I've never been a very happy person.
Since I was 6 I've been prone to negativity and sadness. This was eventually diagnosed as dysthymia, effectively a lingering, low level depression that can last for some time. Now that I go to look it up to confirm the spelling, I see that it's now replaced with persistent depressive disorder, just as dysthymia replaced "depressive personality" in the 1970s.
Whatever it's called doesn't really matter. The feeling remains the same. When it's around many of my days feel as if I'm stuck under a gray cloud, stifled to inaction by a screaming inner critic. I've been in therapy and taken medication over the years to control it, though I found the side effects of the pills I've tried to be more detrimental overall. When I have had success with drugs as treatment, I've found my mind to be less effective overall, as though the change to my mind is too jarring for me day to day. I've had happier times without medication, to be sure.
My latest bout started over a year ago and I tried to ignore it to carry on. This was the wrong thing to do, and it impacted my loved ones and my life in a bad way. I thought I was getting better but I wasn't. I'm very regretful that I didn't try to improve as it deeply hurt the person I cared about most. It's been exacerbated recently to what the wikipedia entry on dysthymia calls a 'Double Depression' by recent events. The main thing is that I'm aware of what I'm going through and working hard to overcome it.
I'm treating myself at this point to overcome this condition, and hoping that things get better. If you're having difficulty with mental health know that there are resources and people that can help. #BellLetsTalk inspired me to share today, though lines of communication regarding mental health should always be open.