5 Tips on How to Deal with Depression in College

Students who struggle with depression may find it difficult to cope with academic pressures, social relationships, and personal stressors that often accompany attending college. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help someone struggling with depression in college during this important period of growth and development.

Know the Symptoms of Depression

— Sadness or feelings of emptiness: This is the most common symptom of depression. People who are depressed often feel sad or empty 

— Change in appetite or sleeping patterns: People with depression often find it hard to sleep well and eat enough to maintain a healthy weight. 

— Lack of energy: Depression can make you feel lethargic and tired, even when you get enough sleep.

— Negativity:They may feel hopeless and pessimistic about their future.

— Hopelessness:They may feel like nothing they do is good enough or they have no ability to improve their situation. 

— Pessimism:They may have a difficult time seeing the silver lining or finding reasons to be optimistic.

Try Exercise

Exercise is a great way to help alleviate symptoms of depression. Physical activity releases serotonin and other natural chemicals in the brain that increase your mood and make you feel happier. Additionally, exercise can help reduce stress, which is another common cause of depression. This can be helpful for college students who may be stressed about their courses and extracurricular activities.

Understand your triggers

Knowing what triggers your depression and how to avoid these triggers can help you manage your symptoms effectively. You may want to keep a journal of what seems to be affecting your mood and how you can avoid or cope with it in the future. You may encounter difficult situations or relationship issues that trigger your depression. In these instances, you may wish to have coping skills ready. 

Utilize Professional Help

A therapist can help you sort out your feelings, identify problematic thought patterns, and develop coping skills and life management strategies.Although you may feel uncomfortable seeking therapy, it is a perfectly normal and healthy decision. Therapy can help you sort out your feelings, develop compassion for yourself, and make a plan of action to improve your situation. Therapists are also trained to help you create positive changes in your life. Most likely, you will work with your therapist to develop an action plan that you can use to overcome depression and make positive changes in your life.

College is a stressful time, and the added stress of having to cope with depression can make this period even more difficult. It is important to know the symptoms of depression and recognize what triggers your symptoms. You can also utilize professional help, such as therapy, to process your feelings and create a plan for overcoming your depression.

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