Welcome to the forums and thankyou for posting too
I really feel your pain and understand what you have been going through. I have had acute anxiety since 1983 and then depression from 1996....its an absolute mongrel of an illness Paul...I hear you.
You are spot on with venting....one of the best coping mechanisms that many people dont practice.
You are no idiot....if any shape or form Paul. (my name is Paul too..) Depression does hang around for a long long time as our brain chemistry is different...just my opinion but I feel its a physiological illness as well as psychological
You wont like this but its only my humble opinion on this awful illness...
'Depression is a Serious Illness', just like diabetes or heart disease...
Expecting positive thinking to cure Depression is like expecting a person with diabetes to lower their blood sugar level by thinking happy thoughts'
Paul, the meds arent a total fix at all. They do provide us with a platform on which we can use the various coping mechanisms more effectively......Including your excellent 'Venting' mechanism thats a huge help.
I take a small dosage of an anti depressant every morning (for 20 years) and the bulk of my anxiety vaporised.
I had weekly visits with a community mental health worker 20 years ago.....he was a psychiatric nurse and got me back to work....He was a legend....and free :-)
You are an intelligent and well articulated person Paul...There are many super kind people on the forums that can be here for you. It would be great if you could post back about anything you wish
My kindest thoughts for you