Do people actually feel depression goes away or is is it just a case of learning to live with it?

I have had depression and anxiety for years but only had it diagnosed a few years ago. I am learning strategies on how to cope with this. However, I keep reading and hearing people say that this doesnt ever go away completely. I was hoping one day I would wake up feeling full of energy and enthusiasm for the day ahead.

At the moment Im working part time as I cant cope with full time hours especially find mornings tough.

I work afternoons in a primary school from 1 pm to 3 pm. This is enough as I get so tired.

I still get anxious from about 11am thinking about going to work.

I recently started claiming ESA and have just put a claim in for PIP. This has made me think about my future. I find it difficult thinking about the future. Any advice is appreciated.

I just take it one day at a time.


22 Replies

  • Hi David

    I am sorry you are struggling each day with going to work but you are doing well going in those circumstances so do not be too hard on yourself. Taking it one day at a time is probably the best strategy for coping with depression - but I think you want more than that. It is difficult to know what to advise. Whether people work through their depression and come out the other side depends so much on what first led to the depression - whether it was early or later in life, reactive to specific events or a general learned way of being in response to circumstances - and also what kinds of treatment they believe in and are able to obtain.

    I can only talk from my own experience, as a patient (someone suffering from depression) and as a therapist. I think when people are depressed in response to specific events, even when the events were quite early in their lives, then they can be helped to overcome the depression and leave the feelings behind because the issues they related to are no longer of so much consequence. The difficulty is in thinking about the kinds of depression most of us suffer from because they are generally the result of a combination of events and circumstances and often originate in experiences that were quite early in life when the personality was being formed. That does not mean the depression cannot be worked through, because to the large extent it can with help from the right kinds of relationships and in particular within some forms of therapy. However the problem is that those therapies are so often not available within the NHS and even when they are it is within the context of the medical model which aims to make people better.

    My own experience as a patient has been of problems that originated during my childhood. Looking back I can see now that although outwardly I seemed a happy child I have nonetheless always been really quite deeply depressed - it was just that I had learned very early that there was little point in hoping someone would make me feel better - by understanding and comforting me - and so I had become self-reliant. When that happens even quite good experiences afterwards failed to alter my initial feeling that the world didn't understand, that no one cared and that it was somehow my fault, that I mustn't have been loveable or if I was that no one was capable of loving me. It is sad the way kids ALWAYS blame themselves for what happens to them - always think - it must be MY fault even when it so clearly isn't. That kind of self-blame and criticism of the self can often lead to a kind of self loathing alongside hatred of the world that is extremely difficult to change. I know that in my case it took very many years of therapy to change those feelings and that kind of therapy is NEVER available within the NHS. Overall it has cost tens of thousands of pounds spent on therapy in order to bring me to the point now where I am not as happy as my sunny nature might have enabled me to be had I had a different childhood but where I am VERY happy at times and quietly sad but accepting at others, with occasional episodes of really deep but short-lived depression when external circumstances result in things become too much and I lose the ability to maintain a positive attitude - it is all too easy to slip back into negativity.

    Freud once said that the aim of (psychoanalytic) therapy was to transform misery into common human unhappiness and that is certainly what has happened for me. None of us are happy all the time and having experienced depression for much of my life I accept it will never entirely leave me - but that does not mean it is necessary to be unhappy most of the time.


  • Thanks for this Sue. I have found ways to make me happy. So I will live with this for now. X

  • Hi David,

    This is something that I often think about as well. Will I ever feel 'normal' again? Whatever that means or even happy for a period of time. My friend says I will come out of this process (therapy etc) a changed person. I get anxious about the future as well but you are right to take it one day at a time. You seem to be doing all you can, the gym, therapy, stress course etc. hang on in there.

    Given your user name do you play golf as well? you must have some good links courses on the isle of wight.

    Take care


  • I havent played golf for a little while. One of those hobbies I gave up due to lack of motivation. I hope to start playing soon. It is a case of cost now!


  • That's a great reply Sue.

  • Oh thanks, I hope David found it useful/

  • Thanks Sue, I found it very helpful and clear. I agree with you about kids blaming themselves which can lead to low self esteem/ self loathing etc in later life. Agreed, the therapy available on Nhs is limited. I am currently funding some private therapy and am lucky to be able to do so. Feel it will be best way to address some of issues and hopefully come out the other side with the good days outweighing the bad. You are a great administrator.


