Prolonged depression

I've had severe depression for seven years since I was 11. Although my life has changed and emotionally I am happier it hasn't gone away. I've had therapy, including CBT and have taken two different antidepressants for a prolonged amount of time, however both the therapy and pills didn't work so I decided early this year to stop my treatment. It seems as though nothing has worked, and however hard I try, and whatever I do my depression wont go away. I'm just afraid of spending the rest of my life with this condition, and was wondering if anyone knew any good ways to tackle it.

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  • Different people develop different coping strategies and you need to find the ones that work for you.

    Here are some of my coping strategies - not in any particular order

    Exercise - running (morning and evening - morning gets me out of bed), cycling, walking

    Friends - spending time with them. Meals, going to film - keeping social relations alive because they can be so supportive - I find friends who don't try to understand the depression but accept it and I know will be there are the most helpful

    Meditation and practicing mindfulness - helps me to ground, not get caught up in the cycles of negative thoughts - and has also helped me to figure out that thinking about death isn't because I really want to be dead but just the brain's rather inept way of telling me that I'm stressed and I need to chill :)

    Making sure I get enough rest and take breaks

    logic puzzles and crosswords - gets my mind focused on something else if I'm feeling anxious

    writing - particularly poetry when it is really bad and I can't string more than a few words together

    my cats

    There are others but those are some of the biggies

    Don't give up on ever finding some medication that will help - there's still a lot that the medics don't understand about the way the brain works but they're streets ahead of where they were when I was your age :) even than where they were 10 years ago.

    Also, don't give up on the possibility of therapy - sometimes it's just the wrong time and a few years down the line our life experiences mean that things can start to click into place.

    Hope that you are still in touch with a good GP

  • Firstly, I can assure you that no matter how bad and helpless you feel now, with the right guidance you can learn a coping strategy. It won't ever go away 100% but I can safely say that at least 95% of the remainder of your life can be spent quite happily. Wow, 11 is very young to get depression. My first bout was when I was 12 and that was 45 years ago and I didn't even know what depression was. I remember trying to save up my pocket money to go and see a psychiatrist. All very scary for a child. Trust me, you can and will find a way to a happy life. Having been through it, you will also come out at the other end a better person and appreciate life much more and realise that the greatest gift that anyone can have is peace of mind. You may stumble a few times and take one step forward and two steps back but you will get there in the end. Good luck and don't give up no matter how hard the path is. You will get there sooner or later. :-)

  • Some excellent advice from the 2 previous replies.

    I said in another thread a few mins ago that I've been seeing a Chinese Doctor and taken a course of acupuncture.

    It's not a magic cure but it helps re-balance your system and I'm sure if taken with a combination of exercise, relaxation techniques, time with friends etc, you will see some positive results.

    Best wishes

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