Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

What Makes People Relapse?

Regarding relapse, here’s some interesting information from “Psychology Today“:

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s not some singular upsetting event that sends most people spiraling downward into a relapse of depression. Rather, it’s longstanding difficulties of a relatively severe nature.
So conclude researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada, who for six months followed 57 women who had recently recovered from a depressive episode. Within that time 28 percent of the women experienced a relapse of the disorder. The average time to relapse was 111 days.
The study was undertaken to shed more light on the process of relapse, as depression is a highly recurrent disorder. Up to 60 percent of those who recover from a single episode of unipolar depression can expect to have at least one additional episode in their lifetime.
Life stressors that are ongoing, lasting for months or even years, can wear down coping skills, the researchers found. However, the existence of social support can prevent relapse, even in the face of enduring difficulties.
It’s not that severe life events don’t have an impact, but their effect depends on the way people cope with them. Those who call on task-oriented coping skills do best.

  • Anonymous

    What are some task orientd coping skills that can be used.

  • Crissy

    and how those full plates that won’t go away, just weigh us down. Tediously staying in the back of our minds, or hiding in our hearts . . .they pop up in dreams. We wonder why . . .thought we were ok with whatever it is that bothers us. Too many things to do, too many things to fix, no one to help. Do the small things and keep going, find something of interest and it picks you up . . .but that plate full of problems is still there. How do we thaw from the freeze and face that plate and wipe it clean? This article seems to be about just these things. Nice to know, but wish I could quit feeling like all I am doing is procrastinating.

  • Connie

    How much can one bare, oh Lord. The past three years have seen me so ill, I almost died, my name on the front page of my local newspaper for accusations I did not commit, due to a business partner I left who was mad at me and determined to gain retribution, my father dying, my daughter accusing my ex-husband of physical abuse, and my involvement in attempting to gain full custody–how much can one bare before the chemicals, the ability to sustain hope diminishes to the neverland–if this is prone to depression, then , so be it, but someone tell me if any one else would not be drained, emotionally and physically.

  • Rose

    Connie…I always get it wrong. Was it Jacob or Joseph? Sold into slavery that lasted 13 years. I too have suffered for three years, thank GOD it wasn’t thirteen years. Just when you think it’s over, something else comes up. Isn’t it really really really hard to forgive someone that does you wrong? Try this…how many u-hauls have you seen behind a hearst? I think emotional stuff drains us more than physical. I feel your pain and hate to say that I’m glad I’m not alone.
    Hope you find peace
    try yoga

  • Eddygh

    As someone who suffers from depression and works in the field of Mental Health, it not “if” a person will relapse, but “when.” I am predisposed to depression and when something like a death of a close person in my life I will fall back into it. I tried the “bootscrap” method and it just made things worse.
    I have faith but God gave depression to keep me humble.

  • Anonymous

    I myself am still working at getting over post truma. My healing jouney started at age 45 and Iwill be 61 next month .Sometimes Iwonder if Iwill ever clean out all the old mental trsh .Still hpong to get off the excess weight.I have learned yep everything Ideal with is inter connected and some of the progam is still going on.At times I back off from doing the writing and the drawing and ifound out if Ket it go on not doing it for very llong and imean weks as in a month Iregrat it. I know Iam not the olny one of couse going though this kind of thing.As for my treatment it is for a history of chood abuse with incest as well. Ifeel so srry for children just beging a like path in life though no falut of thier own even as i type this and so maney are just as young as iwas begining even before they can talk.

  • Cindy

    Hello Dear Friends~
    I pray that each of us have better days ahead.
    I’d like to share this story that I heard years ago on suffering.
    One day, a man went to the Lord and said, “help me Lord….I can’t take this suffering anymore”. “Please give me a different cross to bare”. So, our gentle Lord said, “come with me”. All of a sudden, the man and the Lord were standing in a huge room with every kind of cross imaginable. Some were small, some large, others beautiful, some ugly, etc…..The Lord said to the man, “now you look around and pick out another cross you’d like to carry”. Happily, the man searched and searched and finally found one. He said to the Lord, “Lord, Lord, I will take this one”. The Lord just smiled and said, “my dear child, that is the same cross you came in with”.
    In other words, we all have a custom made cross, uniquely designed for us. I truly believe that a “mental illness” is the worse kind of pain. There is no relief except sleep and even then, sometimes, you’ll dream of your problems. When I’m having a really rough day, I find it hard to pray or even speak. I just sit in the presence of the Lord and know that tomorrow will have to be better.
    Love you all,

