Uni Depression(4 Posts)
My daughter started Uni 6 weeks ago, she's number 2. During the Summer she decided she didn't want to go on holiday with the family and wanted to stay at home an go to festivals, it was anticlimactic coupled with the fact that her brother was at home whilst doing work experience and they bickered and so l had various calls from her whilst we were away in tears. Thought perhaps it was the pill she is on for acne and periods so she changed that in the Summer and again a few weeks ago. She is creative but decided to do geography at Uni and got good grades. At one point she wanted to do a foundation and l told her this was fine if she was going some type of art as a degree afterwards but she said she didn't want to do that and hence plumped for geography which she enjoys although she likes the physical side and they are making them do human modules which appear to take up the majority of the course in the first year. She says it's very expensive for what it is and given that she worked so hard for her A levels thinks it's more like gcse. Everything is negative, generally she's gregarious and friendly, now she doesn't want to join anything, she went to the art club and said no one really talks and l explained that perhaps she should join more clubs, gym, various things she says are apparently bad but l've said she should be going and making her own decisions, l have sent her various details of art courses that l'm more than happy to pay for but she says she hates the place, the course and says she hasn't made any friends, the ones she did make have either dropped out or are transferring at the end of the year so it's all very unsettling. She wishes she was back at school but l've explained that everything changes and home as she knew it wouldn't be the same either. My dh thinks that she was unhappy before she went which l agree with and then she hasn't made a good set of friends and sees her friends from home having a good time and thinks she's missing out. One of them dropped out and is restarting on another course in September, she visited another city last week and said she saw lots of people she knew and had a fantastic time and the night life was wonderful but where she is doesn't have what she wants. Her hair is dropping out, she says she has lost some weigh although she is a very picky eater. I suggested trying to move into catered as it would be more sociable and you couldn't not speak to people. One of the people she made friends with is in a flat and she said they were very nice although she said they are splitting into two houses next year and the girl she made friends with hasn't been asked, l said perhaps it was because she wasn't joining in. I spoke to the Uni health centre and they say she has to get in touch. She's got a trip next week so coming home after that and l've booked a doctors appointment, l've despatched various people to go and see her and they all think she'll get through it but in the meantime l'm feeling at a loss. She has told her sibling that we don't appear to care, l've explained to her that l know she just wants me to say drop it and come home. There is a b/f who has visited a couple of times already which l said is unsettling.
I think it's quite common to be depressed at this stage and generally worth persevering a while longer at least.
My DD had quite severe depression at Uni which came to a head in the second term. With retrospect, hers was also pre-existing but she always put on a good act.
I think feeling like an imposter at uni, worrying about being good enough, together with pages and pages of people on social media apparently having a ball compounded the problem- together with too little sleep and the general student lifestyle. Having now opened up about it, she's found it was very common.
What worked for her were- sleep apps to calm down at night, I went down a few times to support in a crisis ( I work from home so was able to lurk discreetly in the town and get on with work while still being close), giving up on Instagram for a while, structuring her day and getting out in the fresh air, talking about it and in the end courses of counselling and antidepressants.
for you, it's tough and frustrating.
Make sure she is aware that there are people at uni whose job it is to support her: whether with arranging actual practical help or just lending a listening ear. She should have some kind of personal academic tutor for a start. There will probably be a Pastoral Support Officer in the department/faculty. They will be used to seeing students with similar problems and won't judge her in any way.
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