Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Type of Depression. My Struggle.

Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, is characterized by depressive symptoms that are long-term (e.g., two years or longer) but less severe than those of major depression. Dysthymia may not disable a person, but it prevents one from functioning normally or feeling well. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes.

It is difficult to explain to someone who has never had this struggle or fought this fight. The above is a textbook definition taken directly from the National Institute of Mental Health. You see, I may be a counselor who spends most of my days everyday teaching educating and counseling others who struggle with this form and/or other forms of Mental Illness. There. I said It. Mental Illness. This is the form of depression I struggle with and though I am not disabled from it, the feeling is always there like a dark cloud that hangs over my head all day everyday despite interventions. It is there something unseen to the naked eye however it is still there. Some days I feel like I am drowning while other days I feel like I am keeping my head just above the water. No matter how I feel, I move one foot in front of the other with the fear that this will consume me and I will fall into the deep dark tunnel. Twice I fell in that dark tunnel. The first time was 1994. The second time was 2011. In1994, I had no idea what was happening to me. One day I could not get up and it took an entire month to get back up. The first time I ever took a leave of absence from work that did not involve the birth of a child. The second time was 2011. I knew what was happening and missed three weeks of work.

I am one of the lucky ones because I never had to be hospitalized and took a holistic approach minus the outpatient therapy and Zoloft. I learned how to take care of myself. It is so important to take care of yourself when you are not feeling well.

Why am I talking about this? Now?

The last few weeks have been difficult. Though I get up everyday and go to work, I find myself with little to no motivation once I am home. I have no desire to do the everyday things that need to be done. When I force myself to do the minimal of tasks, it is with great effort. I am surviving and not living. Oh I recognize it. So I am forcing myself to write about it because writing is one of my coping mechanisms. Reading is another coping mechanism. I have been reading a new book nearly every other day the last two weeks. I have always been an avid reader but reading this many books in a short period of time supersedes even me. Remember, I have a fulltime job. I guess my point is I work then read and that is about it.

My blood pressure has been high too. Not a good thing for a person diagnosed with Ischemic blood vessels in her brain. I was given that diagnosis when I suffered a TIA about eighteen months ago. When I tell people I feel like I have really aged over the last four years, I was not kidding. I feel more exhausted and slower in my gait. I never felt older before. I sure feel it now.

So I feel like I am complaining. My intent was not to complain but force myself to write. I hope my effort results in a more motivated person tomorrow not the walking dead person of late.

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