I was reading an article today about how anger and irritability are often unrecognized symptoms of depression: an observation that rang painfully true to my depressive episodes. I mean, I’ve certainly experienced the despondence and low mood normally associated with depression, but just as often I find myself snapping to deep anger and pervasive irritability during those same episodes. If I were to hazard a very unscientific guess, I would speculate that both the depression and the anger comes from a sense of having no control over one’s life. This, apparently, is a specific form of stress that can have a lot of serious health effects. Like, serious-as-a-heart-attack serious.

Now that it’s over, I would characterize the second half of 2018 as a depressive episode. And it is over: I realized a few days ago that I hadn’t struggled with a violent mood swing or put on makeup over dead eyes for more than two weeks now. While I might’ve struggled with some annoyance yesterday at a series of setbacks throughout the day, they didn’t send me into a rage like they would have in October or December. I got stood up. I got turned down. I made it through without plummeting into an angst spiral.

Yes, I feel safe to say the episode has passed.

So what changed?

Not much: I’m still working the same job (which no longer feels like a glue trap), I’m still working on the same writing projects, I’m still making an effort to eat and exercise consistently. Mostly, I think I’ve just become more proactive about pursuing opportunities and experiences that interest me. When I write a line or two each day in my journal, I feel like I’m writing a life story instead of having my life story being written off by forces outside my control. With luck, it will be a trend that I’ll be able to keep up.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on February 5, 2019.

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