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Haleth's avatar

Can you live with long-term depression?

Asked by Haleth (17887 points ) August 31st, 2014

It runs in my family. My mom, aunt, and grandmother spent long stretches of their lives lying around on couches watching tv.

I’m functional- there has never been a time that I haven’t gone to work, done laundry, eaten, etc. But a lot of the time I feel either draggy and sad or grey and blah. Probably most of the time. Like, it takes an effort to do basic things, I don’t feel like it, and I don’t really enjoy life that much or give a shit about anything sometimes. Sometimes there are episodes of dreadful sadness for weeks or months.

The most recent one lasted from October 2013 to about March 2014. I’m doing incrementally better, but it’s taking so long and the steps are so small.

I make an effort to be active because I don’t want to be like my relatives. Like, at least I can willpower my way out of inactivity. The author says up above,—“But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back. A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn’t going to work.”

Therapy is probably part of the answer, but I really, really can’t afford it. What would really help are things I can do by myself to manage it, or deal with it, and then get on with my life. Do people get better?

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12 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

With therapy and the right medication you can keep it in check or maybe beat it, hope it works out for ya,depression isn’t something to be taken lightly.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m still here. Somedays it’s all I can do to get about of bed, other days are not so bad. I suggest keeping a therapist you like on standby and always tell your psychiatrist how you are really doing. You might need med changes for the rest of your life whole life.

seekingwolf's avatar

I take 2 antidepressants and am in therapy to deal. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety since I was 11, runs in the family. It sucks. But I’m still here.

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JLeslie's avatar

People do it all the time.

Yes, people get better. I used to get depressed much more for longer periods, but now it is rare and short lived. Mine was never extremely severe, except when there was a devastating event, and also during my early teens it got kind of bad. How I think about life, how I reframed life in my mind helps enormously. Some people I really think have their brains wired in a way that makes depression more likely, and I think there is a genetic component, but I also think some of it is learned. If you unlearn the environmental parts it rewires the brain a little in my opinion. Scientists have shown that we can continue to lay down new neurological pathways in the brain through old age. I haven’t seen a specific study regarding depression, but they have done studies regarding learning and the plasticity of the brain. I am not saying everyone should just snap out of it, as I said I think there is likely a genetic component, which could be severe and difficult to change, depending on the person. However, don’t feel necessarily you are destined to be severly depressed forever.

Make sure they check your thryoid.

M1952's avatar

I think everyone is a little depressed, some more then others but it’s no reason to give up hope of happiness.

jca's avatar

I was going to suggest what @JLeslie did. Make sure your thyroid is checked.

KNOWITALL's avatar

YEs, my mom is bipolar with depression. You can learn tools to cope & good friends help a lot, meds too.

hearkat's avatar

I come from a family of melancholics, with a history of abuse, as well. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to change my nature and judging myself as unacceptable because of it – which only served to perpetuate the cycle of depression. Strangely, it was when I decided to stop fighting and just live with it that I led me to happiness. There’s a bit more detail in this recent comment on another post. (And if you want to dig through the archives, I’ve commented on many similar threads over the years on Fluther.)

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Yes, you learn to live side by side.

JLeslie's avatar

@M1952 Not everyone is, but many people are. Learning the habits of people who are not depressed can sometimes be helpful.

pleiades's avatar

It’s up to you with what you do with your knowledge. You don’t have to follow in the footsteps of being a couch potato. Hit the gym, release some endorphins!

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