Campus Depression Increases

It is that time of the year again: finals week is fast approaching, everything is due right at the end of the month, and it seems like all-nighters and copious amounts of caffeine are the only things to keep you going. College is no walk in the park, especially when the semester is almost over. Most students make it through with minimal hindrances, while others struggle to finish because of either unforeseen circumstances, trouble with understanding their course material, or unthoughtful procrastination. For a lot of students, however, simple things like waking up in the morning continue to prove difficult.

These students are often perceived as lazy, unmotivated, and unwilling to make an effort in their work. Unfortunately, those who exhibit these behaviors may not intend to act the way they do. In fact, they might be part of a large portion of the school’s population who are struggling with depression and other mental illnesses.

“The typical symptoms of depression are low mood that is sustained over a period of time…social withdrawal, inability to concentrate, hypersomnia or hyposomnia… [along with] suicidal ideation,” listed Tim Hall, the Assistant Director of Outreach and Prevention at the Health Center.

One of the most common symptoms of depression is anhedonia, or the lack of pleasure in activities that previously brought enjoyment. A lot of students regrettably live their lives dealing with these symptoms with no proper diagnoses from medical professionals.

BW’s counseling services treats about 10% of the school’s population during the academic year. Mr. Hall said that according to the Center’s records from the past few years, about 4 out of 10 students who come to the center to be treated displayed depressive symptoms or depressive tendencies. Similarly, about 1 in 4 college students in the nation suffer from some sort of mental illness, which is not limited to depression.

One of the simplest yet most underutilized steps to reaching out to a friend or classmate who may be dealing with depression is to not be afraid to speak personally to that individual. Just asking that person if they are doing okay or just acknowledging that they have not been acting like they usually do may allow them to open up and express how they have been feeling. It is important to listen to what that person has to say and to support them as much as possible, even if it means just being there to listen to their problems.

If students want to take action or get the help they need, all they need to do is reach out to counseling services at (440) 826-2180, or even just stop by the Health Center on Beech Street across from the Lou Higgins Recreation Center.