Depression is not a choice. It is not something people enjoy having, nor fake for attention. It is a serious, life-altering illness which may be caused by a lot of factors like neurochemical imbalance or genetics.
I once asked a friend why people come to me for advice. She said, “Because you seem to have it all together.” And I despaired so badly because couldn’t they see I was hurting? Why doesn’t anyone notice? Or do they just not care? (Depression can fuck up your perception.)
Thankfully, no one has ever told me that I had nothing to be depressed about. Most people I keep close are supportive as hell, and encourage me every step of the way. That said, I know there’s still a lot of people who don’t understand. Especially if you seem successful and functioning – has a good job, family is intact, no money problems – you’ll have a hard time finding someone who sympathizes. You’ll hear such bullshit as “You’re luckier than some people! Some people don’t even have a house/food/employment/family,” etc. That kind of reaction only fuels the depressive’s guilt even more, which leads to them not speaking up and thus not getting the help they need.
Please, if you know someone with a mental illness, show a little empathy. Don’t make things worse than they are. If you can’t be supportive, then just shut the hell up and let them recover in peace.