Wednesday, March 12, 2008

College Depression (Part 1)

When I looked at my Stat Counter, I was stunned to find that dozens of people had viewed my blog from a site called The Student Room in the United Kingdom. The subject was depression and suicide. I'm assuming they're students and I must tell you that the thread of conversation was so distressing to me.

If you're a college or university student, I want you to know that you're not alone in feeling depressed. I don't have statistics for the United Kingdom, but depression on college campuses has dramatically risen. According to Social Work Today, "College-aged students are more likely to experience depression than other age groups, according to published studies, statistics from mental health organizations, and observations by social workers and other professionals working with the college population.

"The 2005 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), a survey of nearly 17,000 college students conducted by the American College Health Association, revealed that 25% reported they “felt so depressed it was difficult to function” three to eight times during the past year and 21% reported they “seriously considered suicide” one or more times during the past year. In the NCHA survey, students also ranked depression as one of the top 10 impediments to academic performance."

If you're a college student in the United States, I do know that many student health services provide support, and I'm providing a link for Suicide Prevention Resources. If you're in the United Kingdom, I would imagine that every university has some sort of program, but the one I could find online is called Samaritans and there were other listings on a site called GriefNet.org.

What's important to realize is that you don't have to continue to feel despairing. I have no medical training and this blog isn't the right resource for you, but know that I have personally survived more than 120 depressive episodes. There is help available. Don't suffer in silence! Our thoughts are with you!

7 comments:

Syd said...

Great post, Susan.

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Susan, it is really shocking to know the number of people suffering from depression and who face the temptation to suicide daily. I know how distressing that can be as with almost every severe depression episode I went through, I was tempted to do away with my own life. But thank God that depression can be treated, and there is help and hope. Good of you to provide links for help. Hopefully your readers will seek help as soon as possible. Great post. Take care. Regards, Nancie

paul maurice martin said...

That's also the prime age group for existential angst. I think the spiritual aspect of despair tends to get downplayed...

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paul,
I agree and would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. At the time, what exacerbated this issue for me was that the only English class I could get into my first quarter turned out to be a tour de force of existentialist authors. When I read the following words in "The Stranger," I fell apart.

"Mother died today. Or, may,yesterday; I can't be sure."

I was the only person in class who found the sentiment to be chilling. When I wrote my feelings in my first college paper, my teaching assistant discounted them and told me I was naive.

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paul,
I just went to your website and see that you've written a book that undoubtedly deals with this issue among others. I look forward to its publication.

Susan

JayPeeFreely said...

Good thoughts and encouraging words. It shows once again you pay attention to those around you much more than others probably do.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Syd!

Thanks Nancie!

Thanks Jaypeefreely!