We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Note: In the following, I am using depression in its clinicalsense, not the popular meaning. If that distinction is not clear to others in their comments, I will call them out, and I might not be gentle. People who glibly talk about feeling down or blue as the same thing do enormous damage.
I favor low-tech, lifestyle-change interventions for mild depression. Exercise, smoothing the daily ebb and flow of sugar levels, getting enough sleep, conscious decision-making, getting all abusables out of your life - that sort of thing. Talk therapy doesn't do much if it doesn't get you to those places.
I would never consider leaving it at that for severe depression. People die that way.
Assistant Village Idiot
Having a job that's also a hobby is a big help. You may never be depressed, in a clinical sense or an ordinary one.
Depression tends to get worse over time as the person gets older. Worse when life hands you lemons. It can be treated but not cured and may well require a lifetime of treatment and can still all go to hell one day either because the patient fails to take medication or life's little problems pile up suddenly.
Most people with depression have a troubled life with or without treatment. While treatment seems to help in fact over time and in the end it may not make a difference. Sometimes the person dealing with depression develops coping skills more often they cannot cope with severe depression.
Depressed people often perhaps intentionally make their problems worse. Sometimes just the actions of others to help them will be the push that puts them over the edge. While other times a serious crisis will rally them. But nothing really works consistently and long term. It's more like a pinball game where the goal is to keep the ball moving from bumper to bumper until you can't anymore and then it's game over.
I'm episodic with depression , half hour or so two or three times a year. I just look for something to take my mind off it... actually I don't look, it just manifests, the way out, without much thought on my part. I'm still breathing is a good start.
My experience has no relevance to real depressed folks. I know that.