Depression in College Students

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In the United States, 17 percent of college women and 12 percent of college men struggle with depression. The pressure to achieve and stress of additional responsibilities can often take a toll on students' mental health.  There are also students entering college who have already experienced depressive disorders.

A recent article discusses college students at the University of Michigan (UM) who struggle with depression. One student, Hailey MacVicar, felt overwhelmed by her work, feeling as though “It’s really never ending.”

Dr. John Greden, executive director of the UM Depression Center, said depression is “common, it can be severe, and it’s stigmatized.” Greden has also postulated that college students’ “notoriously chaotic” sleep schedule and increased partying and drinking are factors in the prevalence of depression on college campuses.

MacVicar and other students often experience depressive symptoms worsening around finals time: “Near the end of last semester when it was getting near crunch time, I had a million papers and was worrying about finals… The depressed feeling was getting worse and worse and I was getting more anxious,” she stated.

Increasing awareness of mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding it can help people feel comfortable accessing the care they need to get well.  Parents also have the crucial role of supporting their children as they adjust to making more adult decisions about their lives and health. 

 

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