I am a 42-year old woman who has struggled with depression all of my life. Most of it in denial or partial-denial. I have finally accepted and have embraced my illness due to a major crash last February. I ended up hospitalized because I tried to go off of my medications (with the support of my physician) and ended up suicidal.
Because I have kids, and only because I love them, I checked myself into a hospital. I discovered that my depression is mostly physiological and that I will always need to be on the meds. It finally made sense to me when my doctor compared me to someone with an illness like diabetes - it will never go away but it can be managed with medication and other lifestyle changes.
I am still in the recovery process, but my biggest step was admitting and accepting my depression as a part of myself. I no longer (or work diligently not to) judge myself and/or my symptoms as laziness. I have good days and not so good days, but I feel that over all, I am on the upswing and I continue to work *daily* to take steps toward health and healing.