It is always possible that somebody who is depressed might feel agitated and worried to the extent that they turn (or are turned by some concerned person) towards sampling the relaxation response as a way out of their troubles. Unfortunately the relaxation response will be a total failure in real depression, and it is worth while looking at the subject of depression in a little detail so as not to fall into this trap.
Psychiatrists talk about two types of depression. First there is reactive depression, well named for it is a reaction of the mind to something that has happened-usually something sad and upsetting like the death of someone near and dear, the end of a love affair, even a severe and catastrophic financial loss. Rather different is endogenous depression – a depression that typically comes on without apparent cause, although some such endogenous depressions seem to follow a virus illness such as glandular fever or viral pneumonia. Sometimes endogenous depressions are secondary to sudden hormone changes – maybe after childbirth or at the menopause. But for the most part endogenous depression comes from out of the blue and the victim has no idea what causes it, though it is probably some upset of internal brain chemistry.
It is important to contrast both of these types of real depressive illness with something quite different-just feeling depressed. We all get depressed at times. Life is characterized by its ups and downs, and it is very difficult to see the silver lining all the time. Sooner or later in the normal way of things our mood changes. Sometimes, however, the depressed feeling does not lift. The sadness deepens and the victim cannot snap out of it and becomes really (medically) depressed.