  • Yes, things have altered within the NHS within the last 10 years and now the trend is that if you can't measure it then it has no benefit... mad! You are lucky as I was to be able to afford private therapy.

    Thanks for the compliment - about the role of administrator!


  • wonderful reply Sue xx

  • Thank you!

  • Hi David

    I'm not sure if we'll ever get rid of it or get the better of it. I don't think I will but I can't decide if that's the negative voice in my head or honesty. I'd would like to think that I could beat it, or at least control it, as I haven't yet tried all available help open to me yet. I guess even if I had used all help then there would be no reason not to try a particular type for a second or third time, what didn't work at one stage in my life might work at another stage?

    I've had depression for 20 years but not every day for that time. There have been lots of days when I have been ok & even happy and lots of days unhappy. I'd like to think the good out number the bad but sometimes when having a bad day all I can remember are the bad days. I think I need to learn to appreciate the good days more & perhaps try to give them more attention than the bad days. Does that make sense? Feeling a little tired so hope I've made some sort of sense with all the above, sorry if it doesn't :)


  • Hi James,

    It makes perfect sense to me!

    When I'm low all I can recall are the bad/sad times but when I'm not (I have bipolar) I can recall more of the good things which I'm glad of because it means that they are still wired in my brain somewhere, it's just that accessing them is sometimes difficult.

    I have now developed a strategy of keeping 'happy' photos, whether people or lovely scenery just to look through when I'm low and logging how each one makes me feel. It's quite amazing the difference I find from one 'space' to the other!

    Interesting that you mention feeling tired because I think even that influences how we feel...chronic pain is another killer for me - a lot of long term depressed people seem to have other illnesses to take into account as well. Whether it's the actual pain or the feeling of getting older which is the 'bummer' I'm not really sure.

    Loneliness is yet another factor as humans are 'social' beings and an inability to interact with others, or even a pet, seems to play a big part in how we feel - I believe it's something to do with the oxytocin levels in our brains that get low...interestingly, this is the same hormone released after the birth of a baby to aid maternal bonding.

    In answer to your question is possible that you will get/feel better, it is possible that you won't. Whichever happens, none of us will ever be the person we were before this 'black hole' swallowed us up. We cannot turn back time - yet! Keep on keeping on and do as much as you can that makes you feel good/better, that's the only way to go!




  • Thanks Lorraine X

  • Thanks James yes that makes sense.

  • David .. I have suffered depression for 25 years . so no I don't think it ever goes away . I expect I will have it for the rest of my life .. what I think is some days are better than others . situations around us change , that has a profound affect on my depression .. I am not a gp so I don't know the honest answer , I don't think they do , imo I just think some days are better than others ... hope my honesty doesn't bring you down xx

  • Thanks Fallenangel good to hear an honest reply.

  • I just signed up today so I don't really know the etiquette yet. I absolutely believe and know it can go away. Sadness is and all emotions are a part of life but depression doesn't need to be our primary experience. To just give you two suggestions that have worked really well for me, first Rescue Remedy a Bach Flower essence that helps reduce trauma and fear. The second one is much harder to explain quickly but in the past few months I have transformed my life. It all started with a video on youtube with Panache Desai His work opened the door to richly living in ways I had never imagined possible. He has a new book that came out this week I am excited to get started with. He is also doing a free online program along with the book. Everyone has their own path. All I can say is he is a dear friend who has helped bring me home to myself. I send you many blessings that you also find your way. Peace.

  • Thanks I will read the youtube link later. I am always open to different ideas. If we say straight away that we dont agree before considering the points we miss a great deal. My christian friends say depression does go away with prayer but I believe we are made by God to be the way we are whether it is short, tall, fat, thin, depressed or extrovert. We live with the way we are and adjust our lives accordingly.

  • Hi David I'm sorry I'm late in answering your question. I have read a lot of replys

    Now I know we are all different so I can naturally give you my experience.

