HOW TO COPE WITH DEPRESSION IN COLLEGE
College students have to deal with a lot of academic stress from trying to get good grades, financial worries, failed relationships and the pressure of getting a good job after school. Many students enter college unprepared and become overwhelmed.
These factors induce lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise which are recipes for depression among college students.
Studies have shown the percentage of adolescents and young adults that are characterized as needing/wanting/using some form of mental health treatment is now one in every three students. Statistics show that it was at only 19% in 2007, but has risen to a staggering 34% in 2017. Get Some Anti-Depressants here
Millions of students around the world are suffering from depression — they juggle a new environment, classes, friendships, jobs, and their most formative years while suffering from depression.
Causes of Depression in College Students
- Abuse including physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can make you vulnerable to depression.
- Certain medications
- Death or a loss of a loved one
- Gender; Women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed.
- Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can contribute to the risk of developing clinical depression. Often, a breakup will precipitate a bout of depressive feelings.
- Serious illnesses
- Substance misuse
- Self-harming behaviors such as burning or cutting
How Can I Cope?
Due to the social stigma related to depression, most students are reluctant to seek help.
Talk therapies and combinations of prescribed antidepressants are the best treatments for college-aged students with depression.
Here are some tips you can try out to lead a healthier lifestyle and help with depression.
- Improve Sleep Habits:Having a healthy sleeping habit may seem basic but it is very essential. Not getting good rest and being sleep deprived aids depressive emotions.
Students in college are the most sleep-deprived population. The struggle for good grades and other schoolwork is tasking. They are also trying to balance this with a healthy social life and bedtime is the most sacrificed and becomes the least priority. This is unhealthy and has to stop. To function properly, sleep is essential and helps mental health.
- Exercise Regularly: Lack of exercises or physical activities that don’t require brain power should be prioritized. Exercise is a hallmark of good overall health. It helps with your heart,improves your strength, lowers blood pressure and reduces body fat.
Aside from the physical benefits, exercise has many mental health benefits. Studies have proven it reduces anxiety, stress, and depression.
It’s also a great way to channel your energy and time into something positive. It might seem daunting as a college student experiencing depression to find the motivation or time to exercise, but it can seriously improve your health.
- Stay Away From Drugs & Alcohol: It is easier to seek comfort in alcohol and abuse substances. Having depressive emotions make it easier for college students to binge drink, smoke marijuana, and participate in risky sexual behaviors to cope with emotional pain.
This is toxic for someone suffering from depression. The relief from any of these are just temporary feelings and substance abuse will only worsen the symptoms of depression over time.
- Seek Professional Help: Just as mentioned earlier the best combination to help a college student suffering depression is taking antidepressants and seeking professional help. Trained and licensed mental professionals support you by he;lping you find relief to the symptoms of depression you exprecience.
An exercise routine and improved sleep habits help a ton but you also need therapy. Therapy will help you identify what triggers or worsens your symptoms and what you can do to combat them.
Combining psychotherapy and medication helps best with depressive symptoms. Your mental health professional may recommend medication if your symptoms are severe enough. The medication would be helpful, It may make you nervous, but antidepressants can be life-changing for a person who has suffered from a long-term depressive disorder.
- Work on your Social Support System: It’s hard to adapt to a new environment and going to college may mean moving far away from familiar places, the comfort of your family and friends you have known your whole life.
This can create stress, nervousness and lead to anxiety. Try spending time with your roommate, joining a club, putting together a study group or you can find something you are passionate about and do.
- Enjoy every moment: It is easy to feel worthless or guilty because they are depressive emotions and we have a hard time saying no, or setting boundaries in our best interest because we are more worried about what the other person wants or needs than what we want or need.
Do not be pressured into doing something you shouldn’t. Recognize you can make a conscious effort to only commit to things that bring them happiness or make them better. This may mean disappointing some friends and can be awfully hard, but will be much more rewarding after you have done so.
Coping with depression as a college student may be hard and present unique challenges, but they can be helped. We hope these tips help your mental health.