How to Handle a Depression Relapse



For anyone who has ever been debilitated by severe depression, there is nothing more frightening than the feeling that you’re 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’ve hit six weeks of crying spells and the kind of anxiety that steals our appetite, there’s usually some panic that we are headed into the Black Hole of Depression yet again.

All of us want so badly to be cured and to find the magical remedy that will make depression and anxiety disappear forever, whether that be a medication combination or a mix of natural therapies. When we find that what we’re doing isn’t enough to keep us immune to the setbacks that often happen with chronic depression, it can be so incredibly frustrating, discouraging, and maddening. It’s especially scary when the tools that once worked for us during past depressive episodes are no longer effective or cause other problems, and we’re forced to figure this thing out all over again, feeling around in the darkness for sources of light and hope — not knowing if what we hold in our hands is a flashlight or a mouse trap.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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4 Responses
  1. I am in experiencing a relapse, as well. Very disappointing after feeling better for most of the past year. Your post was very encouraging. No, actually, it was far more than that. I was starting to forget what I knew to be true. It will pass. It always does. I have to let it run its course. Hope it happens soon for us both. Teresa

  2. Shelley

    Thank you for an article that really illuminates such understanding of what we all go through in a relapse and offering the hope that it will end, even when it is very long and relief doesn’t seem in sight.