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.
"Many acute depressive events I have seen are, in fact, reactive to events and could be viewed as grief." I think that's right. Sometimes your life just sucks. When you suffer one of those "life changing events" like the loss of a spouse, I would say you're mentally ill if you're NOT depressed.
Some depression is a reasonable result of bad health, age and it's accompanying ills and poor quality of life. This is the kind of depression that winning the lottery can erase. But most chronic depression is probably the result of some form of mental health issue.
Agree with the post and both comments. We overtreat the usual vicissitudes of life. There is much suffering in the world and our ancestors knew it and were not surprised by it. Some things must simply be endured, and worked around, in the hope we can be more compassionate to others later.
Other depressions seem so entirely biological that it is a cruelty to suggest that they have anything but minimal control over the symptoms, and exterior help is required. Our biology is imperfect, and sometimes things just don't work correctly, including mood and energy.
Assistant Village Idiot
And then there's the large category of depressions that are a mix of both.
Brain predisposed towards depression by for example a chronic deficiency in serotonin, combined with outside influences that trigger the actual depressive episode.
Way too easy to just classify everything as having a single, easily defined and dismissed, cause and say "man up and don't be a sissy, get over it" which seems to be the most common way people deal with depression in those around them.
To put it another way: "You're going to be deeply grieved and unhappy for a while whether you curl up in a ball in a darkened room, or continue to soldier through your day, and you'll probably get better faster if you do something useful. Start with something simple." While King David's infant son was hovering between life and death he fasted and gave himself over to grief, but after the boy died, David washed his face and kept moving. "I am going to him, but he will not return to me." It's not that he pretended not to feel grief, but that he was willing to accept it and keep living. It's one of the most moving episodes in the Old Testament.