Didn’t See It Coming.

Didn’t see it coming: As if anxiety and PTSD weren’t enough, major depressive disorder too?

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Out of all my mental health conditions, the one I never thought was an option was major depressive disorder (MDD). It crept under the radar, cloaked in my anxiety disorder; at least this is what I thought was the source of my woes. I guess I didn’t see it coming.

I have always been a fairly positive, upbeat person, so it came as a surprise when the psychiatrist diagnosed me with it. However, after exploring the symptoms and looking back on it now, I see it plain as day.

Signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder.

Not only can I see its influence on my life, I can say with certainty that it’s been in the background since adolescence. In my teens, it was masked as moody teen behavior. Perhaps this is why the heavy dread went undetected.

“What’s more imperative is finding ways to minimize its impact on the quality of my life”.

Robbed of energy and full of inexplicable sadness, I rationalized it away by thinking that everyone gets the blues now and again. But “the blues” don’t generally cause mental exhaustion and physical pain, a fact I failed to observe for years.

These depressive episodes only became clear after I was diagnosed with PTSD. It was at this moment when I realized how interwoven the two mental-health disorders were. The trauma I accumulated brought to my attention just how cyclic the moments of “blue” are. I have several episodes a year. How could I have mistaken this for normalcy?

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This is a question that I struggle to answer, and now at almost forty-four, I have accepted that I will never know. Honestly, I am okay with that. Its source is now irrelevant. What’s more imperative is finding ways to minimize its impact on my quality of my life.

Treatment options for depression

Although it exacerbates my disconnect to the outside word – a disconnect that comes with the post-traumatic territory, – I work hard so I’m not swept away by its unrelenting feelings of worthlessness.

“Improve your quality of life by doing your best to squeeze every drop of happy out of this life you’ve been given. “

One thing I recommend for you, is talking to those closest to you. Get their feedback on what it is they see about you. For example, you might think that you’re simply tired all the time and that’s why you sleep in a lot. but iis there more to it? Remember, be gentle – you are asking for their help.

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Didn’t see it coming

Pay attention to how you feel. Really stop and think about it. Am I feeling inexplicably sad and want to cry? Do I feel this way for more than two weeks? Do I withdraw from things I used to love, family get-togethers etc?

Since you’re here, check out and share: 5 ways to maximize your mental health.

If through your investigations you find cause for concern, maybe it’s time to see a mental-health professional. Once you know for sure, you can restart your way down the road to mental wellness.

For me, I do most of the work between the lows so as to help me cope when they hit. Diet and exercise are key players in my recovery. Changing my eating habits has taught me the importance of good food’s health benefits, including mental health.

I know MDD can be discouraging but try and keep in mind it’s not something you can just get over. If in doubt, do some research, and you will discover that it is a real, legitimate illness that can be chronic and debilitating. You didn’t ask for it but you must tackle it. Is every day going to be filled with joy? Not likely, but you can improve your quality of life by doing your best to squeeze every drop of “happy” out of this life you’ve been given.

Written for therapeutic relief – published to help others.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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