Depression for college students can be painful, disruptive, and debilitating. It may impair you academically, socially, romantically, or in relationships with family members. It can be accompanied by cognitive impairments that make it hard to study and a loss of will that make it hard to get motivated.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Feeling sad or empty most of the time.
  • Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities that used to be enjoyable.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or a drop in self-esteem.
  • Excessive or inappropriate guilt.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Feelings of anxiety or restless agitation.
  • Feeling apathetic about most things that one used to care about.
  • Decrease in sexual interest or drive.
  • Behavioral or biological changes:
  • Increase or decrease in appetite.
  • Changes in weight (increase or decrease) without dieting.
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate. No longer able to make decisions.
  • Sleeping much more or much less than usual.
  • Withdrawal from people and activities.
  • Drop in performance at school or work.

How do I know if I have depression?

  • Being as honest with yourself as possible, how many of the “signs of depression” did you recognized as applying to yourself?
  • Have any of your friends or family members expressed concern to you about your current state?
  • Do you have someone you trust with whom you could go over the list, to see how much each of you feels the list describes you?

When these feelings persist over more than a two week period, and are present most of the time on most days, it is likely that someone has depression and treatment should be considered.

How do you treat depression?

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Medication
  • Light treatment
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Treating underlying medical conditions

If any of all of the above apply, you may benefit from counseling services.  To schedule an appointment to speak to a counselor at CAPS, please call 848-932-7884.

SUICIDE PREVENTION

Many students believe they have a friend or roommate with a problem, but are afraid they will alienate their friend if they approach them.  Paradoxically, people who are depressed and/or experiencing suicidal ideation need people more than ever, but usually push people away, withdraw, or behave in ways that make others wants to avoid them.

If your friend and/or roommate talks about suicide or some sort of serious self-harm, get them immediate help.  Always take such talk seriously.  Do not try to assess whether or not they are a real threat or are just expressing strong feelings.  Let professionals make that judgment call.  Remember that often people who commit suicide tell someone about it first.

When people are stopped from killing themselves, they are almost universally glad someone stopped them.  If someone “made you promise” to keep their “secret” before telling you about their suicidal plans, go ahead and break your promise.  This may feel uncomfortable, but you are doing the right thing- you are saving their life.  If you are still unsure how concerned you should be, call CAPS at 848-932-7884 and ask to speak to the on-call counselor about your concerns.  We can help you decided whether your friend needs help, and how best to approach them.