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Depression among College Students In the months before a sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology died she spoke with seven psychiatrists and one social worker The psychiatrists diagnosed major depression the therapist recommended hospitalization She even told a dean that she was cutting herself and let a professor know that she wanted to commit suicide But it wasnt enough Four days later she was dead Shea 1 The American College Health Association reports that 76 percent of students felt overwhelmed last year while 22 percent were sometimes so depressed they couldnt function The college years are times of transition and growth Its a time when we try to find a place in the world and want to gain independence from our family This makes us susceptible to depression Depression refers to noticeable changes in our mood and ranges from mild feelings of sadness to intense feelings of hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts Sometimes depression is associated with other problems such as anxiety eating disorders and alcoholsubstance abuseRobinson 1 Depression can happen gradually or it can be triggered by specific events For instance some of us may feel depressed when we move away from home to attend college for the first time when we get a poor grade on a paper or exam or when a romantic relationship ends It is natural to feel hurt and sad when we suffer a loss or experience failure disappointment or rejection But sometimes what starts out as a normal reaction turns into clinical depression This normal reaction turned sour can persists for weeks months or years and can affect every aspect of our daily lives Depression often makes people tired and irritable It also elicits feelings of pessimism negativism worthlessness and guilt Other warning signs of depression include changes in appetite sleeping problems insomnia or sleeping too much loss of concentration and difficulty remembering things loss of motivation or interest in activities that were of interest feeling sad
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