Depression in College Students
By Holly Boles
• Depression is a serious mood disorder that
affects millions of people worldwide
• Myself, my friends and my family have been
effected by depression
• Depression is more likely to effect college
students and people ages 18-25 (Peterson,
• Depression has increased tremendously in the
past 10 years
• Millions of people suffer from this mood
disorder but not all of them are aware of the
causes and/or the effects that depression is
having on them and the people around them.
• Some psychologists hypothesize that
depression leads to binge drinking, drug use,
and even suicide.
• College Students
• School Administrators and Professors
• Advisors and Counselors
• Local and State Government
• Depression is a very critical problem in the United
States, a study by Robert Gallagher in 2001
showed that counseling centers reported an
eighty five percent increase during the past five
years in students with severe psychological
problems (Peterson, 2002)
• a study by the American College Health
Association said that ten percent of college
students had been diagnosed with depression.
Summary of Research
•Major Depression and Dysthymic Depression are the two most
common forms of depression that effect college students
•Major Depression has severe symptoms and if not treated can
•Major Depression interferes with the ability to work, sleep and
even eat. It causes fatigue and feelings of sadness, anxiety and
•The biggest effect Major depression has on College students is
suicide, a large sample survey showed that 44% of college
students had considered suicide and 2% had actually tried (Rudd,
•According to a study done in the seventies college students are
fifty percent more likely to commit suicide then nonstudents
(Beck & Young, 1978).
Summary of Research Cont’d
• Dysthymic Depression has similar but less severe
• Students generally feel depressed on a daily basis
for at least two years; this can lead to a lower
self-esteem, lower sex drive, and feelings of
helplessness and insomnia.
• Because of these effects students lose the ability
to concentrate and make decisions, as well as the
ability to socialize and have fun. Their school,
work and social life slowly decreases and they
became irritable and unpleasant to be around.
• Genetic: No proven evidence that if your parents have
depression then you will too, however their combined
genetic make-up can contribute to your likely hood.
• Chemical Imbalance: a study done by Canadian, Dr. Jeffrey
Meyer, showed that levels of Monoamine Oxidase A, an
enzyme that breaks down chemicals in our brain including
Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine, were higher in
individuals that suffered from depression than those that
did not. This theory explains why depression causes
changes in appetite and sleep for some people.
• Stress: the number one theory for the cause of depression
in college students
• Campus Health Center
• Public and Mental Health Centers
• Student Population
• Peterson, K. S. (5/21/2002). Depression among College students rising. USA Today, retrieved from
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Behavior, 19, 173-183
• Beck, A. T., Young, J. E., (1978, Septmeber). College blues. Psychology Today, 83-92
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