By Christine Blom
November 4, 2005

Many college students are suffering from depression, whether it is an eating disorder, stress or homesickness. There are a few symptoms to look for if you think someone is depressed. These signs are: a depressed mood, poor appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or fatigue and low self-esteem.

People tend to worry about what causes depression. According to one of the pamphlets found in counseling serivces on campus, there are three ways in which a person can become depressed.

The first way that a person becomes depressed is externally. This can happen if a person is in debt, grieving over the loss of a loved one or dealing with relationship problems.

The second way a person can be depressed is genetically. Depression can be carried down from parents and others of the same genetics. No need to stress, though, because this is not always the case.

The final way that depression can be caused is physiological or biochemical factors. This means that chemicals in the brain are imbalanced, and this causes the brain to go into depression mode.

According to, the other causes of depressions are pessimistic personalities, trauma and stress and physical conditions. These three things are secondary causes to the latter.

Another form of depression that is very common among college students is seasonal depression. Those who suffer from this type of depression show the common signs of depression and they flip-flop from season to season.

According to the Cleavland Clinic, symptoms of “the winter blues” are fatigue, increased need for sleep, decreased energy level, weight gain and increased desire to be alone. However, with summer depression, there is extreme weight loss, trouble sleeping and decreased appetite.

There are many measures that can be taken to relieve depression. The first and easiest thing to do is to get support. Talking to people who care, such as friends or family members, can help relieve stress associated with depression.

If talking to friends or family is not an option, then calling a counselor is another resource. As the depression progresses, so do the cures. A doctor can be seen, therapy can be attended and medicine can be prescribed.

On campus, there are people in the counseling center, and it is open for anyone who need to be helped. The counseling center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Contact Dr. Sara Maggitti or Kallie Coles for any questions or someone to talk to at (610) 902-8561.

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Christine Blom

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