Dysthymia is chronic low-level depression which lasts for two or more years, sometimes a lifetime, and is often confused with a variety of other types of depression. It only came into recognition in the 1980's when researchers discovered people with a different perspective on life. It's not unusual for people to go years without recognizing their Dysthymia until some event triggers an episode and pushes them into therapy. In addition, many people with Dysthmyia find it's genetic with a family history and harder to treat than those with non-genectic Dysthymia.
There are a lot of on-line medical and related resources on clinical depression and Dysthymia. An excellent one is Wing of Madness. The reality of Dysthymia, to me, is that it's a condition, and not a "disease". That doesn't mean people shouldn't be treated, but it shouldn't be labelled to add to the thoughts and feelings of people as having something bad. People need to be helped, not described as sick. This a minor distinction, but to those who suffer, it's not minor, it's personal and their reality. They need to know they can speak up and find help without suffering embarassment.
In addition, some people with Dysthymia suffer additional periods of deeper (double) depression, even leading to suicide. Often the signs of this aren't obviously visible. It's hard to describe the feelings during these periods. I can only describe mine as when you are surrounded by darkness at the bottom of a deep well, it's hard to see, let alone know, there is light. It's a spiritual black hole, an implosion of the soul. Reality is changed by your perception and state of being. It takes time to see through the darkness to life. Some don't (my nephew) and that's the sadness of it.
There needs to be freedom to express thoughts and feelings without embarrassment or the stigma of a medical label. "The terror and sorrow of a sensitive man who looked into the abyss, and saw, the abyss.", as described of Townes Van Zandt by a longtime friend in a radio interview shortly after his death, about his life and songs. Thank you Townes. You're missed, and your songs will always be with us.
Clearly I can't begin to approach his writing and songs about life, but I can write what I experience and think about with my Dysthymia, with essays to my blog, which are listed below in chronological order.
|It's Life||Death||A Moment|
|Naps||Suicide||Two Years||Some Days||Rainy Days||Time|
|No Drugs||Answers||Songs||An Out||Choices||An Out II|
|Running||Given||Given 2||Still Me||Moving||Forums|
|Looking||Does Not||Some Days||LIfe||Mortality||Being Lazy|
|Some Days||Living||The Night||Life||Naps||Can I?|
|Some Days||Don't Know||Why||Things||Feeling||Which|
|Not||Rainy Days||Sunrise||Obsolete||Some Days||Self Hate|
|It Won't||Easiest||Why||Sometimes||Sometimes||Not Losing|
|Demons||Some Days||What If||Thought||Then&Now||Why|
|Things||Every Day||Hopefulness||A Time||Hiding||Canyon|
|Life||The Body||Choices||Self Hate||Death||Want|
|If||Eating||Memories||Why||Not||I Can't Be|
|Some Days||What||Rejection||Simple||Not Sure||What To Say|
|Not||Mirrors||A Life||It's Not||I Know||Not Eating|
|Now||Some||Never||Obvious||Being Sane||I Worry|
|First Thing||DSM-IVTR||Moment||Being 19||Some Days||Blank Mind|
|Lost||The Two||Normal||Some Days||I Used to||Want to|
|Some Days||To Smile|
That's it for this, I'll add links to essays as I write and post them.