It's impossible to discuss the psychology of depression in comprehensive manner in a single page of text. But it is possible to focus on certain aspects of depression to understand whether you are getting better or worse.
Depression is a command and control issue.
Either you control your mind, or it controls you. If your mind controls you, if it continually bombards you with chaotic racing thoughts that you don't want to think, if negative thoughts dominate your mind, then it's time to reestablish command and control. You need to take command of your mind and control the thoughts that you find there. My operational defnition of depression is simple. If you are not in command of your mind and you don't control the thoughts that you find there, then you have significant depression.
If you are trapped in a serious mood disorder or deep depression, you may need medication to reestablish command and control so that other types of therapy are effective.
If you have a milder mood disorder, you may be able to reestablish command and control without medication. Cognitive therapy alone may be effective in breaking the back of the negative and depressing thoughts that thunder in your mind.
When depression pays a visit, it isn't a polite guest. It goes around shouting negative and depressing thoughts. And as if that isn't bad enough, it won't go away without a fight. This uninvited guest hangs around criticizing everything you say and do.
The only way to silence the inner critic and boot him out is to reestablish command and control, and that is going to be a fight. The inner critic has a decisive advantage, because it's inside your head and holds the high ground in the battle of the mind.
When you are depressed, you don't feel like a fight. You feel more like crawling into a hole and pulling the ground over you. Nevertheless, if you don't become proactive and take the battle to the enemy, you will be defeated before you even get started.
The battle against depression is fought on the battlefield of focus. As long as you let depression do all the talking and control your mental focus, the battle is lost. It's impossible to win the battle against depression until you go on the offensive and control the focus of your mind.
Controlling your mental focus isn't that difficult. The hard part is controlling it consistently and persistently. You can easily win the battle for five seconds, or even for five minutes, but doing it for long periods is easier said than done. The reason is simple. The inner critic relentlessly lurks in the background, and the instant you let your guard down, it resumes its negative soliloquy. It never gets tired and never goes away, and if you listen to what it is saying, it will wear you down and defeat you.
If you are going to win the battle against depression, you are going to have to discover the power of positive focus and use every tool at your disposal to develop and maintain a positive mental focus.
As long as depression controls your mental focus, the manacles of misery shackle you to the electric chair of depression. The moment you assume command, and control the focus of your mind, the battle against depression shifts in your favor. The manacles of misery fall off, the electric chair of depression no longer holds you captive, and you start the pilgrimage that allows you to escape from the Land of Depression.
One of the greatest challenges you face in the treatment of depression is to learn how to create and maintain a persistently positive focus. When you can do that, you take command of your mind, and you control the thoughts that you find there.
Command and control are a barometer of how well you are managing depression. When you don't have command and control, you are not doing well. When you start to reestablish command and control, you are getting better. When you achieve command and control, depression heads for the emergency exits, and you get your life back.
If you want to learn more about command and control in depression, you can read Zero Tolerance to Negative Thinking. And if you want to learn how positive spirituality can help you develop a healthy heart and mind, read Real Power: Maxing Out on God's Love.