Excerpt from the book “Dealing with Depression” by Gordon Parker.
Depression can be experienced in many different ways, reflectiong the individual’s personality, coping repertoires and mood state, as well as the type of depression. As there are no absolute rules, definitions of “the experience” can only be imprecise markers of depressive sub-types.
For someone experiencing depression, their general mood state will be negative and marked by pessimism, lowered self-confidence, and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. They may want to “walk away from things” (for example, leave a difficult job or marriage), thus risking a drop in the social hierarchy. These features are generally more severe and pervasive in melancholic and psychotic depression. By contrast, in “normal” and “non-melancholic” depression, individuals may be able to “bounce out” of the mood state, perhaps in response to support from others, or to something pleasant occurring in their life.
My understanding of the above is that even though many of us suffer from depression at some stage in our lives, only some are suffering from true, long term depression.
For instance, I’m depressed right now. Why? Because I’ve lost my son and can’t comprehend that I will never see him again. However, my depression isn’t bad enough to warrant medication (except, maybe, where not sleeping is concerned, but I’m not on medication for that either). With each week that passes, I can feel the weight lifting ever so slightly. I can feel my will to carry on fighting through the darkness.
A manic depressed person doesn’t have any sign of hope, even if someone points that hope out to them. Someone who constantly says “what’s the point of learning anything new” or “what’s the point of making friends” or “what’s the point…of anything” is suffering a deeper depression and probably needs to see a professional for help.