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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 14 2012: Like some of the other have commented the first thing to do is speak to someone professionally and never try to self diagnosis.

    But the topic on how we view depression as a culture is a very interesting topic. I truly believe it is a disease and should be looked at more seriously than what it is now. The unfortunate thing is, is the people dealing with depression are struggling and hurting mentally, so that means it doesn't show like an open wound. There are a number of ways to decrease depression and start back on the road to a healthy positive life. But when people view it "as just picking yourself back up, because we all have problems" is an insensitive and less than understanding way to look at it.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope that as a society we will start treating this as the disease it is.

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