I seem to be in a mild depressive episode. Symptoms include increased social paranoia, occasional flashes of irrational sadness and fear, a little anxious lethargy, and a little irritability, and have lasted more than two weeks. I am still able to do and enjoy things, and am doing pretty well at discounting / not believing the irrational impulses.
It was the end of May last year that I ended up in the ER overnight with a massive panic attack after an increasingly severe depression that started in midwinter. It would be interesting to know if my depression shows any seasonality — it would be sort of funny if I’m the one seasonal affective disordered person who gets depressed in spring and fall instead of winter. Then again, transitions and changes are hard for me, so maybe the change of seasons is part of that.
There’s the monthly cycle, too, and someone recently pointed out that they tend to get more depressed when ovulating, not just when menstruating. But while it might be a contributor, it must not be the main cause because cycle-related depression doesn’t usually last this long for me.
There’s the possibility of diet being involved. Some people have claimed links between processed sugar (vs. honey, maple syrup, etc) and depression. Perhaps the same is true of other rather empty foods, and we have been eating at the dining hall a lot, especially lunches. Trying to explore diet factors is intimidating, though, because there’s no way to control for all other possible factors. Say I went a month without sugar — how would I know whether sugar was involved in any observed changes, and not something else?
There’s plenty of psychological baggage that still hangs out in my closet, too. Sometimes I am pretty sure that even though I still feel some of its effects, I’ve already done the necessary therapeutic work, and what remains is “merely” to continue practicing what I have learned. And because my depressions show so much somewhat random behavior — they come and go without a whole lot of obvious connection to circumstances — I doubt that the psychological baggage is primarily to blame anymore.
Perhaps my brain chemistry is lopsided for some other reason — some biological illness that is triggered and relieved by who knows what at various times.
Whatever it is, I take some comfort in knowing that it’s okay to be wrong — whether I figure it out or not, whether I do the right thing or not, I will get through it, and my God who began the good work in me will not be thwarted in his purposes by any circumstances or powers, not even me.