Here is a (totally serious) guide to an alternative form of therapy: growing a depression beard. There is no better way to inform the world of your depression than by growing an unsightly, pungent bush of hair. Ladies, do not feel left out. Remember - a beard doesn't have to be on your face.
Stage 1: Escape Puberty
The infancy of a beard is shrouded in uncertainty. Will it grow in ginger? Will you be mistaken for the Yorkshire Ripper? Legitimate concerns, all. The pubescent phase of the beard is commonly reached within weeks of launch, and this is your only chance to turn back. If you look like a serial killer who should be dressed exclusively in animal semen, I encourage you to persist. If it grows in ginger, I insist that you shave.
Stage 2: No Going Back
Stage 3: Delusions of Masculinity
This is a perilous stage in the genesis of a depression beard. When it blossoms into full-bodied, glossy adulthood, you might begin to feel kinship with your facial atrocity. You might even start to like yourself. This simply won't do. Take a few minutes of every hour to remind yourself of your shortcomings - your underdeveloped triceps, your unevenly haired buttocks, your incapacity to love - until the onset of Stage 4. No one feels good about Stage 4.
Stage 4: Pube Face
Here, weary journeyman, your quest is at an end. You have reached the zenith of the depression beard. In fact, you are now more beard than man. Children flee from you in the street. Baby possums attempt to suckle your face. Your jaw is indistinguishable from your groin. You are now wearing depression upon your face. Never again need you explain your affliction - not just because people will guess with a single glance, but because all humankind will shun you from its dwellings. You deserve it. Freak.
A SERIOUS NOTE TO END ON
This was, of course, a tongue-in-cheek take on depression. I should take this opportunity to thank all of my friends and family who, be it with bafflement, kind offers of help, or by simply ripping the piss out of me, have taken news of my depression with aplomb. In the past it has caused me to upset people, let people down, and sometimes kept me from being the good person I strive to be. It also led me to grow a horrific beard. To all those people, I apologise. The beard might now be gone, but to all my friends and family who are still with me, I thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.