More threads by beesknees


I am a seriously miserable person. Not on the outside of course, my family all see me as happy and my boss always writes that I have sunny and cheerful disposition. But on the inside I am so thoroughly miserable, I ache with it. I take perverse pleasure in listening to incredibly sad music and wallowing in the hollow feeling that I have. I have no Idea why I feel miserable as I have everything I could possibly want. I have a house and a job and the most perfect husband in the world not to mention a beautiful little boy. I am waiting for a referal from my doctor at the moment. he is sending me to some sort of therapist. He didn't want to because he said that I don't display the symptoms of being depressed. Just how fed up do you have to be ? I have been like this since I was a teenager, before I had my son there were days when I didn't get out of bed til my husband got home, I couldn't bear the thought of trying to fill all the hours of the day. even now ther are days when I hole up in my room, put my son in his play pen and don't even open the curtains for the entire day. Could it be that I am just miserable?
Also does insanity run in families? cos I think I might have inherited a bit from my gran and it scares me. My gran got locked away several times for doing strange things Like once she prtended to be dead, let the ambulance arrive and everything. my aunty also has issues, she suffered really badly with post natal depression and has occasional reclusive weeks where she doesn't come out of her house. My dad is an attention seeking hypochondriac who hasn't been going to make it til christmas for the last thirty years. I just think that there is a definate line and I think I may have picked bits up. Like I could see myself playing mind games with my husband just like my nan did. I kind of know that there are a whole load of really wierd thoughts hanging aound in my head and I feel like I am sitting on a time bomb just waiting for it to explode and for me to completely lose my grip.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
If your doctor feels you do not meet the criteria for Major Depression, it may be that you do meet the criteria for Dysthmia:

Criteria for Major Depressive Episode
A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either
(1) depressed mood or
(2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
(4) Insomnia or Hypersomnia nearly every day
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode (see p. 335).

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

E. The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.
Diagnostic criteria for 300.4 Dysthymic Disorder
Emotional depression that persists for years, usually with no more than moderate intensity, characterizes this depressive disorder.

A. Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others, for at least 2 years. Note: In children and adolescents, mood can be irritable and duration must be at least 1 year.

B. Presence, while depressed, of two (or more) of the following:

(1) poor appetite or overeating
(2) Insomnia or Hypersomnia
(3) low energy or fatigue
(4) low self-esteem
(5) poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
(6) feelings of hopelessness

C. During the 2-year period (1 year for children or adolescents) of the disturbance, the person has never been without the symptoms in Criteria A and B for more than 2 months at a time.

D. No Major Depressive Episode has been present during the first 2 years of the disturbance (1 year for children and adolescents); i.e., the disturbance is not better accounted for by chronic Major Depressive Disorder, or Major Depressive Disorder, In Partial Remission.
Note: There may have been a previous Major Depressive Episode provided there was a full remission (no significant signs or symptoms for 2 months) before development of the Dysthymic Disorder. In addition, after the initial 2 years (1 year in children or adolescents) of Dysthymic Disorder, there may be superimposed episodes of Major Depressive Disorder, in which case both diagnoses may be given when the criteria are met for a Major Depressive Episode.

E. There has never been a Manic Episode, a Mixed Episode, or a Hypomanic Episode, and criteria have never been met for Cyclothymic Disorder.

F. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a chronic Psychotic Disorder, such as Schizophrenia or Delusional Disorder.

G. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

H. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Other alternatives include Depressive Disorder NOS ("This designation abbreviated NOS can be used when the mental disorder appears to fall within the larger category but does not meet the criteria of any specific disorder within that category.") or a physical medical condition such as hypothyroidism or low iron/B12, etc.

Assuming medical causes have been ruled out already, to a degree it shouldn't matter what diagnosis you fit or whether you meet the published criteria for any of them - if you are chronically unhappy, something is wrong and seeing a therapist could probably help.


Wow. Thankyou for such a quick response, it must be quite early in the morning over there. It is nearly 5pm here though. I am still uncertain as to what I might be classed as and have the distinct impression that I will probably not fall in to any of them. I don't know what it is like over there, but over here I think we only get three sessions on the NHS with a therapist which doesn't give a lot of time to explore issues, so when if they give me some idea as to why I am a moaning old winge bag ( currently laughing at self) I think I will go privately. The problem I find is why figuring out whether I am really miserable or whether I am like my dad and just want to be miserable. the difference is that my dad does it for attention whereas I don't let anyone else know I am unhappy. Which in turn creates the problem that if you can still smile surely there can't be too much wrong.

Anyway thankyou for those definitions at least I will know what they are talking bout now.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder

No, actually it's just after noon here (Ottawa area, Eastern Standard Time, or GMT - 5 hours).

if you can still smile surely there can't be too much wrong
Not necessarily true - some people are really expert at concealing their feelings from other people.


I think no matter how many wonderful, amazing things you have on the outside, none of them matter if you're not happy w/ yourself on the inside. Those things might mean a lot to you and even have great personal value, but in the bigger picture, there's something missing. You have a right to go to therapy no matter if you have already received a 'diagnosis' or not... just like you have the right to pick and choose which doctor you want to see. Often, people almost get 'fooled' at how well you're doing in life, and we don't really bother to correct them either (ie. you wouldn't really say to your boss "you think I'm happy? no, I'm actually miserable", right?). But this dosn't mean that things are okay, it only means you're putting on a great show and accomplishing the things you have to do each day, which is existing, but not really living.

It's difficult getting caught up in the cycle of "what this is", which disorder etc. when you're actually the person living it... if in the end, you don't meet "all" the criteria, you might not be diagnosed as "x" but again, it's only a diagnosis... there's a lot more than that to explain how you feel (ie. as David pointed out the Depressive Disorder NOS- not otherwise specified) so going to a therapist is a good idea no matter what...
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