My friends, the basic rule is to be firm and strong. Use all your strength to remain persistent. Pay no attention at all to discouraging thoughts. Take it one day at a time, and just make it through _this_ day. You can make through one day, right? I mean, there is food today and maybe enough money for today, you can have peace in your house for a day or handle that difficult job just for a day.
If you were to see the impact of the small effort you make here in this world, the light years in distance of that impact in the worlds above, it would make you very happy. And perhaps, by thinking about this, you can be happy. You should make a great effort to always be happy, because depression does tremendous damage. It is a very grave sin to be depressed. Depression comes from the other side and Hashem hates it. IT IS A SIGN OF TOTAL DISBELIEF IN HASHEM!
Reb Nati's words about depression are the ones I was angry at. For years, I've suffered from clinical depression and had to take medication. It got me through the day to day things but I didn't like taking the medicine. There were two things that kept me from taking my life during those long and dark years: My son would be an orphan and HaShem gave me this precious life!
Those two things kept me alive. Remarkably, since I began listening to my neshama and understanding the path HaShem wants me to follow, I haven't had to use any medication in over 2 1/2 years. The depression seems to have lifted. I disagree with Reb Nati that depression is a sign of total disbelief in HaShem. Through those darkest days when the thoughts running through my head were ones of how to most efficiently end my life, HaShem guided me to His many wonders. My son's face, hugs, a stranger's smile, the ocean, a bird flying through the air: All told me life was worth living and so He gave me chazek.
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Reb Nati is very correct in one thing, by striving to be happy, the brain's balance can be restored. It is the simple things which bring joy. It is a continuing wonder at HaShem's creation which lifted and sheltered me. Depression can make one feel a sense of isolation which seems impenetrable. It is a vast, grey wall and it can be broken down with each face of a loved one, each shared joke, each hug, and each new sight of wonder. It can be broken down by listening, really listening to what HaShem is telling you.
Maybe for some depression is a sign of disbelief in HaShem. For me, it was a sign I was approaching Him in the wrong way.