One of the interesting things about depression -- whether you have had it or are being treated for it -- is that you become hyperfocused on your moods. At least, I am. I'm always checking: Am I too angry? Am I too sad? Have I felt this feeling for too long? Because -- again, for me -- that was one of the main symptoms of depression, having a feeling get wildly and inappropriately out of control. Kind of like the difference between (A) tossing off a curse word at the driver who just cut you off and then getting on with you day and (B) being absolutely furious at that driver for the rest of the day, yelling at everybody around you as a result, etc.
Being on meds, I watch for the signs of the meds not working and depression returning. If I think I'm stuck in a feeling -- which, with depression, tends to end up in a blue or black feeling -- then I first make a conscious effort to get past it and if that doesn't work I call my doctor.
Important caveat here: I don't want to characterize depression as something you should just snap out of. It's not. My effort to get past it is more like analyzing whether I've got a reason to feel whatever I'm feeling, or determining the depth of the feeling. For example, I'm broke. What seems like all the damn time. That is legitimately stressful. A "meh" mood as a result is justified. Thinking about taking a dirt nap as a consequence is not.
Which leads me to my point. It's odd to realize that I have a reason to be legitimately depressed these days. In the last three months I've lost my two dogs and a long-time coworker (the latter was fired unexpectedly, she didn't die). I'm still broke -- and I recently realized that not having a raise for five years means that I've effectively taken about a 15% pay cut over the years, meanwhile taking on the work of 2.5 other people plus now that other person who just got fired. Of course I'm depressed!!
The trick will be, how long to be depressed. I don't have an answer for that question. It is a factor of not only how long but how depressed I am. Right now? Fairly depressed. Mostly I just want to sleep or hold down my sofa and read or watch TV. I feel as if I'm mourning Maggie all over again, in addition to mourning Ginger. As I mentioned previously, this is the first time I've lived literally alone in my entire life. I've been thinking about getting a fish just to have somebody there.
So. I know I'll be okay but that it's valid and appropriate to not be okay for a while. That's just how it will be.
Maybe I will get a fish. And I will name him Steve.