[I am not a qualified health professional, please seek proper medical advice if you think you are suffering with mental illness]
I have suffered with depression for all my adult life and to degrees it is controlled by medication but the black dog is resting on my shoulders, snoring. There are times when I become very low, and usually without reason. Whatever I am doing seems pointless and worthless and I just want to sleep or stare into space.
These days it is very easy to access health care for depression. GPs, being the first call, are able to diagnose and prescribe and it shouldn’t be shameful to take medication. Like for any illness, medication is designed to curtail the symptoms and I do not see any problem with that. The same people who mock and sneer you for taking, say, citalopram, would be the first ones to criticise you if you failed to take your insulin.
Unfortunately, for me, the mental health path has been painful. I was not only fighting a deadly disease but also immense prejudice. Sadly, that will prevail all the while people continue seeing depression as a weakness. It isn’t, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain which doctors can prescribe very good drugs for. This misinterpretation of mental health makes me angry at times, and the anger causes more depression. So we have an Ouroboros like effect. The trick is getting out of it. Drugs help, certainly but you need to take yourself away from the places that can cause pain. Whether that be people, or places that invoke sad memories.
I, myself, have been on a myriad of medications; some great, some truly horrendous. By far the worst was chlorpromazine, which was the first anti-psychotic drug. It felt like being really tired with someone stuffing cotton wool into your brain. There are a lot of people, including doctors, that believe psychiatric medications are bad. But they do work, and they bring a lot of people back from near death or madness. The issue seems to be side effects, yet all drugs have side effects, and it seems some people would like to see drugs withdrawn because of this.
When a person cannot take the suicidal depression no more, or a loved one takes action they normally go to their GP. The doctor can do up to three things. Talk to them sympathetically, and kindly, refer them to hospital/crisis team, and prescribe medication.