Most people have heard of depression. You’ve seen it depicted in movies, books, or maybe you or someone you’re close to has experienced depressive symptoms. Depression is often thought of as being sad, tearful, not being able to get out of bed – or at the extreme, wanting to end your life. However, there are other symptoms of depression that are not often talked about. When we don’t have a full understanding of mental health, it can lead to us and others feeling misunderstood and not seeking help when we need it.
Two often overlooked symptoms of depression are feeling unnecessary guilt or worthlessness and difficulties concentrating or making decisions. A lot of times when we’re feeling down or thinking poorly of ourselves, we do not share what is going on internally – while it is easier for those around us to see what is happening externally (like noticing that you might be sleeping longer than normal, eating less, or skipping class). It’s important that we reach out to those around us when we’re feeling down or experiencing negative thoughts and emotions that are getting in the way of us enjoying and experiencing life.
Unfortunately, depression and depressive symptoms among college students are fairly common, with about 36% of college students reporting concern about depression. What can you do? Stay informed! Know that depression may look like any of the following: sad or down mood, anhedonia (not enjoying the things you used to enjoy), low energy, disturbance in sleep, changes in appetite, feeling of guilt or worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and either an increase or a slowing-down of thoughts and body movements.
Overall, depression can present itself in many ways. Stay mindful of your thoughts and feelings and remember that self-care and awareness are key to staying mentally healthy. 🙂