As I’ve said before, I’m not really sure what to call my particular mental burden. I generally go with ‘depression’ because that seems to be the closest and that’s what my counselor calls it.
In any case, it’s been surfacing more often lately. Sometimes takes the form of rather severe mood swings, where I can go from cheerfully optimistic to nearly paralyzed with anxious and discouraging thoughts within a matter of minutes. Not really sure why.
Often times I get into a kind of stress-feedback loop. I’ll have several things I mean to do, and I start to commit to doing one of them. But then the others start to seem more urgent, their demands on my attention increase, so that I feel like I’m doing the wrong thing. If I then direct more attention to any of them, the others, including the original, increase their demands, with the added sense of unease at having abandoned a task unfinished.
So it builds and builds, making me ever more anxious and discouraged by the seeming mountain of things to do until, in the end, I’ve worked myself up to such a pitch that I have to make myself take a break entirely and try to distract myself because I’m too stressed to actually work.
You know, the worst part about all this is simply the uncertainty. When you’re sick with a virus, you know you’re sick. You can point to the symptoms and everyone can agree “yep, you’re sick.” But when you’re emotionally or mentally sick, all you’ve got are your feelings and thoughts, and no one else can see them to judge how real they are. Moreover, you know that your own judgment is askew due to the depression so that you can’t really tell for certain how serious or important something really is. This creates a nagging sense of doubt as to whether you actually need help or need to let yourself rest or whether you are just being overdramatic and making excuses. Which suspicion, of course, does wonders for those anxious, self-recriminating thoughts.
I don’t have a solution right now. I just share the above as a point of interest.