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Depression Within College Students

Depression in college students is not uncommon. When a high school student leaves the familiarity of friends and family to go to college, it is a life change that can lead to anxiety due to fear of the unknown. Learning how to recognize the symptoms of depression can help you spot the problem early, and get help.


Depression causes an unrelenting feeling of sadness. There is not a type of Depression specifically labeled as “College Depression”, rather, this is merely a Depression that exhibits symptoms while in college. Why does this sometimes happen in young adults who otherwise have seemed happy? The answer is that there are multiple factors which lead to depression in Students when they enter college.

Heading off to college is often the first time a teenager is on their own. They will likely miss their home, parents, and friends. Unaccustomed to not having constant adult supervision, they will face more responsibility for themselves than ever before. Their schoolwork is more difficult, and there may be financial restrictions that were not present in high school. High costs of tuition, long hours of studying, trying to fit in, making new friends and the potential for problems in new relationships can be overwhelming, which will cause stress for many new college students. All of these stressors can trigger, or bring existing feelings of Depression that were once unrecognized, into the light.


College students, like everyone else, may sometimes experience sadness, loneliness, or feelings of anxiety. When symptoms last only a few days and then resolve themselves, it is considered to be normal behavior. However, if they are in a truly depressed state, changes in behavior, thought patterns, and out of control emotions will be ongoing and will potentially bring on additional problems.

Watching for the symptoms below can help identify depression in college students:

  • Feeling hopeless, crying often, or having no hope
  • Being irritable or angry over “little things”
  • Losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Problems with sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Reduced energy, feeling tired, not having the strength to do everyday tasks
  • Deviation from their normal appetite, including weight loss, or weight gain.
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Appearing to be sluggish in speech or body movements
  • Self-loathing, self-blame, feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Concentration problems, lowered decision-making skills, forgetfulness
  • Often thinking of death, mentioning suicide, thoughts of suicide or attempting suicide
  • Headaches, or aches and pains that have no apparent cause
  • Lowered performance in school, whether it be exhibited by poor grades, dropping out of classes, or cessation of social activities


A college student feeling depression may be too embarrassed to seek help on their own.They may not even understand the nature of their own feelings. If you see changes in your child’s behavior and suspect that depression is the cause, always keep the lines of communication open with him or her. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, listen to what is said - and even what is unsaid.

Depression usually does not resolve itself on its own, and sometimes will worsen. Treatment is crucial to prevent the disorder from affecting other areas of life, such as having poor interpersonal relationships, developing addictions to drugs or alcohol, or failing in school or work. Schedule an appointment for evaluation as soon as possible.

Once your child is diagnosed, consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a drug-free treatment for this condition. Approved by the FDA in treating depression, TMS has helped thousands of people in overcoming this mood disorder, enabling them to discover happier lives. If your child is experiencing depression, don’t hesitate to contact TMS Neuro Solutions today to find out more about this revolutionary, life-saving treatment.