  • Erikah

    Thank you fro sharing that story. It is so very true!
    For me, I have been struggling with anxiety and depressom for nineteen plus years. I am in my 30’s and two years ago tryed to check myself into the hospital but they told me I did not have a plan and that I appear norml. Whatever normal is lol. I was blessed to be put on the right combination of medication , but bam now one that really helped is causing me health issues and I have tried so many other ones that I am tired, real tired of this merry go round. To make matter worse I have a chronic condition that I can not work at this time and had ot be put on SSI. I am in a relapse and I try so hard to figure out what can help,vitamins , certain food combos , the list goes on and on. I have researched this so much and still end up at square a. To be house bound , for the most part at this age and have stress over money due to not being able to work is some sick joke. First I struggle with the deep depression and anxiety , after so many years get on a combo of medications tht work prety well and now one is not working. It would be wonderful if I can work from home but the issue with that is there are very few legitate work from home jobs at their and I am not skilled in graphic design, accounting,, medical billing you get the picture. I never have posted here , but I relate so much to this artilce and the next one I thought I would share.
    Thanks for all

  • maureen

    I agree with Rose. I have been going through a very emotional time thanks to a very immature, angry woman. I talk about it and I have friends; I read inspirational, motivational things mostly on the internet. I talk to myself. I pray to the Angels, and God, of course. I need Him. I know I will get through it and it makes it even better when I read about someone else going through some emotional trauma. Emotionally and Mentally is worse than just physical pain.

  • Larry Parker

    This is, unfortunately, rather in line with the “kindling” theory of depression that the more depressive episodes we have, the more vulnerable we are to having future depressive episodes … :-(

  • Linda

    I read the posts on depression and watch the videos, but rarely write on here only because I feel so overwhelmed by this sickness that I can’t organize my thoughts to write them down. This is quite frustrating because I’m a good writer but depression is like writer’s block. I just can’t get seem to think clearly and my head is so foggy. And I feel so guilty for being depressed. And I feel so typically depressed, which angers me because it feels much too severe to be typical. So many people suffer with it and I’m just a drop in a bucket. Depression is so very debilitating and so serious and yet no one in my life really understands it which makes me feel weak in their eyes. I know they think that I have control over this. If I were to have cancer people in my life would be so much more sympathetic. I’m well into my first relapse after being diagnosed with Dysthsmia and experiencing a major depressive episode last year following a family crisis. I thought 2008 would be a better year, that I was getting better being on Wellbutrin. But then I lost my job in December and even though it was nice for a while to enjoy the small severance package and take a breather, I don’t think it’s good for me to be so idle. I thought I would be able to make a major life change since the opportunity was handed to me practically on a silver platter. But I’m so lost in this relapse that I can’t take advantage of it.
    Something I’ve noticed about myself that I’m understanding now is part of the depression. I can never seem to finish anything. I’ve got so many books that I’ve started reading and can’t seem to finish. I’m on my fourth marriage; wasn’t able to see any of the previous 3 through to completion. I can’t seem to finish jobs. I’m always getting ready to get going but then once I’m going I lose steam. I get discouraged a lot and give up.
    I’m 49 years old. I’m newly married to a classic narcissist. Need I say more? A depressed menopausal woman married to a narcissist! There is no communicating normally with a narcissist and if you’ve ever known one you know what I’m talking about. They turn everything around to make you feel like everything is your fault, but they do it in the most clever way that you have no defenses. I know deep in my soul that this man is not good for me. But I’m afraid to be alone and I don’t think I can pull myself through all of this turmoil without him. He confuses me so. He’s my best friend and yet I know I’m getting hurt by him. It’s not blatent abuse so it’s hard to prove, even to myself. He’s controlling but in a narcissistic way so that you’re not even sure about it. I’m exhausted. I am so desperately unhappy. I’m drowning in unhappiness. My husband thinks that sex is the answer to everything and that if I would just loosen up I’d get better. He tries to make it sound like he’s being considerate when really he is acting out of pure selfishness. No one has to tell me what this is. I already know. But I can’t get myself to rise above it. When you are depressed you are in a weakened state that is so very vulnerable. I don’t want to risk being alone. I feel so much like a failure in every way. I feel ashamed and guilty. I feel beat down. I used to be so exciting to my husband but now I feel like I’m just a wet blanket. I feel like a whiner. Even though he loves me and is true to me (this I’m sure of) he’s a narcissist and is operating out of his own selfish needs. He is incapable of changing and I’ve had to accept it.
    I am so tired of experimenting with anti-depressants. I am so disappointed that my meds have stopped helping me. If I could just get better I could manage everything. I could think clearly. I could make a plan. But I’m so trapped inside myself and I can’t escape from myself. The headaches are relentless. I’m tired all the time because I have trouble sleeping.
    I am doing everything I’m supposed to be doing but I’m losing ground. I’m forcing myself back into exercise (I used to workout in the gym at work daily before I lost my job), I’m taking my meds, I’m taking fishoil pills and vitamins. I make sure I get up and shower and shave my legs and put makeup on every single day so I feel better about myself. I read. I rest. I burn candles. I pray. I drink tea. I try to meditate. BUT NOTHING IS WORKING. I still feel like crap. My self esteem is at an all-time low. I feel so much like a failure as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, employee… I feel like I’m failing myself even. Hours blur into days and days blur into weeks. I’m wasting time in this waste land of depression. I wish it would stop. I wish I could control it. I wish it would leave me alone. I wish I could just be happy.

