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For anyone who has ever been debilitated by severe depression, there is nothing more frightening than the feeling that he or she is relapsing into another episode. We chalk up the first few days of angst to a bad stretch and hope it gets better from there. But by the time we have hit six...
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...
I keep going back to this quote by Vivian Greene when it comes to learning how to live with my chronic illness: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” In fact, every morning I drink out of a mug with that quote on it...
Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” A year ago this week I tested that theory. I’ve always been depressed. I must have emerged from my mother’s womb with an overactive amygdala and a deficient prefrontal cortex–creative brain wiring that generates panic and sadness. I was almost...
According to the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, an unbiased investigation funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, at standard doses of the most commonly used class of antidepressants (SSRIs), only 30 percent of people with severe depression achieve remission with the first medication prescribed. Switching to a new drug—and it...
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