First, I must say that I do not know what normal mood changes are anymore. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for several years now. I could go into a whole dissertation about when I was first diagnosed, why I think it started, how I think family history plays into it, etc. But none of that really matters. All that matters is that I struggle. I do some of the right things: medication monitored by a very good psychiatrist, therapy (now only as needed, but when it's needed I know where to go and I DO go), understanding friends and family. But I still struggle. It is hard to know what is a normal down day versus a sign that my depression has kicked in a little harder than usual. People who do not understand depression think we can just make up our mind to be in a good mood. Ahhhh...if it was only that simple.
I was off work for four days. Most of the time I felt relaxed, happy, content and "me." Then Sunday night came and the work week loomed in front of me. As today progressed (a Tuesday which was really a Monday since it was the first day of the work week) my mood deteriorated. I felt unmotivated, anxious, sad, tearful, nervous, irritable...NOT "me." So, how do I know if this is normal back to work blues, versus depression? Well, I don't. But I know my depression causes my lows to be lower and it is harder to pull myself out of them. But again, none of that really matters. What matters is that I am feeling depressed and anxious. What matters is that I am struggling.
Everyone has challenges in their lives. I do not want to seem complain-y because mine are nothing compared to what some face. But I still struggle. But I think that is what life is about. It is about how you handle the challenges that come your way. So I keep trying new things and looking at the issue differently (like by blogging about it). Luckily, I had a break in my day and was able to come to a local coffee shop, relax in a comfy chair in front of a fireplace, breathe....and blog. So far it is helping. And that is what really matters.