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Depression in College Students

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (mocsnews.com) – College students often struggle with depression and in many cases, they do not want to speak up about it. According to the National College Health Assessment, from the American College Health Association, (ACHA) 30% of college students have come forward saying they feel so depressed at times and it makes it nearly impossible to function. As a result of the pandemic, depression in college students has risen even more. Lack of stability and continuous change causes this depression and also fear of the unknown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. College students in this day and age are extremely susceptible to depression with extreme pressure to balance academics, extracurriculars, social-life, and their mental well being and it is getting out of hand for many students.

While interviewing a senior at the University of Tennessee about her journey throughout college, she stated that she herself has had weeks, even months, where she feels depressed due to an overload of schoolwork as well as having to work over 40 hours a week in order to pay her bills. Many people often get depression and anxiety intertwined as they do go hand in hand but are completely different. This senior at the University of Tennessee also stated that due to her high amounts of stress and anxiety her depression elevates causing her to be so overwhelmed.

Many colleges and universities realize that depression is something that most college students deal with and have resources for help on campus. Schools usually have licensed counselors and many other professionals who provide mental health services for free to all students as long as they are enrolled at the university. When interviewing a different student at the University of Alabama about her mild depression, she stated that she loved the campus resources and felt speaking with these professionals helped her more than medication ever would. Many college students are not wanting to get prescribed medication and they really just need someone to talk to in order to cope with their depression.

“I really wish that the resources on college campuses were advertised more and that every student knew these services were available and at their fingertips if they needed them” Scott said. 

The main warning signs to look for when dealing with depression in college students are negative emotions, irregular eating and sleeping habits, and disinterest in all activities they once enjoyed. Depression can also cause chronic pain and discomfort and cause muscle spasms.

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