Here’s the deal: most of the drugs developed to “treat” depression are about as subtle as a hammer. I used Wellbutrin to quit smoking, back before there was a specific stop-smoking version of the drug, and it made me twitchy and strange (yes, more than usual). But it got me past the critical few weeks of really strong cravings, so it was worth it in the short term. Long-term? No thanks; I’d rather be moody.
But it’s not really an either-or choice; for me, mild depression can be faked away. Tricked. Cheated: get busy at something, get into the physicality of it or the mental effort of mowing a lawn, building a bookshelf, even, something, putting words on paper, and you can forget how everything is bleak and gloomily awful.
Maybe it still is, when the thing is finished; maybe it comes back. You’ve nevertheless bought your brain an hour or more of different chemicals, different electrical patterns, different thoughts.
Which may be why I’m popping my current antidepressant somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour before turning in for the night: if I’m lucky, I’ll have faked the brain out of whatever foolish thing it was worrying about most of the evening.
Depression’s a real thing but it doesn’t help to let it loom too large. If you pick at it, it just grows. If you possibly can, go do something else instead. The only way to get off that track is to stop going around on it and there are scads of other things to do. If they’re not fun, at least they can be useful. It’s like picking away at a brick wall with a lovely, sunlit meadow on the other side: there’s a lot of gritty mortar to dig out before that first brick falls and lets a sunbeam through.
When in doubt, change the subject. It works for me better than it has any right to.