You have to start somewhere, right?
Many cases of depression are genetic, but this was not the case for me. As far as I know, my family have been a healthy and happy bunch, not affected by mental illness.
In my case, I had a number of stressors which all set up shop inside my mind. Most of these came around in 2011, which was a pretty rough year for me. I lost two very dear family members within 5 months of each other, and having not lost a family member before, I did not know how to cope. I still don't, if I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure how to grieve. It's not like these two events made me go from happy to sad in an instant, far from it - I just happened to be going through my A Levels at the time and was already very distressed. Unfortunately, my little brain couldn't cope with all the bad news and I started to slip.
After the passing of two wonderful people came that time in my life where I left home - my little sanctuary. I had always been a mature child and it wasn't the physicality of moving away that was difficult, it was being away from my family and their 24/7 support which hurt the most. But, since then I have grown to thrive on my own company and independence, only faltering every so often.
So, after feeling continuously down/sad/moody for around a month*, I tottered off to the local doctors. Luckily, I was told to go to the counselling service available at my university before being told anything else, which I am greatful for. Too many doctors throw pills at every depressive, and they aren't for everyone. After much digging of heels, I went to a drop-in appointment, with a lovely woman who nodded and smiled and taught me to breath properly. I'll admit that lately that has helped in anxious situations, but at the time I felt a little let down.
Luckily at the end of 2011, I got referred to the counsellor I still see today.
*N.B: If you are feeling down, or depressed for longer than two weeks, please go and see your doctor.