Dealing with depression in college is a serious and important issue all around the world, but still, it’s not an undoable task to diagnose and effectively treat it.
College can be one of the most exciting times in an individual’s life that can open doors to new opportunities, prepare for a future career and help to experience life in a new way.
But at the same time it can also be a very challenging time for students. Indeed, college brings some new challenges as well, such as dealing with depression in college.
It can happen because of leaving home for the first time, forming new relationships, learning to live independently and because of many other factors that can be overwhelming for many students.
But the good news is that depression can be effectively diagnosed and treated, moreover the treatment is the most successful when started at a younger age. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the topic of dealing with depression in college and find the reasons, solutions and how to fight with it in college.
Dealing with depression in college: How common is that?
It may be surprising for some people but dealing with depression in college is a popular problem. In fact, thousands of college students may feel so sad, anxious, lonely, isolated and overwhelmed right at the time you are reading this. Those types of strong and intense feelings can have serious consequences, especially, when they persist for a long period of time.
Being depressed in college can lead to such serious problems as getting lower grades, experiencing physical health problems, missing out on big social opportunities or being engaged in risky behavior such as drug abuse or extreme drinking. In some cases, suicide is another potential outcome for a college student.
But first, let’s talk about some facts and statistics of college depression. Even though the rates of depression among college students may vary, one thing that is clear is that serious mental health issues play a major role in many students’ lives.
As it has been found, mental health problems first start to appear during the traditional college ages of 18 to 24. In one survey of an American college, almost 10% of students said that they frequently felt depressed.
Furthermore, in another annual survey in the U.S., 14.5% of them said that they had been diagnosed with depression and more than 35% of them said that they felt so depressed that it was hard to function.
Dealing with depression in college: College suicide rates
Sadly, depression in college leads some students to commit suicide. Since college suicides are usually treated by investigators as criminal matters, information about the highest suicide rates is often hard to get.
Nonetheless, each year, over 1,000 suicides occur in American colleges. Among the U.S. population, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, whereas it is the third one among Americans between the ages of 15 and 24.
Approximately 1% of full-time college students between the ages of 18 and 22 have attempted suicide and about 2.5 % of them have made plans to realize suicide.
Is there a dual burden for girls while dealing with depression in college?
In addition to all of the negative factors that entering a college can cause, sometimes girls face some additional challenges than boys, such as time management, homesickness, some conflicts with classmates and roommates and relationship problems.
Though choosing a major is a tough question for both boys and girls, there is even more pressure to choose a major for girls. It’s not surprising, as choosing a major determines the future career of girls and how much money they will be able to earn in this “men’s world”. So, this means that making the right decision is not only extremely important but also quite stressful.
If you feel that you are in this kind of situation then down below you can find some helpful tips to overcome depression. No one should fight it alone. Even if your continuous sadness does not turn out to be serious, the best thing to do is to get yourself checked out.
Depression is a serious problem and if it’s not treated well it can affect not only your social but also emotional life. If you’re feeling blue and that process lasts more than two weeks, here are some tips on how to fight and overcome depression.
What are the college depression symptoms for boys and girls?
After all, what are the typical signs and symptoms of depression among college students? There are symptoms that are common for both girls and boys.
Generally speaking, those kinds of symptoms must last more than just a few days and interfere with some of students’ normal activities in order to be considered depression. Some of the most common symptoms of college depressed include:
- Constantly feeling sad, empty, pessimistic, hopeless, anxious or unhappy
- Experiencing changes in weight or appetite
- Having trouble sleeping or, vice versa, sleeping too much
- Losing interest in some kind of activities that the student normally enjoys
- Persistently feeling guilty, worthless, annoyed, frustrated or restless even over small issues
- Doing everything more slowly and having some troubles while making decisions
- Being easily distracted and feeling extremely tired or weak
- Having difficulties while trying to remembering things
- Experiencing headaches and other physical problems
- Crying without any reason
- Frequently thinking about death and harming themselves
It’s also important to note that the boys and girls might only experience some of the symptoms listed above.
Tips on dealing with college depression #1: Get support from family and friends
Probably one of the most important, yet difficult steps is to develop a support system. Some students just don’t want to admit they’re feeling depressed, but opening up to your family members or friends is the key to recovery.
Having someone to confide can be really helpful and recovering. Even though during the depression it seems as if no one cares about you, but in fact reaching out to these people is essential to getting better. So, try to stay in touch with them as those bonds are important first of all for you.
Tips on dealing with college depression #2: Get to know your school’s options
Many colleges have mental health centers and have orientation days that help students become accustomed to their new surroundings. So, figure out what they have to offer you.
It is extremely helpful to organize your own orientation ahead of time so that you will become familiar with your new place that feels already comfortable. Such activities as, visiting the campus multiple times, finding faculty members to talk to, getting a feel for where students like to hang out and what activities are popular will be really accommodating.
Tips on dealing with college depression #3: Take the ownership of your recovery
Don’t ignore your troubling feelings and take charge of your recovery. This is another significant step that you must understand and realize. When you’re busy going to class and completing assignments, it’s quite easy to turn a blind eye to negative feelings.
But it’s important to pay attention, as those feelings can become more and more intense while trying to pretend that they aren’t there. Embracing depression is usually easier when you are empowered. That is the reason why it is important to take ownership of your diagnosis and play an active role in the process of getting better.
Among other important steps that you should try and realize are:
- establish and maintain consistent sleep habits
- avoid disruptions
- spend some time in nature
- get professional help
- avoid drug and alcohol use
- get plenty of regular exercises
- eat a healthy diet
- be patient with yourself.
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