Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Well, balls...and here I thought that was just my personality

My counselor mentioned that he thought I might have dysthymia.  I didn't know exactly what that was, so I was looking it up after my last appointment.  It didn't sound like a really great fit for my situation, since I'm not always unhappy.  In fact, I'm perfectly capable of having a good time if there's something enjoyable going on around me.  I'm not incapable of having fun or laughing or having good days.  It's just that most of the time, I don't see what there is to get all excited about on a day to day basis.  I mean, let's be honest--life kind of sucks hard more often than not.  So, why would I get up every day and be all chipper and excited for the day when I'm going to just get up, go to work, go home, and repeat?  It's not like that's super awesome or something.  It just is what it is.  

But apparently, that's not normal.  Well, that's news to me...I thought I was just as normal as everyone else.  Sure, I'm aware I'm more cynical than most people, but I always assumed that is because I'm not delusional.  I didn't know that my opinion that most days are boring, uneventful, and sucky was not a routine feeling.  I guess it was enough to make my therapist think I might have dysthymia.  But, again, that didn't sound like a totally accurate fit for me.

And then I ran into this:

Atypical depression.

The name is a misnomer--it's apparently very typical.  Like 40% of the population of depression sufferers typical.  It just means that instead of not eating, not sleeping, and being unhappy no matter wtf is going on around you, you've got different symptoms.  Mainly, the following: 

a) Mood reactivity (i.e., mood brightens in response to actual or potential positive events)
b) At least two of the following:
      * Significant weight gain or increase in appetite;
      * Hypersomnia (sleeping too much, as opposed to the insomnia present in melancholic depression);
      * Leaden paralysis (i.e., heavy, leaden feelings in arms or legs);
      * Long-standing pattern of interpersonal rejection sensitivity (not limited to episodes of mood disturbance) that results in significant social or occupational impairment.
c) Criteria are not met for Melancholic Depression or Catatonic Depression during the same episode.

Well, if that doesn't sound like me, I don't know what does.  Shit, hypersomnia is one of the necessary symptoms.  Mood reactivity?  Check--that's why I didn't think dysthymia or regular depression sounded like it was right, since I'm not always in a bad mood or thinking that things suck.  I can have good days and be happy...sometimes...  Rejection sensitivity causing social impairment??  I believe that may also be known as crushing social anxiety, which I have.  Hypersomnia?  Check. 

Well, here I thought I was just regular, normal little me and instead, it turns out I've very likely got atypical depression.  I sent my therapist a text message about this and suggested we discuss it at our next appointment.

And naturally, because it's me and why on earth would I ever have anything normal occur for me, if I'm going to have depression, it naturally would be the "atypical" kind.  Because why would I have normal depression?  Noooo...the weirder, the better when it comes to me and health issues. 

Sigh...and now I can add one more thing to the list of shit that makes me barely functioning.  At this point, I'm just waiting for the cancer or the ALS or whatever.  Seriously, it's like God patched my body together with parts left over in the spare room and some twine.  Hypersomnia, migraines, raging year-round allergies, hypothyroidism, social anxiety, and now atypical depression.  I'm probably going to just fall apart one day.  The twine will just snap and all my appendages will fall to the floor.


  1. A lot of depression symptoms are very similar to hypothyroid symptoms, which makes sorting out which depression brand you're dealing with extra difficult. Sometimes I wonder if funky thyroids are at the root of most depression. Thyroid hormones set so many other different hormonal combos in motion, that any little hiccup causes a cascade of crap downstream.

    And hey, cancer and ALS probably won't be able to take root in that kind of freaky metabolism. You're bound to sprout antlers instead ;-)

  2. As I started reading this I'm like "no, everyday isn't sucky". You make what you want out of life by the decisions you choose. But then I read on and see that you understand what you are feeling isn't normal. Glad you are getting it figured out. How is it having a therapist?

  3. Thanks! Too bad it's taken 29 years for me to figure out it's not normal... Having a therapist is helpful. Sometimes when I'm really upset or have been unable to stop thinking about something over the last year, it's nice to have someone to talk to who is outside of the situation. And he gives me suggestions for things I can do or try to make myself feel better in between sessions. Plus, he is through LDS Family Services, so he understands the whole "being Mormon" thing. And the church has been paying for me to go, which has been awesome since I couldn't afford it on my own. So, it's been really good for me over the last year.