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OPINION: Depression in college students - The Trail Blazer: News

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OPINION: Depression in college students

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Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:00 pm

The typical high-school or college student has the same levels of anxiety today that an average psychiatric patient had in the 1950s.

Millennials aren’t the “lazy, narcissistic” stereotype that they are so typically made to be; they are a generation fighting against their own minds. Depression and anxiety in college students have reached extreme levels that have never been seen before, and dismissing these disorders or blaming them on the victim is the worst possible thing that can be done.

Depression is an illness.

Illnesses must be taken seriously and treated properly. Mental health problems are plainly devastating to those suffering from them, and this is not an issue that can be pushed away and ignored any longer.  The National Alliance for Mental Illness found that one in four college students have a diagnosable mental illness, but only 20 percent of these students actively seek help. That leaves a huge number of people suffering in silence from disorders that are curable or improvable.

It is too easy to wave away depression as having a bad day, or anxiety as simply being nervous of a test. But being nervous for a test shouldn’t result in overpowering terror or feelings of choking, and bad days shouldn’t end in thoughts of suicide. There is often nothing specific that happens to cause these disorders, and it is under no circumstances the victims fault.

Mental illness has an impact on every aspect of a student’s life, including social situations and school work, which are two components that make up much of the college lifestyle. These illnesses need treatment, whether it be therapy or medicine, and students need to be encouraged to seek help if they need it.

Depression can not be a taboo topic any longer. It is deadly, and has ruined thousands of lives. Proper counseling or doctoral care make a huge impact, and should therefore be encouraged and presented as a necessity rather than an option.