There is a misconception about people who suffer from depression that once they are treated, the underlying causes revealed and the proper medication given, they are cured and can go on to live normal happy and healthy lives without ever having to worry about suffering from the symptoms of depression or becoming depressed ever again. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
Depression is not a disease with a cure. Depression, like alcoholism or drug addiction, is a disease that a person must constantly fight against, even with all the medication in the world. The reason for this is simple. Most people who suffer from depression are prone to it because of a number of factors, not just physical. Many times the combination of factors makes it so that no one treatment will be effective enough to insure that the sufferer will never experience symptoms of depression again. There are cases where a person suffered from depression for years, was symptom free for years and suddenly developed symptoms again for no apparent reason; though there are always reasons.
Sometimes it's simply a matter of a further chemical imbalance in the brain that the current medication the patient is taking is unable to correct, either because it is the wrong medication, the wrong dosage or just not strong enough any longer. In other cases, where the person's depression stems from an unhappy childhood with many conflicts, the person may have been going through a tranquil period in their life when suddenly something terrible happens, such as illness or injury, that makes a sudden and drastic change in the person's life. Because this person was prone to depression in the first place, it became easy for him or her to sink back into a depressed state, especially if they never were prescribed any medication for their symptoms because they were treated through simple therapy.
So what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that a person who suffers from depression is going to be depressed for the rest of their life? Not at all. A person who once suffered from depression, even if it was many years ago, can go through the rest of their life and never develop any symptoms again. There are things that a person can do to help see that the symptoms don't come back, but it is important to also understand that there are some things that are beyond the person's control.
The best way to make sure that symptoms of depression don't return is to lead an active life. Don't allow yourself to sit around and think too much. People prone to depression often think about things that make them depressed or even about the fear of becoming depressed again. It is important to keep a positive attitude, keep active, keep busy and don't dwell on negative emotions. It is also important to understand your illness and realize that you are never really cured. By understanding this, you can prepare yourself in advance for the unexpected things that life can and will throw at you.
If you're prone to depression, you probably always will be. That doesn't mean you have to give in to it. You can win this war. One day at a time.