Q&A/PQotW: Is it depression, or do things really just suck?

Anonymous writes:

"Maybe this falls more under the PQotW category... I've beendealing with massive thyroid problems since my daughter was two months old, which kicked me into severe depression and continues to be a problem although now it seems to be settling into a PMDD-like pattern. Fun. My relationship with my husband has deteriorated to the point that I am seriously contemplating divorce. I am very aware that my health problems are probably playing a role in this, but the issue is that some of the things he's doing I'm pretty sure would be pissing me off whether or not I had those problems. How does one distinguish between "I feel bad because I'm depressed" and "I feel bad because this relationship is bad for me and on top of that I'm depressed which is making it worse." I don't want to go into the details of the problem because I feel like that's not really the point, but the umbrella issue is a lack of respect, which I'm realizing is something he's modeling from his father and grandfather. Awesome.

Thanks so much, Moxie. I know this isn't really the type of question that has an actual answer, but you are my touchstone for rational behaviour in the face of "It sucks, doesn't it?" and just sending this to you is already making me feel like I can find an answer somehow."

Well, my test is always whether you're responding in a way that's appropriate to the situation. And it sounds like you're in the middle of a relationship that isn't going to improve the way you need it to. So, yes, it's appropriate for you to be depressed about that. The thyroid and PMDD stuff is just an overlayer that you can probably get on top of with meds/exercise/sunlight/Omega 3s/minerals/etc. But the underlying issue is the stress of the wrongness of the situation you're in.

The next question is whether that pain is going to motivate you to do something about it, or paralyze you so you can't do anything about it. Some of us use pain as a way to process and get to the point that we can act. Others get so squelched by emotional pain that they get stuck, and can't do anything to improve the situation until the pain is alleviated somehow.

To me, the trick is figuring out what your own process is, and working with that. If feeling crappy is part of your process to clarity and living the life you're meant to live, then live in the depression (controlling the physical aspects of it as much as you can) with the knowledge that it's a chrysalis, and is temporary. If feeling depressed is preventing you from thinking things through and making decisions, then do whatever you need to do to treat the depression (T-Tapp or pilates and Omega 3 supplements would be my first suggestions) so that you can get on top of your life.

Anyone else have any thoughts about the whole question? I realize that my response to this is totally informed by the depression I went through the year after my younger son was born, which I knew at the time was a processing kind of depression, not PPD or "regular" depression. I know you guys have a wide range of different experiences and can add other aspects I haven't thought of.