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“I read a description of dysthymia (persistent mild depression) as ‘characterological depression’ or depression that ‘is rooted in one’s personality structure, due to its long duration, often beginning in childhood.’

Depression that has been there so long it becomes a part of your being. There are no medications for that. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help with higher functioning, but the sadness never goes away.

Characterological depression makes you hard to love sometimes. Persistent mild depression gives a darkness to your humour. Dysthymia helps you hone sarcasm and snark. Depression can make you seek out pleasures in painful places.

My earliest memories about myself and how I felt are not happy ones. They include being terrified of my father. They include distrust of my mother. They included avoidance of my girl peers and the appeasement of my boy peers. They include many statements in the passive voice to avoid telling a long story no one wants to hear.”

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