If you think you've had occasional low-level episodes of depression over the past seven years, interspersed with much happier times and also with non-"depressed" times but times when you've been lower than you probably should be...would you go to the doctor about it now?
I'm not quite sure what I'd say to the doctor. I had a checkup recently and a bunch of blood tests and basically everything is fine. I constantly have very low energy, though. I'm more prone to negative thinking than I probably should be and at least three times in the past seven years I've been thrown into dark periods which have lasted for months. I think the first one, seven years ago, lasted for well over a year and I should definitely have gone to the doctor over that, but I don't think I realised what I was in the middle of till later.
At the moment I feel...ok, but not terribly upbeat. I think I've gotten too used to feeling this way over several years. I've blamed it on stress and the cumulative effect of various difficult and unpleasant things happening in my life over many years...some of them 12 years ago or more.
I do seem to get sick (with colds, flus etc) an awful lot as well and lack motivation for things like my job (which is a pretty good one that generally I should enjoy) and activities with my church (very important to me as a general thing.)
I just don't feel that bad RIGHT NOW. It would have made more sense for me to go to the doctor to talk about depression in the spring, when I probably did have at least a low-level episode. I'm not that keen to go on meds either. I've had therapy a couple of years ago, but it wasn't for depression, it was for a phobia. I've never talked to a doctor about particularly feeling depressed.
I sort of feel like I should go to the doctor but it seems a bit weird to go and say "I think I've been depressed a few times in the past seven years, but probably not right now, and I'm a bit scared of the dark winter coming up, and I lack energy."