Today: Jul 14, 2024

Depression on campus

Katelyn Peterson, Staff Writer:
Hopelessnes, despair and distress, according to William Sherman, a psychology professor in the mental health field at Southern, are some of the basic signs and symptoms that can be experienced with any type of depression. However, Sherman explained that the symptoms can vary with different classifications.
“In terms of severity of depression,” said Sherman, “there is something called major depression and there’s something called Dysthymia or Dysthymic Disorder.”
The symptoms for Major Depression and Dysthymia can include insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue or loss of energy, poor concentration, and reoccurring thoughts of death or suicide.
Another common type of depression, according to Deborah Kraemer, a psychology professor at Southern,
is Bipolar Disorder, which is characterized by frequent mood swings that go from periods of depression, to periods of hyperactive behavior, to periods of anger or irritability.
Mia Shelton, a junior majoring in psychology with a specialization in mental health, said there are a number
of causes or contributing factors for depression among college students.
Two of the major factors Shelton said, are stress–whether it comes from parental expectations or from high academic demands–and feelings of inadequacy or incompetency.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some of the common stressors that exist within the college environment include but are not limited to financial responsibilities, the exposure to a new environment,
the changes that might be made to one’s social life, and the preparation needed for life after graduation.
Another cause or reason for depression could be due to a genetic predisposition.
“We clearly know that depression and a few other disorders tend to run in families,” said Sherman.
There are a variety of ways that depression can be treated. According to information on the website
for the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit organization, the most effective kind of treatment is usually a combination
of psychotherapy and medication. However, there are also other kinds of treatments available such as hospitalization or electroconvulsive therapy in which electrical currents are passed through the brain and typically offer immediate relief.
Sherman said he believes it is important that college students who are suffering with symptoms of depression reach out to professionals or attend the different programs that are available on campus.
For example, students at Southern can speak with someone at Counseling Services or make a visit to the Disability Resource Center and receive guidance on how to get accommodations for their classes.
“Do not do it alone,” said Sherman. “Get help; seek help.”

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