Depression In College Students: What You Should Know
College students are faced with mounting pressure every day. From studying to get good grades to peer pressure and financial pressure, it is no wonder so many college kids find themselves struggling with their mental health. If you have a loved one who is a college student who you think may be exhibiting signs of depression or mental health decline, here are some things you need to know:
Why Are College Students Depressed?
There is a multitude of reasons why a college student can suffer from depression. For new college students, depression can be brought on by the sudden shift in their lives. Moving away from home and away from friends and family can be a major trigger for depression. College students have to suddenly become more independent, which can be difficult for kids who have not yet had that experience in life. They may be struggling with their classes or choice of major and realizing they are not doing what they truly want to do with their lives. College students may not have as much support as they need, whether it be financial support, peer support, or mental health support.
What Are the Warning Signs of Depression in College Students?
If you think your college student may be suffering from depression, there are some warning signs to look for. First, they may look exhausted or show physical signs of fatigue. Many students suffering from depression are not sleeping well. They may seem anxious or irritable. College students suffering from depression may not be interested in things they used to enjoy. They may have a loss of appetite. In contrast, they may also have a sudden weight gain.
What Can You Do to Help?
If you think your college student may be depressed, let them you know have concerns. Encourage them to seek help from the university's mental health center or a counselor. If you live near the campus, consider visiting with them more frequently to give them added support or being a sounding board for them. If finances are a concern, consider helping them financially if you can afford to do so. Alternatively, help them with their budget and seek out ways they can add funds to their budget each month through on-campus work programs, scholarships, grants, and so on.
If your college student seems clinically depressed, or if you fear that is the path they are on, encourage them to seek professional help with a licensed therapist or counselor. It is crucial to get help with severe depression to overcome the symptoms and live a happier, healthier life while they are dealing with the stress of school.
Contact a professional for more information about depression.