Depression is like herpes, all you can do is keep managing it until the symptoms are either manageable or even completely unnoticeable and you can cut down on treatment, but if you ignore the treatment for it completely then it can just reoccur over and over again.
Intead of antibiotics you have both physical (meds, exercise, routine, healthy eating) and mental upkeep (counselling, cbt, positive mental attitude techniques). What combination and how long for is dependent on each person.
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Drugs can help, with emphasis on CAN, it's not always the case.
- regular interaction with people
-having a partner really helps even if we don't want to admit it
- Regular exercise
- Good food (fruit and veggies, whole wheat grains, milk or substitute, unprocessed meat of substitute)
- sunlight daily
- having a pet to care for (if you can afford it/like pets)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- realizing that you don't need to feel happy every goddamn second of the day to be normal
Don't listen to people saying you can never overcome it, because that is not true. It may be the case you need to learn to live with it but there is a big change you can overcome it like a lot of people have done.