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Depression and the College Student

Depression and the College Student

It’s important to know there is help.

Kizzy Preston

February 12, 2013

College can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Trying to fit in, maintain good grades, plan for the future, and be away from home, often causes anxiety for a lot of students.

As a reaction to this stress, some students get depressed. They find that they cannot get themselves together. They may cry all of the time, skip classes, or isolate themselves without realizing they are depressed.

Depression isn’t just an occasional sense of feeling sad or blue. According to WebMD, “when feelings of intense sadness— including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless — last for many days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your depression may be something more than sadness. It may very well be clinical depression — a treatable medical condition.”

Have you been irritable, unmotivated, and unable to sleep or you sleep the day away? Do you have thoughts of suicide? Then you may be suffering from depression.

It’s important to know there is help.

Here are some things you can do if you or someone you know is suffering from depression:

Visit the School Counselor:

Every school has a counselor who is available to help with your wellness needs. This counselor is a trained professional who is there to help students with their problems. By meeting with your counselor, you can get some tips for overcoming college stress and depression or be referred to someone else who can help.

Go See a Mental Health Specialist:

Psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers are all trained to help anyone suffering from depression. If you have a family physician, they can refer you to the right mental health professional for you.

Stay Active:

One of the things often prescribed to people suffering from depression is to stay active. Since exercise releases endorphins, a feel good hormone, it is the perfect thing to do to help raise your mood.

Socialize:

Most people suffering from depression want to isolate themselves, but staying social is one of the best things you can do. When you are alone the negative thoughts and feelings only increase. Try joining a support group or a group that does an activity you normally enjoy.

Keep a Journal:

Studies have shown that journaling is a great tool for coping with depression, anxiety, and stress. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great way to get the pain out. Rather than holding in all that you feel, you can release it by writing in a notebook.

Call 911:

If you feel like you may harm yourself or others — or if you know of someone who might harm themselves or others — call 911 immediately.

Depression is a very serious condition. It is important that the symptoms of depression are recognized and treatment is sought.

Millions of Americans suffer from depression each year. Don’t wait or question the symptoms until it’s too late. It’s better to be wrong and safe, rather than right and sorry.

Please know that you do not have to suffer through depression alone. Seeking help doesn’t prove that you are crazy; it proves that you are smart.

If you or someone you know is battling with depression, please seek help today.


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