What is Depression?
All of us have felt "down" or discouraged at times when things were not going well. There are normal variations in moods over time and even day-to-day. However, depression is a disturbance in mood where you may feel particularly unhappy, discouraged, lonely, or negative toward yourself. Depression may range from mild to severe depending upon the associated symptoms and the extent the condition interferes with everyday functioning. In milder forms, depressed moods are usually brief and may have little effect on everyday activities. Moderate to severe depression includes symptoms that are more intense, last longer, and tend to interfere more with school, work and social functioning.
Why does someone become depressed?
Depression can be caused by biological, genetic or psychological factors. Common triggers for depression (especially for college students) include transitioning to a new environment, academic difficulties, family conflict, the loss of a significant relationship, or concerns about the future. Depressive episodes can occur without identifiable causes. Depression is not the result of personal failure or lack of will power.
Symptoms of Depression
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Inability to experience pleasure — even from activities that you used to enjoy
- Feeling worthless, guilty, or hopeless
- Isolating from others
- Physical ailments
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
- Suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviors
What should I do if I feel depressed?
There are many resources available to help with depression symptoms, including self help materials, individual and group counseling, and medication options. If your depression symptoms have persisted for multiple weeks, are significantly interfering with your level of functioning, or you have any thoughts of self-harm, it is recommended that you contact the Counseling and Wellness Center to speak with a counselor. See below for our list of resources for help.