if I'm right in thinking this means a period not being able to cope/sleep and having suicidal thoughts? I usually go through moments where I'm depressed about something throughout the year (it's like a cycle), but the only really fucking unbearable depression I've experienced which I'd class as a proper mental/nervous breakdown was last September when I didn't pass my first year. At first I assumed I was gonna get chucked out and I went through a week of almost suicidal depression and sleepless nights, then I heard some goodish news that I could carry on, but had to spend the next year doing resits with extenuating circumstances. It took me a while to come to terms with that and I spent the next few weeks just feeling really low (but less suicidal). It was horrible. I didn't do anything about the depression I went through, I just drank a lot of alcohol to calm me down and get to sleep.
Pretty grim thread I know. I'm having a psychologically crap day (embarrassment-related, it will pass but right now I want to crawl into a hole and stay there forever) and I think talking about past woes to people you know and can relate to (including anonymous regulars on forum sites) might make you feel better. So when was the last time you went through some awful depression?