This is an interesting article on the financial structures and psychology behind recessions and depressions:
It’s a fairly quick read, and well worth the few minutes.
Edited to add disclaimer: This blog does not promote the Fair Tax, or partisan politics. All incompetence is skewered without regard for political affiliation. Feel free to ignore the bit at the end of the article; the important thing here is the structural difference between a depression and a recession. A recession is mostly attitude, and cycles with time. A depression is a collapse of structurally deficient elements within an economy.