Yes I suffer from Severe Depression, I had a massive breakdown 3½ years ago, the 2nd Psychiatrist I saw felt I had been suffering from varying levels of depression for nearly 30 years (long story), and had been going through a gradual breakdown for nearly 5 years prior to the Massive One.
When I had my breakdown, I asked for help for the first time in my life, I agreed to go into a Mental Health Unit for assessment, it was either that of be sectioned.
The Mental Health Unit increased my Anti-Depressants from 75 to 150Mg, then discharged me after 6 days saying I had Borderline Personality Disorder, and wasn't depressed.
I'm now seeing my 13th Psychologist, and am on 300Mg of Anti-Depressants.
On top of the 'S.P.D.', I also suffer varying levels of O.C.D., S.A.D., agoraphobia and of course the Depression.
I've just started C.B.T. with a Forensic Psychologist, but I've no idea how that's going to pan out.
I don't think the amount of people suffering from depression in 'today's society' is any greater than it has been in the past, it's just becoming more recognisable, in the past somebody with depression would probably have been diagnosed as Insane and locked up for years.
Depression though is still something that isn't really understood, or accepted, some regard it as an excuse, or a weapon.
A few years ago one of the staff, at a hostel I was living in for my own safety from myself, thought I couldn't be depressed, because I wasn't sitting in the corner with a packet of razor blades crying my eyes out 24/7, she then got some details off the web and changed her tune.
I don't really think there are many ways that things can be changed with regard to helping people, the NHS is constantly reducing the budget for mental health services, can't see that changing, why would they want to put money into something that affects 25% of the population at any one time, but can't be seen.
People have just got to learn more about depression and the control it has over sufferer's lives, comments like 'stop feeling sorry for yourself', or 'pull yourself together', don't wash, until you're actually a sufferer there's no way of knowing exactly what it's like, it's not 'Rock Bottom', it's even lower than that.
Imagine being in a 'Coma', you can have thoughts, you can see and hear what's going on around you, but you have little or no control, you just spend your days waiting for either the miracle cure, or for somebody to switch off the life support.