Students often experience symptoms of depression while trying to cope with the pressures of school, work, friends, and family. It can be difficult to refuel or regain energy to keep going. Regardless of their grades, students are equally vulnerable to depression and feeling overwhelmed.
It is normal to feel sad after a relationship ends, when someone you care about dies, or when you find yourself far from close friends and family. Stress can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted when facing a heavy workload, financial difficulties, or roommate problems.
However, these feelings will usually pass, and you will go back to experiencing good times with friends and family. But when the sadness doesn't go away and begins to interfere with your overall well being, you may want to consider being evaluated for depression.
When to Be Concerned
The National Institute of Mental Health has compiled a list of symptoms to clarify when to seek help.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, ranging from schoolwork to relationships
- Sleep disturbances (e.g., insomnia or oversleeping)
- Eating disturbances (e.g., decreased or increased appetite and weight)
- Decreased energy and fatigue, and feeling slowed down
- Thoughts of death or suicide, with possible suicide attempts
- Increased restlessness and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Physical symptoms—such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain—that don't respond to medical treatment
It is important to be aware of how long you have been experiencing feelings of depression. Counseling can help you sort things out, even if you are just in a rut. You may want to seek professional support if your symptoms persist for several weeks, become more severe, or lead to self-destructive thoughts and behavior.
If you or a friend is experiencing some of the symptoms of depression or just feeling down, stop by the Student Development & Counseling Center (SDCC). Your meeting will be completely confidential. You can also make an appointment by calling 508-831-5540.
Visit these online resources to learn more about depression.
- Healthy Minds features information specific to the mental health and wellness of college students, from the American Psychiatric Association.
- Mental Help Net lets you pose questions directly to psychiatrists.
- The Self Assessment Test/Online screening tool can help you discover if a professional consultation would be helpful.
We have included links to other websites and we encourage students to evaluate the materials and to use what they find to be helpful. Please keep in mind that WPI cannot assume responsibility for information on other websites.
Information on the web is not intended as a substitute for assistance from the SDCC. For personal assistance, WPI students should contact the SDCC at 508-831-5540 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional staff members.