Now a days, college depression is widespread problem among youngsters. Understanding and helping your teenage child to make the emotional switch to college can be a tough task. You will need to know how you can identify the troubles of your child and make efforts to deal with that. Well, you are on the right page. This article would tell you what the parents need to understand about college depression and how can they help their teens to tackle it. It will also focus on why switch to college makes teenagers susceptible to depression.
Understanding college depression
College depression is an adjustment disorder rather than a clinical problem. It can be described as a stressful mental state referred to as depression. College going students face several challenges, stress, demands and anxieties. These factors together or separately can cause students to feel weighed down. It might be the first time in their life that they are away from home and living all alone alone. Thus, they may become homesick. The schedule and workload of the college are different from that of the life at home, so the students have to adjust to this new scenario with new mates. Dealing with these challenges can cause college depression in some teenagers.
Impacts of college depression on your child
College students struggling with depression are likely to get used to drugs and alcohol. Their performance in college might fall as they can have trouble in concentrating. This might lead to unfinished homework, assignments etc. They might skip classes and show lack of interest in extracurricular activities.
Recognizing signs in children dealing with college depression
If your child is suffering from some of the following symptoms than he/she might be suffering from college depression.
- Having sad and unhappy feeling
- The children become irritable, frustrated, agitated or restless
- They do not enjoy and lose pleasure and interest in normal day-to-day activities
- Sleeplessness or excessive sleeping can be seen in them
- Their desire for consuming food or weight might change
- They find it difficult to make decision and would be distracted easily. They might have difficulty in concentrating.
- Exhaustion, tiredness and lack of energy in them.
- They might feel that they are worthless and may have feeling of guilt.
Things you should do if you suspect your child is experiencing college depression
1. Due to embarrassment and fear that people might think that they are not able to adjust in the world, students find it difficult to seek help for depression. College depression signs and symptoms are also difficult to be noticed. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk to your child and inquire and try to know what is going on in their college and personal life. You can also advise them to consult a doctor. There are counseling services offered by several colleges.
2. You need to keep in mind that symptoms of depression might not get cured automatically and at times they get worse if not treated. These symptoms can be the cause of some other health issues which can be mental and physical. Depression if not cured can also be the cause of abuse and suicide.
Tips to help your child cope with college depression
Apart from seeking help for treatment you should persuade and encourage your child to get involved in other activities to cope with college depression. These can be:
- Planning Persuade your child to plan activities and set goals. By doing this your child will build up confidence and sense of control. This will enable him to adhere to time line and will not leave class assignments undone.
- Encourage your child to participate in activities This will bring a change in your child’s daily routine. He/she will start socializing and interacting with people. This will help your child to cope with his depression.
- Support from friends Persuade your child to mingle and mix with people in his/her class and make friends. Friends will make your child to feel at ease in a new environment.
- Relax Meditation, stress relieving exercises, deep breathing exercises and walks will help your child to decrease his or her stress level.
Tips to help prevent college depression in your child
Truly speaking there is no sure shot way to prevent college depression. Nevertheless, before beginning of the school, you can familiarize your child with his or her college campus. This will help your child from being inundated by the switch. Encourage and make your child visit the campus of the college. Ask him to talk to students and faculty and make himself/herself feel a part of the college. Do consult a doctor if your child has suffered from depression in the past and ask for advice as to how the transition can be smooth for your child.