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The effects of student depression

Stress can lead to depression in college students. Photo courtesy of

Stress can lead to depression in college students. Photo courtesy of

By Molly Maschka

With the busyness of school, work, and extra-curriculars, many college students can be stressed in general. What if that stress gets to be too much? What if it transitions into a depression issue?

Depression is defined as a persistent feeling of being sad or losing interest in activities. Having depression is a common problem among college students across the United States. In fact, student depression is becoming a huge concern. According to, within the past 15 years, depression and suicide have tripled, along with anxiety disorder.

The reasons? First off, college students are on their own without their parents. Secondly, they are adjusting to a new environment where they are adjusting to roommates and tons of homework. Lastly, they are held to higher expectations before heading out into the real world. As some students can handle the load put on their shoulders, others may need a helping hand.

One Waldorf student, who wishes to remain anonymous, says depression is very hard to describe. “It’s different each day. There are some days where I’m happy and days where I can’t feel anything. I try to hide it from people because I don’t want them to see my pain. Instead, I try to help others deal with their pain.”

Here are some of the depression symptoms among college students, according to

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation on past failures, or self-blame when things aren’t going right
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying, or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

If you or someone you love is in college and may be dealing with depression listen to them or go talk to a counselor. Depression might not go away on its own, and left untreated could result in mental or physical harm. No one wants their loved one to go through college alone. Here are some tips to help you or your love one make it through their years at college.

  • Meet new people, enjoy a new environment, and make new friendships.
  • Try a new extracurricular activity, a new sport, or try out for the upcoming play.
  • Talk to your counselor. Expressing your feelings could relieve the stress you are feeling, and your counselor will listen. If you don’t believe you cannot get over your depression, your counselor can make sure you get the help you need. They will guide you in the right direction.
  • Just breathe. Everything will be alright and you can make it. Remember, you are at school for a reason, to make memories and to get your education.