I want to clarify the question I put earlier today.
I am curious about a diagnosis - who wouldn't be? But my primary concern,especially after reading so many of the other questions raised, is what the hope is for recovery once you have 'contracted' depression or some other form of mental illness.
For my part, I believe that I have fought off depression (or whatever) for most of my life. Now that I have succumbed though, what can I hope for? Are medications the answer to a problem that is not necessarily biologically based? And how effective is psychotherapy? There are so many different forms to choose from, how can one possibly know which one is going to work? And, maybe more importantly, how can you ever know whether they aren't going to make you worse? I have recently spent 20 months with an analyst who I am certain increased my sense of alienation and doubt, purely by his methodology (not through any bad faith).
I frequently feel terribly hopeless - but there has always been a grain somewhere that has kept me going. I am terrified that even that tiny seed will soon disappear and then so will I.
I don't think I even expect an answer to this. Perhaps I just neeeded to say it.