dear SS, hi and thanks for asking this question, because it will differ from person to person, however there will be similar circumstances on how to cope with their own depression.
The cycle from having depression is that all of a sudden something feels wrong with our mood and lose interest in everything that we once loved to do, we all know this, so it's not something new, but we finally need to consult a doctor and then a psychologist/psychiatrist, but personally I have not had any luck with any psychiatrist so I always say to people to see a psychologist but that's my choice.
The counselling to sort ourselves out could take any amount of time, as it's not text book, which means it only happens for a certain amount of time, but no one can say.
Some people maybe lucky and overcome depression in a short period, while the rest have to struggle for a long time, even when they are taking antidepressants (AD), because there could be so many other factors in their life that maybe contributing to their state of mind.
OK so lets say that person A has overcome this illness, but this doesn't mean that this illness has completely gone, because normally it never does, it's impossible to cauterize it, as well as sow it up like a stitch for a cut, because we always have it.
Now to sort of answer your question, when I do have a relapse, because I believe that I have overcome it, but when it pulls me back down, I know that I have to just wait my time, because I know that it will pass, whether it's a couple of days or a few weeks, and during this period I try and see my psychologist and if I can't then I see my doctor who will consider changing my AD or increasing them.
Depression is devastating for all of us, but for me, we can have as much support as we need, but I have to wait until it has run it's race, whereas for other people it could be entirely different, so that's why we have to learn our own strategies, our weaknesses and definitely our strengths, because once we have overcome it we have learnt on how to be strong and avoid situations that could be a detriment to make us fall back. Geoff.