Background: It is argued that in the year 2020 depression will be one of the world's greatest health burdens. Object: The purpose of the study is to gain deeper knowledge on the depressive patient's experience of recovery and to understand what effort this process requires. Method: The study is a qualitative interview study including five adult informants with major depressive disorder. All informants have completed a course of psychoeducation and were interviewed through semi-structured interview guides. The empirical material has been analyzed and interpreted using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Findings: Four main themes were identified: (1) Experience of change, (2) Loss of integrity, (3) Redefinition of identity and (4) Coping of the future. Conclusion: Depression changes the individual and no simple procedure can lead to recovery. The informants struggle to keep their integrity intact and the most important factor in the recovery process is the relationship to others.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, patients’ perspective, qualitative research, recovery, social recovery