Ever since I started an online community and foundation for treatment-resistant depression—depression and anxiety that doesn’t respond to psychotropic medications—I’ve been inundated with mail from desperate people who have tried 30 and 40 different kinds of antidepressants and feel no relief. I repeatedly hear from family members of folks who have tried everything and are not getting better. I sense the utter frustration and despair in their words and it pains me. I, too, felt hopeless after trying countless medication combinations and sitting through years of psychotherapy sessions only to continue my death obsessions.
I wish I could respond to each person individually—spend an hour on the phone with them, begging them not to give up because they won’t always feel this way. Unfortunately, I can’t (step six). So the next best thing is to outline these nine basic steps for people who are treatment-resistant because these actions, more than any medication I have tried in the last seven years, have helped me emerge from the other side of depression. I’m not anti-medication by any means. Drugs serve an important purpose. However, with so many people not responding or only partially responding (myself included), I felt compelled to list the other parts of my recovery that have been critical to my wellness—things that most doctors don’t discuss. These steps didn’t fix me for good. I have still have a lot of work ahead of me, and I have plenty of bad days. However, I have now been one year without the constant death thoughts that stalked me for a good five years. And that is truly miraculous to me.
I believe everyone has a chance at recovery, even those who have been depressed and anxious most of their lives.
I wish you good health with all my heart.