October 25, 2014

Depression in College Students

Worldwide, there is an estimated 121 million people who struggle with depression according to the World Health Organization. However, it is sad to note that only a few recognize it as depression and seek help.  College students go through an array of emotions; and some of them struggle with depression because of life’s challenges in that specific point of their life.

Depression in college students if left untreated and in a worst case scenario, can lead to death. Statistics show that suicide among college students ages 20-24 is the second leading cause of death.  44% of American college students shared that they felt depressed. However, it is still alarming that two-third of the young people do not speak or acknowledge their mental health issues. Based on the American Psychological Association, there is an increase of 10% among the college students who take psychiatric medication.

Given the statistics, it is important to know as much as possible about college depression  to help save lives. Read on to learn what may have caused it, how to spot symptoms of college depression and how to treat it as well as other important facts on the issue.

Popular Causes of College Depression

Depression can manifest in many various forms and it can also come out from different life instances. Here are just a few factors that can contribute to college depression:

 

  • Pressured from new found responsibilities.  Young adults may feel overwhelmed by the fact that they have to juggle their academics with financial and personal relationships and more.
  • Rise of mental health conditions. According to “Psych Central”, it is among the young people from the ages of 18-24 that begin to start mental health conditions. This statistic was given out on August 2008.
  • Feelings. Many students feel embarrassed to talk about their concerns and issues with their friends. This is one of the reasons why depression cannot be treated or identified right away. In August 2006, another article of “Psych Central” shared that only about 23% felt comfortable with sharing their concerns with friends.

Depressed WomanSymptoms of College Depression

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Some do not know that they have depression because they think that their feelings or mental state comes from another source.  However, there are general signs that can be watched out for. Listed below are some symptoms, and if these symptoms are observed to last more than two weeks, it is vital to seek help in a timely manner.

 

  • Tiredness or fatigue.
  • Disinterest in things that usually motivated a person.
  • Irregular sleeping patterns.
  • Loneliness or wanting to withdraw from social groups, friends, and family.
  • Feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and anger.

Importance of Seeking Help

As mentioned above, if left untreated, college depression can lead to serious consequences up to and including suicide. Those struggling with it should visit a doctor to be assessed and wait to be given a recommendation on treatment. Here are some common treatments that can be done for this mental condition:

  1. Prescription Drugs: These are the most commonly given prescription of doctors. Among the drugs recommended for one to take are antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs. Prescription drugs cannot solve the condition on its own as doctors’ pair this up along with another treatment.
  2. Psychotherapy: These are forms of therapy which usually are matched with another kind of treatment. One of the common forms of therapy is the cognitive behavioral way which helps a patient practice putting positive thoughts over his negative ones.
  3. Alternative therapies: There is a debate on the effectiveness of this kind of treatment. One should be aware that they need to consult their doctor if this is a treatment they believe they should pursue. Instances like some herbs may not be a suitable mix with prescribed drugs needs to be taken into consideration. Natural remedies contain intake of some herbs while physical remedies could refer to exercises like yoga.

Role of Family Members and Friends

In preparation for and during college, close relationships should continually be established and strengthened. In this way it is easier to catch symptoms. If a family member or friend thinks that someone may be battling college depression, encourage a visit to the doctor’s office right away for treatment. Be on alert to also see that symptoms decrease during treatment. If any disturbing behavior arises or it seems to worsen, call for help right away.