Depression in College

letter-to-the-editor

Everyone thinks that going into college will be the most fun time of your life and for many, college can be the greatest time of your life. However, somewhere between the parties and meeting new friends can come lots of stress in school, and, for some, experiencing the first symptoms of depression.

 

I was one of those people. I had a great freshman year but I started to suffer from depression about half way through. At first, I didn’t think much of the fact that I was feeling more sad, less interested in schoolwork and friends, and suffering from a loss of appetite. I thought those feelings would go away. When they didn’t, and my feelings of sadness became progressively worse, I knew that I was suffering from symptoms of depression.

 

When I finally told my friends and family what I was going through, they told me to talk to someone and use the counselors on campus. I knew that it would probably help me to talk to someone, but I was nervous about talking to someone and I refused, thinking that I would be able to help myself.

 

Eventually, I got over my fear of talking to the counselors at school and I made an appointment. That ended up being one of the best decisions I made that year. Talking about my problems really helped me figure out why I was feeling the way I felt, and my counselor helped me figure out ways to get better. Soon I felt better, my grades went up, and I was feeling happier and, eventually, 100% better.

 

Many people don’t think that they need help for their depression or they don’t even know that there are free to low cost mental health services on campus. The truth is that over 30% of college students felt “so depressed that it was difficult to function” according to the American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment, a nationwide survey of students at 2-4 year colleges. This shows how many college students have or are currently suffering from depression.

 

Studies also suggest that students with depression are more likely to smoke. Abusing alcohol and having depression can affect your academics in a negative way. Luckily, depression is treatable with antidepressants or psychotherapy. A doctor or mental health care provider can help you find the treatment that’s right for you. You or someone you know may be suffering from depression if you feel: loss of energy, loss or interests in activities you used to enjoy, problems remembering or concentrating, loss or appetite or eating too much, problems falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much. Don’t let depression get too out of hand and take control of your life. Don’t be afraid to get help you will feel so much better if you do.

 

Use the facilities you can find in McDaniel Campus’s Wellness Center. Call the Wellness Center at 410-857-2243.

4 Comments on "Depression in College"

  1. Rachel, I was just like you and I’ve also been better after talking to friends about my problems. This is a problem that numerous college students go through where some end up committing suicide. I hope your article helps someone who is currently going through depression.

  2. Great article, Rachel. It’s a shame that the Wellness Center does NOT, in fact, provide long-term therapy for students, and upon diagnosing some of my closest friends with severe depression, they immediately told them that they couldn’t help them, and showed them the door– leaving me and other friends to help them struggle through the challenges that they face– EVERY DAY. McDaniel needs to get it together and realize that this is a much greater problem than anyone in the Wellness Center realizes, and that we as students need more than just an “Everything will be OK. We promise. Now get out.”

  3. Wonderful article. I am so glad you spoke up about your experience and I hope this helps others reach out for support. Being a clinical social worker and having a private practice helping lots of college students, I know how depression affects people and early diagnosis and treatment is vital to becoming healthy, again. Thanks, again, for sharing your experience.

  4. Depression really is a problem, not only among college students but among high school students as well. I never thought I would make it to college; I thought I would be dead at fifteen. The fear that the depression would return when I came to McDaniel made for a less-than-stellar first semester this past fall. I probably could have used some help, but I didn’t know where to find it.

    It is more than upsetting that the Wellness Center doesn’t provide as much care for students as it seems it could, and additionally that mental health isn’t given as much attention on campus as other important issues, such as dating violence. More needs to be done to reduce the stigma of depression, to make students aware that they are not alone in their struggle, and to provide them with the resources they need–both short- and long-term. This article is a good start to what should be a campus-wide discussion about mental health.

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