Hey, I learned a new word last week! It is “dysthymia,” which is chronic low-level depression. And guess what, kids?  I haz it! Who knew? I’ve been calling it ennui.

This, in and of itself, is not surprising. I am well aware of my status as a depressed person. Being handed it as a diagnosis wasn’t particular awesome though. That particular diagnosis was part of a larger package, which I’ll go into another time.

For now, I’m swinging up from bottoming out. While where I am is not the most awesome place, it is better than where I was yesterday. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

In other news, I’m looking for a therapist. If anyone knows of the best ever therapist in the Silver Spring/Wheaton area and tells me his or her name, I’ll give you a free hug.


Until then, here is what I’ve learned from hosting a bajillion kids’ birthday parties in my time: Birthday Party Hosting 101 at White Knuckle Parenting.


Also, my Not Even Wrong post was chosen as a Voice of the Year selection for BlogHer ’12. I’m not one of those who are reading at the conference, but I am so honored to be among the phenomenal writers who are featured. Check out the list on the BlogHer website.

43 thoughts on “Dysthymia

  1. this was Tyler’s first DX. they thought he was depressed when in fact he just had no facial affect.  he kept insisting he wasnt sad, that everything was mostly fine. no one listened. then he was DX with aspbergers the next year and every one was like “oooohhhhh that makes sense now”

  2. Ironic as the other day I was looking for your ennui post of the past as I had never heard that word before reading it here but have come across it a lot more lately, in other blogs and books. I can’t decide if I had just never noticed it before or if it really just is cropping up more. 

    Good luck finding a therapist. I’m sure lots of us could benefit from one but actually putting it out there and following through is a step not nearly enough people take (myself most definitely included). 

  3. Ennui is my favorite word. Thank you for using it.

    I love that post. I loved it the first time and I’m so glad it was recognized. There were a lot of blogs from the autism  and special needs community. Hooray!

    Here’s to better tomorrows (and great therapists).

  4. I’m sorry that you have this burden.  I understand a piece of it, I think.
    I do have a fabulous therapist … she’s in Bethesda.  I’ll email you.  

  5. Huge congrats on the BlogHer VOTY! That’s just awesome. Sorry you’re not feeling well though. This has been a mother-effing awful year. Know that lots of people love you. You’re a true light for me, even if you don’t feel that way.

  6. I saw that you were named VOTY earlier and I’m so so so thrilled for you. Wish I could hug your neck.

    I think that might possibly be my own diagnosis. I’ve never heard of it before but sounds like me. I know a great adolescent therapist as well as an adult general therapist in the LA area. Guess that doesn’t help? Sorry.

  7. I love you to the moon and back and I’m glad you have a name to go with the feeling. It’s like with our kids, right? Sometimes knowing what it is makes all the difference, because now you can find the right tools to get the help you need.
    And that post? You know that post has been my guiding light this whole school year since you wrote it. Can’t wait to beat BlogHer with you.

  8.  It seems that when you’re diagnosing depression, you should check to see if the person you’re diagnosing is sad. Duh. :)

  9.  I’m sorry to hear that you could be a friend in dysthymia, but I think we’re in good company. But LA might be too far of a commute. Maybe.

  10. Me me me me me !  The absolute best therapist/counselor is Kelly Cregan near downtown Silver Spring.  She’s an LICSW (licensed clinical social worker) with advanced psychotherapy training and can adapt to a variety of styles/perspectives.  I know you and I know her, and I think it could be a good fit.  I’ll e-mail you her phone number and e-mail.

    She. changed. my. life.  She also made it possible for me to see that I could raise children (so I’m doubly grateful), but that’s also a story for another day.