  • Rhonda

    Cindy, your story sounds just like mine… but I am currently battling State Disability Office in my state. I had to get a lawyer and IO have been turned down 3 times, yet all my psychologist tests have proven that I have this disability. Can you relate to me how you were able to get disability? Was it a long, arduous process? You must not live in either of the two most difficult states for disability rights… I do, unfortunately. Any info you feel like sharing will be much appreciated. My time is running out, and I am losing strength each time I relapse into the black hole. I’d love to get things resolved soon for my family’s sake, in case I am incapacitated in the future.

  • Drew

    I hear ya sisters, it happens to men too. I’m 45, on SSI for this and Fibromyalgia. It’s funny how you can get cleaned up and and go to a function or something because you are spending too much time alone and what’s the first thing someone says to you when they meet you? For me atleast I can tell you it’s “What do you do?” I had to start answering, “I don’t do, I am”. Small talk usually ends there as they think I am insane, but frankly I don’t have the energy to explain the story and just between us, I feel, they don’t care to hear it.
    Sitting with the Lord in meditation daily I feel is a huge key. Right now I am fighting not sleeping all the time, don’t really eat much or crave food. Don’t think I showered today yet because I have absolutely no short term memory. I’m one of the .5 percent of the population that doesn’t do well on anti depressants, actually a lot of medication I take does the opposite of what it was supposed to do. So I can take an antidepressant and become suicidal and if I stop taking the drug be labeled “non compliant” lol, ya really just can’t win for loosing. I love it when a therapist gives you books they want you to read, and you sitting there thinking “it took me 3 hours to bath and dress myself and I don’t remember driving here and now I have homework?”
    I’ve been on this merry go round nearly my entire life and sitting with the lord in meditation at least once a day and getting out of apt and letting the sun shine on my face are two really powerful tools for me. It is a fight, use all the tools you have and hopefully this too shall pass. It might come back, yes, but it will pass. One day at a time.
    take care all

  • Wendi

    Linda: Get to a therapist or group therapy for managing depression. It sounds as if you need an outlet. You sound so isolated. I have clinical depression as well and I have been through times I don’t even want to discuss here. Bad times. Painful times. I was hospitalized, fortunately it was only for a few days, but it got me into a group of people who were depressed or bipolar or disassociative. It was the best thing I ever went to. And I went to a self-esteem class. You keep vacillating between how good your husband is and how selfish and narcissistic he is. Go to group therapy and talk it out and figure out what YOU need. You will gain so much more insight into yourself and get so much more support from people who really understand what you’re going through. Good luck. Remember that sometimes we need to change our situation to see the light.

  • MyLadyK

    Getting disability took me 3 years. That’s with a lawyer and Chronic Pain from spinal problems. They will do and say anything to try and discourge you from seeking disability. It is a constant fight, but look forword to them finally saying yes. Concentrate your thoughts on that part.

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