I am currently in the grips of my second major depressive episode in ten years, which really bothers me because after the last time I swore I would be more vigilant and nip it in the bud with all the useful cognitive behaviour therapy techniques I had learned. Nonetheless, here I am.
Depression is an insidious disease because you can't see it. It can't be imaged with x-rays or CAT scans. It is insidious because it screws up your thinking. I love when people say "What do you have to be depressed about?" On one level they are right: I have a wonderful wife and daughter, am gainfully employed, am reasonably healthy, but depression doesn't care. My depression makes me feel like I am missing something in my life. My depression makes me think my next door neighbours are the devil incarnate - way out of proportion to their actual offences. My depression robs me of pleasure in various aspects of my life. My depression makes concentrating on tasks very difficult, so that I can only manage 15 or 20 minutes at a time. My head feels like it is in a near constant fog. My depression saps all energy from my body; if I'm lucky I have maybe four hours of relative alertness in the morning where I can hope to get things done, the rest of the time is spent on the couch or in bed. I sleep 10 to 13 hours a day and could probably sleep a good bit more than that.
I am one of the lucky few who does not seem to respond to medication. I've tried them all: Mannerix, Celexa, Cipralex, Mytazapine, Abilify, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin. None have had more than a fleeting effect. I also do behavioural and mindfulness therapy with my psychologist, which I believe help me from falling further than I already have.
My last depression eventually resolved itself, after three years. That's a long time to feel like crap, though that experience is reassuring in that I just have to ride it out and I'll come out the other end of this very dark tunnel feeling like myself.
So, here's to the rest of the ride - may it be shorter than the last.