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I Am Struggling to Accept My Double Depression Diagnosis

July 27, 2022 Mahevash Shaikh

July 12, 2022, was when my life changed forever. On this day, I got diagnosed with double depression, and I have been unable to come to terms with it. Even though I suspected it for a while, I don't know how to accept this as my reality. And I know it will be many moons before I do so. 

Depression Is No Stranger to Me

Depression and I have known each other for years. I got my first depressive episode at 13, and I still get them now at 31. In 2018, when a psychiatrist diagnosed me with major depressive disorder (MDD), I was relieved for the most part. The diagnosis validated what I had known for years. In 2019, I learned of a condition called persistent depressive disorder (previously known as dysthymia). According to Verywell Mind,1 

"double depression can develop in the context of persistent depressive disorder (PDD). The condition usually starts as PDD and becomes double depression when a person also develops MDD [at the same time]." 

Discovering double depression was a light-bulb moment. It now made sense why my first MDD episode succeeded at least a year of persistent depression. And it has been that way ever since: daily mild to moderate depression interspersed with intense depressive episodes. Until the discovery, I attributed everyday depression to my defining traits of idealism and empathy. However, as relieved as I was to find a reason for my inability to be depression-free, I didn't want it to be true. So I decided to monitor myself before consulting a professional. 

The Double Depression Diagnosis Has Been Triggering

I needed to ensure I had PDD. According to Cleveland Clinic,2 

"PDD is a mild to moderate chronic depression. It involves a sad or dark mood most of the day, on most days, for two years or more."

After passing the two-year mark, I had no more excuses to make. But I was still too afraid to see a professional, so I didn't make an appointment. Instead, I made desperate attempts to find cures like exercising regularly and learning psychology. 

When nothing worked, I pushed myself to ascertain the truth. A psychiatric consultation confirmed that I did indeed have double depression. Since then, my world has turned upside down. Because of PDD, I know depression will always control my life to some extent. And as someone who treasures autonomy, this is terrible news. Going by my online research, double depression is uncommon, and most people don't even know it exists. As a result, I am experiencing immense fatigue, suicidal ideation, resentment, self-pity, etc. A lack of empathy from some loved ones has made things worse.

All I Can Do Is Distract Myself

Everything hurts, and I am in no state to deal with my thoughts and feelings. Distraction is helping me cope, and I intend to keep at it for a while. Watch the video below to know why.

Sources

  1. Ohwovoriole, T. O. (2020, December 29). How Does Double Depression Develop? Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/double-depression-symptoms-diagnosis-and-treatment-5089417 

  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Symptoms, Causes & Management. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9292-persistent-depressive-disorder-pdd

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2022, July 27). I Am Struggling to Accept My Double Depression Diagnosis, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2022/7/i-am-struggling-to-accept-my-double-depression-diagnosis



Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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