Depression Community
Recover from major depressive episode
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Recover from major depressive episode

How long does it take to recover? Struggling for the past year!
I was physically ill a year ago and unable to work and participate in life. Diagnosed at the hospital as having a major depressive episode. Diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Medications made me feel worse, 25 session of CBT therapy and now can't sleep without sleeping pills. Able to work and carry on day to day, but still struggling. What other types of treatment/therapy could I try?
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1756321_tn?1377771734
My mother took maybe a year after increasing her severely deficient stomach acid to see her major depressive disorder and severe anxiety disorder improve a lot. You are not only what you eat but what you absorb! She also has hypothyroidism not treated but still nothing like severe stomach acid deficiency.  For me it has been many years and i'm not there yet but it gets better with every condition i diagnose. I have 20 reasons all up that all contributed to serotonin deficiency and 3 for GABA.

There are many supplements you can find in health food stores to help increase neurotransmitter deficiencies. For example: L- tryptophan and 5-HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan) for serotonin and L-glutamine for GABA.

"Change your body and you will change your mind. It doesn't work the other way around." - Dr Mark Hyman from the video "The truth about antidepressants". Very true.

Factors which reduce serotonin levels (symptoms of low levels include depression and anxiety and yes insomnia as you need serotonin for melatonin):

* Poor diet
* Stress and anger
* Lack of exercise
* Lack of sunlight/lack of vitamin D
* Hormone imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, estrogen, progesterone)
* Problems with digestion (eg: low stomach acid/GI inflammation)
* Under-methylation - folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 deficiency
* Iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, B3, B6, folate & vitamin C deficiency
* A lack of omega oils
* Ecstasy, diet pills, and certain medications
* Hypoglycemia
* Insulin resistance
* Diabetes
* Inflammation
* Infections
* Problems converting tryptophan to serotonin
* High cortisol levels (stress hormone)
* Excess caffeine
* Cigarette smoking
* Chronic opioid, alcohol, amphetamine & marijuana use
* PCB's, pesticides and plastic chemicals exposure
* Artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
* Glutathione deficiency
* Genetic serotonin receptor abnormalities
* Human growth hormone deficiency
* Impaired blood flow to brain

Factors which reduce GABA levels (symptoms of low levels includes anxiety):

Glutamine (precursor) deficiency
B1, B6, zinc, manganese & iron deficiency
Chronic stress
Chronic pain
Inadequate sleep
Progesterone deficiency
Mercury and lead exposure
Alcohol withdrawal
Excess caffeine
Excessive electromagnetic radiation
Excessive loud noise exposure
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I should add that i never had insomnia as all my medical conditions caused overwhelming fatigue that i slept 16 hours a day. I have also read depression can be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome as well. But any way insomnia is a listed symptom.  My sister had bad insomnia though. We both had severe vitamin B12 deficiency (due to autoimmune pernicious anaemia) which is essential for serotonin!
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1551327_tn?1389046959
CBT is actually the best thing going for all types of depression these days..at least in my opinion.  I am not saying in the least way that you didn't put 100 percent effort into to it but I want to ask what exercises you practiced the most while you were doing these sessions.  What, if anything, did you find to be the most beneficial part of your CBT sessions?  How often did you attend these sessions (length of each session and occurence of each session...once a week, a couple of times a week)?  Who mediated the sessions?  Was it one on one counseling by a social worker or group therapy?
Anything that you can tell me about these sessions would be beneficial.  I am not a therapist but I have a lot of knowledge about CBT and I have done a lot of work with it for myself and helped others undertsand how it works.  You can likely read a CBT book from front to back in one day (or less than one day) but you have to have a good comprehension of which part to do first and where to go from there.  If you were not comfortable your understanding of thought stopping and you had not gained control of your thoughts (at least moderate control) before you moved on to working on cognitive distortions than it would be hard to fully undertand how to change your cognitive distortions.
Again I don't assume that you didn't put forth a lot of effort into your CBT sesssions but I will tell you how hard it was for me to be able to not master but become pretty proficient in my ability to control my thoughts and redirect negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  
I went through 135 days in treatment focusing on CBT, recreational therapy, techniques in fighting anxiety, and techniques in fighting depression.
I spent the first month working on only thought stopping.  Being in a depressed state presents you with a diminished ability to gain control of your thoughts because symtoms (symptoms) and complications of depression are inability to concentrate, low self worth, and low energy.  I understand you this is horrible for you.  
I will give you some good news and perhaps some comfort.  Your type of depression, although debilitating, is very treatable.  Usually it means the right meds along with therapy.
Don't give up yet....I promise you can make it through this and we will help and support in any way we can.
What medicines did you try?
In what way did they make your condition worse?
Tell us as much or as little as you wish and I undertand it may be hard to verbalyze some things but do your best and we will try to help.
Welcome to the forum...
You will find a lot of support here.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the feedback.

I had 25 sessions of CBT; once a week, one on one with a social worker. We worked our way through the Mind Over Mood workbook. Because I was feeling so awful physically (dizzy, sick...) it was difficult to focus and to give 100% to this effort. I I've not mastered anything. I'd say a significant amount of time was trying to get comfortable with this process of talking to someone and trying to get over how bad I felt and understand that this was a mental issue and not physical. Just as I was making progress and starting to get into it the social worker ended our sessions. Because this was a free service it was limited to the number of visits. We identified some issues, had a psychiatrist diagnose me (GAD, and depression), and set goals for me to follow-up on, and I was sent on my way.

Prior to being diagnosed by a psychiatrist. my physician thought he'd try some medication and had me on Wellbutrin for several weeks. That made me feel worse. It seem to amplify all the horrible physical symptoms - so I stopped after 3 or 4 months. Then once I started feeling a little better he tried Ritalin which seemed to make my anxiety much worse and put me on edge. I don't feel like he knows what to do, or that I'm getting much advise or support from him.

I'm not on any medication now, with the exception of some sleep medication. In addition to all the other symptoms, I have constant muscle tension and I just can't seem to get to a relaxed state. I'm just trying to implement the CBT techniques and meditation and yoga. It has been a month and I still have to take action on some of the followup tasks the social worker identified, but it is just damn hard to fight this fight on my own. My wife and family are sympathetic but don't really seem to get it.

Prior to the breakdown I was feeling stressed and to deal with it I starting training for a triathlon thinking that the exercise would be a good way of managing stress and I enjoy those activities. Since the breakdown I've had the most sedentary year of my life and just can't get motivated or care about anything.
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1551327_tn?1389046959
I can tell that you have the right attitude.  As long as you took something from the CBT sessions tha n you have a little to work with.  You are doing the yoga, exercise, and trying to practice what you did learn from the sesssions and that is great.  I wrote some theories that I had came up with for fighting depression and if you would like you can take a look at them.  Some of them are pretty long but they are worth checking out and some of it may stick:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Bipolar-Disorder/Fighting-depression/show/1883533
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression/Fighting-depression-part-2/show/1883537
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression/Fighting-Depression-part-3/show/1884569
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression/Fighting-Depression-part-4-simplicity/show/1887081
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Depression/Fighting-Impatience--Stress--and-Fear/show/1885110
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