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It’s not uncommon in settings where you are meeting new people and experiencing new and exciting things to feel depressed. In fact, depression is one of the most common complaints heard from college students. Beck and Young (1978) noted that 78% of college students will show symptoms of depression in a given year and of these 46% will seek professional help.

Beyond simply feeling down temporarily, from either fatigue or feeling isolated from home, some students experience clinical depression or a mood disorder that is not a normal reaction to life’s short-term difficulties.

The following is a checklist of symptoms typically associated with depression.

  1. Depressed mood most of the day nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

  2. Loss of interest or pleasure in most daily activities, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

  3. Significant weight change (at least 5 pounds) recently.

  4. Appetite change for extended period.

  5. Sleep problems nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

  6. Feeling tired or loss of energy nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

  7. Guilty feelings or feelings of worthlessness nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

  8. Difficulty with thinking, concentration, or decision making almost daily.

  9. Thoughts of death or suicide without specific plan.

  10. A depressed mood that began after someone close to you died or within 4 weeks of giving birth.

Depression might be present if you can say yes to number 1 or 2; yes 4 or more times in numbers 3 through 9, or yes to number 10 with this mood lasting for more than 2 months. If this fits you, help is available through Counseling Services.