Having suffered most of my life from this affliction, and seen so many students come and go who have to endure it too, I wonder if we really know how to deal with it. Cognitive therapy and medication only help so much (though in individual cases they can work wonders). Most of the time, at least in my experience, depression is actually not the illness, so much as the wrong kind of defence mechanism: we pull down the shutters when it all gets too much. As we live our lives, we feel the impulse of will, desire, need, but we are simultaneously weighed down by a sense of our own inability to fulfil whatever our will, desire or need requires of us. This constant oscillation between positive aspiration and self-doubt is what triggers depression. We literally shut ourselves down by stifling will and, for a while, silencing the doubts that the activation of will seems to bring with it. It is not a happy state, how can it be? It is all we have, as protection, yet is the wrong protection, because it leads to frustration, anger and apathy. Cognitive therapy seems to provide a way out by enabling us to think things through, get some kind of distance to what is going on inside us. But in the end rationality cannot overcome the fundamental schism between desire and self-belief. Maybe we should go back to psychotherapy, find that moment where the damage was done. Or is it in the genes?