Does a person who’s at the peak of his/her career seem to define depression for you? Is it possible that that person whose life seems picture perfect is someone who’s grappling with a lot of stressful emotions?
Probably when you think of depression these aren’t the people in your mind. Because this is not how persistent depressive disorder (PDD) looks like. PDD, also known as high-functioning depression, is not so easily detectable. Mostly people try to hold it together while there’s an inner turmoil that they’re trying to resolve.
What is PDD?
The clinical term for persistent depressive disorder is dysthymia. In the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), this mental disorder has been defined as a depressed state of the person for maximum duration every day and something which has lasted for a minimum of two years. It could include symptoms like overeating or eating scarcely, low self-esteem, indecisiveness, hypersomnia or insomnia, low level of concentration and fatigue.
It’s important to trace PDD with the help of these signs to prevent your loved one’s life from diminishing.
1. Happiness feels like a burden
Things that you looked forward to, like meeting your friends or going to the dance class, don’t seem to excite you anymore. These things feel like a burden rather than thrill or enjoyment.
2. You’re sharply critical of everyone, including yourself
You’ve developed a negative thought cycle, which makes you look critically and judgmentally at everyone around you. Your boss, your partner, and even you yourself seem to be imperfect. Life seems like a slog.
3. Continuous self-doubt
Nothing seems to be right; you constantly doubt your own achievements, relationship, and your actions. And this state of mind seems to occupy your life completely.
For you, each day feels like a task that needs to be completed. Both mentally and physically you feel exhausted and gradually life itself feels like a challenge to be overcome.
5. Unwarranted anger and irritability
If little things, like a colleague or a subordinate making an error at work, or your child accidentally breaking something trigger anger in you, then this could be the sign of PDD.
6. Irrelevant incidents feel overwhelming
If regular events in your life, like a sudden change of plans or accidentally spilling something over, every now and then triggers a bout of emotions in you, then it’s a sign. You know it could be PDD.
7. Guilt and Stress
If all you do is think about your decisions in the past, or you frequently worry about the future, then it could be that you’re deviating from the normal state of mind. This could be a sign, especially if these thoughts are impairing your regular functioning.
8. You’re living by your surviving strategies
If you’re continuously relying on diversions like alcohol, Netflix, online games, etc., then you know you’re escaping reality and trying to control the depression beneath.
9. Feeling low
The moment you close the door, the smile on your face fades away and sadness overtakes you; sadness feels like a persistent company most of the time. If this is true for you then it is a sign of extreme depression.
10. Perfection is the aim
If you’re aiming perfection which itself starts to feel like a liability then maybe you’re driving yourself towards depression. Don’t raise the bar too high for yourself because the people around you want you to.
Risk factors for those living with people with PDD
The main difficulty with people suffering from dysthymia is that the facade of normality that they hold on to is difficult to detect and even more difficult for those around them to help them realize it. Besides that, those who believe that ‘will power’ can help anyone overcome difficult situations are absolutely wrong. Without proper support and counseling, the wrestling with emotions and determination may lead to more fatigue.
In fact, if these symptoms are detected in a person and are clinically treated in the early stages of it, then it’s easily cured.
Cure and support for PDD
In one of the recent researches conducted in Canada, it was concluded that people struggling with PDD could take help of psychotherapy, or medication, or both. In either case, the treatment is highly effective and helpful for those suffering with it.
In case you see a glimpse of you in this article then maybe you should plan an appointment for clinical help. You can overcome your emotional dilemma and find consistency in life that you’ve been reaching out for. Cherish the life you have, and live it to the fullest.