More threads by Into The Light

i was thinking about depression and about cases where people have to deal with multiple episodes throughout their life. does it get any easier to deal with? does it get easier to recognize, "yes this is depression" and "i'm not going to give in to these feelings"? can a person come to accept that depression may be a part of their life indefinitely?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Recurrent depression comes in different forms, different severities.

The answer to the first part of your question is, yes, people can learn to recognize the early warning signs of depression and to take action to address it or even head it off. This may involve returning to medication or psychotherapy or coping strategies such as increasing exercise, paying better attention to nutritional factors, and applying CBT techniques.

I think the answer to the second part is that the factors that make you vulnerable to depression are part of your temperament and personality - and that's not all bad. I often say that the same factors that make you vulnerable to depression also make you the kind of person other people will seek out as a friend or life partner. learning to understand this relationship is I think key to accepting that your vulnerability to depression is in many cases life long - but that doesn't mean you have to continue to suffer full blown major depressive episode.


Yes, it does get easier. As in, for me, I can recognise falls towards the abyss sooner, and fall less deep and stay there less long. Although for me things are complicated by PTSD symptoms.
They say I have recurrent depression, but I've been depressed in varying degrees since I was quite young, with it being pretty constant at a fairly severe level for the past 8 years or so. I get 'mild - moderate' mostly on online screenings now, so things do get better.
I accept I will always have a tendency to depression, though.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
i imagine that acceptance of the condition makes it less painful, easier to accept, easier to get out of it. is this the case?

I think so yes. It's part of accepting who you are, warts and all, and being okay with that.

We don't get to choose our illnesses. They just happen to us and we have to accomodate them because there really isn't any other choice, is there?


From my own experience and from the conversations I have had with close friends who have had to deal with the illness of depression, if and when relapses occur they are often recognized, either by ourselves or by those close to us.

When that happens, we have found that by laying low and riding it out, knowing the episode is usually short lived, we can get through it more easily.

We don't get involved in unnecessary stressful activities and when we happen to have a supportive spouse, some of the stressful activity can be shared, to lighten the load.

Neither I nor the friends I am talking about have experienced very long and debilitating relapses, but rather episodes that may last a week or two at the most.

As time goes on these relapses seem to become less frequent, and might occur once a year..usually triggered by some unusual, unexpected stressful event.

Knowing what it is and what to expect makes it a whole lot easier to deal with.
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