A bit of background information: For the past 10 years I have lived in North America. Having moved from Europe, North America was a major change for me. I lived in western Canada. I could not integrate with the people I went to school with and I generally became anti-social. No longer did I need the compasion of friends and I would often do things on my own such as drawing, writing, reading, exercise. Slowly over the years however I became a complete vegetable. I would sit my ass at the computer for hours at a time, then I would go sit on the couch for hours, never having realized that I was fucking my life up before my very eyes. I had stopped all physical activity and I was eating very poorly. I suppose this sounds like the textbook cause for depression. For some reason unknown, other than for the fact i've been taking a few new herbal medications, I realized tonight what exactly depression is. I realized that for 8 years of my life I was falling deeper and deeper into depression and never even realized it at the time. Now that I look back, I see nothing other than 8 years of my life that was flushed down the drain. Now, as a result, I'm having trouble integrating back into a society. Meds have helped me but I have since stopped taking meds simply because any human can be happy if they want to be. I decided im going to do this without the use of any prescription drugs. What I have been doing is a holistic approach. For the past 2 years, I have been taking medication. This has helped me out in ways that I can't control. (Apparently a chemical imbalance? But I don't know for sure.) On top of this I also promised myself that I would avoid doing any kind of drug that could potentially be dangerous to me or my pathway to happiness. Starting a few months back, I entered into the next stage of my plan. I was now starting to exercise again for the first time in years. Although I never gained much weight while my depression worsened, I did become physically unfit. I became wore out easily. So I decided to start eating to fit my diet and I exercised and stretched daily and I'm smoothly on the path to becoming an active person. I scheduled an apointment for a back massage. Felt incredible. I took a few Pilates classes. I realized that it is such an amazing program. It helps in many ways. Since classes began I am now noticing vast improvements in my lung capacity, lower back flexibility, ease of body movement, sleeping habits. In essence, it made me feel alive. No longer was I trapped inside this stiff, depressed body. Amazingly in just a few short months I have really transformed myself physically and I have never felt better about myself. While still performing physical activities, my current plans are for my mind. I have taken up daily meditation and in only one week my mind is ALOT more fresh. I can think clearer but I still have a ways to go. Now that my mind is somewhat clearer, I am seeing for the first time the potential of what I can actually do with my mind. What will the future hold? I dunno, but now I have this desire to make my life better. No longer am I "Joe nine-to-five" who dreads the fact of going to work the next day. Im a more joyful person who sees the bright side of things in my life. My experience has given me hope for the future, since I am a psychology major working on my Masters. I feel as though my whole experience can be applied to help alot of people deal with depression. Perhaps what I had wasn't even depression? Perhaps depression is something much worse that I have never felt? But anyways, thats my story. Thanks.