Edwin Leap wrote a wonderful post about the patients he sees in the ER who suffer from depression.
Find it here http://edwinleap.com/blog/?p=158
He has written several posts about this subject...about the people like me who live in "this world". His posts are so accurate as to the thoughts that go on in our heads, it is amazing.
I personally have never been to an ER because of my depression. It is not because I have not felt I needed to though. As I have gotten older, the depression has grown so much larger.
It is almost totally consuming now. So far I have held onto my job. I am fortunate that I work in an office with only two other people, so when I cry and absolutely cannot make the tears go away, I don't have to try and hide too much. I worry about my job though. It is getting more and more difficult to concentrate on what I am doing. Without my job, I am not sure what I would do.
For me, and many others like me, the meds stop working after a while. In my case, the meds stop working after a shorter and shorter period of time now days. It is exhausting to even think of going back to the shrink and telling him they no longer work. I feel as if I disappoint him when I tell him that. I fear seeing a look of anger on his face.
When you see my type walk through the doors, or you see them in the church, or beside you on your job, try to remember this is not something we asked for. We are not weak. We are not lazy or just wanting pity from anyone.
I remember when I was very first prescribed Prozac back in 1992. It was a miracle. It didn't make me happy. It simply made me me again. That's it. It worked for over 3 years. I have not been in that good of a shape since.
During the rare good times, I remind myself that just like it comes, it will go away again even if for only a short time, because when I am in the midst of it there is no thinking straight enough to remember.
I keep a little card on my desk that says, "Remember that if you ever feel like killing yourself, it is your brain lying to you". That simple sentence has helped me more than you can imagine. Maybe if you ever run into someone like me, you can tell them that.