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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: Remember, this is not professional advice ... just a friend. This is self diagnosed as depression by you. I don't know about your school but most have a health services available to the students. Go there and tell them your problem and have them refer you to the proper specialist .. it could be medical ... psych ... behavioral, etc ...

    Until it is isolated and you understand what it is and what your options are do nothing.

    I am not an expert but to self diaginose and / or self medicate / or seek resolution without a professional opinion is not good advice.

    The important thing here is that you recoginize there is a problem. I find it hard to believe that your doctor (who agrees with you) did not refer you to a specialist.

    I am a big fan of documentation of all kinds. If you write down everything time depression sets in, what you eat, what your schedule is, length of depression, last eye exam, periods, meds (over the counter and perscribed), and all other things you can think of in a diary This gives your doctor a great snapshot of your life and the influences you encounter. When someone is screwing with my life I want them to have all the info possiable to base a decision on.

    This works for me (except the female part) and hope it helps to resolve your problems.

    I wish you all the best.

    Bob.

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