I will try to give the abbreviated version of my experience.
I had stopped using the depressant, alcohol, for about 5 months. My divorce was finalized and then 2 days later, my mother (who we lived with) died and the house was to be sold. Grief plunged me into the deepest depression of my life! I asked one of my sober friends to stay with me and after a few weeks of me not getting off the couch, my friend (bi-polar) looked at me one day and said, "You're scaring me...go see a doctor!"
I did. I was put on Paxil which helped clear my head enough to function better. After a couple of months, I started to experience bad side effects and had to come off the meds.
A few years and several injuries and surgeries later, I had to go back on anti-depressants. This time we tried Cymbalta which also helped for a couple of months before more side effects.
Through this all I have used a simple 'technique' that rarely fails me. Get a kitchen timer that ticks. Set it for 15 minutes. Lay in the bed and listen to the ticking. Cry, scream into the pillow, whatever. Feel what you're feeling and realize it's NOT killing you after all. Breathe. When the timer goes off, get up! Wash your face. Wash the dishes in the sink, sweep the floor, start some laundry (pick one). When finished with the chore, reset the timer if needed. Repeat throughout the day. In this way, I keep my depression from ruling the whole day. I keep my chores from becomming overwhelming.
I pick out music that has a quick beat and happy memories associated with it and blast it. Sing along, dance a little. Exercise gets the endorphins going.
I eat a bit of dark chocolate every day as it has mood elevating properties in it. The purer and darker, the better. Do a bit of research as to it's origin though. Some bad chemicals may have leached into the cocoa plants and if you're sensitive to them it may backfire.
I tend to look at whatever anxious thoughts I'm having and 'think it through' the 'worst case scenario. For instance, when my son was in Iraq I couldn't help have 'doom' thoughts. So, I mentally planned his funeral. I know it sounds macabre but, it was cathartic for me. The reality was, after all, that I might have had to actually do this. Happy to say he came home, safe if not 'sound'. Now, I can help him with his p.t.s.d.
I hope some of this is helpful to you as I know how deep the black hole can go. Keep posting. It helps.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus