Depression affects over 121 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Depression takes on various forms from mild to severe and women are twice as likely than men to be affected by depression especially during childbearing years. Most of us have heard of or know of someone with severe depression such as when someone takes to their bed for days or months on end, unable to go to work or care for their family.

But mild depressions exist as well and their symptoms are not talked about as often as major depression which leads to countless numbers of people living with undiagnosed depression for years or decades of their lives believing life is more difficult for them than for others.

I know. I unknowingly lived with Dysthymic Disorder for over 40 years, always dreading the possibility of yet another problem or catastrophe arising, not knowing how to handle or cope with it. In 2010, after several years of counseling, I finally got answers. I had never heard of Dysthymia before I was diagnosed but when I read about all the symptoms I realized I’d been living with it my entire life. The depression that comes with Dysthymia is mild yet always present and may not manifest itself as sadness or grief. It may take on a variety of forms including the following:

• Excess anger
• Inability of make decisions
• Easily frustrated
• Low self esteem
• Lack of sex drive
• Lack of energy
• Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
• Eating too much or too little
• Lack of interest in hobbies or experiencing something new

In addition, Dysthymic Disorder is not the only mental disorder or condition that may cause chronic anger or the symptoms listed above. Some other forms of depression that may cause these symptoms include:

• Cyclothymia
• Borderline Personality Disorder
• Manic Depression or Bipolar
• Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
• Schizophrenia
• Autism
Attention Deficit Disorder
• Antisocial Personality Disorder
• Oppositional Defiant Disorder
• Intermittent Explosive Disorder
• Conduct Disorder in children
• Dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease
• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

After becoming suicidal in 2008, I sought help from a counselor and focused on mediation, prayer and daily affirmations. But two years later, I still had “ups” and “downs” and my downs were so low I felt worthless and wanted to retreat from all aspects of my life. I wanted a divorce, a new career and a life in another country. I hated my life.

My counselor suggested I see a psychiatrist.

Being diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder is one of best things to happen to me. Please don’t live with chronic anger, anxiety, frustration or depression. Try whatever means available to you until you find something that works, something that allows you to be the person you were meant to be. Do whatever it takes to find peace and happiness.

To read about my journey through desperation and despair and make battle to make it through it all go to or Born Mad is available in hardback, paperback and ebook.

You may contact Robyn Wheeler at or log on to our Facebook page (Robyn Wheeler).

Author's Bio: 

Robyn Wheeler lived for over 40 years with an undiagnosed disorder called Dysthymia. After a severe depression set in and thought of suicide took over, Robyn sought out counseling. But the anger management classes and private therapy still do not rid Robyn on her ongoing chronic anger. In October 2010, Robyn decided to go to a Psychiatrist and was diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder. With a daily dose of anti-depressants, Robyns life, attitude and outlook on life changed for the better. You can follow Robyn's story of depression, anger and self-loathing by reading her newly published book Born Mad.

Robyn Wheeler is now an author and public speaker on depression, anger and Dysthymic Disorder.