Semester Blues

Many of you have started settling into the routine of classes.It is the time of the semester that first tests or papers are due.This is in addition to everything else that consumes your time such as clubs, organizations, work, relationships and family.It is a stressful time for many valid reasons.

So, how are you doing with this stressful time?It is common for many of us to feel “blue, sad or overwhelmed” for a short period of time, but I am concerned that you may be feeling more than just feeling blue, sad or overwhelmed!

One out of five people are depressed at sometime during their life and one out of twenty people will have an episode of depression every year.The chances are increased for some of us who may have a personal or family history of depression. Depression may also be caused by chemical and environmental factors.

Many of us try to cope with depression on our own.Some of the positive ways to cope are by exercising, avoiding depressants like alcohol or marijuana and reevaluating any negative thoughts or feelings we may have that are adding to the depression.It is important to remember depression is not your fault and it can be treated.

What are some of the signs or symptoms of depression?Some of the signs/symptoms are listed below:

  • Feelings of sadness or of being overwhelmed which have persisted for more than 2 weeks.
  • Decreased energy, or feeling tired most of the time.
  • Lack of enjoyment or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable.Lack of motivation to participate in activities or begin new activities.
  • Decreased concentration; difficulty remembering things.
  • Decreased appetite or excessive weight loss.
  • Sleeping more than usual or difficulty sleeping.
  • Constant negative thoughts about yourself or others.
  • Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness or suicidal thoughts.

This is not an exhaustive list of the variety of signs/symptoms of depression, but these are the main points to consider.If you may be experiencing any of these signs/symptoms, it would be a good idea to be assessed for depression.

Any UIS student, faculty member or staff could be assess for depression at the Counseling Center at any time. However, there is a specific Depression Screening Day scheduled at the Counseling Center on Wednesday October 10th.

Written by W. Cameron Dean, PsyD.