Dysthymia – being a living dead robot

I learned about dysthymia only recently in Dr. Bla´s class. Dysthymia is a lasting affective disorder which manifests in a constant, mild depression. Dr. Bla told us that often patients don´t even realize they have this disorder – they feel like “life was always that way”, or “I always felt that way”. And this is the saddest thing about this disorder: That patients don´t even know there might a happier life somewhere out there. They have no real concept of ordinary happiness, at least not of what life is like when you are in a balanced, reasonably good mood most of the time – because they might never have experienced that for as long as they can remember. Perpetual bleakness and exhaustion that seems like normalcy. Not feeling anything much; not even enough to call it suffering. Never showing dramatic symptoms that make others realize something is wrong. Just trotting along the road of life like a good little robot, doing what one is expected to do without feeling anything about it. Not being properly alive, and the years slip through your fingers. You watch, and you try to feel something about it; something dramatic that wakes you up – but you never wake up.

Why do I feel authorized to make such claims? Well, as I found out today, my former therapists diagnosed me, among other things, with dysthymia. I was not surprised.  As soon as Dr. Bla had told us about this disorder I had known it probably applied to me. Given what I wrote yesterday – how do I feel about this diagnosis? One might expect that I feel validated: My listlessness and my apathy aren´t normal. But I don´t feel validated. If anything, I feel like I received a life sentence.

I had hoped very much that my lack of being in touch with the world, my lack of experiencing and my lack of emotion were down to something else. Something that provided more hope. I had hoped so much that I only needed to get into touch with something inside of me. I had hoped that somewhere behind a wall, or a mental block, was a real me, who was capable of feeling alive. Being told that I have dysthymia is like denying that such a me exists. It is like telling me to stop searching.  It is like taking away all hope that I am not the zombie I feel I am.

 

Related Posts: Not wanting anything – Dysthymia, part II 

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One Response to “Dysthymia – being a living dead robot”

  1. Sayed H Says:

    I know this blog is dead but this post /blog described my life. Thank you for that.

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