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Can being in love cure depression?

I have a relative who has been suffering from depression on and off for a while. He tried anti-depressants and said they didn't work and he hated being on them, so he quit. He mainly self medicates with alcohol and illegal prescription drugs.

Recently he met someone he's head over heels for. I've never seen him like this. It's like he's a new person--engaged, interested in life, working hard, working out and eating healthier, stopped doing drugs (not alcohol though), etc. He says he's never been happier in his life.

So, DL, what do you think, can being in love cure depression in some people? What happens if the relationship doesn't work out? Will he be in a worse place?

by Anonymousreply 1509/11/2013

Only while the relationship is in the honeymoon stages. Wait until they settle in. His depression is highly likely to comeback with a vengeance.

by Anonymousreply 109/10/2013

Not if it is unrequited. Trust me on this.

by Anonymousreply 209/10/2013

There might be permanent improvement if he has made major changes to his lifestyle, like nutrition, social circle (beyond the new SO,, new job. It's possible the new love gave him a push into a generally better way of living. But I doubt it if he is still using alcohol. That is likely to creep up on him after a break-up and drag him back down.

by Anonymousreply 309/10/2013

Yes, it triggers serotonin or some other chemical. People actually get addicted to the rush of new infatuation. Wears off though, like any other substance.

by Anonymousreply 409/10/2013

What R4 said. It's another form of self medication.

It's also not real love. He's happy he's getting laid and has someone in his life. Good for him! But until he cares for that person at their worst, it's not love. Get back to us after a fight or an illness or a catastrophic life event like losing a job or caring for an elderly parent. It's easy to call it love when it's sexy and new. That might grow into real love, but it's not love in and of itself.

So the second your "relative" (could you be more vague?) hits a rough patch with his new honey, he'll probably slide right back into drinking and being depressed. The real relationship test will be then.

by Anonymousreply 509/10/2013

It could cure depression -- I mean, it's possible -- but not likely. If he stays in love and maybe substitutes exercise/fitness for the alcohol, he might stay happy and more fully alive.

It is strange how completely our lives are determined by our chemistry.

by Anonymousreply 609/10/2013

No, OP, love has never cured depression, and furthermore, this has never been explored within the realm of the musical theatre.

by Anonymousreply 709/10/2013

[quote]relative who has been suffering from depression on and off for a while

Bi-polar?

[quote]He tried anti-depressants and said they didn't work and he hated being on them, so he quit.

Is he a Gemini Unitarian by any chance?

"Oh, I stopped taking my meds. I don't need them anymore."

No, your meds were working and you need them, Goober.

by Anonymousreply 809/10/2013

Cure it? No.

Halt a depressive episode or even change that episode to a manic one? Sure.

Being in love or being infatuated are mood altering biochemical phenomena. Depression is, in its clinical form, a biochemical disorder characterized by a despondent mood.

by Anonymousreply 909/10/2013

[quote]Yes, it triggers serotonin or some other chemical. People actually get addicted to the rush of new infatuation. Wears off though, like any other substance.

There's a reason why AAers suggest not getting into a new relationship in the first year of sobriety - the relationship "high" is just another addiction that takes away the focus on getting sober and dealing with the issues that can trigger drinking.

by Anonymousreply 1009/10/2013

No, but a big fat throbbing cock can.

by Anonymousreply 1109/10/2013

Just a band-aid solution. He is not dealing with his issues, just stuffing them away.

They will make a comeback.

by Anonymousreply 1209/10/2013

[quote]He is not dealing with his issues, just stuffing them away.

With the big fat cock or the boyfriend?

by Anonymousreply 1309/10/2013

Situational depression: possibly (with all the caveats above; it doesn't actually take away the depression, but distracts from it; if the relationship runs into trouble, the depression will most likely recur; if life deals him and his new lover bad luck, the relationship might no longer be enough to outweigh the bad; etc.).

Chemical, or clinical, depression: no. Not possible. Can distract, cannot cure.

People who stop taking meds and do better either weren't clinically depressed in the first place or are headed to a severe crash.

by Anonymousreply 1409/11/2013

If he doesn't want meds the best thing for him is excersise and a healthy diet.

by Anonymousreply 1509/11/2013
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