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Depression Relapse...Again??


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#1 Jasminejasbir

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 06:11 AM

I am sure most of those who have been into the dark world of depression know the word "Relapse" in short it is the ghost which returns after a while. I am a male 35 years and my first episode was 10 years ago and returned after 6 years and now again after 4 years. Although I respond pretty well to Lexpro...........I just want to understand

1. Does relapse happen suddenly or there are underlying symptoms of a relapse?? This time it just came back without any external circumstantial reasons etc.

2. will this continue to keep coming back. I ask this as the major reasons for my depression are internal and self aggrevated.

3. Does each relapse gets worse with time or do "victims" learn to deal with it more effectively. Is lexpro advised throughout life?

4. Does the body get used to SSRI's after prolonged use. In case of a relapse does the same medicine work over life time?

5. Can depression patients regain same quality of life after relapse(s)

I will be glad if my questions can be a mirror to many others facing similar Depression Relapse episodes.

#2 Trace

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 06:23 AM

Hi and Welcome Jasminejasbir

I am sorry that you are facing a relapse. Many people who suffer from clinical depression are on meds for life, this helps ward off any further depressive episodes. Depression is different for everyone and there could be so many reasons why you have had a relapse. I would suggest that you go back to your doc as soon as possible.

Basically meds are different with everyone, but meds can wear off and med adjustments and changes are often needed. With proper medication and changing your lifestyle and good support, you can have a very good quality life and if you feel an episode coming on, its best to get to the doc immediately.

Trace
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.



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#3 DustyRoad

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:26 AM

There is some stat, let me simplify and call is the 30, 60, 90 rule. It runs like this, once a person has one big depression there is a 30% chance for another, then after, a 60% chance and the after a third there is a 90% chance. That is without AD medication. Right now I have had 3. Meds will be forever. Not a bad thing, as I feel good on my lexapro. Much calmer and happier.

Stress is a very sneaky animal. I find it hard know if I am stressed over a long period of time until it is over. It becomes a status quo.

Once on a Med it is best to stay on it rather than jump on and off. This is because the mind will fight the med's effectiveness more when you go back on.

Long term usually calls for an adjustment, but not 100% of the time.

Those are very loose rules. See your Dr. for his advise.

Dusty

Edited by DustyRoad, 02 September 2010 - 07:29 AM.

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#4 Achelois

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:40 AM

I am sure most of those who have been into the dark world of depression know the word "Relapse" in short it is the ghost which returns after a while. I am a male 35 years and my first episode was 10 years ago and returned after 6 years and now again after 4 years. Although I respond pretty well to Lexpro...........I just want to understand

1. Does relapse happen suddenly or there are underlying symptoms of a relapse?? This time it just came back without any external circumstantial reasons etc.

2. will this continue to keep coming back. I ask this as the major reasons for my depression are internal and self aggrevated.

3. Does each relapse gets worse with time or do "victims" learn to deal with it more effectively. Is lexpro advised throughout life?

4. Does the body get used to SSRI's after prolonged use. In case of a relapse does the same medicine work over life time?

5. Can depression patients regain same quality of life after relapse(s)

I will be glad if my questions can be a mirror to many others facing similar Depression Relapse episodes.


Wow, I have read an article / a book about exact the same issue, full of statistics...
Am I allowed to post links here?
If not and I find it, i will send it to you via messenging system.

#5 ocarina

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:46 AM

I've had 4 episodes (most of the time I was unmedicated) and I know now that I will be on meds for life most likely. Other people have answered different parts of your question, I'll try to answer question #5.

Before and in between my first 3 episodes, I felt totally great. I felt so well it was hard to imagine I would ever be depressed again. (I wasn't manic or anything, just perfectly healthy.) This was probably part of my problem, because it made me very against the idea of long-term medication. However, this fourth episode, about a year and a half ago, was by far the worst and took me many months to recover. I'm on Lexapro now, same as you, but first I tried Prozac which made it worse.

I don't feel the same as I did before this last episode. I feel weaker. But I don't know why that is. Maybe I haven't fully recovered and I will, given more time. Maybe I just have a better awareness of myself now and am more aware of my faults. Maybe it's because I'm more stressed than I ever have been in my life (I'm in grad school, after all! heh.)

But given my experience recovering after my first 3 episodes, yes, I think you can fully recover with proper treatment.
Melancholic depression, 3 severe episodes, feel pretty good in between episodes though. Currently on 2.5 mg/day Lexapro and supplementing with fish oil, vitamins, tyrosine, exercise and light box. Whew!

Any advice I offer is just that - advice and opinions. I have no degrees that are at all related to the medical field.

#6 ocarina

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:48 AM

Wow, I have read an article / a book about exact the same issue, full of statistics...
Am I allowed to post links here?
If not and I find it, i will send it to you via messenging system.


If you find that, can you message the link to me too? Thank you! :smile:
Melancholic depression, 3 severe episodes, feel pretty good in between episodes though. Currently on 2.5 mg/day Lexapro and supplementing with fish oil, vitamins, tyrosine, exercise and light box. Whew!

Any advice I offer is just that - advice and opinions. I have no degrees that are at all related to the medical field.

