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Managing Depression...

Community Member

I have dysthymia, a term from the DSM-IV I prefer to use over its DSM-V equivalent, "Persistent Depressive Disorder" (because many people tend to be more familiar with it).

It's a form of depression distinguishable from major depressive disorder principally by the facts that it tends to be more moderate in severity, and that it tends to manifest itself less episodically and more constantly (this is in part why people have been lead to think of people with dysthymia as having "depressive personalities").

That said, I do have episodes of more high-moderate to severe depression, but they're relatively short - typically lasting a few days to a week or so at most. I'm a 22-year-old male, by the way, and have been mood-disordered in this way since around the age of 12-13, or thereabouts. I'm medicated with SSRIs, but even with their aid I still struggle. My mother and one of my two younger brothers are also on SSRIs.

I suppose, the reason I am creating this thread is because I would like some input from anybody who might care to give it on the fact that I not merely doubt the idea that I am possessed of the strength of character to live a good life with this mood disorder of mine constantly lurking in the background, in need of being fended off, but also that - even if I were strong enough to succeed in having a good life despite my depression - it would be worth doing at all.

After all, my depression and my failures to properly manage it - and the ensuing consequences - have set me back in life quite a bit. I'm intellectually capable of higher education, and was admitted to university, but am no longer an enrolled student.

Basically, the problems by which my situation is characterised can be summed up as follows:

  1. Depressed on and off since the age of about 12-13. It seems to run in the family.
  2. Addicted to nicotine (gum and cigarettes).
  3. Tumultuous, love-hate relationship with parents.
  4. Still living at home and off of a) my parents (yes, I am a burden), and b) Centrelink's disability support pension (i.e. DSP).
  5. Unemployed.
  6. Not formally educated past the high-school level.
  7. No driver's license or vehicle (though I have been on my Ls for about 3 months; it took me more than half a decade of exposure therapy to rid myself of the anxiety I had about driving - plus, I was too immature and irresponsible back when I was 16). This affects my eligibility for certain work or apprenticeships/traineeships, because often reliable transport is required.

Advice would be good...

2 Replies 2

Dear Alex_F,
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members.
We hope that you can hear the effort and perseverance you have shown and continue to display throughout your struggles with dysthymia, also having the courage to seek advice and positive inspiration from peers already shows the ‘strength of character’ you seek.
Although we can see that you are seeking peer feedback and to discuss shared experiences, we just wanted to chime in and provided some links in case you feel you need to discuss any of the points regarding your mental health, medications, housing situation, your relationship with your parents or even your difficulties in getting your license. We are here for you to have a talk at anytime about any issue, concern or even just to chat if you would like.
So, if you need us, we are always here for you. If you feel you need to talk or honestly do just need a chat, please contact Beyond Blue either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
If you have not engaged with them before we would also recommend Kids helpline on 1800 55 1800 or at https://kidshelpline.com.au/ . This service is available to anyone 25 years old and under.
We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community. 
Warm regards
Sophie M

On The Road
Community Champion
Community Champion

Just wanna come in and say hi to you Alex_F, welcome to the forum 🙂

I'm sorry that I don't think I have specific valuable advice to offer... I'm also a young one who's struggling and was on SSRIs before reducing my dose. I'm sorry that things have been tough for you.

You are the one who's very self-aware and able to readily list your issues, this is one important strength. Identifying issues is a headache for me and others ngl. It could be too overwhelming for us to take so much in our head, which just further compromises our mental health. I believe that working on issues has their priority, this's what I learned on my own issues. since I didn't know the details of the situation, I would suggest that education is probably the first thing to sort out with? along with your driving anxiety, that would help you regarding internship or apprenticeship (No.6&7) ; and it's ok to be financially dependent at the moment (No.4), unless you feel you really can't live with your family anymore. and to think of being full time employed later. I reckon trauma (No.1) and relationship issues (No.2) could take quite a length of time to work on, what do you think? yet this is just based on my personal experience. Have you ever worked with social workers? generally they do great jobs in helping young people.

Apologize again that I am not able to provide valuable advice, or give referrals. But please keep us updated, there are others in here that may provide better helps. 🙂

Take care