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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Random Card - Dysthemia and Depression

Did anyone watch the View yesterday? It was a one hour show covering the topic of depression. It was a good show. Why am I asking? I think depression is an important topic that should be discussed.

Well, I think from my teens off and on through my adult years, I think I suffered a mild form of "Dysthemia". I've never been diagnosed but after analyzing my life, I believe I've suffered this disorder a few times.

What is Dysthemia? Dysthemia is chronic mild depression. You know, sort of feeling melancholy, moody, the blues. . .

The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) is what psychologist or psychiatrist use to determine if a person meets a diagnostic criteria of a particular mental disorder.

The DSM-IV of Dysthemia is as follows:

"Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, and ongoing for at least two years. During this time, there must be two or more of the following symptoms: under– or over eating, sleep difficulties, fatigue, low self-esteem, difficulty with concentration or decision making, and feelings of hopelessness. There can also not be a diagnosis of Major Depression for the first two years of the disorder, and has never been a manic or hypo-manic episode".

Basically. . .if you've had major depression - you were NOT dysthemic. Major depression is not dysthemia. There's a distinction between the two. A person with dythemia sort of feels "blah" but functions normally. They are able to work, participate in life like any normal person, looks happy, acts happy, and many may not see the person as even being close to being depressed or unhappy. It's almost an internal thing that is very hard for others to see or even understand.

I believe in my teens and a few years ago, I suffered Dysthemia. I'm not suffering it anymore. I don't know how it started. . .I'm sure there was a trigger. I think it started after a few years as an RN. After seeing people suffering cancer (I worked in an OB/GYN Oncology Unit - High Risk Pregnancy), I think I started to see my own mortality and began to worry about possibly getting cancer. I started to check my neck for swollen lymph nodes that became a routine for me. My grandmother who raised me passed away during that period and I think just a series of event triggered feelings of uncertainty.

Anyway to make a long story short. . .I never felt depressed, just "blah" and very unmotivated and couldn't find "real" happiness or joy in anything I did. . .well, that's not true, I would find joy and happiness in an event but it was so temporary and I constantly sought change or something new to do. . . each new event would bring fleeting happiness and I needed them like a fix.

What does this have to do with rubber stamping? Well. . .because rubber stamping is so versatile and the possibilities of what you can create is endless. . .rubber stamping fulfilled to some degree a void whenever I become restless, bored and needed something to occupy my mind.

When I create things. . .my focus is only what I am doing. Nothing bothers me. It's like therapy or something. If I'm upset or unhappy about something - I would make something and for that moment I forget what ever it is that is bothering me. I literally forget about it and after I'm done with a project, I usually forgot what it was I was upset about.

I know what I'm talking about is a bit personal but I think if someone is suffering from the "blahs" and it's been ongoing for a long period of time, you may want to seek treatment. I didn't seek treatment at the time it occurred and luckily, I no longer feel that way. . .I'm not sure how it went away but I sort of snapped out of it. I guess I found a natural form of therapy. . .rubber stamping! Ha! I know it sounds ridiculous but really, I feel it helped me and now, I do it because it's FUN, FUN, FUN!

Okay, now to the card I made. I used the Fiskar scallop template to create the scalloped design. I then dressed it up but adding dots with a white gel pen. To add a little dimension to the sentiment I punched a circle with a 1 inch punch and matted it on to a paper daisy.

The stamped image was colored using the "Prismacolor Pencil and Gamsol" technique which I've covered on numerous post. Check my sidebar under categories for posts pertaining to this technique.

here is the sketch challenge:

Until later. . .


Bonnie said...

Depression and other like disorders, can be crippling. I know because my teenage son has been suffering since he was 12 years old. He has been very "fragile" a couple of times and still suffers today (17 years old). It affects all their loved ones and at times, reduces you to tears to see them suffer like they do. Thanks for sharing this story, Maria. Personally, stamping is my escape and my motivation to see the positive side of just plain makes me feel good. And that allows me to greet each new day with strength and a positive attitude.

Sonya said...

Dang..that fits me in every single way.