he is STILL there for me.

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Funny how almost everyone mentions medication helping... OP says the depression is treatment resistant, do you take anything that helps? I would assume not or at least not enough. I think what he means how to cope when NOTHING works.

 

thats the boat I may be in now. Severe depression for 10 years, dozens of meds and therapists and nothing makes the slightest dent. But I always kept trying... And I think that's the hardest and scariest thing about reaching the end of the road... I was always had hope, no matter how small, that maybe THIS med would help, maybe this therapist would click. Now it's like the road has lead me to some vast wasteland, nowhere to go and no hope in sight. Nothing else to try. If you're not actively doing something to help, what then?

ive reached the point of looking into TMS/ECT, so the end of the road is in sight for me and I've been so scared. If this doesn't work... I guess I'm just stuck like this. It's terrifying.

im not suicidal at all, as bad as I am, but I've found myself wishing I was, crazy as that sounds. Just one more option that doesn't work for me.

im not helpful at all but I understand completely and wonder the same things. How do I live like this? I can't even function but I have to, for my kids. Right now I feel like I'm in my own private hell.

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4 hours ago, climber47 said:

Funny how almost everyone mentions medication helping... OP says the depression is treatment resistant, do you take anything that helps? I would assume not or at least not enough. I think what he means how to cope when NOTHING works.

No. When I made the decision to accept my depression, nothing had worked for me. Not meds. Not supplements. Nothing. My only recourse was to accept that I had an illness that I would have to manage and to live the best life that I could in spite of it. That doesn't mean you give up looking for things to make you better. It just means that you give up looking for a cure.

Later I did indeed find a cocktail that worked well for me and that cocktail was an antidepressant + an atypical antipsychotic + an anticonvulsant (mood stabilizer). But my cocktail is not perfect. I still have to manage my illness. Some days are harder than others.

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Climber 47, yes when I wrote this I was in my depressed state. Having received little help from medication. Since writing this I have started a max dose of lexapro and feel relief. I also went off anafranil which was making me too tired to do much living. I know that many times meds work at first, and then poop out. I'm praying for the best, however  a small part of me is preparing for the worst. Im down to 3 meds to try out, it's scary as hell. Im beginning to look at ect, just gathering info, so I'm a bit prepared if I as well need to go that route as my last resort. My pdoc highly recommends it, but I too am scared. I know how you feel, what if that doesn't work? One thing we must keep in mind is that body chemistry can change some ,advancements in meds and techniques evolve.. If Ect doesn't work as hoped, in a couple years newer better meds may be on the horizon . Your not alone. Stick with therapy , it can give some relief, hang in there . We all need to keep trying. At least we know we are not alone in suffering. Faith is a huge help to me, not sure your thoughts on that, but if you ever want to talk to me about that I'm around :)

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How quickly things can change. Just today I've been feeling myself trying to crash, but I've been fighting it. It's pretty much ruined my day, but at least I've been able to keep from falling too far into the pit. So far for me, there is no magic pill , doubt there ever will be. But if the good or just decent times outweigh the bad, I guess that's the best I can hope for.

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14 minutes ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

It took me ten years to find the right cocktail and get the right diagnosis. I know it's hard when your symptomatic but you just have to Have faith that you'll find the right mix. In the meantime, I hope you can see a therapist and you can also practice mindfulness/CBT.

My doctors won't prescribe meds anymore, they say I've tried enough already, so I don't have much hope there... Having ADHD I find mindfulness extremely frustrating, and I've never gotten anything out of CBT, it just makes me angry and annoyed :(

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