You make some good points here, but I'm afraid it's not at all simple. As someone who has struggled with depression for the past 15 years and currently trying to help a friend who's struggling, I think my opinion might be relevant.
Depressed people don't necessarily know that they're depressed until it's pointed out to them. It's a slippery slope and even if you've been through it before you may not realise you're in trouble until the downward spiral is well under way. So, if you have negative thoughts about yourself, your situation or the society you live in for more than a few days in two weeks, speak up!
Depressed people struggle to accept that their rational thought is compromised and will find all sorts of reasons to stay in that state. Here are some I've used:
1. "anti-depressants are just a band-aid and won't fix the problem"
2. "anti-depressants will make me feel numb and affect my ability to think clearly"
3. "my logic is fine, it's everyone else who are blind to the problems"
4. "counselling is just a waste of time and money, because there's no guarantee it will help and it's not even in the counsellor's financial interest for me to get better".
5. "if my employer finds out that I'm getting counselling, people won't take me seriously at work or it could affect my future in some way"
6. "I don't want to have this weakness and I refuse to be judged or have my judgement questioned"
7. "this is my problem and I'll fix it myself - I don't need anyone's help"
In my experience, to beat depression you have to:
1. Accept that things really can get better.
2. Realise that getting better is in your own hands and that nobody can "fix" you.
3. Believe that if you follow the plan, it will get better.
4. Ask for support to stick with the plan. The people you feel you're a burden on would much rather help you than see you suffer and feel powerless to help you.
5. Stop punishing yourself and living in your own head.
6. Stop comparing your own shortcomings to other people's strengths.
Practical, everyday things to do - A Plan:
1. Write that thought down. Writing forces you to get your thoughts in order and makes it easier to look at the facts.
2. Get an external point of view on each of the issues you struggle with from someone you respect. If you're insecure about technical aspects of your work, speak frankly to someone technical.
3. Do some physical activity at least twice a week. Even a 5 minute walk is a start. Just keep increasing it as you feel comfortable. It will become less effort and you'll find more time for it as you improve. Solitary activities are not as effective, because it's easier to say "not today" if nobody's waiting.
4. Set small targets and acknowledge the small steps.
5. Look at the lives of other people. Depression doesn't mean you won't achieve anything. It means you're not giving yourself credit for what you've achieved. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_major_de...
If anyone who'd like to talk, my lwn account name is also my gmail account name.