National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
What could be the reason you’re not feeling your best? And how often have you not wondered: “Why the heck do all my friends appear to be happier than me?” And when you start looking for reasons, they are easy to find.
Your Friends all seem Happier
Your friends are good looking; they have good sex; they are happily married; they have great, intelligent children who are well behaved. Or, maybe they’ve just won the lottery. Who cares. The point is, maybe those are not the real reasons, and maybe, just maybe, it’s you that has the problem.
And the chances are you could suffering from a condition known as either dysthemia or dysphoria, both of which share the commonality of being milder forms of depression., When not addressed, these condition can lead to your slipping into a more severe condition, either clinical depression or bi-polarity. Both can be equally debilitating.
Dysthemia or dysphoria can be described as a mental disorder, perhaps even as ‘disease, albeit in mild form and the condition can manifest itself in many ways: irritability, negativity, low self esteem.
The hapless ones suffering from this (and there are many, many of them) find themselves in a no man’s land; not well enough to lead a fulfilling life and, on the other hand, not ill enough to warrant seeking psychiatric help or therapy.
Nihilism vs Libido
The human condition means, among other, being pulled in two directions by powerful opposing forces, defined by Freud as the ‘tendency toward nihilism’ and its opposing force, ‘the libido’.
Freud … Again!
A well-known therapist Cape Town, Ms L Rabe, described this condition in a way that was easy to understand: “If there is a beach,” she said, “and there is a mound of sand on the edge of the water, there will be a tendency in us to level this mound with the beach. This is the tendency towards nihilism. The contra-force pulling us in the opposite direction is our libido, sexual energy but energy that also expresses itself in creativity. “
How does this disorder occur?
If the tug, the tendency towards nihilism, or ‘nothingness’ becomes too strong in the face of, say, of a diminishing libido, the condition can easily slip into a condition that psychiatrists and therapists call Dysphoria or Dysthemia.
One must quickly qualify this because if you’re feeling blue, it does not mean that you are suffering from a mental disorder in the clinical sense. However, if the feeling persists, you might have to sit up and take note and possibly it’s time to consider seeing a therapist.
A Source of Creativity
If you have a creative outlet – now is the time to pick up pen and paper or whatever it is you do. A cartoon from a few years back, possibly from theNew Yorker summed up the situation very well: One blues musician asked his pal what was wrong. The pal explained: “Every since I’ve been taking this damn Prozac, I can’t sing the blues no more!”