Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Three little words in the letter my shrink sent to my GP, but they had quite the impact. I’m not depressed! Sure I get a little dark and gloomy at times, but who doesn’t? Besides, I have chronic pain, who wouldn’t get a little fed up with life every once in while.
Depression. It sounds so awful and final in a way, because most people I know with depression have been fighting it their whole life and have sometimes even lost that fight. Depressed people can’t get out of bed in the morning and feel like there is no reason to even go through the motions. I have a job, a family, pets, friends and a life in general. Some people may even describe me as hyperactive.
I did what any sane person would do; I consulted dr. Google. I read about PDD / Dysthymia and the more I read the more I could see how this actually does fit me. Here are some of the symptoms as listed on Wikipedia:
- an extended period of depressed mood
- insomnia or hypersomnia,
- fatigue or low energy,
- eating changes (more or less),
- low selfesteem
- feelings of hopelessness,
- poor concentration,
- difficulty making decisions
All of these symptoms I recognise. Hypersomnia combined with (extreme) fatique for example translates into sleeping for 12 hours straight and waking up feeling I have slept for only 3.
Feelings of hopelessness sound a little ridiculous for some reason. Like I’m running around with my hands in the air going: ‘I just don’t KNOW anymore!’ I don’t do that, for the record 😉 I do however sometimes feel so completely and utterly overwhelmed by life that I just don’t know where to start to ‘fix’ everything. Do I start by making time for myself and relaxing? Or maybe start by fixing the complete chaos that is my house? How about making time for my husband, my hobbies or my friends to make me feel better? Maybe I just lay here feeling crappy today.
So, yes, my shrink might be right. I just might have this thing where I am chronically yet mildly depressed and have been for at least a decade. Now what?