Coping With Depression At University

Depression is a very serious mental illness. It can impact one’s life in very challenging ways. Sometimes, to the point of losing a job, friends or being unable to perform basic tasks. In some cases, it can cause people to take their own lives.

It’s already very difficult navigating through life with this illness and when others start to underestimate the issue, it can be even harder. “It’s not that bad”, “try harder”, “the hardest part about getting out of bed is getting out of bed” are not the kinds of things someone suffering with depression wants to hear.

What these people may not understand is that you’d very happily get out of bed! If you had the energy to.

No one likes feeling down and such discouraging comments aren’t helping. But what if this strikes you during an important time of life? Let’s say while you’re at university?

The National Union of Students survey claims that one in five students have experienced any kind of mental health problems during their studies. However, not many use counselling services to help.

Only one in ten students actively addresses their mental health issues. Sometimes, this is because they fear being judged. Other times, they don’t know where to turn to help or even what are the options that can help them cope.

There are several things to do if you’re experiencing depression during your studies.

Seek help

The first obvious thing to do is to seek help from a professional. Many universities offer counselling services for their students that are free of charge.

Depression doesn’t go away on its own and it’s not just blues or feeling a little sad. It’s a mental illness and if left untreated it can go terribly wrong.

Therefore, do find a good therapist who you’ll feel comfortable with and who’ll listen to you. You can even see one if you don’t have a problem, but just want someone to talk to. They’re there to help.

Avoid alcohol

There’s a lot of partying going on in unis. And that’s okay. If you feel like attending a party or two; why not? But if you’re going to them to cope with your depression – bad move.

You might think there’ll be lots of people, you’ll be distracted, there’s going to be alcohol… Drinking away your troubles might seem like a good idea, but in fact, it only makes the problem worse.

Alcohol’s a depressant. It alters brain chemistry. It gives you a short high and then slams you down against the ground. It’s very easy to get caught in a cycle when you’re using alcohol to cope.

Meet new people and keep yourself distracted, but there doesn’t have to be alcohol present.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D’s an important vitamin our body needs. You can get it from sunlight and some foods. But when you’re deficient, sometimes, the only way to get it is via vitamins.

What does vitamin D has to do with anything? When you’re low on it, you risk suffering from depression. This is the reason some people develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The lack of sunlight during winter leads to deficiency in this vitamin. So, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor and ask them to prescribe you some vitamin D.

Don’t worry, it’s safe! But you need a doctor’s advice to prescribe the recommended dosage for you.

Depression isn’t something you’ve to go through alone. There are countless helplines where you can call during any time of the day and they’ll be willing to help.

Never isolate yourself, even though that may be something you feel like doing at the moment. It may seem like no one cares, but here’s the truth.

Most people aren’t very good at reading others. If you pretend to be fine, then most likely people will believe that. If you keep quiet, people will think nothing’s wrong.

Do speak up. Especially, when you need help.

That being said, good luck and keep moving forwards!

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