It’s finals time for students. And that means increased incidences of depression. A depressed student may feel that he/she will not complete his/her studies like everyone else. The fatigue, the powerlessness and the lack of concentration that accompany depression also reduce the student’s ability to function.
In this way, depression affects students’ academic performance and their ability to take action. Even those who are in treatment are affected. But students CAN help themselves.
Many College Students Experience Depression
According to their own estimation, 53% of American college students suffer from depression during their studies. Over half of those who experience depression state that problems related to studying are the most important depression-inducing factor. Therefore, there is a close connection between depression and difficulties with studying.
Students’ Diminished Ability to Act
Research shows us that of the students who suffer from depression, 50% feel they need mental health services. And of those depressed students, about 17% actually seek help for their problems. But we know that Depression diminishes a person’s ability to act and the student’s sense of their ability to accomplish and do well with their studies.
Often, depressed students are not able to plan their studies efficiently or observe their own work. They may have difficulties in sufficiently regulating their time, their study environment or the amount of work they pour into their tasks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy resulted in a significant improvement in perceived stress, depressive symptoms, reduced use of avoidance coping strategies, and more use of approach coping strategies among university students
Psychotherapy or group therapy aimed at students suffering from depression should contain instruction on structuring one’s studies and on life-control skills. Patients should also be taught means of mood-control to improve their concentration and they should be encouraged not to focus on their depression
If you’ve started treatment for depression, your actions also count! Take an active role to enhance the effects. Try taking these actions for a boost – all are within your control:
- Participate in physical exercises – Physical exercise can enhance your mood and assist you in sleeping better. It can also make your learning, thinking and judgment abilities to stay as sharp as you age. It will also reduce the symptoms or the risks of depression thus protecting your psychological health and assist you in getting better quality sleep so as to feel refreshed and awake throughout the day.
- Eat several small, nourishing meals – Eating a balanced diet can assist you in feeling better physically and psychologically. In short, a healthy meal should be regarded as fuel for the body. It is now proven that consistently eating a healthy diet is key to both your mental and physical performance. Nutritious food helps you maintain emotional balance. For advice on healthy eating, visit My HealtheVet’s healthy eating guidelines and the U.S Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate.gov site.
- Develop healthy sleeping patterns – Getting sufficient quality sleep will definitely make you feel healthier. For guidelines on how to improve sleep, check out Human Services’ and the U.S. Department of Health “In Brief: Your Guide to a Healthy Sleep”. Sleep is vital in our lives, just like food, air and water. It enables your body to heal, improve memory, learn, and to boost your immune system.
- Simple relaxation methods – Stress-reduction steps such as taking a few deep breaths, taking a relaxing shower or staying in a quiet place to reflect on your thoughts, can all assist you in feeling at ease. Meditation, a simple quieting of the mind, is usually practiced in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible.
- Avoid misusing drugs and alcohol– Alcohol is a depressant and it can add to your feelings of stress and depression, as well as interfering with your treatments. If you or anyone you know is misusing alcohol and experiencing either psychological or physical harm, or is battling a strong urge to consume alcohol, it‘s crucial to reach out for support.
- Put off making key decisions – It might not be possible to avoid making key decisions while undergoing signs of depression, but try to postpone those decisions until you’re thinking more clearly or feeling better. If you have to make major decisions, ask someone you trust or your care provider to assist you.
Set small goals and pace yourself
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try to cut your task into smaller steps in order to make things more manageable. Try to develop a list of little tasks that can assist you in accomplishing bigger tasks and also to give you a sense of accomplishment.
You may have tried these strategies to deal with depression. If you have tried two or more antidepressant, and you feel as though you’ve ‘tried it all’, but nothing seem to have helped, you may have Treatment-Resistant Depression.
Treatment-resistance is relatively common in cases of Major Depressive Disorder. Rates of total remission following antidepressant treatment are only 50.4%. In cases of depression treated by a primary-care physician, 32% of patients partially respond to treatment, and 45% do not respond at all (‘Non-Responders’).
What TMS Could Mean for You
Nashville TMS uses the technology of NeuroStar TMS Therapy to achieve remission for our patients with treatment-resistant depression. Perhaps it’s time to look into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
If you, or someone you know and love still suffers from clinical depression after multiple treatment attempts, TMS may be the answer. The possibility of achieving remission – and a full and robust life after treatment with TMS – has proven very promising.