Coping With College Depression

29 Sep 2017
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College is a stepping stone to one’s professional life and a foundation for your life ahead. This is the time when people undergo various good and bad changes which further plays a crucial part in major decisions of one’s life. However, it has been observed that college students are affected by a number of mental health problems. This increase in stress levels is not just affecting their health but the problem further transcends to extreme problems like substance abuse and a significant growth in suicide rates among college students. While, most young college and university students are assessed to have positive signs of severe stress, depression, and anxiety, the demand for on-campus mental health and counseling services, increases. The problem grows when students, rather than considering depression a problem and seeking help for it like any other health problem, ignore it or start living with it.

Know when it is Depression:

For most students’ college being a major transitioning period of their life naturally becomes quite stressful. However, freshmen years can be the hardest for many students when they are struggling to set in, in a new place, away from home and with new people. Sometimes, the academic leap can be a bit difficult for students to deal with resulting in underperformance in their courses. Research, however, shows that the problem is prevalent in not just freshmen but among other students in later years of college. The most common of causes among college depression is the inability to perform in their social circles, bullying and financial worries sprouting from problems like hefty student loans and other expenses. Sometimes, fretting over a regular day to day college matters is considered normal and healthy but overstressing over the same issues or others may lead to severe depression and anxiety thus hindering you from being productive in your life. When students are faced with the initial symptoms of depression like headaches and being on edge most of the times, they don’t know what to do and who to look at for support. A number of students consider going to a psychiatrist or a consular as something embarrassing and out of fear of being shamed by others they keep on maximizing the extent of the problem or resort to harmful alternatives for relief. If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, then you should understand that the problem you’re facing maybe depression and that you should seek help.

  1. Nervousness and anxiousness, exhaustion over small things
  2. Feelings of sadness or misery
  3. Persistent headaches
  4. Feeling worthless, lonely, hopeless, restless or guilty
  5. Irritability
  6. Loss or increase in appetite
  7. Suicidal thoughts or thoughts if self-harm
  8. Insomnia or excessive sleep
  9. Feeling nausea tic or suffocated
  10. Lack of motivation and concentration

What Can You Do?

A mental illness as severe as depression doesn’t just affect your health but can have a rather grave effect over your entire life. In college the biggest concern for students is their academic performance and being depressed will always have bad impacts over your academics and this can interfere with your usual day to day activities. If you leave the problem unaddressed for a very long time, it can lead to major mental disorders. Here’s what you can do to help yourself if you are going through depression.

  1. The first and foremost rule to dealing with depression is to seek help and support. Many colleges offer mental health and counseling services to its students. If you’re not provided with help from your college, try talking about it to someone you can easily talk to. Talking to an adult can also be helpful and even if the student him/herself is resisting seeking help than the adult or a friend should take the person to someone with the expertise in the field. Most of the times, just talking about it solves half the problem.
  2. Try calming your nerves through exercises and workouts. Meditation and yoga are considered the most effective in treating problems like anxiety, stress, and depression.
  3. If something like a huge assignment or task is stressing you out then try dividing it into smaller parts as per your feasibility.
  4. Every time you feel anxious and depressed, try eating some chocolate as it is considered a great anti-depressant. Drink loads of water, and breathe in and out with some words of motivation like “you can do it!”
  5. Include some leafy greens and organic foods into your diet rather than just junk foods.
  6. Do some shopping, buying yourself some new clothes would be of great help in diverting your mind and relieving you from anxiety. If you haven’t tried stylish flannel dress and plaid shirts now is the time to get distracted.
  7. Don’t make essential decisions until your mood gets better and if you feel like doing something emotional or irrational try engaging in something other than that.
  8. If you’re recommended a proper treatment by a professional then give it a fair chance with the belief it will work. Also, strictly follow the course of action suggested by your doctor.
  9. Try to stay optimistic about things in life and adopt a simpler, greener and healthy lifestyle, they might seem hopeless initially but with time everything gets better.

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