Recurrent Depression

I have been dealing with depression on and off for around 4 years now and wanted to see if anyone has experience a similar pattern and how they have dealt with their recurring depression. The way my depression tends to work is that I will be depressed and anxious for a certain number of months, the amount is always different. During this time I will lose touch with friends and isolate myself without really noticing, in the past I would become completely inactive but this time I have been keeping fit and playing a a lot of football but my symptoms of anxiety remain however I feel the depression is not as intense. I have began to make the effort to be around friends who I feel most comfortable with and this has made me feel better.

This is my first post so I am using it as an introduction as well as a way to ask a question : What do people do when they feel they are relapsing, is there a way to prevent a relapse or does it persist anyway ? I felt a depression coming on and spoke with my therapist about it but it seemed to happen anyway.

Any fellow relapsers ( don't think that's a word) do you experience the same thing ? What do you do ? Did you find medication helpful ?

10 Replies

  • Hi Tom. I have only been on this forum for 2 months and everyone is very helpful. I have 2 relapses a year lasting about 6 weeks and G.P, just gives me anti depressants. I have had different therapies but have never found out why I get relapses because my life is good. I have been on medication for 21 years and will never stop. I have told all my friends and family and they are very caring as I am normally a happy,sociable person but when the relapse comes I don't want to mix,go out and feel rock bottom.

    Gambit advised me to get a B12 deficiency blood test and I found out I am deficient so had 6 injections over 2 weeks and then 1 every 3 months. The deficiency can cause depression. I listen to Mindfulness tapes on Utube and I think getting out and doing things helps a lot. I am sure you will get some good advice from this forum. Take care from Lin

  • I'd never heard of recurring depressing before this year?

    I've unfortunately suffered from depression for many many years and have been on medication since age of 32yrs I am now 52yrs.

    When I get ill, there is no warning, just a deep dark feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    I cry loads, don't go out, either can't eat or can't stop eating.

    Stay in bed with quilt over me for days and days, sleeping is difficult.

    Been on lots of different medications over the years and currently on Venlalic huge dose of 375mg instead of the normal high dose of 225mg also along side Seroxat as a mood stabiliser.

    Plus Diazepam 5mg and Clonazepam 1000mcg at night to help sleep.

    I have therapy with my Psychiatrist every few months and he just chats about nothing telling me to go out and join in with other people in stuff I don't want too. So now I just pretend I have to keep him quiet.

    I don't know what causes my depression but inside I feel like I'm dying I'm so unhappy.

    Do you work?

    I used too, but I gave up as I have other problems too.

    So you're the first person I've chatted to who has suffered recurring depression!

    Best wishes


  • My problem is reactive depression caused by a chronic medical condition. Not helped by a family and surroundings

    Generally when my condition becomes bad I go through all the pitfalls that many on here suffer from. With me I suffer flares caused by my condition and I need to take opiate medications with the anti depressants that we all need to swallow. I take Opiates every day of my life now as I will need to swallow my antidepressants until I die.

    All I can really suggest is try and understand what has caused your condition and look for assistance through your GP. It is hoped that given time you will be able to control the negative thoughts we all suffer from. You need to understand that a good percentage of of those who suffer will possibly recover or have recurring illness.

    a large percentage of sufferers can and will recover. So we are all different and because of this our depressions need to be understood by those around us, not forgetting ourselves


  • Hi I have suffered from depression for many years since childhood and I am now 61. Fotunately most of it has been low grade so have always managed to work though I have had people and job difficulties throughout my life.

    I have had some nasty flare ups but because I am so detached from my feelings I often don't realise until it is too late to take steps to try and prevent or circumvent it.

    One thing I have worked out is that in the middle if it I begin to feel paranoid and anything can upset me - I mean really upset me and send me spiralling down into the depths where I think I am rubbish and have a stong desire to end my life. I can get suicidal very quickly and suddenly (or so it seems) and it is very scarey!

