I know there are a few people here who have mentioned dealing with depression. I, myself, have been dealing with it since I was 7 years old. I've tried paxil, wellbutrin, prozac and zoloft - all left me either still depressed, or rather than depressed simply emotionally flat. None really worked. 3 years ago I started CBT with a great therapist who I still see every 2 weeks, and this has made a big difference. I still have severe episodes, however, about every 4-6 months, which are fairly incapacitating. I've missed work twice in the last 3 weeks, and all the days I DID make it to work it was only just barely. I think I maintain a pretty strong brave face while there, but it's probably obvious that I'm making a lot of mistakes and have gotten pretty quiet. I don't know what to do at this point. I seriously question my ability to make it (no, not suicidal at this point - just thinking of practical things). How can I survive when I get hit with these episodes that jeopardize my job and everything else? I know there are a few other meds I could try but I really would rather not, given my experience. It doesn't help that I'm pretty ashamed of the whole thing, whether that's rational or not. My family were not very sympathetic to my problem when I was growing up and frequently indicated it was pretty much a moral failing (they've gotten much better about it now that I'm an adult and able to articulate what I'm actually experiencing - in fact, my brother has been diagnosed as well, and my mother diagnosed with anxiety). So I have some difficulty seeking help or disclosing the problem to anyone.
My question, then, is - how do you cope with depression? Did you have trouble finding meds that worked for you? Have you decided to go without meds, and if so, how are you coping with that? What has worked for you? What alternatives might I be missing?