I found this 7 page Oprah.com article to be particularly interesting.
Are You Secretly Sad?
Here’s the condensed version…..
- Chronic low-grade depression can feel so familiar you don’t even know you’ve got it. It’s rampant among women and underdiagnosed.
- Low-grade depression is more like a year of drizzly weather.
- At some point, they were happy; they had moments of joy. And then, as time went on, the happiness went away. Sometimes the loss began in childhood, and their well-being disappeared so gradually they hardly noticed.
- For others, sadness came on like a sudden fog after months of stress. After a while, negotiating daily life was like driving a car with a dirty windshield. It was tolerable. They coped.
- Most people afflicted with this kind of chronic malaise instinctively blame themselves: They would rather believe they can solve the problem, if they could just find the right job or the right man or lose weight (they don’t figure out how to deal with their emotions directly)
- Caught in that drizzly mental weather, she doesn’t seek shelter or buy an umbrella; she goes on slogging through puddles.
- People with low-grade depression fare worst of all. They think, “Hey, nobody said life is a party. If I’m still showing up at work, I must be okay.”
- The damage chronic low-grade depression inflicts can be even more devastating than a single episode of severe clinical depression. “Being 80 percent of yourself for two years is worse than being 20 percent of yourself for two months”…
- A major life crisis can turn out to be a blessing: It forces people to acknowledge that they have been existing in a gray zone of subhealth.
- Some people cope in couch-potato fashion: When having fun seems too much trouble, it’s easy to camp out every night in front of the television, raiding the refrigerator during commercials. Low-grade depression and poor eating habits frequently go hand in hand.
- People with low-grade depression quite often binge on high-carbohydrate foods—pasta, crackers, popcorn—in what some doctors see as an unconscious effort to self-medicate. Ferber frequently sees patients with low-grade depression who are significantly overweight—a fact that, for women living in a culture obsessed with thinness, quickly becomes a vicious cycle: Depression leads to overeating, to a dispiriting look in the mirror and, from there, to deeper depression.
- Once diagnosed, low-grade depression can be a wake-up call to take a hard look at your life, Goodwin says. It can force a woman to acknowledge, say, that there’s deep discord in her marriage or that she needs to drastically revise her self-image.
- Danquah’s soul-searching altered some of her closest relationships. “I had to say to people in my life and my family, ‘I invite you into a healthy relationship, but this toxic relationship ends right now.’ “
- Without the prod of low-grade depression, Goodwin says, “people aren’t as likely to take on the job of figuring out what’s going on in their lives. That’s one of the problems of moving into medications too easily.”
Signs of low-grade depression
- You feel sad, dissatisfied or pessimistic most of the time, although you still have days when you feel normal.Your appetite changes.You’re tired most of the time.
- You have insomnia or you’re sleeping too much.
- You’re harder on yourself than you should be.
- You’re not working at your peak, and you’re having trouble concentrating.
- Simple decisions somehow take forever.You feel that every day is more or less a struggle.
4 stories of women who finally got help
If you are feel you may be experiencing low-grade depression, feel free to contact me to set up an appointment.