What is the most valuable thing you can do socially as a member of the ever-growing family of depressives out there? My response is: fakery. Fake when you have to, when you want to and even when it's not necessary, for practice. No one likes a depressed person, except other depressed people, so when you talk like you're carrying the world on your shoulders, which you probably are given the nature of depression (most people either don't know or don't care, however), people start to think you're being melodramatic. "My friend in Mexico City was depressed and she never said anything like that! You're giving depressed people a bad name!" But those are all justifications - calling the depressed melodramatic, saying they are just whining and could withstand more pain, and finding the whole depressed mood thing annoying. That's not the real reason people exclude depressives socially. The real reason is simply that people tend to be empathetic, and if you're empathetic, you're going to feel the emotions of whoever is around you. Bunk with happy-acting people, and you're set for a fun-filled life. Hang around the depressives, and you might just become one yourself! (The theory goes)
Why is the most valuable thing to do in such an instance to go against your instincts and talk as if you aren't depressed? Well, for one, so so many depressed people do it already. Including me, for instance. Though I am not REALLY faking as such when I talk in a happy(ish) manner (since it's become so ingrained into me these days that it most probably IS me, though I am barely definable anyway (see other posts in the social category)), at one point I got the idea in my head to stop being so depressed and angry outwardly and instead just put my drama class skills to good use and start copying television characters. And from the depressed people I know, and those I read about on the internet, I'm pretty sure that this fakery is not just a great way of gaining a little bit of comfort (in maintaining social expertise), but is also something that works and continues to work in practice for many, many people.
This situation, I think, looks incredibly horrific. And it probably is, but unlike how one might think initially, it's no one's fault. Yes, society is technically forcing the depressed to act happy or be excluded, just as it forced me to get social skills or lose the right to friendship. But it's not one little ruling elite doing this. It's biology. People naturally don't like hanging around the depressed, or those with piss-poor social skills. It's no one's fault, and there's no one we can fight to stop this. Stopping short of indoctrinating the crap out of the next generation of kids (even more than we usually do), if you are depressed and want friends, and can't find friends who are depressed like you, you are going to have to fake to fit the fuck in.
(I don't know if women do this too, but some men fake being fine even when their loved ones have died. Or try their best, at least. This is incredibly messed up. In any case, the 'fake it till you make it' mantra is not just localised to the depressed segment of the population.)