Depression Hurts

11 12 2009

The typical college student experiences periods of sadness, hopelessness, frustration, and fear.  Such emotions are normal and should be expected. However, continued bouts of sadness may indicate clinical depression. Depression is a serious illness that requires medical attention. It is more than feeling those “campus blues” for a few days at a time. It is feeling down, hopeless, and sad for weeks at a time. Depression interrupts daily life and routine tasks. Personally, I experience seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs during the winter months. SAD is generally treated with a light therapy, but some cases require antidepressants. Many colleges students, especially those attending schools in areas with long, cold winters, do not realize they have seasonal affective disorder. If you feel like you may suffer from SAD, find help from a school counselor, psychologist, or family doctor.

College students also suffer from major depression. Studies show that 15% of college students suffer from clinical depression, but only 33% of those with depression seek help. Major depression affects both the mind and physical body. It is characterized by a loss of interest in normal activities, feelings and emotions that disrupts a person’s ability to sleep, eat, study, work, and find pleasure. Most health professionals categorize depression as a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment.  Don’t let the term “chronic illness” scare you. With effective treatment, most people feel better and can lead a happy, healthy life. Long-treatment usually involves medication, exercise, counseling, or a combination of the three.

Don’t let depression control your life. Don’t be afraid to talk about depression. Depression isn’t your fault. If you feel depressed…find help. Tell someone.

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