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It is often that once you have use a medicine and cease to use it when you resume it, it is no longer effective. Lithium is not an antidepressant. It is a mood stabilizer that stops mania, Lamictical likewise is not an antidepressant but also a mood stabilizer. When you used the SSRI's were your doses raised slowly? Also have you been tried on the latest form of anti-depressant medications called SNRI's which work both on the Seratonin and Noreprinephrine systems. You have been in therapy, but certain therapies are more effective on depression than others. The most effective for depression and anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. In CBT one is taught new ways of thinking and behaving and as a result, one's mood improves.and anxiety decrease. In addition CBT is evidenced based as the most effective form of treating anxiety and depression . See:
The next question you need to think about. How painful is the depression. If it is extreme painful you may wish to consider ECT or electro convulsive therapy which is not as portrayed in the media. If you are in extreme pain it is something you might wish to consider which I would be happy to explain. So please get back to me on the level of pain and any other questions you may have. In the meantime best wishes and good luck and remember that the depression will not end on its own, but the episode will cease and so will the tears-so hang on.
Ect in the 50's and now are 2 different worlds. It is true that the major side effect is short term memory loss, It lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis with a psychiatrist and anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist gives you a brief anesthetic so you are asleep and there is no fear. He/she also gives you a muscle relaxant so the seizure is so mild you can barely notice it. When I observed the only way a seizure was noticed was the twitch of a finger. It was given for a series of 4-6 sessions. The change was remarkable from some one that was so depressed that all they could do was stay in bed and sleep and cry to some one who was bright and functioning. The memory returned almost totally after 3 weeks (which is different for each individual. But the positive change in affect (loss of depression) was rapid and long lasting. If you do consider it I would recommend a University Teaching Hospital where it is done as I said on an outpatient basis. For some it has been a life saver and it is definitely worth investigating if as you have said you have been suffering for decades. I have personally seen the result and would definitely advise looking into it to end the horrific pain you must be experiencing. Best wishes and good luck.
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