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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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Closing Statement from Vague Ideas

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: To me depression is the same as mourning.
    It can have a light up to a severe impact on any person dependant on circumstances, resilience and the amount of loss.
    The kind of loss can be family members, a fortune but also the child you were if growing up or the ability you lost with illness or handicap.
    Resilience has to do with intelligence, fitness the struggles one has overcome already and many more.
    Circumstances can be good or bad in many ways, physical as well as social/emotional.

    It isn't unique to humans because animals show the same behavior among which there are problems with appetite, curiosity and dissociation. Most things become difficult like tidiness, sociability and agenda. Unique to humans however is that their way of thinking can make things worse or better.

    The way to go about are many as some here suggested but for all it is about following your bliss. Think what feels good, do only if it feels good, look for directions that give a good feeling. Don't let you be made miserable in any way, not by people or what you need or need not to do. Look for better people, better places. Try to think less and less, meditate if possible, love yourself first and be positive about everything. See your dreams in life in front of you but live in the moment itself. Don't worry, trust that all comes well in the end.

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