Am I Depressed?

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International students struggle with many issues that could trigger a depression: loss of friends and family, unfamiliar surroundings, the feeling that things are getting beyond your control.

Signs of depression:

  • Increased anxiety or irritability
  • Feeling unnecessarily worthless or hopeless
  • Withdrawing from other people
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Changes in weight, eating habits and sleeping patterns

Facts about depression and university life:

  • In a 2004 survey of UC Berkeley graduate students, 45 percent of respondents said they had experienced an emotional or stress-related problem within the past year that significantly affected their well-being and/or academic performance.
  • 9.9 percent of respondents said they had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months.
  • Fewer than 2 percent said they would first contact a mental health provider or a member of the faculty to discuss an emotional or stress-related problem.
  • International students were less aware of mental health services and less likely to use them.

Many say, "I feel so awful and there's nothing I can do about it." Wrong, there are several things you can do about it!

What you can do

  1. Talk with the physician about how you are feeling.
  2. Participate actively in the treatment plan.
  3. Avoid alcohol.
  4. Stay physically active.
  5. Practice relaxation exercises.
  6. Ask questions and follow through with the treatment that both you and your physician decide is best for you<./li>