When we talk about depression, it can seem like there is no getting away from it. Especially when we are in a depression state, there seems to be no way that you can get rid of it. But there is such thing as a remission in depression. What that looks like can be different for everyone. Usually when someone is in remission in depression, they start to really feel like they are getting back to their old selves. But even if you feel you are back to your old self, it can creep up back on you fast so make sure you are keeping an eye on it. 

When we live with depression it can make simple day-to-day activities extremely challenging. When you start to go into remission, your brain starts to feel like those day-to-day activities are a little less of a challenge and easier to do. These are some great signs that you might be going into the remission stage of depression. 

What is a Major Depressive Episode?

A major depressive episode is considered as having 5 or more depressive symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks. Your symptoms must be severe enough that they affect your day-to-day functions, and it becomes more of a challenge. Some depressive symptoms are:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities that you find pleasurable
  • Loss or increase of appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts and intent

What is Remission?

Let’s look at what ‘Remission’ really stands for. Remission is not saying that you are cured. When we look at cancer and those who are in remission, this does not mean that they are out of the woods yet and are “cured” it just means that they are headed in the right direction and headed that way. Remission in depression is the same thing. Just because you are in remission does not mean that you are in depression recovery. 

One of the biggest things that you can do to get in depression remission is finding the right depression treatment. Finding the right treatment can play a huge role in being able to get into depression remission. Whether that is therapy, medication, a mix of both. Understanding what remission is and what to expect is important in your journey to a successful recovery. 

What does remission in depression mean? 

It means that you are on a road in the path of depression treatment that comes after you experience a major depressive episode. Like we discussed before there are different avenues to take when working through depression. Using therapy, medications, or other healthy methods of treating depression, the biggest goal is to get into remission in depression. This could mean that things that use to be a challenge are not as big of a challenge when completing that task anymore. 

Typically, when you are in remission you will have talked with your medical professional about your symptoms and how long you have had a reduction in your depressive symptoms. Make sure that you are reminding yourself the difference in depression recovery and depression remission. 

There might be a change in your treatment plan with your therapist and doctor depending on your remission and what your therapist and doctor decide is the best action to take next. This could include a change in medication dose, a change in your treatment plan with talk therapy, or your doctor might even keep you on your medication to make sure that your depressive symptoms do not come back. Make sure that you are communicating with your doctor and therapist about your treatment plan and any change of plans regarding that. 

What is Partial Remission versus Full Remission?

Partial remission means that you still have depression symptoms but, they have decreased and are not as intense. Partial remission is where there is an improvement in some symptoms but not all. Whereas full remission means that your depression symptoms are not present at all anymore. More than likely you will be feeling back to your normal self before your major depressive episode. Reminder that this does not mean you have gotten into the depression recovery stage. Your doctors and therapist will need to see a long period of time where your depression symptoms have been gone before you can reach recovery status. 

Below are some ways to help depressive symptoms…

  • Eating healthier
  • Exercise or being active
  • Using mindfulness techniques
  • Engaging in coping skills that are helpful
  • Make time to do activities that are meaningful to you
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