This can be confusing to both the depressed person and to other people.
This isn’t an indication that the person is any less depressed or any less in danger than someone in a major depressive episode who doesn’t have those brief breaks. Atypical depression is also characterized by feeling emotionally paralyzed, physically leaden—barely able to move or engage in any activity, and often overeating, oversleeping, and experiencing sensitivity to rejection.
It’s difficult for most people to understand any kind of deep depression if they haven’t experienced it.
They may have periods of feeling good, periods of feeling less bad, and periods of feeling horrible—for these people, the depression never goes away permanently.
Major depressive disorder is the medical term for repeated episodes of a very intense, deep depression that is disabling and enormously painful.
Taking this view is often destructive to them and the situation.
While this kind of depression can be described as an illness, compared to other debilitating, painful, potentially fatal illnesses, it is pretty unique in the affect it has on people’s minds, behavior, personality, and thought processes.
People who are bipolar experience similar disabling depression during their depressive phases.
Often, between episodes, people return to a functional, happy state.
What people see when someone is seriously depressed is a person who isn’t doing anything; this person may be crying or snapping at them or sounding insecure and hopeless.
These are behaviors we associate with personality and moral character—we think these are choices people are making, not an illness that has taken over their personality.
Otherwise, the character is only noticed because of their looks and not their personal merits.
In cases where a character complains about their beauty expect their complaints to be dismissed or add more resentment from other characters.
For most people, depression is temporary and passes naturally or once the person has expressed the feelings and resolved the thoughts causing the depression.