How to differentiate 'normal bad days' from slipping back?

I've experienced depression or dysthymia for most of my life. Recently I've had some real breakthroughs. The last three days have been quite tough, though, starting with spending 6 hours travelling, bus connections etc. when the actual maxillofacial hospital appointment took 7 minutes maximum with the Senior House Officer. This set my pain off badly. I also hate and fear snow and ice - snow this morning, and I'm also having to watch my finances. I've found some of the old, unwanted thoughts creeping in.

Part of me thinks that these are just 'normal bad days' triggered by physical and external things, part fears another major depressive setback. Part of me believes the mindfulness saying that thoughts are like clouds drifting across the sky of our minds, which we just let pass, but part is fearful.

Does anyone else who has had long-term depression find it hard to differentiate between the two?

4 Replies

  • Hi there! I get a day. One day each month where what you are describing makes exact sense. It's related to my hormones I'm guessing, because it always happens at the tail end of my period. In work, whatever anyone says to me makes me cry. Guaranteed i'll get stuck in traffic on the way which will make me ratty. The kids will argue what seems a little more than usual and people I usually enjoy chatting to on the phone will annoy the hell out of me. The day used to hit me and I'd be completely overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness. I'd feel panicky and really low. Now I try to rationalise my thoughts. I remind myself that I've had plenty of bad days in my life and that they are always followed by a better one. I avoid using the phone so I can't argue with people and I keep myself to myself in work. That way, I'm not spending the next fortnight grovelling and apologising to the people I've offended! When bad days happen, I try and put myself into auto pilot and get through them as quickly as I can. I focus on tomorrow being a better one, and it usually is! X

  • I'm well past the periods! However, pain and tiredness seem major precipitants. The fatigue tends to lead to procrastination, then that pulls me lower, so I'm trying to plan things better.

  • Hi

    I tried to answer yesterday but the website seemed to have problems. Anyway, yes I can identify with what you are saying. Sometimes I feel as though I've come a really long way and then the next day I can feel as though I'm right back where I was before. I've come to the conclusion that if I'm able to think about whether things have changed then they have, because when I was in the really black depression I wasn't able to imagine anything different! That always helps me to put things into some perspective.


  • How true Sue! never thought of that before. Thank you! :) xxx