How brave, courageous and loving of you to share what depression is like for you and for the many ways you find help in your struggle to deal with it. The main reason I posted was that I have seen, all too often, how debilitating depression can be, how it can rob the person who is depressed of every facet of living, and sometimes even of their life. It is so misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated. One should not have to feel any more shame or blame for suffering from depression than one would feel for having any other serious illness. For that is what it is. Yet still, in this day and age, a great majority of people seem to feel that it is something that the person has some control over, and as you say, could just snap out of it or get up and get going.
Thank you for also mentioning Mother Theresa and her struggle. How sad it was that when her letters and diaries were made public, that so many, even educated people, used her private thoughts and struggles to try to cast doubts on her faithfulness and ponder if she had not had a falling away from faith and her beliefs. Anyone who suffers from depression or works with or helps those who are suffering could easily see in her letters and writings that she was suffering from deep and abiding depression. And yet, even with all her resources and the resources of those around her, no one ever addressed this and instead, looked at it as a weakening of faith. How the more difficult it must have been for her and her struggles. Yet, as you said, and as you do yourself, she never gave up.
It is my hope that for every sharing and every post on this issue that each of us may learn a bit more. It may be that it is a clearer understanding that depression is a serious illness and not the fault of the sufferer, or how to recognize it, or how one can reach out to help, in a meaningful way those who are depressed, or even how to help themselves fight off the darkness and not feel that they are alone, or shameful, or that there is no hope.
Bless you for sharing your story and your struggle. Thank you for your thoughts and ideas how one can deal with this illness and what those who want to reach out and help others can do.