There are ways out of the trap of depression—ways that avoid the slippery road of becoming heavily dependent on drugs. I found such a way, and it taught me some of the most useful lessons I've learned in my life.
In the 1980s, I started having extreme attacks of depression. They were accompanied by feelings of total incompetence. These attacks spanned a period of more than seven years. I was unemployed during this time (with no unemployment compensation for over 30 months). The attacks became more and more virulent in the six months before they suddenly stopped. They ended once and for all after a telephone conversation with a friend of mine. More about that later.
When I look back over this period, I feel there were several key factors in my healing. First, I learned to be "stedfast, unmoveable," to use words of the Apostle Paul. I Cor. 15:58. I liked words that described what I wanted to be, and I discovered dozens of them—words expressing the idea of unyielding steadfastness. They included undeflected, unrelenting, unwavering, dogged, unflagging. Periodically I would say aloud to myself: "I will never, never, never,... never give in. I will never, never, never,... never give up." This wasn't a form of self-hypnosis or autosuggestion. It was a conviction about my true, spiritual nature. God is Principle and cannot be shaken; so, as the likeness of God, we are naturally unmovable.