This subject is very personal for me. I have also suffered periodic bouts of depression. At some level, I think I wanted to feel for myself what it was all about. Interestingly this was easier than it sounds. I have since been diagnosed with dysthymia, a chronic, low-grade depression, that stems from a genetic defect in my metabolism. My body simply does not produce normal levels of dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters that affect mood. I know first-hand what it feels like to live a life devoid of joy. I have touched the blank depths of desperation and misery at the bottom of the deep hole. I got out of this alive, but it took someone who fell into the same hole to help me get back out.