Are You Always Unhappy?
What is Chronic Depression or Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)?
We all have periods in life when we feel unhappy, anxious or angry. Our human side consists of these; As well as happiness, excitement and peace, the negative emotions we feel are also parts of our human side and our lives. However, sometimes our unhappy side takes over our selves and rushes onto the stage to play the leading role by stealing roles from other emotions; he can’t even get down.
Of course, this unhappiness may have various reasons for us; The end of a close relationship, as well as the loss of a close or loved one, problems with others, loss of performance at work, academic difficulties, decreased school performance, difficulties on the eve of making major life decisions (marriage, job change, etc.), or due to another stress factor. We may feel extremely unhappy, anxious, or hopeless. Studies already point out that, apart from our biological predispositions and temperament factors, many stressful life events that may be effective are the triggers and triggers of depression.
It is worth mentioning here that apart from our innate temperament traits, our personality structure shaped by our life experiences can also determine our susceptibility to depression or other clinical disorders. So how? Let me state here that I would be happy to assist you with some concepts of schema therapy theory. According to this theory, there are 18 different schemas that are universally seen in all people, without distinction between pathological/non-pathological, normal/abnormal. These schemas are shaped by our innate temperament traits and life experiences, especially our early life experiences. The type of relationship we establish with our parents in our early life, whether our needs are met in this period or the way our needs are met play a significant role in our schemas.
Accordingly, for example, people who did not receive enough love, affection or warmth in their early life, and whose feelings were not listened to and taken into account, may have an emotional deprivation schema with the expectation that the emotional closeness they need will not be adequately met by others in the future (JE Young et al., 2011). Someone with this schema may constantly avoid close relationships with the expectation that their emotional needs will never be met, as a way of coping with the schema (HAKaraosmanoğlu, 2017). Since schemas generally continue to affect us outside of our awareness, the person with such a schema tends to live away from close relationships or with superficial close relationships, avoiding them all the time. However, a persistent unhappiness, characterized by an underlying dissatisfaction and the inability to be close enough, to have warm and satisfying relationships, can dominate the mood as a whole. If we consider the universal human need to establish close bonds with others, we can understand how vital it is for a person to not meet this need.
Or the child who grew up with the excessive expectations of his family (like “you must be the most hardworking, most talented, the most beautiful, the most talented, the richest”) in his early life and who is constantly compared with others and whose positive behaviors are not adequately mirrored, has failure, imperfection, high standards. (perfectionism) or justification schemas may develop. Someone who grows up like this and has an imperfection schema may choose to avoid expressing their true feelings and thoughts in their relationships with people in anticipation of being rejected and criticized by others, as a way of coping with this schema.
After the schemas of emotional deprivation and imperfection, which we have tried to describe through examples, I would like to take a break from this vast and vast subject and return to our topic, depression.
In the first example, the behavior pattern included avoiding close relationships, and in the second example, avoiding expressing true feelings and thoughts. Let’s imagine that this is a lifelong repeating pattern. Considering our other basic needs, such as establishing close relationships with others, secure attachment, belonging, and approval, which constitute our vital needs…
In addition, one of the clinically prominent findings in depression is social withdrawal. Assuming we don’t yet know whether social withdrawal is cause or effect…
Both of the above examples, although not in all situations and in everyone, can sometimes constitute the underlying dynamics of Persistent Depressive Disorder, which we define as chronic depression or Dysthymia. According to the DSM-5 (DSM-5, 2013), which developed the international diagnostic criteria for mental disorders, the symptoms of Persistent Depression Disorder are as follows;
-The person has a depressed mood (such as feeling tearful, sad, hopeless, or empty) most days and most of the day for at least two years.
-The person may feel low on energy or exhausted.
– Self-esteem (self-esteem, sense of self-confidence, etc.) may have decreased.
– May have difficulties focusing on something or making decisions.
-The person may have feelings of hopelessness and pessimism.
The desire to eat may be decreased or increased.
The need for sleep may be increased or decreased.
All these symptoms may cause significant distress in the person or social, occupational, etc. It becomes possible to talk about the presence of Dysthymia when it causes a significant decrease in functionality in areas.
In this article, we tried to focus on the background and possible causes of depression, which is defined as the disease of the age, as well as Ongoing Depression (Dysthymia).
Please do not hesitate to get support from an expert when you feel that you cannot cope with the problem you are experiencing.
I wish you healthy days,