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Depression...does it ever go away?
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Depression...does it ever go away?


  I'm a 28 year old female.  For several years I have been experiencing depression, yet it only lasted for a night or a few hours, and I'd always wake up feeling fine, feeling motivated, looking forward to the future, so never took it seriously.  However  8 months ago I became ill with a chronic sinus infection that won't go away at all, causing me to be fatigued and disoriented.  This sickness seems to have pushed me over the edge, where now I have that same depression I used to have yet it has not gone away at all for 8 months.  It's still there when I wake up in the morning and I don't look forward to anything and feel no pleasure. It is horrifying. I remember what it is like to feel good, but I just can't feel  it anymore.  I am terrified that I will always be this way.  And am terrified of anti depressant drugs.  My questions are...is there any hope? Have you seen cases of  looseing the depression with out the use of drugs?  And is it normal for one to slip into a horrible depression from being sick for so long?    Will the depression go away when the sickness goes away?  I wonder if I will ever be me again...in life, feeling pleasure, and looking forward to things, with out the drugs.  It has gone on for so long that I don't see a future without it .  And all the information I have read on depression seems to indicate that the only solutions are the drugs, or shock therapy, and  I'm not willing to take those risks. I hope there are other solutions.
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Dear Julee,
I do not have enough history to be able to make a formal diagnosis, but from the information provided, it is evident that you have been experiencing depression.  With the length of time your depression has been occurring and with depresses mood and decreased interest in things, you may be going thru what is called a major depressive episode.  A major depressive episode is characterized by depressed mood nearly every day for most of the day and/or a decreased interest or pleasure in activities.  These symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms such as change in appetite and sleep pattern, decreased energy, recurrent suicidal thoughts and decreased concentration, among others.  Not all of these symptoms need be present however.  The symptoms are present during at least a two week period.  
There is hope in the treatment of depression and specifically Major Depressive Disorder.  An untreated depressive episode lasts 6-13 months, whereas most treated episodes last less than three months.  It is well documented that treating the depression shortens the course and can also help prevent recurrence of future episodes.  Sixty to seventy-five percent of patients with major depression get better with treatment.  
Any time there is a stressor, such as a lengthy illness, there is the potential for development of depression.  I can not predict if when the sickness goes away whether your depression will go away, too.  
You seem worried about taking antidepressants.  Antidepressants are safe, not addictive and well-tolerated.  Most patients describe dramatic reduction in their symptoms and a return to their "old self."  We know that major depression is a brain disease, and that just as you take medication for other physical diseases such as high blood pressure or dibetes, so too for depression.  People with a first episode of depression are usually treated for six to twelve months.  Psychotherapy can be a helpful addition to the medication.  
I would recommend that you see a mental health professional who can take further history and can diagnose and treat your condition.  If you would like to make an appointment at Henry Ford Hospital, call 1-313-874-6680.  I hope this information has been helpful for you.  It is for educational purposes only and should not replace consultation with your doctor.  





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