Depression is not an illness. It is a way of organizing information. There is not even objective meaning of "depression"; but rather a series of "symptoms" some, none or any of which can be involved. Rather than lock people into some specious diagnosis, we could better look at what is going on in their lives and respond accordingly.
No matter your predispositions to this or that response to overbearing stress, much more generally useful than (legally prescribed or illicitly self-medicated) system skewing drugs would be learning better coping strategies.
For one: Focusing on satisfying personal experience rather than looping into the pain of resignation and blame
Eventually, perhaps, the "scientists" will discover that correlation is not causation and the brain/body/soul is a fully interactive system. The brain activity associated with depression is the brain going through its processes to tell you what is happening with your system. The brain activity will change as you change.
challenge to depression
It's not my fault.
It's not my responsibility.
It's the world I live in.
I need to find a way to live in it comfortably.
Not the world "we" live in; the world "I" live in. We each have our own. It is the ecostructure which informs our programming.
It is not my fault: I did not create this world. I was born into it. It is the given to which I respond.
It is not my responsibility: It follows its own rules, not mine. I have no way to control, but can only interact. I have my own responsibility, which is to learn to develop and use my own resources, to take care of myself, to perform the roles that are mine, which will expand this world to include my own self-definitions.
To find ways in which to live comfortably in my world, even if they may (or may not) include a great deal of discomfort, is about finding the ways to express my true essence in joy and grace. It is pure waste to syphon off my energy into self-blame, self-excoriation, self-punishment. By focussing that energy into living comfortably in my world, I am allowing myself to emerge and expand and energize into ideas and actions that fulfill both me and those affected by the ripples.
I am talking about challenging depression, which to a large extent seems to be based on feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
My world is the world that I was born and continue to evolve from, the given background of everything/everyone/everymoment that affects and effects the way I come to understand who I am by contrast and comparison. It is the world of the social culture, the emotional relationships, the physical environment, the airwaves and lightwaves, the nutritional components of the foods I have learned to take in, the mass media and the personal conversations, the rules of conduct both written and unwritten, the pressures and erosions and movements that have formed my underlying assumptions and the structures in which they are housed.
What I am suggesting here in my challenge is exactly what you speak of as magick -- letting go of the old illusory order and recreating the self to encourage new metaprogramming which will be both freeing and expanding in a self-chosen direction.
If you do not like the space in which you dwell and move out or change it/your perspective of it, you first must understand that this is a space which you can leave or change, and where it is that you would better go/what changes you would better devise. What is the "symptom" and what the "problem"? I am saying the symptom is simply a misunderstanding of the placement of image and background; the problem is the denigration of the self.
We can not move out of the all pervasive background. We cannot control it. We can interact with it to create a better fit all the way around.
It (that is not your responsibility) is the world of everything that exists before, ahead, around you that has helped to create your mindset, your basic and consequent programming, your take on who you are and your place in that world. It is NOT your responsibility (my responsibility). It is not my fault. It IS my world. My responsibility, my need, in order to be the person who is ME, who fulfills my roles for the good of my life and ultimately the lives I affect, is to find ways to live in my world more comfortably. No contradiction. No victimization, rather a breaking away from victimization. The world is not fate to be mine -- it is the background for which I am the image.
I feel I am not communicating. Let me try from another entry point.
Have you ever been seriously depressed? I don't mean tragically unhappy, but that irrational paralysis that keeps you from being able to bear the thought of doing, being, continuing.
What is that thoughtstream, that blaring punishment just behind your eyes? What is that voice saying?
"You're fat! You're lazy! Stupid! Incompetent! Selfish! Nobody likes you! You're not worth dirt! You are committing the greatest possible sin just by existing. The world would be better off without you; and you would be better off without the world."
That is the world I am talking about. The world that gave you these ideas in the first place. That world in which you fit only most uncomfortably. Yet, it is the only world you know. It is the world that formed your knowledge, your permitted ways of knowing. It is all the rules and structure that have given form to your life. It is that harsh word from a stranger that you didn't understand, and how mom made you feel and dad had scared you, and the sly look as a schoolmate whispers into another's ear, a look aimed at you. Or, hell, it could be hell. It could be the people dropping dead around you, and what could you possibly do to make up for surviving. It could be a sacred promise you made to a dying friend that could never be fulfilled. It could be rape; it could be terrifying violence. But you got it wrong. You blamed yourself. And the reasons you got it wrong go back to that world, not to you.