Colleges and Depression, before & after admissions





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Colleges and Depression, before & after admissions
By Over30 (Over30) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

Here's an article addressing how colleges are dealing with mental health issues, and also whether students should write 'overcoming depression, bulemia, etc." essays for their apps.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5626585/site/newsweek/

By Bluealien01 (Bluealien01) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:03 am: Edit

Interesting....

I'm not sure if I have ever been self-driven. I always thought that college was just something people do, not necessarily something they want to do.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

40% say they are so depressed at some point during the year that they have trouble functioning? Wow.

By Bluealien01 (Bluealien01) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Why is that a "wow"??

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit

I think 40% of the general population would claim they have been so depressed at some point during the past year that they had trouble functioning. Many people define "depression" as anything less than "happy" and "trouble functioning" as anything less than full productivity. Although mental health problems and adolescent suicide are very real, important issues, I also think that we have much higher expectations for our mental states than people used to. Few people in our culture consider occasional saddness to be a natural part of life. That's different from other cultures.

By Mstee (Mstee) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit

40% seems high. The statistics I used to see quoted were more like 25% of the general population suffering from depression in the course of a lifetime. But as Texas137 points out perhaps I define "having trouble functioning" differently than a kid, who may think of having a crappy or "off" day as "having trouble functioning"--I hope so!

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 06:56 pm: Edit

25% over a lifetime sounds about right for clinical depression, the way a psychologist would define it. But self-described "depression" would be much, much higher.

The problem with the original statistic is that it relies on self-description. I elicit medical histories as part of my job. One of the most useless questions I ask is "Are you under a lot of stress?". Very few people respond "no" to that question. If I started asking people if they had been so depressed in the last year that they had trouble functioning, I can easily imagine 40% of young adults saying yes.

I think older adults, especially men, would be a lot less likely to describe themselves as depressed, even if a psychologist would say they are clinically depressed. Maybe because of a stigma, maybe because of a belief that life is supposed to be hard, I don't know.


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