"The common definition of depression states that a multitude of the following symptoms be present for a two-week period: fatigue and decreased energy, feelings of pessimism, overeating or appetite loss, insomnia or early-morning wakefulness, loss of interest in hobbies and activities once found pleasurable, and irritability and restlessness."
I lifted that description of depression from an article about how drugs for depression are bad. Well, maybe the article was about how our society uses drugs as a band-aid for everything under the sun, especially depression. Either way, the description of depression is what grabbed me.
I've "studied" up on depression before because, well, you know. I tend to get in the dumps a lot. But always before whenever I read anything about depression I would think, Okay. That doesn't really fit me so I must not be depressed. I'm fine. Must just be PMS'd or maybe I'm just overly dramatic.
But. That description up yonder? Fits like a glove. Blergh.
Fatigue and decreased energy? Check. Though part of that could be written off to my current work pace.
Feelings of pessimism? CHECK. All caps because Whoa! I moped around for HOURS yesterday because "nobody loves me, I'm a failure and everything I do is wrong". I wish I could say that that sort of thinking/feeling doesn't happen often but sadly it happens more often than not. I partially blame the people in my life because, dag-gummit, folks can be so thoughtless. There's a line in a Taylor Swift song (Lord help me, I'm quoting Taylor Swift. haha) that says "so casually cruel in the name of being honest" that sort of slams home with me. People seem to get off on pointing out my flaws to me because it's supposedly helpful or something. Like I don't already see them. (I think there's a Kelly Clarkson song in that last sentence. Or maybe that's still Taylor Swift. I get my angsty female singers mixed up sometimes.) But really, the sense of worthlessness is always there. People are just good at bringing it to the surface.
Overeating or appetite loss? Um. I've got your overeating right here. *points to big 'ol belly* I've gained around 20 pounds since October. It's painfully obvious that those 20lbs are directly related to self-medication. I eat to feel better because I feel like life sucks. I'm tired in every way imaginable but also overwhelmed and it feels good for those twenty minutes it takes me to snarf down a chicken sandwich or some orange chicken or a can of Pringles. (Why did I ever pick up that can of French Onion Pringles? Why??) And then I bounce back to feeling worthless and fat because I "fell off the wagon" and then the cycle starts all over again. BFF and I were both half-way joking last night saying how we wished we were the kind of depressed people who LOST their appetite because we're both depressive/stress eaters. I guess that's why our friendship has endured. We share similar forms of depression. Sad.
Insomnia or early-morning wakefulness? Early morning wakefullness, definitely. I fall asleep fine but then around 2 or 3 am I'm awake and more often than not filled with crazy mixed up worrisome thoughts.
Loss of interest in hobbies and activities once found pleasurable? I read four or five books while I was off for Christmas but hadn't read ANY in the weeks/months before that and haven't read any since. Reading was always my escape. It got me through my rocky homelife when I was a kid/teenager. But now? It's like, "Who has the energy to read?" Also, I've had a can of paint and some big ideas for Libby's room for a couple of years now but I'm all, "Meh. I'm never going to be a real decorator and I mostly suck, so why bother? Also, who has the energy?" Craftwise, I have bursts of creativity like with the cross I painted/put together but that's all they are. Short bursts. Even this here blog...something I love(d) to do I just think about it and I'm like, "Meh. Nobody cares anyway and really it's all just whining so what's the point?" And blogging has been where I sorted myself out for so long that it feels weird to just...I don't know. Not feel like being bothered with it.
Irritability and restlessness? Well...you remember that post where I admitted to behaving ugly to someone and I was living with the backlash? Yeah. Irritability for five hundred, Alex. *sigh* Sis1 was the poor victim and didn't speak to me for a WEEK after. Mama's about ready to vote me off the island, I've been so snappish with her lately. And yesterday I was thisclose to punching a co-worker in the face for repeatedly bothering me with questions. As for restlessness, I feel like climbing out of my skin but I'm just too tired to bother.
Does all that mean I'm depressed? I don't know. Could just be stress because, hello. This new deadline pace at work combined with all the regular things I'm supposed to be doing just isn't working out well for me. My body aches constantly, some days I feel like I'm literaly meeting myself coming and going and all I ever get from anyone when I talk about it is, "Well X is going on with ME and that's WAY WORSE than what you're going through." Except for poor BFF, who I talked to last night. She majorly sympathized with me before regaling me with her similar experiences as of late. Since we haven't actually talked since July, we had a LOT to catch up on. But she got exactly how I'm feeling and was able to relate instead of compete. And it was nice.
I do think I have a depressive personality. I do believe it runs in my family. And I've often wondered if there was a little miracle drug that could cure me. But. I figure I've lived this way this long and would never actually commit suicide so I should just continue to suck it up. The brighter days will return eventually and this work pace won't last forever. Right? Right?