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Wednesday, April 07, 2010 John S, Community Member, asks

Q: Can Major depression and anxiety go away by itself?

I have suffered from panic and depression far too long. It started a couple of years after I've been separated from my wife. It's been ten years now. I would get mood swings where one day I felt hopeless and a euphoric sensation would have me super happy. I have tried different treatments, lexapro, wellbutrin, but I didn't feel much change, chocolate helped for a while. does this go away by itself?

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Answers (4)
Merely Me, Health Guide
4/ 7/10 5:52pm

Hi John

 

So you hadn't experienced these mood swings before being separated?  When you talk about euphoria...do you feel that maybe you are experiencing manic episodes?  Have any of your doctors talked about Bipolar Disorder with you?

 

I am not sure if anxiety and depression just goes away on its own.  But I do know that there is hope because there are many possible options for treatment. 

 

Tell us what is going on in your life right now.  Do you have supports?  Are you talking to a therapist? 

 

We are here to give you both support and information...so let us know more about you. 

 

Thank you for reaching out here...hope to hear more from you.

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John S, Community Member
4/ 7/10 6:53pm

Hi thanks for being here. I don't think I had mood swings before I was separated. What I mean by euphoria, is I'm confident and happy, I'm not sure what manic means. I have been seeing a counselor, but because I was getting free care, my time with her is over. I've been to a psychiatrist and he prescribed wellbutrin. It helped a little while, but made me feel worse after a while. I don't really have a support system, everyone tell's me to just snap out of it, easier said than done. I can't get my mind to function some days and sometimes have fear to do the smallest thing. Any help would be appreciated thanks.

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Merely Me, Health Guide
4/ 8/10 8:22pm

Hello again

 

Okay this is good to know your definition of euphoria as...for some this can mean mania which is probably a very different thing than you are describing. 

 

It is interesting that your mood swings happened after you were separated.  May I ask...was the split mutual or...was it her idea?  I can see where you would grieve over the end of your  primary relationship.  Is there any closure or...moving on as in dating or a new relationship? Of course you don't have to answer any of this...just what you are comfortable sharing.  The reason why I am asking is...maybe much of your mood has to do with your life circumstances.  What do you think?

 

Support is important and no...you can't just snap out of depression...it doesn't work that way. 

 

Please know that I am not a therapist or a doctor...my suggestions come from my own experience battling my depression.

 

I think it would be good to seek out another therapist for some talk therapy.  If you need resources...just let me know.

 

Tell us...where you would like to see your life going...what are your dreams for the future and what do you feel is holding you back?

 

Keep writing and sharing...I hope it helps.

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John S, Community Member
4/11/10 1:56pm

Hi the breakup was all her idea,  I haven't met anyone yet. I'm sort of at a stand still. I was wondering if high blood pressure may be a factor?

 

How are you coping?

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Judy, Community Member
4/ 7/10 11:33pm

Hi, John.  Sometimes it takes a bit of experimenting to figure out which medications are going to work for you.  What are you taking now, if anything?  You mentioned that you can't see your therapist any more because it was free.  If you live in the US, your county should have a mental health clinic that charges on a sliding fee scale and I don't think they would stop treating you if you still needed it.  It sounds like you might still be grieving the loss of your marriage and sometimes drugs just don't do the trick.  Is there a way you could get back into therapy?  Please let us know if we can help in some way.  Take care.

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John Folk-Williams, Health Guide
4/ 9/10 2:29pm

Hi, John -

 

To answer your first question, there are no fixed rules about the course of major depression and anxiety. But since yours has been going on for ten years, clearly it is not self-correcting. You seem to have a recurrent form of major depression, as I had for several decades, and some people believe this is closely related to bipolar depression. Your mood swings sound like the ones I had - so the connection with bp depression makes sense to me. (I don't see what you're going through as grieving - that's a feeling that runs its own course, whereas you've got an emotional mood which goes on and on - whatever might have triggered it.)

 

As to antidepressants, I have a 20 year history of taking a long series of these drugs which never worked for more than a month or two - though I stayed with each one for at least a year, gradually increasing dosage to see if that would help.

 

I finally came to Emsam, which is an MAOI - unpopular because of the need for food restrictions, and that worked for more than a year. As that wore off, my psychiatrist combined it with lamotrigine (generic Lamictal), and that combination has been great as well as stable in its effect. Lamictal is a mood stabilizer used in bipolar treatment - it's no common to combine it with an antidepressant. They say it makes the anti-d work better, but no one seems to know why or even what Lamictal does bio-chemically.

 

So I would work with a psychiatrist to find the right drug or combination - that's all you can do - until you hit the right one. But try to get therapy too since the two work better together.

 

My best to you -

 

John

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Kat M., Community Member
4/10/10 5:35pm

Hi John,

 

Depression is unlikely to go away by itself. However, it seems that you are starting to explore the ways to heal.

 

Can you heal and leave your depression and anxiety behind? Absolutely! (Just to clarify: you will be feeling sad, worried, annoyed, fearful etc. from time to time, but you will be able to move through these feelings fast and learn to trust and use them).

 

One of the first things is the realisation that, perhaps, you are committed to your old self more than you are committed to your future self. Do you have a clear vision of what you want in your life or are you living in your past, in your memories, still holding your crashed dreams in your daily thoughts?

 

There is not enough space here to suggest what you can do. Neither do I know much about you or your personal story. However, if I am to give you one advice it is:

 

Stay strong, remain hopeful, seek inspiration and take new actions!

 

Kat at LiftMyDepression.com

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By John S, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 04/07/10