What the fuck do I know….or……I’m no expert
First up – I’m no expert on depression, apart from maybe my own. If you’re suffering with depression this site is no substitute for getting proper help – please go see a doctor first of all.
Then come back here and read about my shit – hopefully you’ll find something of interest and help here. But I ain’t no guru of depression, I’ve got no degrees in psychology or medicine. All I got is a lifetime of me and some years of trying to get myself through the darkness of chronic depression.
WTF is chronic depression?
I reckon most people’s knowledge of depression is based on major depression. It tends to involve an episode, which seems to be a medical term for an occurrence, where you display typical symptoms of depression. Things like not being able to get out of bed, losing interest in the stuff you used to love or a sense of hopelessness. When that shit gets real bad you’ll probably start to think about killing yourself, which is what they call suicidal ideation.
These episodes tend to last weeks or a few months and can be treated with medication and talking therapies. In most cases the episodes will follow a high stress moment – like the death of a loved one, a divorce or losing your job.
But what if you felt hopeless, disinterested, sad and full of self-loathing all the time…..for years? Like that was your default way of being, and it had been for so long you didn’t even think it was possible to feel happy for any length of time.
That would be chronic depression or dysthymia to give it a nice serious “you can put me on a form” medical name.
And that’s what I have suffered with for large parts of my adult life.
Sounds like that might fuck you up
It seems pretty obvious that living in that state of mind even if it’s not a constant 24/7 thing will eventually take a toll on you and those around you. Particularly if it also involves the common habit of self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol.
Which is exactly what happened to me and my family. After years of unsuccessfully living with dysthymia I did enough damage to myself and my partner for her to end our relationship.
I now found myself two and a half years later, after causing emotional damage to my ex-partner and possibly our son, living alone and co-parenting our son.
Is there a way out?
The last few years may have been the toughest of my life. Coming to terms with my mental health and the damage it has done to loved ones and my life has been very hard. And far from straight forward.
It’s been a path with a few ups and lots of downs to be honest. I’ve been on SSRIs and in talking therapy for much of the time. Both helped with the process and I don’t think I would be here without them. But I now believe there are very valuable tools that I have found which allow me to live with my dysthymia, as I’m not convinced it will ever truly go from me.
And it’s those tools and techniques that I want to write about and share here.
As I said right back at the top, if you are suffering from depression of any type – you need help – you can’t get out of this alone and you shouldn’t have to as there are loads of people to help you. So please go see your doctor. If you are feeling truly shit, like you want out of the living thing and I know what that’s like because, like plenty of depressed folks, I have been there. Then it’s real important you talk to someone very soon…there’s a list of resources that can help right at the top of the page…..under Getting Help.
But if you’re through the tough stuff and are still concerned about that feeling that life’s a bit flat or not so great and what’s the point anyway. Then please, take a look at some of the things I have found through my experience of living with dysthymia. It might not be the answer for you – but I do think there are tools that can be of use to a lot of people in trying to live with chronic depression.