Popular depictions of depression often show someone who is droopy, sad, and tired. What is missing from these depictions is usually anger, anxiety and/or ambivalence. Depression can feel active and acute; it is only the outward presentation (which protects us) that is downtrodden. Depression encourages nonparticipation because we feel that by not participating, nothing bad can happen.
Sometimes, depression is a result of being told we were no good. Other times, it is because things have not gone well in life, either recently or consistently, and it feels like our fault. Or it feels easier not to try. Depression can even be a defense against rage toward others. If that rage cannot be expressed, it is often turned inward.
Working with depression involves returning to the beginning. What caused us to have such negative views of ourselves and the world? This uncovering process can take a lot of time. It can also be easy to confuse cause and effect. However, once the knot is untangled, a person can begin approaching their life with the outlook of someone not predetermined to fail.