Image for depression in college Moving away from home, spending long hours studying, making new friends, setting your own schedule—these are the realities that come with becoming a college student. And they are part of the reason why some students become depressed.

If left untreated, depression can lead to eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and even suicide.

Depression can be triggered by any stressful life change—even if it is a change you choose to do, such as going to college. For many young adults, college is the first major life change they have experienced. College students are in a transitional phase of life, facing such issues as:

  • New living arrangements
  • The need to monitor your schedule and tend to needs (food, laundry, sleep)
  • Academic pressure
  • New financial responsibilities
  • Changes in relationships with family and friends
  • Growing pressures from new relationships, both platonic and romantic
  • Sexual identity
  • Concerns about life after graduation

What are some ways you can help deal with the changes that come with being a college student? How can you differentiate between normal sadness or homesickness and depression? What should you do if you think you are depressed? How is depression treated? Here is what you need to know.

If you or someone you know is having trouble adjusting to the stresses and changes that come along with college life, here are some coping tips from Mental Health America:

  • Make plans for the day. This will help you get organized and feel like you have some control over your work.
  • Do your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Fatigue can lead to depression.
  • Get involved in activities, whether it be an environmental group or sports. Exercise can help to relieve the symptoms of depression.
  • Share your feelings with friends. This will help you feel more at ease in your new environment.
  • Try different relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
  • Do something just for you.