  11. Congrats!! On the voices thing, not on the dysthymia. Though I have that as well and choose to believe it’s further evidence that we’re long-lost sisters. ;)

  12. Congratulations and hugs. I love you. And I hope every day gets just a little bit better until it. just. is. better. Hang in there funny lady. xxk

  13. Just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you and sending you a big hug!  You’re amazing. 

  14. I hope getting the diagnosis proves helpful (so often that’s the case, because at least one knows what one is facing and can start to do what needs to be done). If you think it might cheer you up, you could try reading the second of my books about Kay (sequel to Mapping Charlie). It’s available from Amazon now, and some day soon, I’m told, it will be an ebook, too. If you add my name (Meyerding) to the title (Forest for the Trees), it should come right up in an Amazon search. All best wishes to you.

  15. All I got is a hug for you, kiddo.  But I am glad you are taking good steps to take care of yourself.  Thinking of you.

  16. I have such enormous respect for you and the fact that you are so open and honest about how you feel and what’s happening in your life.
    Judging by the number (and warmth) of comments your writing gets, you are having a huge impact on a lot of people who are also going through challenging times. And I include myself among that number.
    Know that what you do is important and meaningful in a tough and challenging world and take strength from that. :-)

  17. Ennui is underused but in, like, very other crossword I do. I just started seeing a therapist two weeks ago, for my ennui, and guess what? He is resigning the practice end of June! HA! I thought I was so fucked up I sent him packing, but it turns out he is moving up in his hospital position. It’s for the best though, he’s way too handsome for me to not feel like a tool every time I cry (often). Good luck, hugs, and hang in there. You will come out stronger. Promise.

  18. I don’t know if this will help but you made my day today.  I got my Cheetah-thon tshirt!  So Awesome!  

    Happy Birthday to Jack and Quinn.  And congratulations to you on your VOTY award.  That is SO AWESOME, too.  

  19. Congratulations on being a Voice of the Year!  That is such a brilliant, powerful post.  I wish my writing were half as good as yours.
    I am sending hugs and chocolatey thoughts (and maybe even chocolate…).  I’m sorry you’re feeling sad.  Hold on to dysthymia, though, it’s a great word.  You might need it if you ever play Scrabble with my Pearl.  (Ennui, too).
    Lots of love!

  20. I always thought that ennui meant boredom.  It might *also* be related to depression, though.  

  21. So, I read your birthday party post – excellent!
    As usual, I have some feedback:
    1.  Please do not have a puppy pinata if the birthday child loves puppies.  I hope this is self-evident.  
    2.  The ‘rule’ I have learned is to invite one child guest [other than family members, of course] for each year of the birthday child’s life.  SO, first birthday?  One child guest.  Second birthday?  Two children.  This rule of thumb might be from Emily Post [WAY before your time], Miss Manners, or – ahem – me.  In any case, this means that there would be six first-graders rather than twenty.  [If there is an unspoken rule to invite the entire class, OR if the birthday child has lots and lots of friends, then disregard my comment.  Really.]
    3.  Sleepovers are mis-named.  Sleep?  Rather, I think the name should be ‘Lots of kids stay overnight, and then we serve pancakes, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs.  Then their parents bring them home.’

  22. My therapist called it “mood disorder,” until all she wanted to talk about was Joey and I had to fire her. Don’t panic if it takes a couple of therapist to find one that works for you. If you spend too much time talking about them, or not talking about things that help, find someone else. 

    Don’t forget we love you. And hey, texting to me is free if you want, 24 hours a day. OR we could, like, call and talk to each other. I’d still recommend getting a professional involved (depression, even low-level, is dangerous when chronic), but I also recommend lots of hugs, talks with friends, and yummy wine. And tell Alex you need a foot rub. For your health. 

  23. Awesome. Thank you. I will check her out. I so appreciate you sharing someone who means so much to you.

  24.  Yes. So true. I think knowing what you are dealing with is always a good thing.

    AND! I am so excited that your sequel is ready! I am going over to Amazon right now to buy it! Congratulations!!!!

  25.  Curses! I’m sorry he’s leaving, but I’m with you, I would not do well with a handsome man as a therapist.

  26. Oh my gosh – a word I knew that Stimey didn’t!  So much for all that high-falutin edumacation!  But yeah, that was my diagnosis years ago, now under control – thank the good Lord and pharmacology.  Luck with that!

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