When I was little, before I knew the words "depression" or "early onset dysthymia," I tried to explain what I was feeling to my mother. I was in preschool, and I knew what I was feeling wasn't "sad" or "angry" or "sick," but I also knew something felt wrong. I'd always been overly sensitive and easily irritable -- I can't remember I time I wasn't anyway -- but now at four I also felt sort of dull and grey and off. "Sad" was the closest word I knew to what I felt, but I also knew if I said, "I feel sad," she would ask, "About what?" or the less helpful, "What do you have to feel sad about?" and I didn't know the answer, so I told my mother, "I don't feel happy."
My mother replied, "Nobody gets to feel happy ALL THE TIME! GAWD!" and went on about how my expectations are too high and no one can ever meet them.