Sometimes the onset of depression is gradual and insidious. So gradual that an individual doesn’t see it in themselves while it is happening. I can think of many patients who came to me for depression who didn’t originally recognize it in themselves. A patient of mine recently described how his wife helped him recognize his depression. No he wasn’t suicidal or crying all the time. In fact, he was rather unemotional and he wasn’t relating to others in his usual way. He was not really expressing joy or obvious sadness. With further discussion he recognized he was clearly anhedonic. He did not think he felt bad enough to seek treatment without a nudge from his wife. He just thought he was bored all the time.
As often happens it is easier to recognize the severity of symptoms after recovery. I treated his depression with medications while he saw my therapist for CBT. A couple months later he as his symptoms were resolving, he recognized that the “boredom” he experienced was depression. It was easier for him to see in retrospect what his wife was seeing all along.
He described that now he is more engaging in conversations. He now experiences joy in living his daily life. He describes getting his sense of humor back and being able to laugh again. He takes particular pride in being able to make others laugh. I thought he captured things quite well when he said “I got my Woo Hoo back!.” I think we all know what that means.
With a little “Woo Hoo” in life we can find pleasure in life even in tough conditions. Depression is experienced differently by different individuals. We all deserve to experience the “Woo Hoo” moments of life..