Depression and Stress Effecting Third Level Students

Daniel Flynn

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Credited to CollegeDegrees360@Flickr
Credited to CollegeDegrees360@Flickr

It is a hard life for college students. Between college fees, assignments and exams it is a very stressful life. But life is always more complex, underneath the surface. Depression is a major issue in modern society and it can stem mainly from stress.

Mental health is a very topical subject over the last few years due to the high profile celebrities that have been diagnosed with it.  Mental health has not been held in the same respect as physical health as it is subjective and it is difficult to get a definitive diagnosis. It is a very delicate area and has been an area of much debate over the last two decades.

Depression has become very prominent among the youths of today and makes an already stressful life even more of a struggle, so naturally the sooner a diagnosis is made the easier it is monitor. Nearly 20% of third level students suffer from depression due to stress, which is something that needs to be addressed.

It is a difficult topic when you suspect someone you love may be depressed as it is difficult to know what the right course of action is. Some people believe it is best to be up front and ask them directly. However this is difficult to execute in reality,as 65% of the depressed population say that their friends were scared to talk about it.

It is very easy for someone in third level education to start feeling low. One of the other reasons for depression in a student is their grades. If their grades are not up to the high standards they have set for themselves it is easy to start feeling worthless and insignificant.

As well as this, social status plays a massive role in this in a teenager’s mood, yet probably the most significant aspect is family life, as it is the most influential in an individual’s upbringing.

Credited to UGL_UIUC@Flickr
Credited to UGL_UIUC@Flickr

I wanted to understand more about the psyche of a depressed youth. I decided the best possible way of doing this would be to interview one, however they wished to remain nameless for this article.

You struggle to get out of bed. You cannot focus on anything for more than 5 minutes and you struggle to do the simplest of tasks.

During this interview it was clear the individual was uncomfortable  discussing the topic and this I feel is a good example of the stigma that comes with depression, especially surrounding young students. there is a general consensus that it is not normal and that it shows weakness, which is simply not the case. Which is what I found most interesting about this short interview.

“You feel totally isolated and empty. It is not easy feeling like you’re a fair distance from normality.”

It is obvious that, in recent years, depression has been under the media spotlight much more than before. Examples such as Christian Bale and Jim Carey bring into question whether or not it is fitting to have issues of depression so heavily documented by the media. There are even websites dedicated to celebrities and their personal lives such as, Famous people are human.

There is the possibility that this could turn negative and been seen as “glamourizing” the idea of depression. But on the other hand, it can give depression a face, or a spokesperson to will them back to health.

David Walliams was quoted, in his new autobiography, in saying “When I was depressed I finally knew what hell was. Hell was my mind.”

It is clear that depression is a major issue in the young population of today. Without necessary support and care symptoms could become more severe and as a result the individual will suffer. No one wishes to fall into this “hell” but it does happen very regularly but it can be prevented, if the person is willing.

Do you feel mental health at third level education is monitored well enough? If not, what can be done?

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Daniel Flynn