Depression is a mental illness that is becoming common among college students. Each case of depression is different from the other. There can be various reasons behind depression among college students.
What are the signs of depression among college students? What causes depression? How can depression impact the life and health of students? What are the solutions to students with depression on campus? Here you will find the answers to these questions.
Signs of depression
Early recognition of the signs of depression is helpful. It can prevent the symptoms from aggravating and progressing to suicidal thoughts. Depressed students have a disturbed sleep cycle. They may either be unable to sleep or sleep more than normal. Fatigue and emotional imbalance are also observed. Students with depression skip meals or not eat well. Depressed individuals also neglect their physical wellbeing. They stop exercising or engaging in any fitness routines.
Depressed students lose hope and seem lost. They may suffer from low self-esteem and isolate themselves. They no longer engage in their hobbies. Students with depression become moody, cranky and unpredictable. Anxiety is another sign of depression you need to watch out for.
Students with depression face difficulty in daily activities and cannot concentrate. They feel stressed and anxious, which impacts their college performance. Depressed students may submit assignments beyond deadlines. Loved ones and college faculty need to spot these signs of depression among students.
Causes of depression in college students
College life begins with a lot of excitement and change. Sometimes the change can become stressful and make students feel lonely. You might have to relocate far from home and find it hard to adjust to a new place. College life also comes with pressure, long study hours and many assignments. Some students are unable to handle the stress. They may also feel pressurized to find a job after college and have financial worries. It can be challenging to manage finances for food and other expenses, bills and repay loans. College students may need to fulfill the expectation of their family and friends.
College life brings changes. Some students struggle to adjust to the changes and build friendships. College students can feel stressed with all the competition and assignments. Failed friendships and personal relationships can add to the stress. College students also compare their lives with others, especially through social media. Lifestyle habits including unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and improper sleep cause depression.
Besides, a student might have a history of mental health problems or it could be hereditary. Colleges and universities offer a diverse culture. Some students find it difficult to adapt to such environments. Life events such as the death of a loved one may also cause depression among students. There can be more than one cause behind a student’s depression.
Impact of depression on physical health
Along with mental wellbeing, depression impacts physical health of individuals. Depression may cause health problems such as obesity, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular problems. People with depression are susceptible to heart attack. They tend to feed on sugary foods and skip exercise. Sometimes depressed individuals may become addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Solution to depression
Depressed students find it hard to discuss their problem. Sometimes, students don’t realize they are going through depression. Do you feel your room-mate/house-mate seems off lately? Then, talk to them if they don’t open up on their own.
Students with depression must find someone to talk to. If they are hesitant to contact their friends or family about this, they can find help at campus. Communicate with university faculty members or counselors about your depression. You can also find helpline numbers that you can dial and talk to.
Depression symptoms can worsen if students continue prolonged isolation. They can also become suicidal. It is helpful for depressed students to hang out with friends and have fun. Going out and enjoying yourself reduces depression. Students with depression must partake in activities they like. A fun or new activity helps to divert a depressed person’s mind off negative thoughts. Meeting with people helps to change their mood and make them feel less depressed. A walk in the forest or cycling around town also helps depressed students. It helps to calm their mind and make them feel relaxed.
You can receive treatment for substance abuse at a rehab center. Mindfulness also helps to deal with depression. Practice regular meditation to relax your mind and increase your concentration levels. Learn to accept and love yourself, in a non-egocentric manner. Maintain a regular fitness regime and eat healthy. Depressed people must avoid foods containing high sugar and unhealthy fats. They should also consume Vitamin D supplements. It will help in elevating their mood and also prevent bone health issues. Make an achievable plan to handle your finances and clear your loans, if any.