Understanding what depression is might help you because depression can be treated without meds. Depression is basically negative thoughts that feed on themselves and create this vicious cycle that is depression. The first thing I was told to do was to catch myself having a negative thought and ask myself how it made me feel, physically and emotionally. And then I had to ask myself how realistic that thought was. Sure enough, it never was. My therapist called these thoughts distorted thoughts. Things like “I’ll never be happy again,” or “Nobody cares,” or “Look at me now, I’m so worthless,” or finding all kinds of things to devalue myself or blaming myself for this or that, or thinking so and so was judging me badly. What I had to do next was to replace that negative thought with a POSITIVE one. So I turned “I’m such a failure” into something like “I’m doing my best and I should be rewarded for it” or when I felt sad or lonely, I’d say to myself, “Hey, it’s okay to feel sad. Whatever you feel is okay,” or turn “I’ll never get over this” into “I’ll take one challenge at a time. I know I’m strong enough to face them” or “I know I can overcome this” or “I trust myself to make the right decision.”
It took me discipline and practice to do this, but my life slowly turned around. Another thing that really helped me was to talk about the problems I had with my family and other people. If you can’t afford counseling, you can talk to friend or write it down on a journal. But get it out of your system.