I am writing an article for my writing class on dysthymia, and I am stumped! Dysthymia is a type of depression that lasts at least two years (sometimes much longer), and in which the sufferer can have many of the same symptoms that people with so-called “major” depression face. I’ve seen it described as “mild,” “less severe,” and even “minor.” The thing is, people with dysthymia (dis-THIGH-me-a) have often been depressed for so long, they’ve forgotten what it feels like not to be depressed. Depression becomes their “normal” state. Everything seems hopeless; they have no motivation; they have no energy. They get by, but they have no joy, and they feel they have no worth. And this is what normal feels like.
My article started out as a list article – you know, like “57 ways to cut your grocery bill” or “16 Green Crafts Using Your Old Milk Jug Lids!” Mine was “Get a Handle on the Blahs.” I really want to write this article – I was dysthymic myself, for many years, and if I hadn’t come across the term somewhere, I never would have gotten the help I needed. The thing is, I’m getting caught up in the futility of writing a self-help article for people who don’t recognize their own need for help. Also, I only have 1000 words to work with.