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How To Get Through College With Depression

How to Get Through College with Depression

While for many of us, college days bring in cheer and excitement, for some of us, the unpleasant effects of depression can take their toll. For people who are vulnerable to this condition (either genetically or because of an earlier brush with it), the pressures and stresses of college can trigger the onset of depression.

You ask any psychiatrist, he or she will tell you that a significant percentage of his patients are college students.

Causes of depression (not an exhaustive list):

  • The stress of changes in their growing environment

  • Inability to cope with added burdens of college

  • Feelings of anxiety driven by peer pressures and/or parental pressures

  • The stress of having to make new friends

  • The stress of having to leave behind great friends

It is unhealthy and dangerous to ignore the symptoms of depression. Untreated depression can have long-term effects on the life of an individual and he or she will carry this pain for the rest of their lives. A worse situation is that students suffering from depression are most prone to suicidal tendencies.

Symptoms of depression:

  • Sadness

  • A feeling of hopelessness

  • A sense of worthlessness

  • Loss of interest in everything including those that the student enjoyed and loved doing till then

  • Increased crying

  • Unhealthy changes in sleeping and eating habits

  • Increased drug and/or alcohol use

How to Get Through College with Depression

Getting through college is an important aspect of your life. Remember depression is treatable and curable. You just need to think straight, get professional help, and follow a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips on how to get how to get through college with depression.

Exercise regularly and unfailingly – Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins in our body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that spread a sense of positivity within us thereby helping us fight symptoms of depression. In fact, have you ever woken up feeling sad and remorseful? Then you throw aside your blanket, change your clothes, wear near running shoes, and go for a jog feeling the morning cool air gently soothing your face. When you come back home, you begin to wonder why you were feeling sad at all when you woke up? That is the power of endorphins on your system. It is critical to remember not to go overboard with exercise. Keep it at moderate and manageable levels.

Don't shut out friends and have a great social circle – I know that college is meant for studying. However, it is not meant for studying only. While it is important to have a strict study time, do not wallow in academics. The college phase also includes networking, extra-curricular activities, leisure, some bit of partying and socializing, clubs, and more. Don't lose out on these fun times. A good balance of social and academics is a key aspect of fighting and managing depression.

Even during exam times and assignment deadlines, avoid working or studying alone for too long. Be part of a group that you gel well into and within that group, find ways and means to exhort, encourage, and help each other so no one is left feeling lonely, sad, and depressed.

Do not be shy/afraid/embarrassed to use the counseling services in your college – There is a reason for all colleges to have a counselor on campus. A lot of money is spent to get the best people in the field by good reputed colleges. Do not waste these kinds of opportunities. When you realize something is going wrong and your emotions are in a turmoil, walk across and speak to the expert so close at hand.

Don't be shy nor be afraid or embarrassed of ridicule from peers. It is a very natural thing to feel depressed and it is totally in order to seek help. In fact, it is not only totally in order to seek help in difficult situations; it is actually prudent to do so. Asking for help is a sign of strength and courage and not a sign of any weakness that you should be ashamed of. So, shed those inhibitions and take help when you need it.

Leverage technology to stay in touch with your loved ones – Remember that feeling of excitement on the first day of college when you saw your parents drive away after dropping you. You were so happy to be free of constant adult supervision, isn't it? Now, during these times of depression, how you wish you could see your parents' car driving towards you instead of away from you, isn't it?

Don't worry. That initial feeling of excitement is also fine and this feeling of sadness is also fine. Both are natural reactions and you do not need to feel bad for wanting the care and affection of you loved ones now. Your parents and siblings may be physically not close to you. But, there are plenty of technological options that you can leverage.

Call them on Skype, on FB Messenger, and on many other video-calling options that you have access to in today's internet world. In fact, make sure you do this regularly. Your parents and other loved ones will always be your support system. Do not feel bad to lean on that system whenever you feel like it.

Sleep and eat well – A regular sleep pattern and healthy nutritious meals are key elements that help you keep depressive feelings at bay. Usually, sleep and eating patterns in college go haywire owing to late-night studies, partying, or simply not having enough time to fit everything you want to. Be consciously aware of these aberrations and ensure that you keep your sleeping and eating patterns as healthy as you can.

Final Notes

As the initial euphoria of college settles down, as the pressures of college set in, as the long winter months away from loved ones begin to affect you negatively, then the sense of depression start to gnaw at you. Be wary of this state, use the above tips on how to get through college with depression and do not hesitate to shout out for help when you need it.

The experts at Prescott Papers have come to the help of students during their difficult times. Taking help from us for homework, assignments, etc will help you manage your limited time resources better and also help you reduce stress.

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