It is becoming increasingly apparent that depression and anxiety are the main causes of health problems for college students, with many indicating that mental health issues are their greatest barriers to performing well in school.
In fact, evidence shows that 16% of college students report depression as having an adverse effect on their academic performance. With the incidence of depression among young adults shown to be on a steady incline, schools and students need adequate resources and strategies to cope and thrive. In this guide, we present useful information for students on how to deal with depression.
Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Depression
College students face numerous challenges and pressures that can lead one to feel overwhelmed. You may be homesick or stressed about your assignments. In college, it is likely your first time being in charge of your own scheduling with no one to offer guidance on what to do and what to eat.
Before you can deal with depression, you have to know the symptoms. How does one distinguish between sadness or anxiety and depression? While anxiety and sadness tend to pass within a few days or weeks. Depression, on the other hand, lasts much longer and affects how you feel, behave, and think and can result in various physical and emotional complications.
Here are some common symptoms:
- Constant feelings of emptiness, tearfulness, hopelessness, or sadness
- Frustration and irritability, typified by irrational reactions to situations
- Losing interest in most normal activities and hobbies
- Sleep disturbances
- Constant tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
- Agitation and anxiety.
Understand the Underlying Causes
Like is the case with everything else, it is impossible to deal with depression if you don’t understand the underlying factors. Since so many changes occur within a short span for college students, it is not surprising that young adults are particularly vulnerable. There are many reasons who so many more than 39% of college students feel so depressed that they are unable to function well.
Loneliness and homesickness are critical factors. Another important factor is academic stress, with students having to work on endless assignments. If possible, ask a professional writer to help with some of your assignments. You can locate writers by reading through essay writing service reviews online.
Take Part in Psychotherapy
Depression is a serious mental health problem that you should not cope with alone. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from licensed and trained mental health professionals who can help with finding relief for some of the symptoms. With good help, you should be able to identify some of the contributing factors causing your depression and how to best address the issues. After all, research shows that psychotherapy can lower the symptoms associated with depression and prevent future incidences.
Consider Options for Medication
Understand that depression, if left untreated, can have serious short-term and long-term effects. So, if you experience symptoms linked to depression, you should consider talking to a provider of primary care. Statistics showing that about 60% of college students have felt overwhelmed by anxiety are worrying.
If you consult a doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychotherapist, the expert can prescribe medication that will be useful in treatment. Doctors can also help in eliminating any underlying complications that may be contributing to the symptoms. The good news is the there are several medications that can be effective in treating depression.
Mindfulness has been shown to have impressive benefits on individuals’ mental and physical health. Although the concept may sound simple, mindfulness can be rather complicated. It is the practice of being conscious and staying aware in the present moment. With some practice, college students can learn to stay connected in the present as they handle the various rigors of academic and social life. Consider engaging a therapist who practices mindfulness or attending yoga classes.
Take Breaks and Spend Time with Nature
Okay, this is the simplest way to take care of your mental health and avoid depression. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and take some time for yourself. Spending some time with nature has been shown to have immense benefits in reducing the symptoms of depression. There is enough research to support ecotherapy. Remember, even a thirty-minute walk in the park every day can have wonderful effects.
Embrace Regular Exercise
Exercise has many benefits for your mental and physical health. It strengthens your cardiovascular strength and can boost your self-esteem, besides serving as a stress relief mechanism. You can also benefit from the positive impact that exercise has on the brain, including advanced memory and thinking skills.
In essence, depression is a serious problem among college students. If you feel overwhelmed, make sure to get assistance and work on your social connections. Most importantly, improve your exercise and nutrition habits.