Originally uploaded by Caucas'
I feel the need today to post again what I shared last April 6:
Here is an excerpt from the March 20, 2008 post at brainblogger.com, which I think provides a good explanation of the different types of depression:
"Take a look at the types of depression patients there are:
"First, there’s the regular; the person who will be on anti-depressants for life (or until some wonderful medical advances make depression obsolete!). These people need medicine because the chemicals in their body are consistently off-kilter. Usually a genetic issue, without medication, they are physically unable to produce what their body needs for “normal” functioning.
"Then there’s the drop-in. These are the people who become biologically off-kilter during a short period of time, maybe during an extended period of stress. Therefore, they take the medicine, get their brain chemicals back in balance, and never look at an anti-depressant again.
"Then there are the people who never really needed drug therapy at all. They are depressed because they have a negative belief system or unresolved issues or an inability to express their true emotions. While the depression is still real, still painful, their problems can be alleviated with psychotherapy or depression studies and groups. The cause of their illness is not physical.
"Now I know that this is a simplified and unscientific way to classify people with depression. I also realize that a genetically depressed person will probably have negative belief systems or other ways of thinking that only make their depression worse. But with genetic depression, the depression will exist, even with better beliefs and other lifestyle changes."
I have the first type: chemicals off-kilter, a physical inability to produce what my body needs for normal functioning. It is a depression which persists, even with changes in beliefs and lifestyle.
This is why I cannot tell you when I am going to feel better. This is why your pep-talks just make me feel worse. This is why I cannot will myself to be well.
I liken a mood disorder such as mine to a viral infection. Medications don't get rid of a virus, although they can certainly soften the symptoms of having it. When fighting a virus, you must do what you can to be healthier, but mostly you just take care of yourself the best you are able and wait for it to pass. So it is with a chemically-induced mental illness.
(Click on the picture for photo credits.)