In the coming weeks, college students will be returning home for the holidays. For many, this break provides a time to catch up and relax with old friends and spend some quality time with family; yet for some, deep sadness and emptiness prevents them.
A recent national study conducted by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) reported that 31 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some time in the past year. In 2009, 8 percent of 18-25 year olds had a major depressive episode, but less than half received treatment according to a national survey.
Everyone feels sad or down from one time to another, but for individuals affected by depression, the symptoms are serious and long lasting. A person with depression may feel: sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, guilty, worthless, helpless, irritable, and/or restless. They may also experience one or more of the following:
• Loss of interest in activities
• Lack of energy
• Problems concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions
• Problems falling sleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
• Loss of appetite or eating too much
• Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
• Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not go away
Depression is common and for most people, depression can be treated successfully. If you feel that you may have depression, try to be seen by a health professional as soon as possible. If you are a friend or relative encourage your loved one to seek help. It may be necessary to make an appointment and to go with them. If you have no insurance, having trouble finding a health professional, or need additional resources accessing treatment, please contact MHAM at 651-493-6634 or 800-862-1799 to talk with an advocate.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, get help quickly.
• Call your doctor.
• Call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
• Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For more information and resources on depression, visit the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website or click on the selected NIMH publications below:
Depression in Women
Men and Depression
Depression and College Students: Answers to college students’ frequently asked questions about depression