Depression vs. ennui
June 26, 2011 8:07 PM Subscribe
How to tell the difference between depression and regular sadness/ennui, especially if you've struggled with depression/bipolar previously?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (12 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 23 and was diagnosed as bipolar 2 last year, after having spent probably seven or eight of the past 10 years being moderately-to-severely depressed. I have never been on medication -- about a year ago, once I finally admitted to myself that I needed more help than therapy could offer, I decided to talk to a doctor about meds. But the process of getting a doctor to help me felt both overwhelming and painfully slow and finally I ended up coming out of the depressive episode, and in a more or less stable/euthymic condition, before I even finished the process of getting prescribed medication.
So that's been nice. Presently, however, I'm working in a dead-end job, and stressing over some mild family- and friend-related issues that have flared up (partially related to said crappy job), and generally feeling lost and confused in life. And now, for the past month or two, it seems like some aspects of the depression are coming back (the flattening of emotions, the slowness of thought, the hateful self-talk, the irritability and emptiness and lack of ability to enjoy much), but to a much lesser degree than I've experienced in the past. Keeping in mind that I've almost *never* in my adult life not been depressed, and therefore don't really know how non-depressed people deal with these sorts of situations, does this sound like something I should be concerned about, or is this just how it *is*? How do I know the difference between feeling consistently down and being depressed, if it's the beginning of a depressive episode, or if it's a mild depressive episode? How do I know if this is "go to a doctor" territory or "stop being a whiny bitch" territory?
Thanks for your answers.