I am truly sorry to hear about your long term predicament with depression. I sincerely wish for you to get well soon.
Have you read this book by Julian Simon (yes the same guy with the bet about natural resources) on depression? He was also suffering from depression (he used to feel suicidal) and sort of cured himself. He documented his findings and experiences as a book:
It helped me a lot. I hope it helps you in some way.
+1 to what george said. Good Communication between you and the doctor solves 3/4th of the problems. Also, having a long term relationship with the doctor helps in better diagnoses.
I'm big on alternative medicine but I am close to the source, so I have an advantage over you. (Siddha medicine/Ayurveda + living in India is a good combination, no
I read somwhere this observation "Western medicine treats symptoms and alternative/holistic medicine treats the cause. Therefore Western medicine is often more impressive when compared with the alternatives. But in the longer run, alternatives offer a more fighting chance over Western medicine."
Also, because we are exposed to Human physiology in our education, and Western medicine's use of terms and definitions follow this closely, this makes Western medicine both effective and easy to comprehend. Alternative medicines by contrast suffer from negative press to begin with, and are somewhat counter-intuitive because our awareness of them is very low.
So, I won't necessarily agree with some of the views raised by Mo and bigato on alternative medicine. I would say, it takes a different mindset to understand other branches of medicine. And my advice to you would be the same as @Dragline's view from another thread. Please keep an open mind, and do not hesitate to switch to one or the other, when the benefits seem obvious.
Your experiences with the doctor regarding the skin rash was both farcical and tragicomic. Reminded me of an earlier thread that I had started on a certain article:
How Doctors Die
BTW, that essay has won the "Best American Essays of 2012" award, and translated to multiple languages, so the essay's popularity says something about perception of "Western" medicine. Your choice of alternative medicine is not out of ordinary for me (no offence meant, @Mo)
Anyway, all the best with whichever doctor you decide to go to.