Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What is Major Depressive Disorder? - Part 2

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In my last post (see here), I quoted the definition of Major Depressive Disorder. My plan was, and remains, to discuss this definition by commenting on its two key elements: the multiplicity of symptoms and the duration of them. My research had been completed, my notes were ready, my plan was in place, and yet - nothing. Why this nothing?

Simply put, my inactivity is caused by the lingering effects of my MDD. Even though I have recovered significantly over this past year, I continue to experience symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder - depressed mood, diminished interest, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and diminished ability to think or concentrate. Admittedly, the impact of these symptoms is less pronounced than they were a year ago, but they continue to make themselves known. They are a reminder that my recovery, while both positive and uplifting, is incomplete. My journey to recovery continues.

So, even though my preparations for the follow-up posts were complete, the actual task of writing the final text proved to be elusive. My thoughts were scattered, my interest was iffy, and feelings of inadequacy popped up.

Additionally, I have an anniversary of sorts coming up. It has been almost a year since my suicide attempt. While I believe that my writing has helped me to exorcise that demon, I do know that the depth of my depressive episode causes me be consciously cautious in considering plans for the future. I have no doubt that there is also a subconscious effect.

I'm not, however, the same person that I was nearly twelve months ago. My self-improvement efforts, my research, my active involvement in therapy, my self-work at home, my writing, my medication, and my new-found hope, have worked together to give me the tools I need to cope. Moreover, I now have a willingness to accept my limitations and seek help before it is too late. I know where I was last year and I know that it's a place I never want to revisit.

My acceptance isn't restricted to recognizing my limitations. It extends to how I view Major Depressive Disorder. I know longer see myself as depressed. That word doesn't fully convey what I, and millions of others, go through. It has a commonality of meaning that trivializes the pain and incapacity that we live with. I now accept that I live with a disability, Major Depressive Disorder, and that this disability means that I will, from time to time, undergo depressive episodes. I am not my illness, but I accept that it is, as it has been since my teenage years, a component of my life.

By accepting this fact, and by applying the tools I've acquired, I'm a more balanced person than I was last year.

And I am better for it.

Please refer to this page about medical advice.



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