Depression Among College Students

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The topic I chose to write about is depression. I am more focused on answering if college intensifies the likelihood of experiencing depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Depression is classified as a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home” (Parekh).

I chose this topic because many people do not realize the causes or even signs of depression. I feel as if everyone in one way or another has suffered from some sort of depression. Being a college student, I feel writing this paper may show people how serious the effects of depression can be on certain individuals. This topic can be valuable to readers who are generally interested in learning some of the telltale signs that lead to depression. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, with over 800,000 people per year dying of suicide. Another factor is that rates of depression in our society have increased significantly over the past 20 years. This could mean more parents of college students have higher rates of depression. Depression has a significant genetic component, so the risk for depression in the children of a depressed parent is much higher than in the general population. This Supports the fact that depression is a serious illness many people still don’t realize how badly it really affects you emotionally and physically. There are many opinions of what reasons may cause this disorder but no one actually knows what the leading cause is. So why has it taken so long to discover what causes Depression?

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Many possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Increasingly, research suggests these factors may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. When researching and viewing several journal entries I came across many thoughts from authors and professors that made me wonder why there is no main cause for depression. Throughout some of the readings they have only stated possible reasons that could lead to suffering from this but never just one thing. By continuing my research, I hope to be able to recognize some leading signs my peers may show or even if college is a reason that depression is among these college students. By researching the answers to this question, I hope to come across a more valid and accurate response that can be found relatable.

I believe that the transition to college may be challenging for young adults. Young adults moving away may start to feel homesick or even experience overwhelming feelings of emotion. Many students have to adjust to living on their own and deal with the changes by themselves. For example, creating a new routine for themselves such as when they go to sleep and even how much time they spend on activities. They’re adapting to new schedules and workloads, living with new people they don’t even know that well yet, and figuring out how to belong. Dealing with these changes during the transition to college can trigger or unmask depression in some young adults.

One source I found through my research is an article written by David Rosenberg. By reading this article I came across some key ideas and facts that he stated involving depression that has brought me to the conclusion that the genre can be classified as an education article. In the article he uses language and medical terms that makes me assume this is a very educational study. The audience I believe this author is trying to reach aims more towards students in general as well as parents or teachers. Rosenberg stated “Research shows that nearly 1 in 5 university students are affected with anxiety or depression.” With that being said you can conclude he uses several accurate studies that were performed and examples of what to look out for. One example he states involves technology. Several studies he has mentioned shows that mobile phone addiction, as well as excessive social media use is associated with increased depression, anxiety and overall stress. One study that was performed showed that almost 50 percent of college students indicated they woke up at night to answer text messages. The same study found that more people use technology during their sleeping hours, the poorer the quality of their sleep and the higher their rates of depression and anxiety. This study relates back to college students learning to make decisions on their own and not realizing that they are choosing to be overwhelmed by having poor time management skills and putting more stress on themselves. I could relate to feeling more overwhelmed when not getting enough sleep and waking in a bad mood because I was too tired and had no energy.

One question that stood out to me in this article was “So what do we do to curtail anxiety and depression among college students?” Throughout reading the article he provided multiple ways for students to reach out and receive help from professionals or even hotlines. However, Rosenberg stated that “One study that looked at mental health service use in university students found that even when universal access to mental health care is provided, most students with mental disorders do not get treatment”(Rosenberg). Most students don’t want to believe that something is wrong with them so they stay in a state of denial and suffer alone. This feeling that students go through when they don’t reach out are the first steps that start to affect students emotionally.

Some constraints in this source could be the amount of people he used in his research. He performed his study on a small number of people which means his numbers will not be as accurate. Overall, I believe this source is valuable to my research just based on the information he provides. He provides a well written article with depth for people to understand the topic of depression. He uses very understandable language along with his explaining of technologies, drugs, and debt as contributing factors to figure out the larger problem which is Depression.   


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