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College depression is more common than you might think. Many people see college as a time of freedom and enjoyment. These young people are often away from home for the first time, which means endless partying, no parental rules, and the opportunity to discover yourself.

College depression

Student depressions are increasing.

The fact is, as many as one in five academic students suffer from either anxiety or depression. College is a stressful time. There is a constant pressure to keep grades up. And to balance your social life. Far too often, unfortunately for most students this is a difficult task. A fake smile to parents and family members. What’s more, being away from their childhood home. And having to, grow up, act like an adult can be quite an adjustment. All of this can lead to periodic or chronic depression, which can impact grades or quality of life, and even  lead to thoughts of suicide.

College depression

College depression

Identifying mental illness as a parent can be tricky, though, especially when your child is far from you. Far too many students feel they can’t tell their parents what is happening with them emotionally, which increases the pressure they face. If you think your child might be suffering from depression, ask about their mood, appetite, sleep, and concentration. These can be telltale signs that something is wrong.

College depression is a serious condition.

It is important for students with depression to get treatment. While untreated depression may not result in immediate drastic consequences like flunking for the semester. Or even attempts suicide. It can build up over time and lead to unfortunate mental breakdown if not caught. Essentially, the earlier depression is treated, the better. This provides the student with the tools to deal with it before it gets much worse.

Student depression

If you’re depressed, it’s important to find someone you trust and talk to them. Keeping things inside can be extremely toxic for someone with depression. That doesn’t mean telling any and everyone your business, because that can backfire; a trusted friend or two might be enough. Also, be prepared to make changes to your life. The power to get better is inside you, and with the help of loved ones and trusted professionals, you can get there.

Coping and therapy

It is important that someone with depression seek professional help. Fortunately, colleges have mental health professionals on staff to help. Antidepressants and sessions with a therapist can do wonders to help students deal with their depression. Also, professors are often very willing to make arrangements for depressed students to ensure they get through their courses with less difficulty.

What parents need to know.

Family members of students with depression have a part to play, as well. Too many students keep their feelings locked away because they’re afraid of disappointing or being judged by their parents. Depression can lead to some decisions that you may not approve of, that the student later regrets. So, let your child know that they can trust you, that you want what’s best for them, and that you won’t hold their mistakes against them. If you can’t be a constant presence, phone calls and visits can be an invaluable support for students with depression.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about student depression: We can beat it. Together.