By: Shauna Ayres MPH: Health Behavior candidate 2017
People tend to loosely use the word depressed as meaning temporarily disappointed or sad, but depression is a serious mental illness that effects many young adults. In fact, the age group experiencing the highest levels of depression are those 18-25 years old at approximately 9.3% of this population as compared with 6.6 % of all US adults. Going to college is a monumental transition period in people’s lives and living independently for the first time, having a difficult course load, interacting with new people, and changes in diet, sleep, and lifestyle habits can increase your susceptibility of depression. If you are feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable for longer than normal (typically measured in at least 2 weeks or more), you may have depression. However, this common illness is treatable. (NIH.gov)
Therapy: We could all benefit from talking with a professional, but for those with depression, it is even more important. There are different types of therapies that can be done over the phone, face-to-face, or in a group. CAPS Services at UNC offer a range of therapy and counseling options for students.
For CAPS Walk-In Services:
Go to the 3rd floor of the Campus Health Services Building.
MON-THURS: 9 am – noon or 1 pm – 4 pm
FRI: 9:30 am – noon or 1 pm – 4 pm.
Medications: A range of medications are available for treating depression including SSRIs, anti-anxiety medication, and mood stabilizers. You should discuss medications with your primary care doctor and/or learn more about your options at your CAPS assessment.
Other Strategies to Reduce Depression:
- Exercise regularly
- Spending time outside in nature
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get enough sleep
- Learn a relaxation technique, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscule relaxation.
- Avoid using drugs
- Don’t drink alcohol, or only drink in moderation
- Break up large tasks into small ones.
- Try to spend time with people who are supportive, including family, friends, student groups, etc.
- Try something new and try to have fun
Don’t let depression get you down. Your college years are supposed to be some of the best of your life, so get the help you need now and start living the life you’ve imagined.