In my layman's terms, here's where most people live:
14 years ago I was officially diagnosed with depression and I have taken anti-depressants since then, with the exception the 1.37ish years I was pregnant and nursed Grace. I am quite certain that I have always had depression, and that my mom also had it (undiagnosed), and our 15 year old was recently diagnosed and has had great results with a low dose prescription - heredity. Along with prescription medication, I have found ways to 'self-medicate' to cope. like avoidance of things I know will trigger unpleasant feelings with sleep, food, reading & TV. I didn't even really know I was self-medicating.
Here is where I usually live:
Hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, sluggishness, appetite change (actually less!), need to sleep more, feeling worthless, thoughts of mortality (different from suicide), withdrawing from friends and family and not comprehending why they care or notice... sometimes I feel like I can't even function, I don't want to get out of bed to go to work and am distracted when I'm there. I use all my energy up at work to 'keep it together' then I have next to nothing left by the time I walk in the door at home each night.
Here is where I live now:
midi-chlorians' [I have the best doctor EVER!] to see exactly what is going on..." But that this is severe depression, which does ebb and flow, and right now it's flowing. I am not bi-polar because I never get to the manic pole on the above scale, I only have one pole.
All this is to say, I've got some work to do. My regular dose of anti-depressants has been doubled, I need to walk through the stuff that scares me and hurts instead of withdrawing, I'm going to learn to let myself be dependent on Jesus instead of stuff that is never going to change anything. Next week I begin a 13 week intensive course through our fabulous church called Freedom for Life, that is all about getting rid of addictions, with lots of accountability. And exercise will help, too...
And now I know, and you know, too. And I hear knowing is half the battle.