Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dysthymia, Adjustment Disorder, Major Mood Disorder, Bipolar, Melancholy

I'm feeling blah.  Vaguely disgrunted.  The technical term for this state is 'dysthymia'. I'm off. It's that Monday morning thing but it's Tuesday morning.
It's not an intrinsic thing. It's not autochthonous. It's not 'fixed'.
I haven't been continuously like this fo 2 weeks or more.  It's not like I have a major mood disorder. On the weekend with Laura, walking about Vancouver, playing tourist in my own city,  I felt really good. With a major mood disorder that wouldn't happen.  The depressed feeling would be more continuous.  I was enjoying something I'm interested in whereas with a major mood disorder I'd not enjoy things or people I usually do. I usually enjoy Laura and I certainly enjoyed her this weekend.
It's not that I have mood swings, either. Technically "mood swings" represent spontaneous shifts in mood independent of my environment. I felt good on the weekend because I was walking about town with a beautiful woman on a sunny day.
Today I feel blah and probably can come up with some pretty good reasons.   My concentration and memory were just fine on the weekend and they're fine today.  I was highly motivated on the weekend and I still am.  I certainly don't feel like there's no reason for living.  I wouldn't rather die. That's what one feels with  severe depression.
It wasn't melancholy either. If I had melancholia, Laura, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren all couldn't put humpty dumpty together again.  Winning the lottery or getting a months vacation in Hawaii wouldn't lift melancholy.  Melancholy is the deepest depression and its independent of environment.  Severe major mood disorder doesn't get better with environmental rewards though with a mood disorder one can fake it a bit and smile. Not with melancholia. There's no faking it with melancholia.  Major Mood Disorder is fairly common.  I've only encountered a very few cases of melancholia.  The principle reason for so few of the latter is the success of modern psychiatry.  The cases of melancholia I saw had begun as major depressions but just got worse and worse without treatment until a couple of  people were mute and catatonic.
My minimalist blahs seem more related to the coming of winter, the routine, the stresses daily living and working in a city like Vancouver living, the same old - same old, aches and pains, aging, injured dog, self pity.
It's more an adjustment disorder sort of thing though not  even important enough or at the level to get that label.  Adjustment disorder is an exaggeration of a normal response to life stress.  One's reaction can be so negative and prolonged that an Adjustment Disorder can become a major mood disorder. But the standard adjustment disorder with depressed mood or mixed emotions can be related specifically to a significant event like loss of a job.  My blahs are too general for that.
Dysthymia is a lower grade  but more chronic thing. It can be permanent. Cognitive behaviour therapy says clearly we feel what we think. So negative thinking begets dysthymia.  Hemorrhoids do too.  Lots of things contribute to the dysthymia. Mostly it's self centeredness and bad coping habits. Personally, physiologically, I've not been getting to bed on time. So I've had a couple of days with an hour or so less sleep staying up later watching tv. That's all it takes when you're older to have a bad disposition.  A little more rest and I'll probably spring back.  
I've been isolated more this last couple of weeks. Misery loves company. Because my dog has been injured I've missed  church and meetings I'd other wise attend.  I'm in the midst of a slow process of change with a new office and staff.  Change, positive or negative, is experienced physiologically as stress.  I've had a lot of changes recently.
Where I might other wise have taken a course to "energize' me, I've just been 'taking care of business'. I'd forgotten how much stress is involved in a move. It was kind of negative stress too. Forced upon me by management.
There is  nothing like a positive new activity to perk up a dull life.  For years I took evening school classes till I had a Master of Divinity.  That really made the winter months fly by.   I might never use my M Div officially  but the learning was really exciting. Before that I'd done my Ship's Captain studies in Navigation and Offshore Sailing. I certainly used that learning.  Life is more an adventure when one is learning new skills.  The same held true when I took Spanish Classes and Hebrew.
The blahs are a bit like 'boredom' or 'ennui'. They're a bit self centered.
If I want to feel good, I must do good.  So I have to make changes. Maybe I'll go swimming tonight.  I always feel better after I exercise (never before).   I cleaned my place a few months back when I was feeling listless.  Nothing makes one feel better than scrubbing the house down.  I may have to put up the rack I got which will unclutter my kitchen. Anything that gets oneself out of oneself will take care of the blahs.  I'm not sure I'm feeling bad enough for such a drastic intervention as house cleaning but I know it would work.
I haven't been able to go for runs or long walks like I did with the dog since his injury so that's contributing.  Sloth and sedentary living are a major cause of all depressions.
With the sunshine lessening I probably should get the SAD Lite out.
It's also  Remembrance Day tomorrow. So this is an anniversary.  I 've felt sad every year at this time. As a child I was talk gratitude for  the soldiers for their service to Canada. As an adult I've been priviledged to help so many.  I've heard the most harrowing stories and never wanted to change places with guys who've been in the front line. Sure a good office job far from the front looked seductive as anything but nothing 'out beyond the wire'.   Without the Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force we could all be like the Syrians or Afghanistanis.  My dad was RCAF .  I was honored to meet alot of military folk because of him.  Men who'd been in our army, navy, or air force in WWII. With Remembrance Day tomorrow I can't help but think of him.  I miss him too.  This alone could explain a day of the blahs. Grief. Grieving Dad.  Grieving all those soldiers who sacrificed their life for my freedom.

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