    I usually become very quiet and have the desire to isolate myself but I don't but do have to watch everything I say and do as I tend to fall out with people very easily. The last time it happened I changed how I normally behave and came in on here, Hannah and Sue will remember, and got some great advice and support which helped me enormously and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I will always be eternally grateful to them.

    The other times I am vulnerable is when I am under a lot of stress (for me) and feel trapped and not able to cope. This happened in my last job and it brought me to the point of suicide again. Fortunately I am now retired so that can't happen again.

    This is a great post and really made me think. Thanks for putting it on.

    Bev xx

  • Greetings Tom! Welcome! :)

    Hanging out with good friends is always a good way of dealing with depression—and exercise—and everything you've probably already heard or read about. I suffer from major depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Personally, I didn't find anti-depressants helpful—they made me feel nauseous and had a lot of strange side effects. Some made me very tired, others anxious and nervous. I believe strongly that depression is related to our ongoing development in life, our abilities and efforts—and the production of useful results. "Every rise in our levels of expectation entails a rise in the risks of humiliation." And—the cruelty is—we live in a society bent on removing every single excuse we might have for our shortcomings. Be kind to yourself.

  • There are many oldies on this site, personally Richard anyone can join in.

    The more the merrier.


  • Hi Tom ,

    Welcome a nd the answer is yes to the recurring dpression.

    I have had this since my bi 16years ago. Initially I was on medication and then went to counseling to help manage my condition.

    The trick for me was finding a way out of the deppressions then trying to recognise the onset. Mine follow not pattern or trigger. Even when everything in my life is going well these bouts can occur.

    I would like to feel I now live with my deppression and not suffer it. It has become just another part of my life.

    I am lucky that I have a supportive partner who also looks out for my little "dips" .

    Would I miss it if it went away for good . A big NO is the answer but that doesnt seem to be happening so I think I have foubd a way of living with it.

    I hope you can conquer your depressions and let your GP know hiw medication makes you feel. There are many ways to deal with this , you just have to find what works for you.

    All the best Pax.

  • Hi Tom, found your post by chance on NHS website, and yes would say that I am a relasper! (I know it's not a proper word, but it fits, for those of us who suffer relapses).

    I have tried various things over the years, and probably like most of us on here have dealt with challengese that would test the strongest of us.

    I had been on citalopram for 14months, then gradullay weened myself off, as I started to get an interest in things/life again, these seemed to help at least on a physical/chemical level.

    I have a history of cancer in my family, which I recently could be the result of a faulty gene, which I may have passed down to my daughter, so as you can imagine my feelings/mood at the moment are probably not the best!

    I hope that writing about it on here and possibly other forums will at least give me a medium to talk/discuss it with other sufferers so that we can help each other.

    You certainly sound like you're doing the right thing by being around your friends.

    Anyway that's enough rambling from me.


  • Hi and welcome - interesting that we seem to share [first] names as well similar circumstances and symptoms of relapse.

    I've found keeping active, physically if nothing else, is a pretty good way to keep the mood from dipping lower. I did a lot of cycling, and sounds like the football is having a similar effect for you.

    I've personally found medication to be of little use. Everyone is different, so perhaps they will work for you, but I've tried three or four and each have had little effect, except perhaps increasing levels of emotional apathy.

    As difficult as it can be, just looking after yourself, i.e. eating properly/regularly, attempting to keep a regular sleep cycle, being around the people you feel most happy and comfortable with, can be a good "cushion".

    Hope some of this has been of help. Keep fighting the good fight - and remember you're not alone :)


  • Hello Tom, most depressive illnesses are recurring unfortunately although the spells between them can vary a lot even in the same person.

    Exercise I think is as good or better than most anti depressants ( i think medical trials confirm this ) so your football, which also gives you the bonus of social contact is great for you. Keep it up as this alone is probably as much as you can do to ward off further spells and you could always add in ads as well if the football alone is n't enough.

    Whether there is anything which will totally keep anyone safe from further depressive spells is debatable . Lets put it this way, the psychiatrist or doctor that discovers it will probably be pretty famous. Something must trigger it but I think they are a long way off finding out what.


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