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The Depression Diagnosis People Don't Usually Talk About

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Ever heard of dysthymia? Me either, until my therapist diagnosed me with it.

So what is dysthymia? Its a mild but severe form of depression, also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) that doesn’t always affect work or social life, making it harder to find.

More than three million cases of dysthymia are reported per year. So why is it not more familiar?

As I talked to my therapist, she was leaning more and more toward the diagnosis of dysthymia rather than depression as I continued to talk about my feelings. She stated some of the symptoms that come with it are: indecisiveness, constant fatigue, low self-esteem, insomnia and excessive sleep to name a few. It was clear to me and it made more sense; it’s hard to diagnose because the symptoms aren’t visible.

It’s like depression, but more long-term. In actuality, I don’t even remember being “happy” or even knowing what happiness feels like. I’ve been like this my whole life. 

I asked my therapist how this could have happened and she said it could be genetic. So somewhere in my family bloodline someone might have had PDD. How my therapist explained it was, “life is like black and white, only in our eyes, there’s black white and gray, and that’s where we are at.” Confusing, I know.

You don’t usually hear about this diagnosis, but I want you to be aware of it and if you struggle with dysthymia, know that you’re not alone.

You will never be alone and you will find happiness. Know that people care and if you’ve ever felt this, please reach out for help.

Just because you have something that isn’t talked about as much doesn’t mean you’re abnormal. You’re unique and you deserve to get the help you need.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via lupashchenkoiryna

Originally published: August 18, 2017
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