Depression

According to the National College Health Assessment, 31% of students reported feeling so depressed it was difficult to function within past 12 months.  Depression affects how you feel, think and behave, and can significantly interfere with day-to-day activities and enjoyment of life. Depression is a serious concern; it isn’t something that you can simply "snap out of,” nor is it a personal weakness. The good news is that most people who experience depression respond well to treatment. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are having difficulty with day-to-day activities, we strongly encourage you to speak to someone from the Counseling Center or use the CAPS on-call service.  Students are often concerned that if they disclose that they are contemplating suicide, they will be hospitalized or asked to take time off. While the college’s highest priority is the safety of our students, we understand that many students experience suicidal thoughts without ever acting on them. We work with students to determine what will best address their needs, which often means jointly creating a plan to ensure their safety while remaining on campus. Some students voluntarily choose to go the hospital or take time off because they recognize they need additional support. Only on rare occasions is a student hospitalized involuntarily, and this is because they are unable to remain safe on campus. 

Signs of depression are listed below. If you experience any of these signs for more than a day or two, connecting with the Counseling Center. You can also check other resources for more information.

Recognize

  • Depressed, sad, or flat mood
  • Tearful
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in normal activities, withdrawal
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Physical agitation or restlessness
  • Sluggishness
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Feeling hopeless, pessimistic, negative
  • Negative self-image
  • Experiencing suicidal ideation, preoccupation with death or dying

Respond

  • Share that you are concerned about the student and ask them how they are doing
  • Give them space to talk and provide support
  • Do not minimize what they are going through
  • Do not diagnose or suggest medication
  • Dial down your expectations and encourage them to set small goals to re-engage in activities. Provide support or company.
  • Encourage them to engage in activity, however small, and direct attention outward, away from introspection
  • If they express suicidal ideation, take it seriously, and seek professional support
  • Encourage them to seek counseling or other support

Resources

  • CAPS (x8059)
  • CAPS On Call (24/365) (610-328-7768)
  • Public Safety (if suicide emergency) (x8333)
  • Off Campus Resources