Facebook Pixel

From Diploma to Depression: Post-graduate Depression

Rate This
Post-graduate depression is real Erwin Wodicka/PhotoSpin

From the moment we are young children, education is a part of daily life.

Monday through Friday we sit in classrooms learning and studying various topics until we graduate from high school. Then, for many it is on to university where we have the freedom to select class schedules.

Staying up late studying, socializing and worrying about upcoming tests seem like a never-ending cycle, until finally, we graduate.

While graduation is an exciting time in a person’s life, there is also a negative side which some graduates seem to experience post-college.

Depression is an issue that some college graduates seem to suffer from after graduation.

According to the Guardian, it is “quite possible that some graduates don't realise they are affected, as symptoms are not always as obvious as feeling miserable all the time. Feeling tired, restless or agitated, losing interest in life and becoming unable to enjoy anything, finding it hard to make decisions, having difficulty sleeping, avoiding people and losing self-confidence are some of depression's guises.”

After graduation, the safety net of having structure and predictability is gone and people are left with high expectations that may be tough to fulfill right away.

As college graduation approaches, many students have idealistic hopes about life after the diploma. Expecting that they will get hired into a top position at their dream company while earning exorbitant amounts of money, most face a harsh reality check.

Difficulty finding a job, monetary stress from loans that need to be repaid and feeling powerless as reality hits are all real reasons that may cause depression, according to the Huffington Post.

Many college graduates start off working jobs that are part-time, volunteer or unrelated to their field of study. Even if a person does get hired doing what they went to school for, they still may run into some trouble.

During university years, students are taught to think independently and to be creative in their problem solving, making students feel powerful and important. Upon finding a job, many realize that the companies that employ them have rigid routines with little room for independent thought and creativity.

With the realization that they have little input at work, despite having a degree, feelings of self-doubt and depression may arise.

To those suffering from post-graduate depression it may seem as if it will last forever, but once you adjust to your new environment and responsibilities, these feelings will disappear.

If you think you’re suffering from this condition, assistance from the proper professionals may be in order. Talking to a psychologist may alleviate the negative thoughts and feelings and may help you find direction again.


"Post College Depression: How to Survive These Turbulent Years." Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo!, 15 May 2009. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Schwartz, Vic. "Recent College Grads: From Frustration to Clinical Depression." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 July 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Winship, Lyndsey. "Reality Blues." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 13 Feb. 2001. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Reviewed March 27, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Depression Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!