Minute Memo: Depression

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious medical illness characterized by persistent sadness and irritability. Depression is associated with problems in school, loss of quality in your work, and even earlier mortality.

If not effectively treated, depression is likely to become a chronic disease. Just experiencing one episode of depression places an individual at a 50% higher risk for experiencing another episode.

Common Symptoms

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, a person must experience five or more symptoms below for a continuous period of at least two weeks:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Change in weight or appetite (either increase or decrease)
  • Change in activity: psychomotor agitation (being more active than usual) or psychomotor retardation (being less active than usual)
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired or not having any energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulties concentrating and paying attention
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Most symptoms must be present every day or nearly every day, and they must cause significant distress or problems at functioning in your daily life.

What You Can Do

Because of the high amounts of stress a University can bring, Truman students are more at risk for depression. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek help! The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is always happy to listen and assist students struggling with depression, and University Counseling Services (UCS) can help via appointment.

If you are experiencing a crisis, or are considering an active plan for suicide or self-harm, please contact UCS! They will drop appointments to help people in any crisis. The Health Center is also available for students looking for help with physical symptoms or prescription help.

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