doesn't just about everyone get depressed at some point?
a few years ago i hit a real low. couldn't stand talking to people (even more so if i didn't like them in the first place), would suddenly start to cry for almost no reason in the daftest of places (supermarket, bus, even at a meeting with a client?!). i don't know exactly what triggered it. perhaps it was a feeling of lonliness which is certainly how i felt despite having my GF and friends around me. maybe it was a feeling of not knowing what i was doing with my life....
one of my cousins was diagnosed as being depressed and spent years on mood altering drugs (Prozac?). at the time i was certain that i'd never end up in that position.... being dependant on pills (not that i'm adverse to drug taking per-se, just not so keen on the prescribed stuff) didn't seem like much of an alternative.
so as i felt myself slipping away i decided i had to change my situation. along with my bike i went back to the UK, more for a change of scenery as much as to see my folks and family. i probably wasn't the most pleasent person to be with so i took my mum's car and drove around the country for a few weeks. i cried then, too, when watching the sun go down over the Dales, or when having a pint in a pub in Suffolk. during my jaunt i met up with an old friend. it was during this time with him that i felt myself change back to the "old" me.
i think the reason for this is that he was such a useless, umming'n'arrring, driveless, unhappy person that it helped put my situation into perspective. i also decided i wouldn't spend any more time with him and haven't bothered to see him since, but that's perhaps another story.... after that incounter i went back to my folks and immediately booked a flight back home and got on with my life, concentrate on the 80% of my life that was good and either improve or try to change the 20% of it i didn't like, to no longer surrounding myself with lame arsed people who dragged me and my positivity down.
i'm not embarrassed about it. i'm happy to speak to anyone about it. maybe i didn't experience full-blown depression, perhaps because i could feel myself slipping, but i think it has helped me know who i am and what is important in my life....
but it also got me thinking.... are we programmed to always be happy? how do we know we are happy if we are never unhappy? surely unhappiness is a part of life that we have to deal with. and i'm not sure that drugs are the answer. obviously i'm no doctor, but isn't it better to change the balance in your life rather than in your brain?
there was an interesting thing about depression on R4 by Will Self about SSSIs and how common they've become over the last 30-40 years. perhaps in the past we were more inclined to "just get on with it", to grin and bear life and only those that were really screwed/depressed/having a breakdown ended up with some sort of treatment. are doctors now too eager to prescribe something physical...?