Depression in college students on the rise

By on October 24, 2006

Most college kids know the feeling of stress, fatigue and sadness. These emotions are completely normal, especially around midterm season. But when do these feelings turn into clinical depression? The line is becoming more and more vague, and many do not know when they are depressed.

A recent article at states that depression in college students is very common. “When the blues last for weeks, or interfere with academic or social functioning, it may be clinical depression.”

The article continues, “Clinical depression is a common, frequently unrecognized illness that can be effectively treated.”

If you have these symptoms, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 80 percent of those who seek treatment return to their normal selves in as little as a few weeks. In fact, help is readily available right here on the Quinnipiac campus. QU has three counselors who are available to help any student free of charge and are located on Bobcat Alley.

An individual wishing to make an appointment can even fill out a confidential form online, which can be located at the university’s Web site.

A sophomore student who wished to remain anonymous stated, “I was very depressed last year, in the weeks following my transition to freshman year. I went to Terri Johnson, a counselor here at QU. She was amazing, and really helped me. In weeks, I was able to realize what was making me depressed, and what changes I needed to make to return to the normal me. Soon, I was back to having fun, and just enjoying my life.”

The student continued, “one thing people who think they are depressed should keep in mind is to watch their alcohol consumption.”

With partying being at an all-time high here both on and off campus, students should remember that alcohol is a depressant. states that, “A lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes the depression comes first, and people try drugs as a way to escape it.”

Other times, students turn to alcohol, or drugs to make them “happier,” or feel better about themselves. Yet, alcohol can and most likely will, place the individual in an even worse condition.

The Web site stresses that if you are severely depressed and have suicidal thoughts, contact help immediately. School counselors, residential assistants and doctors are available here on campus. If those do not seem like suitable options, the Web site lists a local suicide and emergency hotline, a hospital and even 911 as safe options.

If you suspect a friend or relative is severely depressed, talk to them and discuss options for help.

Another anonymous student here told his story in confidentiality, and simply said, “I was in bad shape. I was on the verge of doing something ridiculous, and my best friend helped me get back on track. I can’t even believe I was ever that low. But it happens, to more people than you may know.”

Whatever your symptoms or case may be, if you think you are depressed remember that help isn’t far away.


About Erin Miller