For some college students, the pressure and demands of college life can lead to depression, a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people each year. If you are a college student struggling with depression, please know that there is nothing wrong with you and that help is available.
Depression is a complex and multifaceted condition. It can be brought on by a variety of factors, including biology, your environment, and what’s going on in your life. For college students, depression is often triggered by the pressure to succeed academically, social isolation, financial stress, and the transition to a new environment.
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to seek help right away. Some colleges have on-campus resources including: counseling services, support groups, and student health centers.
Counseling centers can also connect you with a therapist off-campus if you need more time in therapy or do not connect with the therapists in the center.
As much as possible, it is important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. You’ve heard it all before, yet these basic self-care practices can go a long way in helping you manage your symptoms and feel better overall.
If you are struggling with depression, it can be helpful to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or counselor. Talking about your feelings and experiences can help you gain perspective and feel less alone.
There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and self-care practices. It is important to find the treatment that works best for you and to work closely with your mental healthcare provider to manage your symptoms.
As much as possible, surround yourself with supportive people who understand what you are going through, engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, and make time for self-care practices that help you feel calm and centered.
With the right support, you can overcome depression and begin to thrive as a college student.
Dr. Wayne Bullock is a therapist in Washington D.C. specializing in the needs of gay men and the LGBTQ community. Wayne's expertise includes helping those affected by anxiety, depression, and trauma.