Something I can very much sympathize with. You are not alone.
People that haven’t experienced depression before like to equate it to “being in a rut”.
I suppose, if that rut is the size of the Grand Canyon.
The problem with depression lasting more than a few weeks is that it starts to feel insurmountable. When you lose the ability to imagine yourself better (i.e., not depressed), that’s when you need help the most.
One of the most powerful analogies I’ve come across (which you may find unnecessary), is to think of emotional states as being the surface of the ocean. There are waves and troughs. For myself, when I understood that even the deepest troughs (of depression) would meet a swell and I could look forward to rising to escape it. Just knowing my depression was not a permanent state was enough to help me out of it.
Have you considered meditation? This is gonna sound a bit like a sales pitch…
I experienced chronic depression for over 15 years. I was just talking to a friend, and admitted, during that stretch of time, I couldn’t remember a period of happiness lasting more than 3 days, before suffering a relapse. The rest of that time was spent dreading a building certainty that change would never come.
Another good friend introduced me to meditation about 2 years ago. I shrugged it off initially, and then a series of coincidences brought it back to my attention. I have now been meditating, daily, for the past 20 months.
It has utterly changed my life. The science is still fairly young, but early studies are overwhelmingly convincing. Over the past 20 months, I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve felt “down”. Not depressed. Just down. Those phases lasted less than a few hours.
Meditation (& mindfulness) has taught me how to “check in” with myself (my thoughts & emotions), so I am able to recognize the earliest signs & symptoms of negative thought patterns. This allows me to investigate what is going on, and react skillfully to slides in negative directions.
I went from being a predominantly depressed person to being a very content person, with long periods of happiness.
I wish the same for you.
If you are interested, I can recommend “10% Happier”, by Dan Harris, and “Make Peace With Your Mind”, by Mark Coleman. If you are open to a more Buddhist slant, I’ve heard amazing things about “When Things Fall Apart”, by Pena Chodron.
Regardless, I wish you only the best.