The #1 mental health problem? Depression. And depression is very tricky. It wears many faces and the symptoms exhibited can differ among individuals, to say nothing of between the genders. A survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that 36.4% of college students reported experiencing some level of depression in 2013. That’s more than 1 in 3 students! Contributors to this disorder of brain function are myriad and legendary, including a combination of factors that range from genetics through expectations of parents and teachers (to say nothing of students themselves) to a host of biological, psychological, and environmental components. Depression is complex, sometimes preventable, and treatable—if you get help. Ask yourself:
- Have you experienced extreme sadness or hopelessness?
- Does your family have a history of depression?
- Have you turned to heavy drinking or drug use to relieve feelings of hopelessness?
- Have you been experiencing thoughts of death or suicide?
Individuals who experience depression often perceive they are alone and have no one to turn to. The following organizations are some of those dedicated to providing resources: