My depression started many years ago and was dreadful. I got through it because I am stubborn and because I had some wonderful support. It wasn't easy.
Once in a while it comes back to bite me and I have fallen in a heap on several occasions. For me the trick is to remember that I have done this in the past and got up again. Each time I learn more about myself and get a bit stronger. I retired in 2008 and thought I would have a quiet life. Instead I became involved in all sorts of activities and organisations, all of which I enjoyed and would not change. My wonderful GP who looks after my mental health has been such a rock. I have told her she is not allowed to retire until I have no need of a GP. I think she laughed and said good luck to that. It's lovely that we can talk and laugh about issues. When I laugh it puts much of the world in proportion.
Being hospital for mental health issues is not fun. I spent a week in hospital after I started to see a psychiatrist. I think I really hit rock bottom and had no idea what to do. That week gave me peace and an opportunity to regain myself. There were times when I wanted to go back there because it represented security but it did not happen. Sooner or later I had to learn to stand on my own two feet.
I believe regular mental health help is very important. Not every week but to see someone who knows you and who you can call on in those dark days we all have. Perhaps a regular catchup every two or three months? It's a good way to make your plans for the future and have help available when things go amiss. No matter how well we plan there is always the potential for something to mess up our plans.
Glad you are going to speak to your uncle. Having someone to step in occasionally is good. I read a lot including psychology books. Some of the self help books are good though I found some are obvious and trite. I suppose it depends on your needs what is helpful.
My family are very supportive of me plus I did not have a childhood like yours. Christmas was always a precious time. Sadly my mom died on Christmas Day 20 years ago in the UK and I was not able to say goodbye. It's one of my big regrets. I find my best help through meditation and my faith. Unfortunately it does not mean a trouble free life. For me this is the help I need. I have stopped running away from help. The "I do not want to burden others" routine which I think we all use now and then. I take help when it is offered.
Hope that helps.