How to Battle Depression in College
Guest Blogger: Angelita Williams
According to NPR, depression is now more common among college students than it was just ten years ago. Additionally, some research indicates that up to 50% of all college students will suffer from some form of psychiatric illness during their four years of study. College is a transitional period for many young adults, which also makes it a sometimes difficult time of adjustment. Depression is a tough illness to battle at any stage of your life, but it can be particularly difficult to deal with in college when combined with social, academic, and financial stressors. If you’re in college and think you might be depressed, here are a few things you should consider doing for yourself:
Visit Your School Counseling Department
This should be the first thing you do when you start to feel depressed. The counselors at your university will be able to help you develop an action plan to deal with your depression. Additionally, they’ll be able to refer you to a psychiatrist or doctor if they believe your situation could be improved with medication. If you’ve never been to a counselor before, you may be a little nervous about visiting one at your school. That’s normal. Just keep in mind that plenty of your college peers seek the help of your school’s counseling department, and the counselors are there to help you.
Immerse Yourself in Your Studies
When you’re depressed, it requires a lot of extra effort to stay motivated in school. You should, however, try your absolute hardest to keep up with your college courses. Regularly learning new things will expand your mind and enliven your spirit. Plus, keeping your mind busy will help you focus less on things that are bothering you.
Get Your Body Moving
Regular exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. So, pick a form of exercise you like, and try to stay active. Decreased levels of energy are a side effect of depression. So, you might want to start with simple, short activities throughout the week to avoid overexerting yourself. For instance, taking a fifteen-minute walk each evening suffices when you first start exercising. Over time, you should try to work your way up to exercising for at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week.
Change Your Eating Habits
The stereotypical college student’s diet of pizza, ice cream, and beer can wreak havoc on your body and affect your mental state too. Eating healthy will help you increase your energy levels and give your body and mind the nutrients they need to function optimally. Try to eat a good amount of vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains. Additionally, you should consider taking a fish oil supplement and B vitamin supplement. Fish oil and B vitamins have actually been shown to improve the symptoms of depression in some cases.
Handling yourself with care should be your top priority when you’re depressed. So, seek professional help, expand your mind, and stay physically healthy. You’ll find that your life becomes considerably more manageable if you’re proactive about treating your depression.
About the Author
Angelita Williams is a blogger who writes about education, teaching, and the college student experience. Nothing makes her happier than reading about student success in and out of the classroom. Get in touch with Angelita at firstname.lastname@example.org.