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How should we understand Depression?

hi everyone,
this probably isn't the place to do this, but i've been reading a couple of other threads with a similar theme, and I could really use your help. I'll keep it brief.

Well, I'm currently a student at university i'm supposed to be in my second year, but it looks like i'll have to drop out because of depression. (I'm not sure if I should be allowed to call it that, but iv'e had all the symptoms for over a year, and my local doctor seems to think so.) my family are skeptical I guess, and there are times when I'm sure and times when I think I'm making it all up.

Most days I feel tired, upset or restless or angry. I cant see a future for myself and hopelessly procrastinate and get irritated by the smallest things.

Therefore, my question is should we think of depression as some kind of existential struggle to find purpose in your life? or a chemical imbalance? A passing phase into aduthood? or selfishness as I've read on some other sites.

ps. I would also like advice on how I can deal with it, do you think i should take a year out of my studies?

thanks xx

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Thanks for the advice everyone, iv'e found it very encouraging. i wish i could have replied to all your comments but i completely forgot about the time limit.
I'm really very greatful, thanks again
:) xx

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    Nov 13 2012: Hi Vague..
    Now, I'm going to talk from my perspective, as a Swedenborgian, but 2000 characters are not going to change your world. Each of us has a different perspective as to what life is all about and what life, itself, really is.
    We are not our body or the chemical (im)balance in our brain. We are the spirit that occupies and uses this body. Everything belonging to our body and the condition it is in, can certainly influence our spirit to the extreme. But basically, our spirit should always be in charge.
    With our body is also the environment it is in. The room, or house, well anywhere we are can give our senses a hard time to stay 'balanced'. But as you may realize, we do not have the power to determine what happens to us, what we see or what we smell. However, we do have the freedom to choose how to react. Whether it is the smell, the looks, the swearing, there can easily be conditions that make us say: I'm out of here (or I love this! I'm staying!).

    Just saying we are a spirit in a body is meaningless, unless we have some idea what it means to be a spirit. Being a spirit means we also have a spiritual environment where we also have not much control over. However, there too, we have the power of choice as to how to react. We can get ideas and thoughts into our mind from that environment to which we can also decide how to respond. We may like ideas that come to us which suggest ways to make us seem smarter or richer or at least better than those around us now. The more we support ideas like that the more ideas like that we'll get presented.
    By deciding what thoughts to support, and dwell on, we decide what to love and so determine our spiritual environment.
    The most important aspect of that environment is Who are we putting in charge!! Life's choice ! Is it heaven or hell?

    heaven=life and love, hell=depression and anger.

    What Robert says below is great but some articles in here may help too
    www.newchurch.org/connection/issues/coping-with-failure/index.html

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