Despite all my best efforts I am experiencing a low-grade depression, and have been for the last month. What's different about it this year is that I'm accepting it for what it is, and I don't feel bad that I've got it.
In years past, I've been very disappointed that I've done everything "right" and still experience a seasonal depression that usually lasts from October through March. But this year, I've said to myself, "It's okay. The Adderall is working at 30 mg. You get up every morning and live your life despite the depression. You're still playing badminton twice a week even if you have to force yourself to go sometimes. You're still playing music. You're going to volunteer at the pet rescue organization.
"You're continuing to write your blog. You're doing your household chores. You're actively participating in your son's and husband's lives. You're participating in the presidential campaign--albeit with a small effort. You're learning about digital photography. You're spending time outdoors every day. You're walking, and listening to music. You're reading, and learning how to knit.
"You're recognizing your limitations and accepting them, but you're fully engaged in activities you enjoy. You're spending time with people you find uplifting, and for your own health--you've stopped spending time with people who aren't.
"This isn't a bad depression. You may not have a high energy level, but you're neither terribly tired nor do you need to nap. You're pacing yourself better than you have in the past.
"Maybe, the answer is that you finally realize it's okay to have low-energy periods. You no longer feel you have to apologize to people for experiencing these lulls. You no longer have responsibilities--either work or a young child--that require you to be 'up' all the time. A change in mood truly doesn't have to be a problem as long as you're feeling okay about it."
How do you handle low-grade depressions? What are the greatest challenges? What tips and advice can you give to others?