Talking to Allison, but You Can Read it Too

December 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm (Life) (, , )

This originally started as a blog comment response to Allison, but I realized it showed a lot about me and I should post it as a blog entry instead.

The more I think about it, for me it isn’t so much the self-esteem problems that I used to have in my past. I think when my depression takes such a gripping hold on me like it has now with the change into winter, I am quick to write it off as low self-esteem. For years, that was a huge part of my depression and it was easy to say it caused the depression. In reality, my depression is a disease that sometime affects my self-esteem, but not always. Currently, I’m not doing too badly when it comes to “Jeremy.”

That’s what sucks so much about clinical depression: nothing about it is logical. Maybe that’s why I focus so much on fighting to find logic in the rest of my lift. I’m trying to compensate for the lack of it in my sickness?

I have dysthymia.
The Harvard Medical School website has this to say about dysthymia:

“The Greek word dysthymia means “bad state of mind” or “ill humor.” As one of the two chief forms of clinical depression, it usually has fewer or less serious symptoms than major depression but lasts longer. The American Psychiatric Association defines dysthymia as depressed mood most of the time for at least two years, along with at least two of the following symptoms: poor appetite or overeating; insomnia or excessive sleep; low energy or fatigue; low self-esteem; poor concentration or indecisiveness; and hopelessness.”

“Dysthymia and major depression naturally have many symptoms in common, including depressed mood, disturbed sleep, low energy, and poor concentration. There are also parallel symptoms: poor appetite, low self-esteem, and hopelessness in dysthymia, corresponding to the more severe symptoms of weight change, excessive guilt, and thoughts of death or suicide in major depression.”

“Dysthymia is a serious disorder. It is not “minor” depression, and it is not a condition intermediate between severe clinical depression and depression in the casual colloquial sense. In some cases it is more disabling than major depression.”

Though I am not a medical expert, I have lived with dysthymia for close to 20 years, and I define it as “feeling emotionally shitty all the time and have no explanation as to why.” 🙂

For further reading:

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