#7 Achelois

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 10:03 AM

Sure, I am trying to check whether it was in a book I have at home or an article :)

#8 Babyblue_eyes

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 10:22 AM

To answer some of your questions, at least in terms of what I know/have lived:

1. Relapse can most certainly happen with no external aggravating factors. Many times depression can occur without any, even a first episode. This is the chemical part of the illness, the imbalance in the brain causing havoc, so that although you really don't know why you just feel so horrible and seem to be fighting to try to 'will' yourself out of it, you just can't. This is where medication comes into play. I would say if you find something that works, stay on it! I think it's true that more damage can be caused going off and on when it's working. For me personally, my first experience with meds was terrible (the combo given to me was by a gp who didn't know what he was doing and it made me worse). Because of this, I figured meds for sure weren't the answer and that therapy would work. And although it did help a great deal the depression just would not stop coming back. Again- going back to the illness aspect (chemical imbalance)- sadly if there's a true imbalance then medication is needed. The only crappy thing is that with depression, unlike other illnesses like say an infection where you know what medication to take, finding the right one is simply trial and error. So it's hit and miss. Which means you could possibly go through quite a few and a lengthy time before finding something that works. It's worth it though, I think, to feel well.

2. Will it keep coming back? I don't know. Nobody can tell you for sure if it will or not. But there is a likelihood that with each episode the chance of it returning becomes higher. I'm in the middle of a relapse myself, and it sucks. I think I'm starting to realize that I'm likely going to be dealing with this for some time....and that I'm going to have to learn to really become more self-aware so that when I start to notice myself slipping, that I get the help I need immediately instead of waiting and trying to figure it out (is it coming back? maybe it's just stress, a bad week? or two?) or trying to pull myself out of it alone. My experience, although not very long with this, has shown me that I really can't get better by myself, as much as I wish I could.

3. Does each episode get worse? Again, I don't know. Maybe that differs for everyone. So far each episode I've had has been progressively getting worse. I sink even lower each time. Maybe part of it too is just the feelings of omg this is back again, I'm never going to get better etc etc....those negative thoughts that I get make it worse. But, maybe even though I feel worse then before, I will learn to manage it better so it won't last as long. In my case, Ive made appts and am just waiting now to be seen. I'm trying to get some exercise each day even though I really don't feel like getting out of bed. I'm reading about this here to try to get info- so Im hoping that with what I've learned and with effort and also getting help right away, that maybe I can recover from this faster this time. Last time I waited months to get help until I was totally non-functional and suicidal (won't do that again).

4. I have no clue if the body 'gets used' to SSRIs or any other drug class. I do know that some people have found that their medication, after a while, stopped working. Others can do well with one med for years and years.

5. I hope to god i can recover and gain some quality of life back.....my episodes have been so close together that it feels like ive barely just recovered and am starting to get my life back in order when it suddenly hits again. It'[s good to hear from others that they did recover and feel good again, that gives me hope that maybe I will too.



#9 ocarina

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:57 PM

...I'm going to have to learn to really become more self-aware so that when I start to notice myself slipping, that I get the help I need immediately instead of waiting and trying to figure it out (is it coming back? maybe it's just stress, a bad week? or two?) or trying to pull myself out of it alone. My experience, although not very long with this, has shown me that I really can't get better by myself, as much as I wish I could.

...So far each episode I've had has been progressively getting worse. I sink even lower each time. ...Last time I waited months to get help until I was totally non-functional and suicidal (won't do that again).


All of this is true for me too. Each of my episodes has been progressively worse. I don't like to think what another would do to me. That's why I decided I need to be on meds for life, pretty much. My brother, though, his episodes haven't been *worse* each time, but they have been *different*, with different symptoms, more or less anxiety each time. So your mileage may vary.

I also wait too long to get help ... each time, I've pretty much waited until I was having s******* ideation, and that's bad. I need to change that. I am curious if getting help earlier in an episode could reduce the overall course of the disease over my lifetime (fewer relapses?) but I don't know if I've seen research on that.
Melancholic depression, 3 severe episodes, feel pretty good in between episodes though. Currently on 2.5 mg/day Lexapro and supplementing with fish oil, vitamins, tyrosine, exercise and light box. Whew!

Any advice I offer is just that - advice and opinions. I have no degrees that are at all related to the medical field.

#10 jimbow15

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

Hi Jasminejasbir ,

Yes people do have regular relapses and the more you have the more likely you are to have another.

Most medication will eventually poop out, though I do know several people who have been on Prozac for over 20 years and are still doing OK in it,

The best attitude to take is to keep fully active, eat well , avoid stress and do what you love doing. This approach will help you keep you mind fully focused on what you really want and that will help you emotionally.

Depression is a biological illness that results in the specialized neurons (brain cells) not producing enough of the happy neurotransmitters for the brain. (there is a little more to it than that , but that is the general problem)

This can be genetic or environmental , so one way or the other your brain needs the medication to prevent the re-uptake of what is being produced and make it availble for the rain to bath in.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#11 Geophory

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 10:01 AM

Medicine "poop-out" is unfortunately very common. I've had it happen to me on Prozac, Celexa, and Effexor. Meds that once worked awesome but slowly stopped working. It can be very discouraging.

I've had maybe 5-7 major episodes (I've lost count). Most were triggered by a major stressful event. The most recent episode was not. It just happened for no apparent reason. The speaker in the YouTube Stanford video said that after multiple epiosodes, you mind can begin triggering major episodes without external stimuli like clockwork. He had one patient that had an episode every 1.5 years for no apparent reason.

#12 Guest_boo_*

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:00 PM

I don't really have any answers to your questions, as they are very similar to the ones I find myself asking constantly. I will say, though, that although I've only had two major episodes, the second being worse than the first, the minor relapses seem to be smaller and smaller each time around. I don't think this is due to the depression itself, but my ability to identify when it's happening, and an incredible professional who is ready to nip it in the bud every year.

In response to your last question, I say: definitely. Despite these episodes, whether big or small, my quality of life has been on a steady increase since the first time I ever needed intensive treatment. It's immensely frustrating to feel so well and to be content with my life, only to have this stupid illness come along once a year, but I know it won't compromise my future quality of life when it goes away a few months from now.




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