Thanks for the post. Sorry I didn’t see it earlier, or I would’ve responded sooner.
Please go see a psychiatrist and let them make that determination. If you do have clinical depression or bipolar disorder, then your risk of suicide goes up dramatically. Better to get a diagnosis - even if it turns out to be good news - than to leave a major illness undiagnosed. After all, would you let cancer fester if you suspected you might have a mild form of it?
I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 4 different times. The stigma that came with the disease prevented me from accepting the diagnosis. As a result, I ignored it for years, ruining relationships, causing me to lose jobs, and just making me miserable to be around.
It wasn’t until the fourth diagnosis - 12 years after the first - that I got serious about finding treatment for my bipolar disorder. I’ve been on a new prescription for about a month now. And, it’s going very well. I’m a much more pleasant person to be around, which my wife and kids duly appreciate. My performance at work improving, which my boss duly appreciates. And, best of all, I’m sleeping 1000x better, which I appreciate more than words. (I’ve had insomnia associated with my bipolar disorder for years and not known it.)
Regarding creativity: I’m more creative now than I have been in years. And, it’s not just artistic endeavors It’s the witty retort to a colleague’s friendly jab. It’s the flirtation with my wife. And, it’s even cracking a joke on an elevator full of strangers.
I’m like you. I always thought I preferred to be alone. That I was an introvert. But, it turns out that the real me, the one free of depression, is actually an extrovert. And, all those years of being alone were part of my problem.
All of that said, be willing to try more than one treatment plan when you do seek treatment. The first plan doesn’t always work. No plan works for everyone. The first mood stabilizer I took made it impossible for me to feel either happy or sad. My mood was stable, but I hated my mood. Don’t do what I did and walk away from treatment for 12 years after one failed attempt. Keep working with your doctor to find another plan. My new treatment plan is working wonders.
Good luck to you!