My sister has always been depressed. I cannot think of a time in her life that she did not deal with feelings of just being blue to not thinking life was worth living another day. She never talked about suicide other than to say how she thought family would be better off if she was dead when she was at a really low point and crying. She began to self-medicate in her teen years. She used cocaine to feel good and alcohol to bring her back down. It was not long until she needed dual diagnosis addiction treatment, and that is a hard thing to find in a lot of areas.
Doctors who treat the psychiatric disorders are not usually tied with the team at the addiction treatment center. She needed both aspects of her diagnosis treated at the same time. We were very happy to have located a dual diagnosis treatment center that could help her. It took a little time for her to lose the cravings and be able to resist falling back into the user mentality. She took the time to try new medications and have the dosages tweaked for maximum effectiveness. It took a lot of support from us to get her through the three months of adjusting her medications to find the right ones at the right dosage to keep her stable.
She is doing great now. She finished her degree and is working in a career she always wanted to be involved in. Now she is actively involved in helping others overcome many of the same things that almost destroyed her. She has made tremendous progress and her severe depression is very controlled with the new class of medications she takes. She has learned to expect some seasonal swings, but she has a plan in place to deal with it. I am very proud of her success.