(KIMT) – Heading off to college isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be for some students. Mayo Clinic is bringing awareness to the common problem of college depression.
They said transitioning from high school to college, especially if the student is moving away from home, comes with many challenges and pressures, which can cause them to feel overwhelmed.
Sadness or anxiety are some of the early signs of college depression, according to Mayo Clinic. If untreated, the symptoms could interfere with normal activities and lead to impaired academic performance, smoking and risky behaviors related to alcohol or sex.
“If at all you’re feeling anything like this, whether you call it depression or being overwhelmed or anxious or whatever, seek help,” said Riverland Community College Counselor Paul Anderson. “It’s not just you that has to battle it on your own.”
In addition to seeking treatment, Mayo Clinic suggests steps to make you feel better. Encourage the student to take it one step at a time by avoiding making big decisions like changing majors. Participate in activities that you enjoy, which might shift the focus from the negative feelings. Finally, seek support.
“It could be friends or classmates, a roommate in the college situation, trying to make more of a connection there, or find someone on college, maybe a peer that you can connect with,” Anderson said. “There’s going to be many other students out there experiencing the same thing.”
While preventing depression isn’t possible, Mayo Clinic said you can ease the transition by visiting the campus before the school year starts and encourage your child to talk to other students and peers.