University Health and Counseling Services

Depression

Depression and Manic-Depression: 

What Every College Student Should Know

Clinical depression is a serious and very common disorder of mood that it pervasive, intense, and attacks the mind and body at the same time.  It often begins during young adulthood, making college students particularly at risk.  Depression can last for months or even years if left untreated, and can result in disruption of relationships and productivity, disability, or death.  Depression differs from the blues in that it is a whole body illness involving physical symptoms, moods, and thoughts. 

Signs and symptoms of depression

  • Extreme sadness
  • Not enjoying activities you used to enjoy
  • Withdrawing from your friends
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Being irritable
  • Poor grades and lack of motivation
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling hopeless or contemplating suicide

Major depression, the most common type of depression, is marked by symptoms that last longer then two weeks; it can be severe and affect everyday functioning.

Dysthymia is a milder form of depression with symptoms lasting two years or more.  Due to its duration, it can cause serious impairment.

Bipolar disorder is an illness involving episodes of mania and serious depression.  The person’s mood usually swings from overly “high,” excited or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again. Mania can involve serious lapses in judgment, impulsive and dangerous behaviors, and even severe agitation and psychosis.

Seasonal affective disorder may be triggered by the absence of sunlight during the winter months, and is commonly manifested in loss of energy, decreased activity, slowed thinking, sadness, and excessive eating and sleeping. 

Treatment
The great majority of people with clinical depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. University Counseling Services has trained counselors who can evaluate if you are suffering from depression and can help you devise a plan for treatment.  They can also help you work with faculty and the administration to make adjustments to your academic course load if needed.

College can be among the happiest and most memorable years of your life.  Don’t let untreated depression cheat you out of those memories! Call University Counseling Services at 780-4050 for an appointment if you think you suffer from depression.