A reader recently commented about this column: It is depressing, she wrote. When I read her critique, I was mildly surprised. I aim for thought-provoking, sometimes amusing, maybe even a little raw and real. I like informative, personable, relevant.
But depressing? Am I depressing? Now that is a bummer.
Today, though, I think that reader’s comments have merit. You see, I am a little bit blue, and I decided to write about it.
It’s not that I think readers should be interested in my emotional life; it’s that I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my transient bluesiness. You might have it too, and we might explore it together.
“Transient bluesiness” — here’s how I’d define it: You wake up and just feel “down.” Circumstances might be a little troublesome, as in there is something challenging going on, but your bluesiness is not, necessarily, related to circumstances.
You’re just blue. It’s a sad sort of feeling.
The feeling is not quite enough to make you want to crawl back in bed for the day, but it is enough you have to force yourself to get up and do what’s next. I recognize I have this transient bluesiness when I’m not excited about things that usually motivate me.
LIKELY SOMEONE WOULD, rightly, lambaste me if I did not tell you that was no official diagnosis and that if you have symptoms of clinical depression, you should see a health professional. So see a health professional; get an assessment; see what treatment options are available to you. Resources from online assessment tools to nurse practitioners to psychiatrists to support groups to books to medication are, today, vast and accessible in the U.S.
In my case, I am pretty sure I do not qualify as “clinically depressed” but, instead, have this “transient bluesiness” as I have described it. “Transient” means it comes and goes. I rarely have it for more than a day — if that — and it impacts my daily living very little.
Here’s what I chalk it up to:
One, hormones. For me, hormones are the greatest mystery of the human body. Their interplay, their effects, their seeming instability — ack, it makes them maddening. Hormones are involved in everything from digesting food to having babies to emotional responses while watching your children play. They’re constantly working to get and remain “stable” in your body, and nearly anything — lack of sleep, a poorly timed meal, a worrisome event, nursing a baby — can send them buzzing all over. I’m perimenopausal and nursing a toddler, among other things. Go figure.
My second I-chalk-my-bluesiness-up-to is just life in general. Humans are strugglers. We’re born dying, if you want to think of it that way. Truth is, life is hard.