I’m not convinced that we have a conclusive definition of what depression is. It’s very subjective. I’d define depression as a low mood that won’t go away and is there from the moment you wake to the moment you sleep, undermining everything and every thought in your life.The degree to which this undermines your life is not obvious. Depression is extremely stealthy and insidious. Unfortunately society is set up so that we tend to shit on people with depression as we see them as easy targets, so the people who need the most help get the most indifference.Everyone will be different but here’s a few signs I’ve picked up on:Eye contact. A depressed person is closed down. They don’t want to make eye contact because they don’t want people to know they’re depressed.Body language is slumped, lethargic, lacking in motivation.They tend to get frustrated by the smallest things or are very easy to give up and say things are hopeless.They look tired, even though they may be getting plenty of sleep.They pay less attention to detail and don’t look after themselves.They don’t react to world events, or if they do, it’s hopeless.They may start a sentence positively but by the end of the sentence it peters out into nothing. Like, “The native Americans are a proud race of people, but, they’ve all been made extinct by access to cheap alcohol.”When they offer advice or help it is often negative. E.g. “You should put your phone away before someone steals it.” or “You’ll never get a job in this town.”They tend to assume things will be bad. “The weather forecast today was sunny but I think it will be rain.”They tend to blame everything for their low mood without looking at themselves, e.g. “I was doing fine until that woman in the shop crashed into me.”Then there’s the stoic depressive. A stoic depressive keeps their chin up and grinds on forwards, never complaining and always dismissing any and every hardship, but inside they’re struggling to cope. They hang onto the belief that surely things will change for the better, but their refusal to review their own decisions means they’re on a downward spiral.There’s also the arrogant depressive. Someone who dismisses everything by saying things like, “Oh, it wasn’t so bad in my day,” and “oh, people don’t care any more.” They think that if they keep dismissing things that feel bad then eventually they’ll get to what feels good. This is also a doomed tactic because they get into such a habit of dismissal that they start dismissing the good things that could help them out of the rut they find themselves in.I know this sounds depressing, but to some degree, these forms of depression are intertwined with most personalities in the UK. It’s so different to attitudes abroad where people have much harder lives but also have a lot more hope. Something about the British (and probably Western) civilisation has a tendency towards depression.Anti-depressants are a misnomer. They are anything but anti-depressant. They actually make the personality issues that lead to depression much more long term by anaesthetising the person from the consequences of their actions, reinforcing the bad habits that keep them in depression.A depressed person is totally overwhelmed by the negativity they see all around them. That’s not to say that negativity is not there but these people can’t cope with it healthily.A ship on the water is surrounded by all the elements, for sometimes 1000’s of miles all around, that could easily sink the ship and kill everyone on board. Moreover, people can die of thirst yet they are surrounded by water. Does a good captain get depressed? No, a good captain charts the course that avoids the worse of the dangers and sets sail. It’s all about the attitude you have. Focus only on the bad and everything is bad. Focus on the good (what you can do) and at least there is a balance between the good and bad.Your chances of survival on the great crossings used to be very, very low. People didn’t get depressed. They got on with it. It depends on your attitude to life.One year on I wand to add a little revision as I think some people with clinical depression might feel I am belittling their condition. I myself suffered from clinical depression for over 20 years and it took everything I had to defeat it, though in a way, you never can. It just becomes the monster locked in a box, but never dies.My way of defeating it was to never accept that I had no control. That ultimately I could defeat this thing. I learnt that trying to defeat it made it worse, so I went out of my way to be as depressed as possible, sabotaging any change of happiness in life, in a scorched Earth approach. And it worked for me. But that’s just me. Maybe I got lucky.Just because I found a way back to normality doesn’t mean that clinical depression is a minor thing. It’s like trying to fight the devil with both your arms tied behind your back. It’s an unfair fight. All your strength feeds the depression, so you’re forced to find another way or capitulate and die inside.So, I apologise to those suffering this horrible debilitating mental disease. Nothing I can say will sound good to you, but at least one of us defeated it. Therefore, it isn’t invincible. There is a way. And therefore, it is not entirely hopeless either (though it’s pretty darn close to being totally hopeless).Find something bigger that yourself if you can’t beat this. I used my depression to defeat itself. Some find God. Some find extreme sport. Whatever it takes and whatever works. Even if it’s medication for a while. You be a depression to the depression. Never let it get on top and depress you. You depress it. This is my testimony, for what little it is worth.