The entire notion of depression in our society is misleading. Depression is not an illness.
People are taught that depression is something that ‘happens’ to you vs. something that you are experiencing. When a person is not living in accordance with their will, the psyche suffers, therefore it creates a “depressive” state to force the individual inward to face the unconscious and to incorporate whats needed into consciousness. This is why you will find ‘depressed’ individuals withdrawing from relationships, hobbies, interests ect. because the psychic energy (libido, in physiological terminology) is needed in deeper areas within the psyche. Its the bodies way of conserving energy to ensure its survival. This is also why you’ll find a lot of ‘depressed’ individuals creating the most profound art, music, paintings, poetry ect. and being liberated. Art is a way for the unconscious to communicate to consciousness. This is what human myths throughout all time attempt to illuminate, death and rebirth, the phoenix rising from the ashes. In the gospel of Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” Ancient texts, when read metaphorically (as intended) attempt to illuminate this dark side of humanity and its capabilities of rising above. You’ll find in these texts the same stories repeated over and over again in different ways according to particular cultures interpretations. Death and resurrection. Ra and osiris, ishtar and Persephone, Jesus. You will also find the theme of the adversary and the journey into the underworld (the unconscious). All myth and religion do is illuminate the inner faculties of human kind, the human condition.
Depression is a means for the individual to cure themselves of their afflictions, or really, move towards being a more whole individual. Sorrow is a part of life, it will not be removed entirely, but there are ways to live a more whole life between the seemingly opposite emotions of sorrow and happiness, which are truly one.
Where depression becomes dangerous is when its misunderstood and avoided. When a person feels the need to escape from their depression, it intensifies because you are not allowing the unconscious room to live within the individual, and it will retaliate. Our society teaches us that happiness is the only acceptable emotion and it has caused absolute upheaval within the unconscious in hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. When a human being is suffering on the inside it manifests itself outside of the individual and into the world. Hence, the existence of war, racism, sexism ect. hatred. This is how we can look at the state of our environment, our relationships and get a better understanding of ourselves because all things happening in the world are a projection of the inner life of human kind.
The unconscious has not been given the proper conduits to express itself healthily. So when a person is feeling depressed, they become afraid and seek any means to escape confronting the deeper parts of the self. Most are unwilling to feel sorrow because of the notion that’s been built up around it. Depression is the unwillingness of the individual to feel sorrow completely without judgement, as soon as you think depression is bad, suffering inevitably follows and you’ve escaped the psyches natural purpose to ensure its survival. Sadly suicide is sometimes a result of this. They don’t realize that death is necessary multiple times throughout life. Death to old notions, death to nostalgia, death to not being present in life, death to who you were yesterday which opens the gate to who you can become, who you are meant to be, to live life with a fierce vitality in balance of the opposites.