One in five of us are suffering from depression at any given time. It is one of the major plagues of our culture. I have suffered myself, and acted it out in various different ways.
Every depression is unique, yet axiomatic at the same time. Perhaps one of the most excruciating parts of it, is the hideous sense of utter isoltion. I do hope that answers to this post will help you realise that, although you feel you are, you are not alone.
Ultimately, I feel that depression is our life's way of saying we are doing something terribly wrong for it's well being, be that from the actions of ourselves or from others. It is a desperate message. I am not against the use of othodox treatments, but I do believe that they serve the purpose of giving us stabalisers, like on a child's bike, while we get to work on ourselves. They are for short term use in the majority of cases.
Of course, as concentration is next to impossible in depression, so is meditation. If you attempt to meditate, you may actually end up feeling worse about yourself, contributing to low self esteem and feelings of failure. So, instead try to do some relaxations practice. If nothing else, these sessions can work as a temporary reprieve from your illness. Depression does have pockets within it of extreme creativity. You may be able to do some of your best work at this time, so make the most of it.
I would suggest you read my series on chakras in the general forums. I wrote them from the point of view of psychological development. When you have a window of energy in your depression, (late at night is often a good time), try to get some thinking done about how you chakras are, and how your chakras are being, reflected in the state you have found yourself in. Ask yourself how you came to be in the place you are in now. A little bit at a time will end up with a solid foundation for regaining your health. Our energy when depressed is moving inefficiently, and some steady work will get it flowing again. Some grounding will also help with the fuzzy feeling.
It is so hard to motivate ourselves when depressed. Try to visualise yourself three months from now, in a positive place. Play make believe! Say out loud the words you wish you could say. There is some real wisdom in the phrase "if you can't make it, fake it".
There is a lovely exercise my sister taught me. You take a child's doll, (not from them while they're screaming lol). Now, you can dress it in such a way as it represents the part of you inside who is your inner child. Now, it is your job to love and cherish this child. Tell him/her how much you love them. Hold them close to your heart. Make them feel loved. Let them know they are unique and special, and that they have a right to be part of this universe.
Much of depression is a sense of disconnetion. When I was very depressed, I lived on the coast in England. The cliffs and rocks were violent and wild, the sea was stormy. I gained much comfort from spending times in these conditions. I possiby felt closer to nature then than I ever have. Choose a place that compliments what you are going through, and surely nature will take your hand.
I know many people here are in the practice of self harming. I have to say to you, that cutting is a coping mechanism. This therefore means that you re coping. That is all that needs to be said.
On a more practical note:
If you are suicidal, go and see a doctor immediately.
If not...herbs that can help: Hypericum, (available from health shops). If there is associated anxiety, you can start with chamomile, and move on to valerian if needed. Valerian can also help with associated sleep problems.
Citrine, Smokey Quartz, Carnelian, Hematite, Rhodonite, and Topaz can be carried about your person for their theraputic effets.
Food that are high in tryptophan (which stimulates serotonin in the brain) are bananas, oats, milk and sugar. So, an oaty cerial with milk, banans and sugar would be a good way to start the day.
It is hard to get motivated, but some exercise will help get your endorphines moving. Try something light like beginners yoga, or some gentle swimming. Pilates helps some people. If you can find a class, all the better, because it will help you to become a bit more sociable yet in a light hearted fashion.
Other things you can do: Create a realistic routine, and stick to it. Try to talk about how you are feeling to someone impartial. Create disciplined sleep. Don't set yourself unrealistic targets. Reward yourself when you achieve something, even if it seems silly. Do something creative, and something new, each day. It doesn't matter how small, it is bigger than it seems, because living with depression is like living with a sack of coal on your back.
When you feel you are moving a bit better, think back on how you got here in the first place. Your life is rebelling about something. Be honest with yourself about what is good and bad for your wellbeing.
Lastly, do make sure you cut out as many anti-life habits as you can, like junk food, alcohol, drugs etc. They don't help in the long term. Remember, you are really not alone and this is going to pass. I wish you the greatest of success, and I hope many people will add to this post and share the wisdom they drew from their own experinces. :)