Last night I had a dream about hell. Never mind the details - they aren't nice. The point is that it got me thinking about hell again and about the fact that I spent a good part of my life depressed - right up until my late 40s.
I want to say here, in case it helps others, how I managed to get out of my recurring depressed states. Finally, I actually managed to talk myself out of depression. For me, depression was all about the fight between the darkness and the light. I don't know about others, but that's what it boiled down to for me. I was depressed because I kept believing, on the basis of, admittedly, very good evidence, that darkness had the upper hand. All around me I saw unhappiness and I could see no reason not to be unhappy too.
But one day, when I was sitting, thinking, in my depressed state, by the grace of God two ideas came into my mind. Firstly, I realised that depression was a bottomless pit. That, in fact, it was like a hole you were falling in and that it didn't have a bottom level. You just keep falling and falling and falling. I realise now that I used to assume that I'd reach the bottom and then start coming up. But I was wrong about that. I saw that I would just keep falling if I stayed depressed and would never, ever come up. Just keep going down.
This idea caused me to see my depression in a new light. I realised that feeling depressed was useless, because the state of depression was never going to lead to my feeling better. I needed some other response that would help me.
It was at that point that I realised I had a choice - I could choose to be depressed and go into free-fall, or I could choose to be happy. Given that depression was a no-win, I convinced myself that being happy was the most rational option, even if it was based on fantasy.
Since then, I have discovered that Baha'u'llah says repeatedly that the Light is the thing that is all-powerful. So I can see that Baha'u'llah backs up the conclusion that being happy is the most rational way to be.
So, in my view, depression is a hell because it is eternal darkness. And I believe we have a choice whether to dwell in eternal darkness or eternal light. But there is no point in being in eternal darkness, so why not choose the light?