Why Am I Like This?

There are many causes of depression and I wanted to tell you all about what mine is.  Since the new DSM is coming out soon, the way of diagnosis has changed.  Since I am not a psychologist/psychiatrist, I cannot fully explain how it's changed, but there is now a narrative part to the diagnosis of mental illnesses. 

My depression is a symptom of a larger condition known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  It's an autoimmune disease, which means that my immune system doesn't recognize my thyroid as something that belongs there and it's trying to kill that organ.  A tiny butterfly shaped organ at the base of you throat cannot cause so much havoc, can it?  It really does. 

Depression is a symptom of Hashimoto's as well as fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, scaly skin, infertility and weight gain.  It's a fun illness to be sure.  Like depression, Hashimoto's cannot be cured, but it can be managed.  I go to the doctor every 8 months for a check up. Right now, my hair is falling out again and I have scaly patches on my ankles, which lotion is doing nothing to erase.  I have been exercising, so that might have changed my body chemistry again, which causes symptom flare ups.  Perhaps I need a medication adjustment, but I'm not sure.

The thing with Hashimoto's is that it has to be monitored.  It has caused me to try to live a healthier lifestyle.  I can no longer have diet soda as aspartame triggers symptoms.  I have to exercise everyday, which is something that I resisted, but since my last bout of depression, I decided to exercise.  I try the best I can to take care of myself, but battling depression at the same time is difficult.

I take comfort in the fact that my depression is not my fault.  I don't believe that any type of mental illness is the sufferer's fault.  I know that my depression can always come back because of my Hashimoto's.  I just have to keep on working on being well.  We all strive to be the best version of ourselves.  Sometimes it's more difficult than others' battles, but we all try.

I hope that one day it will be easier, but I know that it will be a struggle.  One day I hope there may be a cure for autoimmune diseases so that suffering will be eased.  Hashimoto's is manageable but can be just as devastating as any other disease.

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