Depression has been a prevailing topic in the current media discussion. The doctors express their concerns that more and more people, especially young people, are diagnosed with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Many blame social media, political climate, bad economy, eating habits and many more. However, there is another common reason that’s often met among young people. It is college. Now, of course, college per se is not to blame. However, the stress that comes with it typically can be too much for unprepared students and their parents. The transition from a parent’s house to college is an emotional and challenging process. Students often have trouble dealing with it on their own. Hence, depression in college is a very common problem. We have prepared a guide for parents on what they need to know to help their depressed child.
What is college depression?
First of all, let’s just clear the air by saying college depression is not a separate diagnosis. It is the same disease, but with the name of the cause in a title. Depression is a mood disorder that makes people feel apathy or deep sadness for a prolonged period of time. The one suffering from it can’t just “snap out” of it. At first, a person may not even be aware of having depression.
What parents should know
Parents should know that it is a disease just like any other. Sometimes just because there are no physical visible symptoms doesn’t mean a person doesn’t suffer. Though, there are a number of behavioral symptoms that come with it. A depressed person is prone to stop doing things that used to bring joy. They become more passive, stop any spot activity. They tend to stay in more than go out, be alone instead of meeting with people. Their eating and sleeping habits may vary as well, such as loss or gain in appetite, insomnia. Fortunately, you can always get help from a customwriting essay writing service. Because they start having problems in school.
What parents should do
Just be understanding. Depression is never easy and often it comes with the feeling of guilt. Young people are especially prone to feel guilty for being depressed. There is a number of reasons for that. Most often, this period in their life comes with the expectation of fun. College students should go to parties, meet new friends, start new relationships and so on. But when you constantly don’t feel like fun, you start developing the feeling of guilt and shame. As there is something wrong with you. And it’s not. Also, students often simply don’t want to upset their parents, knowing that they worry about them.
As a parent, you also shouldn’t doubt their depression. Of course, parents believe it their duty to try to fix everything. So when your child tells you he or she is sick, normally the initial reaction would be to fix it. You can’t. Just accept that. Only a specialist can help to treat the illness. By offering all alternative methods, trying to cheer them up you make them feel worse. That feeling of guilt will pop up again forcing a child to pretend they feel better than they actually do.
Sometimes all you need to is to be there for them. Let them express their feelings and listen to what they have to say. Usually, a simple fact of acknowledging another person’s emotions helps more than all attempts to cheer them up.
We hope you have found this brief helpful for understanding your child better. Just remember, all they need from you, and all you can do, frankly, is just to be there for them. Support them, show them love but also let them space to breathe. Depression is something a person has to meet face to face and no one can help this person till he or she is ready to work on it. No one says it is an easy journey. Though, having the support of your loved ones surely smoothes the ride and makes it more tolerable. Just let your child you are there for them no matter what. Don’t forget to express your love to them with every opportunity. Stay safe!
Sandra Larson is a writer and a mental health advocate. Sandra shares her own tips on overcoming depression and anxiety. For instance, she encourages people to hike, practice yoga and meditate every day.