Yes, we may spot, when not in it, what's "off" in the thinking of the depressed. Those in that state may or may not recognize what's off in their thinking. And, shock of shocks, a lot of their thinking is not off. A lot of what they think and feel is an accurate understanding of the situation they're in, which is---by definition, Jesus, people---virtually unbearable or outright unbearable. Waiting it out almost surely is less unbearable with company, connection, and the sense of being loved that they can provide, along with distraction (if possible) and unconsciousness (if possible) or (I suppose, while it works) intoxication of some sort, but people can only do what we can do. Apparently yesterday Robin Williams couldn't wait, stay, hang on, find comfort. That's sad because of our losing him, and that's sad because we lose people this way, and that's sad because some of us ourselves will be lost to it, or lost in the struggle with it, maybe off and on here and there or for long horrible stretches or even just once briefly, which is bad enough to be very very sad. Most of all, it's sad for him.
As Kathy Bates tweeted (yes, I stayed up late, clicking around, reading, taking it in), "The Black Dog* won the war." We all/each feel what we all/each feel about that, and part of what I feel is I feel like lashing out at people's seeming to oversimplify and/or lay out pretty, facile bullshit if-only ig'nant backward explanations and, worse, blame.
How overpowering can gloom be? So overpowering it can kill ya. That's how overpowering.
I aim (o how I aim) not to see/feel that power as inevitably defeating. Yet it will be, for some. Damn it, it will be, for some.
*Also I have a black dog, and I'm okay with the figurative use of a black dog as the enemy here, despite the fact that a black dog can also be the exact opposite of that.