Phew... I’ve been retired from practice for over a decade so please understand my thoughts are from me as an individual more so than a past clinician...
first let me say I hope you’ve talked with your primary healthcare provider (doc), and that they are willing to hear you, listen, and ask questions before whipping out their prescription pad.
second, don’t be intimidated by antidepressants, when you get on the one best for you, at the right dosage it literally can be like the dark looming clouds over life have parted and light and sunshine reappears in your life. But having said that so often it’s a trial and error effort on your position to try and find the right medication at the right dose, and sadly that can take weeks if not months. I do know that some work better than others for most people, and according to age and weight and history, doses are pretty easy to figure out pretty quickly. Provided again you have a primary healthcare provider he’s paying attention.
Third, The suggestion of SAD (seasonal affect disorder) is very real, and effects millions around the world. In the case of this typically when springtime comes he will expect to see a bus of a depression. If it is not SAD and maybe not so and maybe not good to wait around to find out.
Fourth, there are co-occurring disorders, i.e. having more than one thing going on, that can cause depression or can cause depression to get worse. Some of those have already been suggested, and i’d highly recommend it for you to start investigating on your own, get lab work done that will check your levels of your vitamins etc. to see if you’re deficient in anything. But truly a simple thing like a thyroid imbalance, a vitamin or mineral deficiency, etc. can truly make a depression happen or be worse.
Fifth, and I don’t know what your insurance is like, but there are his genetic testing now that’s available to tell what the better medications are for patients, I probably should have more confidence in it than I do, but I’m an old dog and I like to see the data over a period of time before I jump in and say this is the best thing in the world. So far I haven’t seen you to be the best thing in the world but I can help a clinician maybe find a better if not best medication if it turns out you need an antidepressant.
Sixth, it Is probably in your best interest to see a therapist, the problem is you never know if you got a good therapist or a bad therapist unless you’re in the field yourself and even then sometimes we’re not 100% sure until we’ve seen them screw up a patient. I will say that a good therapist should never make you feel bad, should never leave you walking out of a session feeling bad, and if they start making you feel uncomfortable or like they’re not helping you - chances are they’re not helping you. I tell this to everyone - It’s way too easy to get a license to be a therapist, counselor, etc. and because treatment happens in a private session we can’t always be sure what they’re doing is best for the patient. So I always go by the guidelines if they’re not making you feel better, or worse than making you feel worse, find another therapist… Even if you have to go through five or six therapist to find one good one, that’s probably about the odds anyway. Sadly.
Seventh, Not everybody can have a pet, but the suggestion of a pet was a good idea if you like animals. If not possible to have a pet or you don’t want to pet, do you have a hobby that you enjoy? Can you think of a hobby that you could start that you might enjoy?
eighth, Suggestion about getting out the house is right, spot on. Even if you don’t want to get dressed or get out of bed for that matter, you will feel better if you get out the house especially if you’re interacting with a group of people or even just someone special to you. Or someone that could become special to you. Most communities have groups, senior groups, retire groups, widowed groups, hobby groups etc... check into them and see what’s available, even if you don’t think you want to do it make yourself do it. After a while it may take a while you’ll be glad you did.
Ninth, What do you remember or not I assume you are center on this site, I would totally recommend talking to your bishop, but if you’re not a member of the Mormon church, then talk to a pastor or preacher or some religious leader who not only could spend time chatting with you, but might also direct you towards a good position, a good therapist, some great groups belong to, I just give you a sense that someone there cares. I can say by all the responses here are you definitely have a lot of people that care.
Last thing and I can’t impress us when most of all why are strongly enough.... never ever give up. I know that sounds very simple, simplistic, but I have talked to so many people over my lifetime you’re just hearing that reminded them to hold on. Sometimes we have to change things in our lives - sometimes little things sometimes big things, but change can open up opportunities. But the very first thing you want to do is talk to your doctor - make sure you tell the appointment clerk you need extra time to talk, thats important because so often doctors are booking patients 5-10 minutes at a time, and in this situation I would expect 15 or 20 minutes to be more appropriate. If that’s not something they can do, then maybe you need to re-shop your doc. And I don’t say that lightly, but I will say this and closing and this applies to doctors, therapist, even religious leaders - no one is perfect, and each has a life separate from their job.... we are not all created equal. I’ve fired my share of doctors who either lost or wasn’t as vested in my healthcare as I was..... typically there’s always a replacement right around the corner. And looking for a good referral often is a good way to start if you do need new doc. Let’s hope that just you’re going to them and talking, and them listening will make a difference for you. God bless