From a subjective point of view, is it like the effects of exercise, or sunshine? A bit of energy and optimism (when it works and it's the right dosage, etc). Do the effects fade after a while?

Has anyone here recovered from life-long depression? I've been going to counselling for the last six months, and reading up on things and working on techniques, and for a while I was hopeful, but my optimism is fading. It must be messed up brain chemistry. I would still like to believe that things can be better. I would like to feel joy and hope. It's so hard to even keep going through the motions without that. That's not a life.