College is a time for excitement, new opportunities and unrestrained independence. It is a rewarding experience in individual’s life, opening the door to gaining new knowledge and preparing for future career. However, it can be a very challenging time for college students. A lack of sleep, studying worries, poor eating habits, conflicts with roommates, financial difficulties may be overwhelming for many students.
A current UK research found that today the university students are at a bigger danger of depression than their predecessors. Depression is a main reason students drop out of school. It is an average but crucial problem that makes you feeling helpless and discouraged, and entirely isolated from the whole world. It intrudes in your life, making it troublesome to study, eat, and sleep.
How to Recognize the Signs?
Many college students feel sad or anxious from time to time, but these emotions pass within a few hours or days. Bad mood can be easily improved by talking to a friend, eating ice-cream or watching a favourite film. However, there are some alarming symptoms and signs that should be treated at once. Among them:
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy;
- Loss of appetite;
- Constant headaches;
- Problems falling asleep or sleeping too much;
- Anger and annoyance for no distinct reason;
- Slowed thinking and problems with concentration;
- Feeling of guilt, worthlessness and self-blame when something goes wrong;
- Frequent thoughts of death and suicide.
We all face some of these issues sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that you or your friends have depression. However, if you begin experience the symptoms more often, you should turn for help. And the earlier the better. Students who experience depression are more likely to smoke marijuana, drink a lot and participate in risky sexual behaviour to manage emotional stress. That’s why you need to identify the alarming issues and get effective treatment as soon as possible.
How You Can Deal with Depression in College
A number of effective treatments for depression are available. First of all, avoid self-treatment, as it can be dangerous. You should seek for assistance from a doctor, mental health professional or student health centre. Some people find that the combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants works best. A specialist will help you to find the right way of treatment for you. While in treatment, there are a number of steps you can take to help you cope with the problem faster.
Plan studying and sleep schedule. Don’t postpone doing homework until night time. Lack of sleep will make you feel exhausted. Eight hours of rest are important for your well-being now.
Take part in extracurricular activities.
Sonorities and fraternities, sports, students newspaper, theatre can bring a chance to meet people with the same interests. These activities will help you to relax from class work and spend time with pleasure.
Try relaxation methods. Long walks after classes, exercise, meditation, deep breathing, warm baths – find your method to relieve stress and anxiety. You can use candles and relaxing music to create pleasant atmosphere at your room. Try whatever you enjoy to avoid discomfort and tension.
Take time for yourself every day. Make special time for yourself even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. This will help you to concentrate on your own needs and wishes and makes you understand the significance of your ideas, actions and life in general.
Look for support from other people. It is very important to know that you have a helping hand near you. This can be your roommate or a friend from college. Sharing your emotions and thoughts helps you realize that you are not alone. Friendship provides fun and excitement that is essential in difficult life situations.
Work towards recovery. You need to realize all the importance of the problem and do everything possible to cope with it. Follow the advice you’ve got during the psychological counselling and work with determination to implement all tips.
College is the distressing environment for most people. To prevent anxiety and depression, try to establish consistent sleep habits, eat regularly, relax after classes, spend time outdoors, get a plenty of exercise and keep stress in check.
If you suppose your friend can have a depression, you should react quickly and help him/her get treated. What you can do is to suggest help and encouragement, listen carefully, and never ignore their attempts to talk. Invite your friend for a walk or suggest watching a film together. This will help to cope with the problem faster.
Take care of yourself and people who surround you and be happy!