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College life is always changing. Every day is filled with some new homework assignment, cute college guys and that teacher who you just know is there to make your life miserable. With all that to handle you would think that depression could never make its way into a young college student’s life, but it happens, and quite frequently too. According to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association in 2006 approximately 45 percent of women in college feel so depressed that they feel they cannot function properly.
Some forms of depression are very noticeable, especially when they interfere with your day, but other forms are less noticeable and only affect you once in a while. According to the National Institute of Mental Health symptoms can include: persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, restlessness and a general loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy.
In college you are usually away from home for the first time, are trying to make new friends, have new experiences and do well in your classes so having some feelings of sadness is not uncommon, but when the symptoms begin to affect your every day activities, that is when you need to get help. Most colleges and universities have counselors that you can visit and you can always talk to your doctor. You can also use a few of these tips from Mental Health America.
Plan your day: making plans for what you need to do during the day and what you would like to do are big helps in getting things done and helping you feel in control of your day. Having a time frame of when you want to get something done, including getting a good night’s rest, can really help. Prioritizing is your best friend in college.
Look for support from others: Friendships can help college feel more inviting, and it is always nice to be able to share your thoughts with someone you enjoy being with.
Join an extracurricular activity: Dance team, sports, sororities, or even the pickle club are great ways to keep your mind off the hum-drum of classes and other great stressors of college life.