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Depression workshop being offered for students

September 29, 2010

By JANA RILEY
BB Staff Writer

Sometimes the multitude of changes in your life that occur during your years in college can trigger sadness and serious depression.
During such a vulnerable time, the smartest thing you can do for yourself is to seek help. 
If your feelings of constant stress and sadness go on for weeks or months, you may be experiencing more than just difficulty adjusting to life’s changes. 
Student Counseling Services is hosting “Understanding Depression,” a workshop free of charge to MSU students, designed to “help MSU students recognize signs of depression, explore healthy ways to cope with sadness, and increase self-confidence.” The event will be in Room 227 of the Colvard Student Union on Oct. 7 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Fortunately, depression is not only manageable, it is treatable with the aid of psychotherapy. Overcoming depression starts with understanding the early warning signs.
Psychologist Katherine Nordal with the American Psychological Association states, “Depression is one of the most frequent mental health disorders that people experience, whether they are children or adolescents or adults, not only in the United States but around the world. Depression is one of those things that can sneak up on you, so I think it’s important for people to understand what some of those early warning signs might be, so they can take action to overcome their depression.”
Dr. Nordal adds, “There are three different areas in which we experience symptoms of depression. One is in the area of our physical well-being, and frequently we will find that individuals are having changes in their sleep habits, either sleeping more than they normally do, or even more frequently, finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night and waking up very unrested the next day. Appetite is another area where people experience changes either with a loss of appetite or overeating.
“There are emotional symptoms of depression that can range from sadness to feelings of being overwhelmed, feelings of powerlessness, and in more serious cases, feelings of hopelessness. Then there are the thinking symptoms of depression such as seeing the glass half-empty instead of half-full, trouble concentrating and paying attention, which can translate into difficulty with reading or accomplishing work tasks.
“If you find that any of these symptoms are growing in severity, if they’re interfering with your relationships at home, if they’re interfering with your ability as a student or your ability to get your work done on the job, then it’s time to think about seeking professional help,” Nordal said.
For more information regarding “Understanding Depression,” contact Dr. JaNae Taylor with MSU Student Counseling Services at 325-2091.

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