    My first experience of Depression was at about 15yrs. My Dad found me crying in

    My bedroom and when he asked what was wrong , I said that " I felt sad and didn't know why" Dad was very understanding. Mum not so, but I think I had a good

    Childhood experience mostly and our parents put us first. My parents are dead now

    But I loved them to bits and cannot lay any blame on them.

    David I feel my Depression has got much better as I have got older, or should I say

    That I have got better at managing it like any other illness. There are factors that

    Are hard, I don't have any family support at all, and I think if I had it would be great.

    I have had periods on Medication and off medication and really I feel that a Doctor

    Can prescribe Meds. To give you space to change some stuff, but really there is very

    Little a Dr. Can do, we have to do the work on ourselves, and it can be hard and

    Painful , accepting our limitations and faults and good points and humanity.

    We have to try and find our own identity and begin to like ourselves. Talking

    Our problems over with a supportive person helps a lot, and like you I would

    Love to wake up one day and feel. Ah this is the day and get up and just feel good.

    Have gone through phases when I did not want to get up but that has improved

    A lot. I think work stress contributed a lot to my Depression, and since I retired

    It's been much better. I try not to think of myself as Depressed as I am a bubbly

    Positive person and can be happy too.

    David I started off answering your question and I know I have gone off the point.

    But try not to worry about will it ever go away. It's pointless to look at it like that for me anyway, as who knows what each day will bring. I get the strong impression

    From your posts that your Job is a big stressor for you and maybe if you could

    Get a less stressful job , it would help you. Stress does trigger Depression for sure,

    I feel you have a great outlook and you have a lot of good things in your life. A

    Nice wife and children . That is great and does help.

    My partner Jim died 5 yrs ago, and I miss him and the life we had, now I live

    Alone and haven't really tried to meet anyone, yet statistically living alone has

    A poorer outcome as regards Depression, but I try not to worry about that.

    David I think Depression can get better but it's constant work. I have Rheumatoid

    Arthritis and I have to work at that too. medication every day. Pysio and vists

    Twice a year to Rheumatologist. Every illness has to be managed but it doesn't

    Mean that life is not good.

    I would hate you to read replys and feel down. So my view is Depression

    Can improve , and who know more research. But you know I now think

    That the Meds play a small part. Other things play all the other parts.

    For me. Excercise. Yoga. Walking. Photography. Art and Embroidery. Reading and

    Some Voluntary work.

    Sorry this has been so long. I hope it helps you a bit but I think you are on

    The right track.


  • I've only just read your reply Hannah and it was lovely, very generous. I agree with all you write though at times when depressed it can be hard to incorporate positives into life. You are really saying that getting on with living relieves depression and I do think that's so true but it can be so very hard to do when in the depths of despair. Sometimes meds help with that, other times they don't seem to help people so very much. We each need to find our own ways to get on with our lives despite feeling low, perhaps even for much of the time. Life is for living and not living it will surely make anyone depressed.

    You take care and it's good to hear from you.


  • Sue

    Thank you for saying my reply to David was nice and generous,

    And we are all so different and we all the product of all our past experiences too. I just did not want David to feel that Depression

    Was a total life sentence. I agree when in the depts of depression ,

    It is very hard to get perspective and see this as a bump in the road.

    Have a nice weekend Sue , how is your Pain? Is it any better at


    Hannah x

  • Hello

    Live for the day, the future will take care of its self, that is what I was always told. Sadly with some depressives it is the past that bites on the behind so we try and protect ourselves from lives hurt.

    Still we try and protect ourselves and sometimes that makes matters worse and We become not only self critical, also critical of those around us. we need to give our selves a break and the same goes with our daily duties. When I feel depressed and I am doing a chore the depression seems to make me tired and not as responsive to what is going on around me. I become insular. Try being less self critical. Try and give yourself rewards to look forward to after your work. It may help you look forward to some form of reward, that is not expensive. My reward is our Pax who keeps me busy and knows when I am low, He pushes me out of Depression if only the lift is only temporary, He leaves me alone and will relax in front of the fire. So these treats ae what turns you on, give it some thought, anything to give a lift.

    Over the last six weeks I suffered a massive crash in my eyes and depression really flattened me, I stopped posting and I began to look for some different way to pick me up. I began to do more gardening and taking the PAX down to the beach, to give a rise. That can help, give it a little thought what you can do, possibly that may help you.

    All the best


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