When college students return home for weekend visits or a long break, some parents are greeted with happy and content individuals while other parents may observe their children seeming upset and sad. The latter is not something to be ignored.
Unfortunately, many college students who should be looking forward to time off after a hard semester or quarter are instead battling with college depression. It is the number one reason why college students drop out of school. In 2011, the American College of Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) found that 30 percent of college students struggled with depression so severely that it inhibited their daily functioning. Depression can take a toll on college students’ grades, impair their judgment and make them more likely to drink, get drunk, have issues related to alcohol abuse or engage in unsafe sex. Depression also increases the risk of suicide with the ACHA-NCHA finding that at least six percent of college students had seriously considered suicide with at least one percent reporting they had made an attempt at suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death for teens and young adults between 15 and 24 years of age.
It is imperative for parents and college students to recognize the symptoms of depression. From there, they can learn how to deal with it as soon as possible. This may include treatment or medication. The sooner the problem is addressed, the better. The longer depression goes untreated, the worse it may become, especially for college students who are away from home, stressed, possibly feeling lonely or having problems with their relationships.
Symptoms can include:
Tips for parents
It can be hard while children are home to know what to do and even harder to help them when they are away at school. There are ways to help students that go beyond a lot of hugs and love while they are home (though those are still highly encouraged).
Tips for students
It is important to know that each person has the power to control his or her own life and mental health, so it is necessary to know the steps to take care of oneself.
To learn more about depression treatment you can visit www.sovteens.com or call 866-629-0442 for more information.
Written by Veronica Mcnamara, Sovereign Health Group writer