One of the most important things we need to realize is that everyone is different, everyone suffers differently, and everybody's suffering is valid.
Pretty recently, I had someone basically tell me that my depression wasn't "real" just because that person has been depressed since they were little. As unfortunate as it is to be depressed since childhood, that doesn't mean that somebody's "adult" depression is invalid.
I was told by this person that "just because i was sad sometimes" didn't mean I was depressed - and they were right - that doesn't constitute depression, but this person wasn't close to me and was unaware of how else I was being impacted. Showering became a chore, my room became messy because keeping it tidy was too much of a task, I could barely make it through the day struggling to keep my eyes open, I couldn't focus (on top of my inability to focus from my ADHD), I felt lonely ALL the time despite constantly being surrounded by friends, and unwanted thoughts invaded my mind. Another symptom that plagued me was irritability, which tattered my relationships with my roommates. I would constantly explode on them, even over very minor things. Two of my roommates are my best friends, and my relationship with both of them will never be the same because of my depression.
My depression has impacted me in more ways than I can count. It took a major and very real toll on my life.
One of the "telltale" signs of depression is not being able to get out of bed. I was able to do that. That doesn't mean I wasn't depressed. I was finally diagnosed with depression over my winter break, and my doctor put me on antidepressants. Since being on meds, my symptoms have improved and things have been better.
I did not self diagnose, nor did I ever invalidate someone else's suffering. Just because I haven't been depressed since I was a child doesn't mean I can't be depressed now. We all suffer in different ways at different times in life, and none of us can help that. Never tell anybody what they can and cannot suffer from.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Depression Hotline: 1-866-307-8980