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The diagnosis of depression is not an exact science. Everyone feels sad, upset, lonely, or anxious during times of distress, loss or challenge. When these feelings start to control one's normal, everyday functioning, it is time for to get help. Research is unclear whether depression has biological influences or is a combination of both biological and environmental factors. Unfortunately, the nature of depression--feelings of helplessness, negativity, worthlessness, and exhaustion--can interfere with a person's ability and willingness to get help.

The pressures of college life can influence students to feel depressed particularly as the semester drags on. There is a difference between feeling the "blues", sadness, low energy, bouts of negativity, or distress during challenging times. If left unresolved, personal grief and unhappiness can grow to take over more and more of life.

If you find yourself in the depression trap—Get Help! 

Suggestions for Managing Depression

  • Notice aspects of your life worth honoring and celebrating.
  • Recognize the internal negative voice of depression and name it "depression".
  • Learn to give less credibility to that voice when it speaks to you.
  • Stay socially connected in some way to other people. Talk with them about the depression in moderation.
  • Get yourself out of your apartment or dorm room for at least one hour every day. Stay Active.
  • Exercise, eat well, and develop a regular sleep schedule. Too many students suffer mild forms of depression because they are not taking good care of their physical self.
  • Limit yourself from telling a negative story more than three times.
  • Get a massage or treat yourself to something that will make you feel way too good.
  • Stay creative--plan to take a fun class during your semester schedule.
  • Keep your living quarters clean.
  • Continue to love and hope.
  • Ask for feedback on how you are doing. Don’t make assumptions you are not a mind-reader.
  • Make an appointment at the Counseling and Wellness Center.