Can Major Depression And Anxiety Go Away By Itself?

Question

Asked by John S

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?

Answer

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

Answered by John Folk-Williams