Do you know someone who may be suffering from depression? Here’s some important #SHACFacts you should know about depression.
Major Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States—an estimated 6.7 percent of U.S. adults suffered from at least one major depressive episode in 2016.
College students are among the most vulnerable individuals to suffer from major depression. Over 1 in 10 individuals (10.9 percent) aged 18 to 25 suffered from major depression in 2016.
While there are come commonalities between cases of depression, each person has their own individualized experience with it.
If someone you know has been experiencing some of these symptoms most of the time every day for two weeks, then they may be suffering from depression:
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
There are several treatment options to help alleviate depressive symptoms. In the same way that cases of depression differ between individuals, the best treatment option will also vary from person to person.
Antidepressants are medications that can balance chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. These medications usually take at least two to four weeks to begin working, so it’s important to commit to taking them as your doctor prescribes.
Sindecuse Health Center offers counseling services that can help individuals suffering from depression. Any WMU student can make their first visit to see a counselor by simply walking into Sindecuse and asking to meet with one.
Why am I advocating for student action on depression?
Over my lifetime, and especially at Western, I’ve witnessed family members and friends struggle with depression firsthand and noticed the toll it took on their quality of life. College is a stressful time for all of us, and as such, this environment can make us more vulnerable to depression. By sharing this information with Western Michigan University students, I’m hoping to prevent future students from prolonged suffering from depression and to help them find the help they need so that we all can enjoy our time here to the fullest.
—Matthew Kornas, SHAC WSA representative