The Difficult Truth About Depression: It’s a Forever-Kind of Illness

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forever illnessI overheard my husband describing my health to someone on the phone the other day.

“She’s definitely better,” he said.

“She’s trying a lot of new things. It’s hard to say what’s helping the most.”

“Well, she’ll always have it. I mean, it will never go away completely. But she’s able to manage her symptoms as of late. She’s able to get out of bed in the morning and go to work.”

Wow, I thought to myself, he gets it.

He truly gets it.

In some ways, he accepted the enduring nature of my illness long before I did.

I’m an easy sell—dangerously gullible–so when I hear commercials for new drugs promise an end to death thoughts, fatigue, apathy, and anxiety, I believe them, much like I believed in Santa Claus until my mean cousin made fun of me because I was way past the age to have not figured out it was Uncle Steve who was donning a white beard and ho ho ho-ing between his martinis.

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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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2 Responses
  1. There is no recovery, no cure. What most people want is relief, I do. We just get better when we are cognizant of the disease. I never, ever say, it’s “my” depression. That’s how I relate to it to feel better.

  2. I sincerely hope the meds continue to work well for the woman you described. I’ve found several combinations that have worked for years – then stopped. Take nothing for granted, be prepared, but don’t dwell on the “when will it happen again?” It’s that last part that I have trouble with when I’m in remission.