In its less serious form, depression is a temporary reaction to loss, stress or life challenges. It can be alleviated through the passage of time and/or the natural healing effects of social support, daily routines and simple coping strategies like distraction and exercise.
Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness
A deep sense of sadness
An inability to experience pleasure
Irregular eating and sleeping
Difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making
- Fatigue and social withdrawal
Sometimes depression includes irritation, anxiety and anger.
In its most serious form, depression can be accompanied by self-destructive thoughts and intentions as a way to escape from the emotional pain.
Research shows that depression can be highly responsive to both psychotherapy and medication.
- Talk to the student in private.
- Listen carefully, be supportive, and express your concern about the student.
- Consult with Counseling and Psychological Services (828.227.7469) on how to support the student.
- Ask if he/she has thoughts of suicide. If so, do not leave the student alone. Walk him/her over to Counseling and Psychological Services. If it is after 5:00pm, or on the weekend, access emergency services by calling 828.227.8911.
If you feel overwhelmed or unprepared to help a depressed student, call the Office of Student Affairs (828.227.7234), which will arrange a meeting with the student.
- Downplaying the situation.
Arguing with the student or disputing that the student is feeling depressed.
Providing too much information for the student to process.
Expecting the student to stop feeling depressed without intervention.
- Assuming others know about the student’s depression.