When I had major depression I wanted to learn from people who had experienced it and recovered. I am such a person and I write this in case it will give you hope.
Let me start by telling you how sick I was before describing my current life and aspects of my journey.
When I was 26, my life was derailed my major depression. I had been a hard working and ambitious professional with a high paying job and a bright future. Depression surfaced after personal and professional disappointments and loomed as insomnia, loss of appetite and disinterest in life. Ultimately, I was so depressed I was unable to cope at work and eventually found myself in a mental health facility. During this time, I experienced psychosis, mania (that has resulted in me being diagnosed/labeled as bipolar although the mania lasted 24 hours) and OCD in spite of being medicated. Back then holistic help for a mentally unwell person like me was hard to find. I was out of work for about 6 months and when I got back to work, I realized that the work was unrewarding and that depression had stigmatized me.
Today, 30 years later I can report on having a rewarding and fulfilling life. I have a very loving wife and two wonderful children. I enjoy my work very much, believe that I do a good job and am paid quite well. I am a fundamentally different person to the one I was 30 years ago and am proud of my achievements and ability to withstand adversity. Depression caused me to develop a value system that evolves around the notions of contribution and appreciation.
It has not been easy. During these 30 years, I have had times of severe emotional, social and professional distress. I have had acute OCD symptoms that have been successfully treated with CBT. I have taken medication all these years. I drink too much. Each day I manage myself to ensure that my emotional situation is balanced and does not adversely impact my colleagues or loved ones. Because I have a genetic predisposition, my children are also predisposed -- that is a sad reality.
When I was very sick, I felt anxious and neurotic and wondered whether I had a future. Your Doctor will tell you that he knows that you will recover and he is right. If you have any questions or want me to expand on anything, I can. If I can do it, you can too!