I've never considered myself a "happy" person, but I wasn't always depressed. I remember my depression starting in late 2004, soon after I graduated college. I was looking for work, finding no opportunities, and feeling generally stuck and unsure about my place in the world.
Every day, I found myself thinking "What now?" Up to that point in life, I had always had a plan. Go to school. Work hard. Get into a good college. Work hard. Graduate. And then... what? It felt like my life had no trajectory and nobody was looking out for me anymore. I sank and found myself in an abyss without words to adequately describe it. "Cynical," "burnt out," or "disillusioned" didn't seem to cut it. I felt distant from everything that used to bring me joy, with no chance of escape.
Over the ensuing 16 years, I've found some strategies that work for me. I was on antidepressant medications for a time. I've spent years talking with several therapists. And, sometimes, meditation can give me a sense of perspective and open a doorway to a new way of thinking.
However, meditation isn't a cure-all for depression or any emotional ailment. And some people have reported a worsening of depression or anxiety after taking part in a mindfulness program. To be sure, there are a number of symptoms that go under the umbrella of "depression," and one person's experience will not necessarily mirror another's. It's important for anyone suffering from depression or other mental health disorders to understand their own mind, to be able to recognize what helps them and what doesn't.