Are you trying to figure out if your college kid needs support? Are you worried and you can’t be there for them the way you used to be? But you want them to have a solid support system in place.
College students are facing a ton of new challenges living on their own for the first time. If they’re in a new city, with new friends, new professors, new classes, new freedom, new people to date, new money challenges–it’s no wonder so many feel overwhelmed and homesick. College is an important transition from adolescence to adulthood and it’s not uncommon for it to trigger or unmask depression during college in some young adults.
Are you having trouble with your college student home for summer or school breaks?
Did you notice when your college student came home, their mood or behavior changed? Has it been a bigger struggle than you anticipated? You’re not alone. The first summer home is generally one of the most challenging. But each and every time your college-age kid comes and goes, it is an adjustment. After a year away from home, college students have adapted to their newly found freedom and many have a hard time adjusting to the rules, expectations, and relationships at home.
Is my college student depressed?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Many college students occasionally feel sad or anxious, but these emotions pass within a few days. In contrast, depression affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.”
Signs and symptoms that a student might be experiencing depression during college include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches