I spent years of my life believing that I had uni-polar depression, this is because, as is common with a lot of younger people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I spent a year with pretty consistent depression. Just because my diagnosis has changed doesn't mean that the depression is any less painful or persistent.
The thing is, when people think of depression they think of being curled up in bed, in the dark, crying. Sometimes it is, but not always.
For me, I probably spend around 20% of the time that I am depressed properly sad, that leaves 80% of time experiencing a range of other types of depression. I am a pretty high functioning person which means that even when I am experience intense depression or mania I am often still able to keep doing things.
When I was younger my depression often took the form of excessive crying and desperately wanting a hug. As I've gotten older my depression often takes the form of painful, ice cold numbness. If I'm honest the numbness is so much worse. It's a lot harder to know how to deal with, the feeling of numbness is agonising, but feeling would be just as agonising. Depression is impenetrable.
Depression convinces you that you are alone and unworthy of anything, that is what makes it so isolating and so painful. A lot of people compare depression to drowning, this makes sense to me, depression is feeling disconnected from the world isolated and gasping for air, fighting to survive, feeling like you're never going to reach the light. It's dark, lonely and scary.
Depression feels like there is no end, but there is an end. There is an end to the darkness, a light at the end of the tunnel. You can make it, don't give up. There will be a time where you realise you are so much closer to the surface than you realised.