Is it depression or are you a depressive? This is a probably a difficult question to answer as the symptoms are exactly the same for each condition.
Spirituality developed as the result of recognizing that some conditions are actually a 'soul sickness'.
What this means is that the condition we suffer from is not ancillary to our being but is actually an indistinguishable part of it. To be a depressive means that the depressive reaction to life is a part of your being and is something that has become automatic.
Depression for me falls into the same category. Am I suffering from depression or am I a depressive? To be instinctively reacting to situations in a depressive manner and then being unable to stop or change that behaviour, requires a personality change to fix it.
A personality change can be brought about by the practise of spiritual principles. When I feel victimised by life I feel depressed. In order to change this state of affairs I need to change my attitudes and practise new ones.
Practising gratitude is the best defence against depressive thinking and if practised long enough and hard enough will become a working part of your mind. This is then a fundamental personality change. What this personality change means is that your automatic reactions to life are now different. A change in your thinking can be brought about by first changing your actions. No matter how depressed or victimized you may feel, or want to feel, about certain situations in your life, you can actually practise reacting differently. If you persist in the new behaviour then it will soon become a working part of your mind.
Motivation follows action. If you persist in practicing the new and positive reaction then the thinking will catch up, even if at first you feel the new reaction is a phony. It will feel phony for a while because it is so different to how you usually have felt.
Depressive reactions may have been learned very early on in life or developed through a traumatic episode. Depression is useful to humans as a means of controlling extreme emotional disturbance such as elation but when it continues on long after the original event it was used for, you may have become an automatic depressive. This is why depression becomes paralyzing and is so hard to get rid of. Just like fear or any other normal human emotion, if the condition lasts long after it is required, it can become an automatic reaction, even when it is not needed.