Any guesses on who said those words (my title)? Keep reading…
Okay, I must admit I have horrible short term memory but today as we were discussing depression someone (sorry I forgot who you were) mentioned that Colby diagnoses two students (correct me if I’m mistaken) a day with depression? Or maybe it was prescribing antidepressants to two people a day-I’m not positive but the exact number is not really that relevant. I work at the health center and I know that the counselors are always busy. Now, going into to see the health center counselors in and of itself does not mean that these people are depressed but it is a fact that the health center’s counselors are always busy.
Before I continue and get to my point I want to also remind you of our discussion on the effects of stress and memory on students in school especially during exam/finals weeks. No one really knows the answer but it is worth noting that stress decreases neurogenesis and lowers BDNF in the dentate gyrus. Now remember it is the dentate gyrus that is believed to contribute to new memories…probably not a function that should be abnormal when studying, eh?
Anyways, I know how much some of you enjoyed Andrew Solomon’s autobiographical narrative of his battle with depression and I found a related article at a University of Michigan’s website in which Solomon addresses the issue of depression in college. I’ll recap the gist of this interview:
” Solomon noted that adolescents often are afraid to admit to themselves and others that they suffer from a mental illness. At a recent conference at Yale, Solomon asked a group of students how many of them suffered from depression. After a few giggles, he said, only one student raised his hand, but after several minutes, nearly two-thirds of them had done so. He said it was disheartening to see a group of highly-motivated, academically successful students react in this way.”
Solomon goes on to say while knowledge about this growing problem (depression) is increasing in university and college systems making it possible for future program to address this issue there is still a negative stigma that exists making it difficult for students to talk about it. He also mentions the other roadblock to treating this problem is the misunderstanding of what the disease entails. ” He noted that medical professionals often are quick to prescribe drugs such as Valium, which alleviate the symptoms of depression but don’t get to the root of the problem. This root, Solomon said, is not a feeling of sadness, but rather a feeling of helplessness and the lack of ability to grapple with everyday concerns.”
“The experience of depression is not so much about feeling incredibly sad, but feeling incredibly devitalized, and not having any of the essential energy that constitutes being alive or any of the feelings that make up our day-to-day experience…The key to relieving his depressive symptoms, he said, was seeking professional help and learning how to reduce the fear associated with everyday responsibilities. He believes the individuals best equipped to deal with depression are able to recognize their illness and coexist with it. The most important thing, he said, is to understand that depression is a disease, but one that can be treated.
I thought this was a good recap and conclusion of Solomon and depression. If you want to read the whole article you can….http://ur.umich.edu/0203/Mar10_03/03.shtml