Student Mental Health

Promoting student centred emotional well-being
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What is depression?

Depression can be a feeling, a symptom, or a mental state. It is usually not a disease! The DSM lists numerous disorders of which depressed mood is a symptom. Even then, none of these various diagnoses can be considered to be a singular entity with a singular cause. Why then does one often read statements that talk about "depression" as if it's a single disease with one cause and one treatment?  This is clearly a massive over-simplification for marketing purposes. Sometimes, in attempts to remove the stigma associated with mental health disorders, the message "it's not your fault, it's a disease" is overplayed. It is not helpful to anyone to distort reality in order to sell a point.
In clinical practice, it is usually difficult to pin one diagnosis on an individual. Most people who come with depressed feelings show many years of struggling with variable moods or personal issues, with either a build-up of past issues or stressful recent events precipitating more consistent depressed feelings. It is also very difficult for any clinician to ascertain in just one interview, how serious or consistent the person's mood or symptoms may be. The clinical picture one sees on initial evaluation may change substantially in a follow-up visit. This is especially true in adolescents and young adults. It takes the most expert clinician a minimum of two full evaluation sessions to be able to mostly understand the issues involved and to make a reasonably accurate diagnosis. No one should ever be told after a cursory evaluation that they "have depression".
Mental Health Essentials
What's wrong with me?
What can I do about it?
Understanding Depression
What is a Chemical Imbalance?
The 5 C's of
What are Mood Dampeners?
What is good treatment?