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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: If one is not depressed, one is NOT paying attention. We are in the throws of collective suicide, environmentally, economically and socially. To ignore that reality or to 'medicate' it away will never solve anything, plus will give side effects in who knows how many and what ways. Choose your poison wisely, they are not all the same.

    However there is a way out. To take a vow to do all you can to build bridges to a sustainable future, in how you live and influence others. It takes strength and the rewards are few, but deep and lasting. Be a part of the solution and the depression will fade. It may not go entirely awy, but you can replace it with renewed vigor toward becoming the light.

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