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Depression In College Students Essay

2357 words - 10 pages

pression Affects College Students

How Depression Affects College Students
Nikki M. Broadnax
Elementary Education Major

The age group of depressed college students is 18 – 32 many students find the adjustment from high school to college difficult. Even the student that seems most at ease with their new lifestyle will often confess to moments of missing their familiar high school friends, family and other comforts of home. A study by UCLA reports that more than 25-30 percent of college freshmen say they feel overwhelmed most of the time in the beginning stages of college. Some students, however, find themselves feeling much more than simply overwhelmed. 2006 ...view middle of the document...

Rates of depression in college students are at an all time high. Millions of emerging adults are experiencing symptoms that are making daily routines challenging. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to, drowsiness, loss of appetite, sense of despair, lack of concern, and irritability. Long periods of suffering through such feelings are non-conducive to dealing with the demands of college life. The causes of depression are as exclusive as the individual that experiences the turmoil. For many students, however, depression can be accredited to stressors such as academic pressure, insufficient social adjustment, insufficient sleep, and the stress of the overall transition to college life. A consistent finding in the literature is the relationship between stressors and the development of depressive symptoms in the college student. In addition, the coping skill of an individual significantly impacts his or her response to stress. Individuals
experience stress when they are faced with demands that may exceed their ability to cope
(Dyson & Renk, 2006). When faced with these stressors, students must utilize coping
strategies to manage and effectively adapt to the pressures in their lives. The inability to
effectively manage these stressors may lead to chronic levels of high anxiety for college Reports show an inequality of depressive symptoms experienced by male and female students for unknown reasons, nevertheless assumptions have been made. The American Psychiatric Association provides specific symptomatic criteria for the medical diagnosis of Major Depressive Episode in the book, Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Test Revision (American
Psychiatric Association, 2000). The symptoms indicative of a Major Depressive Episode
include the following:
• depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day as indicated by either
• subjective report of observation made by others;
• markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most
• of the day, nearly every day;
• significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or
• increase in appetite nearly every day;
• insomnia or hyper somnia nearly every day;
• psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day;
• fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day;
• feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every
• day;
• diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every
• day;
• recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific
• plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide (356).
To meet the criteria for the medical diagnosis of Major Depressive Episode, at
least five of these symptoms must be present for at least a two week period of time, and
cause distress or impairment in the individual’s life (American Psychiatric Association,
2000). It is not uncommon for the traditional student age group...

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