Experiences of depression
What does depression feel like?
Can talking help?
BBC 3 made has some excellent short films about people's experiences. Here is one on depression and what it feels like for some people. Most of these people can trace their depression back to their early teenage years but, in my experience, it often starts earlier.
Listening does help, but it is really hard to listen when someone you love tries to tell you in detail how awful it feels being them. Quite often they won't want to say too much for fear it will burden you, shock you, disappoint you. It can be scary to say how it feels and scary to hear it. Encouraging them to open up to a professional, who does understand, may be the best way around this. Or, if this is you, maybe it is time to find a listening ear from someone who knows, who won't judge or tell you what to do and will let you say what you need to say.