I had a post in 2008 about the all-or-nothing antidepressant combo nicknamed California Rocket Fuel. It has been in my top ten posts most months ever since, though it has only attracted a few comments. A new one came in tonight, quite excellent, which prompted me to reprint it.
Depression is miserably hard, lying to you and telling you it is the normal state of affairs and will go on forever, when in fact is more usually has a beginning, a middle, and an end. One of the extra discouragements is that people use the term "depression" in everyday conversation for far less painful conditions, such as grieving, feeling sad, or having low energy. Depression does not even always include sadness, though it frequently does. A few times a year my mood drops enough that I qualify for a diagnosis of Mild Depression, and a few times in my life that has become Moderate Depression. Even Mild Depression, according to clinical standards, is hellish. When I float back up out of it, I am enormously grateful that I don't have depression at the level I see at work. Severe Depression can mean having such low energy that you soil yourself in bed because you cannot muster the energy to get up and cross the hall to the bathroom, and don't really care that much that other people are horrified to be with you.
Bear that in mind when you are tempted to describe your blue funk as "depression." You could be kicking someone one more time while they are down. BTW, let me put in a plug for ECT's here. They don't work on personality disorder/PTSD-style depression all that often, and only slightly more frequently on Schizoaffective Disorders. But they can be absolutely magic for some patients. And for pregnant women who don't want medications on board while they are carrying a child, electrical treatments can be a godsend.