Depression is a mental illness, but it’s also the most treatable—it’s sometimes referred to as the “common cold of mental illnesses.” Many people who are depressed force themselves to function normally—they just don’t feel right. And depression is more common than you may think here on campus. In a 2010 survey, 24% of Bentley students reported feeling so depressed it was difficult to function at some point during their time here.
I sat down with Stephanie Kendall, a psychologist in the Counseling and Student Development office at Bentley, to talk about depression and National Depression Screening Day, an event happening on campus this week, sponsored by the Bentley Develop U Peer Educators.
Symptoms of Depression
If you exhibit 5 or more of the following symptoms every day for 2 weeks, you could be depressed.
-Depressed, sad, or blue mood most of the day, nearly every day
-Loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities
-Significant change in weight, or change in appetite
-Changes in sleep—too much or too little
-Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
-Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day
-Reduced ability to concentrate, think, or make decisions
-Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent thoughts of suicide without a plan, or plans for suicide or a suicide attempt
-Depressed/irritable mood or loss of interest/pleasure
It can be scary to ask for help, but it’s more important to take care of yourself and know your body, both mentally and physically. Just because you’re able to keep going doesn’t mean you’re okay.