Feeling seriously down in the dumps? There's help for depression, and it starts with knowledge about the condition. According to University of Michigan researchers, 15% of college students suffer from clinical depression during their time in school. Clinical depression is a brain disorder characterized by a near constant state of sadness and loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. One of the reasons depression is prevalent on college campuses is that the condition tends to occur during times of social adjustment. In addition, heavy course loads and studying, coupled with the changes that living away from home brings, can lead to depression.It's important to understand, however, that clinical depression is different from being "depressed," which is just another way of saying you're feeling down. All college students feel depressed sometimes, but the condition only becomes a problem when it's persistent. Some of the signs that depression is cause for concern include feelings of guilt and anxiety, lack of motivation, extreme fatigue, and thoughts of death or suicide. Major depression is an often disabling condition, which adversely affects a person's family, work and/or school life. It also impacts sleeping and eating habits, and general health; so if you find that your typical life habits are being affected, it's time to take your depression seriously.And while depression like this is treatable, only 33% of those affected actually seek out help, the same University of Michigan study found. If you're dealing with depression, be among those students that do seek help by making an appointment with the campus counseling center. There, an experienced counselor will talk to you-usually for free-about whether repeat counseling will help ease your depression. Sometimes, antidepressant medications, like Paxil or Effexor, may be prescribed to help ease depression symptoms. In other cases, group therapy with peers facing similar challenges may be your best route to recovery. Whatever treatment that ends up working for you, take charge of your depression by actively seeking help!
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012