Students Banner

Depression

What is depression?

Depression is a treatable illness that effects over 18 million people (NIMH). A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts. It can affect the way a person eats, sleeps and feels about oneself. Depression is different from feeling "blue" and is not a sign of some personal weakness that can be wished away.

People who are depressed cannot just "pull themselves together." Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years.

Appropriate treatment can help most people who suffer from depression.

What are the signs of depression?

  •  Persistent sad mood
  •  Frequent crying
  •  Sleeping more or less than usual
  •  Eating more or less than usual
  •  Loss of interest in things you are usually interested in
  •  Loss of sex drive
  •  Thoughts of death
  •  Thoughts of suicide
  •  Feeling hopeless
  •  Difficulty concentrating
  •  Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt

If these symptoms last for more than two weeks, you may be clinically depressed.

Am I crazy?

Absolutely not. Everyone experiences feeling "down," "blue," or "sad" occasionally. But when you begin to feel this way, all or most of the day or you are unable to function as you usually do, you may be depressed.

Feeling depressed is not a sign of weakness or being lazy. It is a chemical imbalance that you cannot control on your own. Some types of depression run in families. Women experience depression more frequently than men.

How is depression treated?

It is recommended that an individual experiencing symptoms of depression receive a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications and medical conditions can cause the same symptoms as depression and should be evaluated. Research has found that a combination of counseling and medication is the most effective treatment for depression.

Psychotherapy also known as "talk therapy" can help individuals to gain insight into and resolve their problems through verbal communication with a trained clinician. In therapy, you may explore interpersonal relationships that may exacerbate the depression, and discuss some negative thoughts and styles of behaving that are sometimes associated with depression.

There are several types of medications called "antidepressants" that are used to treat depressive disorders.

Sometimes your physician will try a variety of antidepressants before determining the most effective medication or combination of medications for you.

Some patients are tempted to stop medication prematurely because they "feel better" or believe the medication is "not helping." Some antidepressant medications take approximately three weeks prior to the person feeling the effects of the medication. It is important to remember that antidepressants are not habit forming and may need a chance to start to work. Discuss any concerns, or questions about your medication with your physician.

As with many medications, there are possible side effects that your doctor will explain to you.

Do I need to take the medication and be in counseling for the rest of my life?

Not necessarily. Many people take medication for a brief period of time and can be in counseling on a short term or long term basis. Some individuals choose to be in counseling or use medication exclusively. You should discuss your treatment options with your doctors.

Where can I get help?

The Counseling Center staff at Manhattanville College is a good place to go to for Manhattanville College students. There are professional psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and counselors available to see the students of Manhattanville College free of charge.

Your treatment at the Counseling Center is confidential unless you are a danger to yourself or someone else. In that case, safety becomes the priority and other professionals may need to be informed.

The clinicians at the Counseling Center may provide you with services and/or referrals to other providers if needed.

How do I reach the Counseling Center staff?

We are located in suite G-29 on the first floor of Founders Hall. Our telephone number is (914) 323-5155. You can feel free to call of stop by in person for an appointment or during business hours (Monday - Thursday 9am-8pm and Friday 9am-5pm).