I’ve never been officially diagnosed with depression. As a teen, I wanted help, and I even asked for help — but in retrospect, I’ve chalked it up to hormones and typical teen drama. As a young adult, I put the blame on myself for allowing my days and nights to get turned around in college, causing a spiral of oversleeping and poor academic performance. Now, in middle age (*shudder*), I throw the blame on myself yet again for fostering poor sleeping habits and just having a boring life in general.
I find myself writing about this quasi-depression often enough, though, that I wonder — is this normal? Do other people find that every few months, there’s a stretch of a few days to a week or longer where they really just don’t give a shit?
I’m overtired, unable to concentrate (except on writing this, so I think that’s irony?), and have no interest in doing things that would normally be exciting for me — today’s yoga class, for instance, or mailing exposed rolls of film off to be developed. My sense of responsibility is strong enough (thanks to parenthood) to get me out of bed, get my kid up, get myself to work, cook meals, and do all the necessary things… so I’m not really depressed, right? Depressed people spend all day in bed because they can’t bring themselves to get up. That’s not my M.O., so I’m not depressed. Right?
At my last visit with my GP, the nurse asked me something much more epic — something along the lines of “Do you ever feel hopeless?” Hopeless? No, tired and apathetic and disinterested are definitely different from hopeless — and it’s not all the time.
My brain tells me that the correct solution to all this is, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” Therapy might help, or meds might help, but maybe I ought to see if I can help myself first. You know, eat right, exercise, meditate (zazen, walking, writing, etc).
If I can help myself, then I’m not really depressed. Right?