If there was a depression breakthrough, and I could be cured, would I take the opportunity? That may sound like a ridiculous question. Of course, you’re probably thinking. Who wouldn’t want to be cured? It may seem easy, but I’m not sure. Yes, the manic stages are maddening and can get me in a lot of trouble. Yes, the depressive stages can make me lethargic, uninterested in the things around me, and possibly make me suicidal. But, they are a part of who I am.
Would I Want a Cure?
Back to my absurd question…why would I have to think before wanting to be cured? The simple answer is that it scares me. I hate depression, but it’s been a part of my life as far back as I remember. It is a large part of who I am. It would be giving away a major part of me. Worst of all, if there is a depression breakthrough, being balanced would require me to be more self-sufficient, a working member of society. I’ve managed people, operated multimillion dollar operations, dealt with budgets, contracts, etc. and the idea of going back to that is overwhelming. I think it scares me because I currently am unable to go back to work in that environment. I’m sure I wouldn’t even be able to be a bagger at a grocery store. At least not for long. My pdoc, my therapist and I all agree that it would be a disaster. It feels like hell in this shell I’m in, but I’m comfortable here too. I function in my dysfunction.
I’ve Been Through This Before – Kinda
When I got sober 12 years ago, I felt the exact same feelings. OMG, I’m not drunk all the time. I need to work on my life, I need to make it better. I need to actually be a productive member of society. It was overwhelming, but I did it. I did it until hell broke loose again. I became manic, I became depressed, I became agoraphobic, I had panic attacks. Just as my life was truly getting better, I was hit in the face with a shovel.
Why am I bringing this up now? It’s because there has been a depression breakthrough (though small) discovered by the University College London.
The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, found that the habenula, a pea-sized region of the brain, functions abnormally in depression. The same team previously showed that the habenula was activated in healthy volunteers when they expected to receive an electric shock. According to the study,
A prominent theory has suggested that a hyperactive habenula drives symptoms in people with depression: we set out to test that hypothesis” says senior author Professor Jonathan Roiser (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience). “Surprisingly, we saw the exact opposite of what we predicted. In people with depression, habenula activity actually decreased when they thought they would get a shock. This shows that in depressed people the habenula reacts in a fundamentally different way. Although we still don’t know how or why this happens, it’s clear that the theory needs a rethink.
The study was small. It involved only 25 people with depression and 25 who were never-depressed, so it needs a lot more research. But who knows? Maybe discovering how the habenula works, scientists will find a depression breakthrough. I’ve posted many times about other possible “cures,” but I’ve never seen any of them pan out, but I can’t stop hoping. What? Didn’t I just say I would not get “cured.” Now I’m saying I hope they find one. I’m conflicted on this, but I hope, someday, something will come out that will significantly help, or even cure depression. I then will have to make that decision. I hope for myself and millions of others that that day will come.
If they found a cure for depression, would you be afraid?
Source: University College London