5 Steps to Prevent Depression in College

A 20 year old college student was discussing her grades with another student at a coffee shop.  She appeared anxious and fidgety.  As I watched her continue to speak with her friend she reminded me of all the other adults I see worried about their finances and the current economy.  She looked so tired and seemed overly stressed.

I always thought college students should be carefree and enjoy life.  I know I did when I was in college. However, today’s young college students are not carefree but are feeling the stresses and strains of the economy and pressure to succeed in tough times.  They are facing a worse economy than most of us did when we were in college.

According to an associated Press-mtvU poll, 85% of college students reported feeling stress in their daily lives in recent months, with worries about grades, school work, money and relationships. 50% of those who reported having seriously considered suicide at some point in the previous year had not received counseling.  These findings are extremely alarming and need to be addressed.

As high schools all over the country are graduating a new group of students preparing to enter into college, those students need to remember 5 ways to prevent depression.

5 Steps to Prevent Depression While in College

  1. Don’t isolate yourself.  Make sure you are spending time with friends and family.
  2. Make sure you allow yourself the proper amount of rest.  It is so easy to cram before a test and not get a good night’s sleep.  Feelings of depression often creep in when there is sleep deprivation.
  3.  Eat a balanced diet.  It is tempting to skip meals and eat junk food all the time.   Good nutrition plays a big role in giving your body what it needs to fight depression.
  4. Allow time for doing activities you enjoy.  Depriving yourself of “fun” isn’t helpful and can contribute to increasing depression.  College is a lot of work but try to make time for recreation.
  5.  Talk about what you are struggling with.  Bottling up your feelings only exacerbates the problem.

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