I can't seem to find a good article on this site that defines the difference between clinical depression (i.e. meaning your brain just doesn't produce enough seratonin) and bouts of depression triggered by life events. What many people don't seem to understand is that you can suffer from clinical depression and yet show zero signs of it... as long as you are on the appropriate medication. If you stop the medication, then you will again show symptoms of depression. If your doctor finds the right type and leve of medication for you, you can lead a completely normal life and noone would even guess you had an illness. How do I know this? Because I was diagnosed with clinical depression about 20 years ago. And over that time I've experimented with staying on my meds and going off of them. That experimentation period is over -- I am taking the meds for life because I know they allow me to lead a completely normal life. Most people I talk to about it today are thrown for a loop when I tell them that I suffer from clinical depression. Because they see no signs of it in my life. And why is that? Because it's 100% treatable through medication and I stay on my meds. I'm not saying it's easy to get to that stage - finding the right medication and dosage for each individual is very tricky and may take quite a long time. But it's doable. And everyone who has true clinical depression should take heart - it can be treated and controlled.

Laura Hartney
Island Travel Editor