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Re: Remission from depression .. myth? reality? Maxime

Posted by Tomatheus on August 28, 2010, at 21:03:12

In reply to Remission from depression .. myth? reality?, posted by Maxime on August 28, 2010, at 19:56:38

Maxime,

See below for my responses to some of your questions...

> Do you think full remission is possible and what does it feel like?

I definitely think that full remission is possible because I've experienced it, even though it was only temporary. For me, I was basically able to live my life as I wanted to with all of the challenges that normal people face without being dragged down by my anergic depressive symptoms. Instead of sleeping for at least 10 hours and struggling to get out of bed every day, my sleep was actually refreshing when I was in remission, and I only needed 6-8 hours of it every day. I also actually had an adequate amount of energy when I was in remission. It didn't take me forever to read things or to write a simple paragraph because the psychomotor retardation that I experience when my depression is at its worst was gone. I could actually enjoy the things that I really liked when I was in remission instead of simply "going through the motions" all the time.

Having said what I've said, I should say that I don't think that 100 percent of individuals with a depressive illness can achieve remission with the treatments we have today. There's still so much that's unknown about depression, and I think it would be arrogant to assume that solutions are available for every variation of depression that currently exists. I also think that some individuals (or perhaps only a few) might actually have a more difficult time achieving remission than they used to *because* of some of the medications that they've tried. I know that lithium left me feeling both more agitated and more depressed than I was before I took the medication, and it also changed the way I responded to some medications. The same goes for aminoguanidine, which I suspect had a very profound effect on my mental health (and not in a good way).

> Do you think ADs can make everything better?

I think that depends on what you mean by "everything." If by "everything" you mean depressive symptoms such as lack of energy, psychomotor retardation, hypersomnia, anhedonia, and difficulty concentrating (my primary depressive symptoms), then yes, I think the right antidepressant can eradicate all of these symptoms. What antidepressants can't do is undo all of the damage in life that's been done by depression. Antidepressants won't make new friends for you or get you a job. They won't repair your strained relationships. But with the right antidepressant, all of these things should become easier than they were when one was highly symptomatic. That's not to say that they'll be easy. Finding a job, for example, is a very difficult task for most people in places like the U.S., Canada, and Europe right now because economic conditions are so tough. And if you have large gaps of time when you were unemployed because of your depression, you're going to be at a major disadvantage compared with people who've spent most of the past few years working. So, my point is that life is full of challenges, and even though taking an antidepressant may make it easier to face these challenges, the medication isn't going to overcome your challenges all by itself.

Tomatheus


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