College Depression - Discussion

College depression can strike because, more often than not, entry into the college environment for a newly inducted student is marked by stress and anxiety for many. This is due to the fact that campus life can be a completely new and overwhelming experience.

It can thus possibly be marked by the usual signs of depression, such as hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, physical symptoms of disease like body aches and pains, lack of interest in routine activities, loss of pleasure, fun, motivation, insomnia, feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness, thoughts of death and suicide, etc.

If this is merely a passing case of the blues, nothing much needs to be done and it should be best ignored; however, if the feeling persists and impairs the individuals’ ability to carry on with day to day activities, then is it important to seek professional help and counseling.

Reasons for college depression

The reasons for depression amongst the university or college student population can be many and varied. On the one hand, the student could be depressed for the same reasons as the rest of the population - due to various factors such as family history of depression, abuse, loss of a loved one, traumatic experience, chemical imbalance, genetics, etc.

On top of those common factors, however, there are specific reasons that are related to campus life which are likely to create the onset of depression in a college student. There are as listed below.

  • Homesickness and managing one’s activities in school without the support system of family.

  • Financial worries regarding college education and fees.

  • Uncertainty over the future on completion of college education.

  • Stress due to pressures in academics, part-time work, social life and other conflicting priorities.

  • Sleep deprivation and poor dietary habits / eating disorders.

  • Substance abuse.

  • Sexual abuse.

  • Pressure and anxiety related to dorm friendships.

  • Relationship related issues.

Combating college and school depression

How should one deal with or cope with college depression?

Firstly, it is important for college students to seek help when depressed. Generally, the campus counseling center can be approached, since they are familiar with the same and will be able to provide the required support. It is especially important to seek professional help immediately if one is experiencing thoughts of doing harm to oneself or having suicidal thoughts.

It is important that college going students who are depressed note that depression is nothing to be ashamed about. If someone close to you is depressed and considering harming himself or herself, then it is imperative to seek help via the emergency hotline / emergency services that is a part of the college campus health services.

Depression is a common human condition and should not be hidden due to feelings that it will be considered a sign of weakness if disclosed. It can be quite easily treated with counseling, talk therapy and medications, and therefore, help should be sought without hesitation. These apply to college depression, as well as other types of depression.

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    Useful Depression Resources

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  • Ex-chronic anxiety and depression sufferer's easy-to-follow program
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