Your hard work and dedication paid off — you finally got your degree. It’s nicely framed and hanging on the wall behind your desk. Now what? If you’re like many recent grads, you may be feeling what is commonly referred to as post-graduate depression, a condition among young adults during one of the most common life transitions, and one that can be helped with depression therapy. Post-graduate depression usually occurs due to the student’s feelings of sadness at closing the chapter on college life and college friends and the pressure to start working right away by entering the “real world.”
It’s easy to fall into this type of depression, depression therapy experts say, since students have been just that — students — for most of their lives up until this point. After 20 or more years of classwork, being a student has become the focus of their identities, and they’re suddenly under the gun to become something else entirely as they ponder who they really are, what will they do next in life, and will they be successful.
What Are the Symptoms of Post-Graduate Depression?
If you are feeling some or all of these symptoms, you may be suffering from post-grad depression and may benefit from depression therapy.
- Lack of motivation
- Feelings of disorganization
- A sense of being hopeless
- Loss of interest in doing things you normally enjoy
- An uptick in the use of drugs or alcohol
How Can You Prevent Post-Graduate Depression?
Fortunately, you can prevent post college depression that may come with getting your degree and/or leaving college. Be sure to:
- Decide where you will live after graduation. Uncertainty can heighten depressive feelings, so decide where you are going to call home once your college days are over.
- Grow your support system. Having a network of support ready can be invaluable to staving off depression post-graduation. This may be old friends, family or even college friends you plan to stay in touch with.
- Plan for stressors. Develop a stress management plan, learn to meditate, and start exercising daily to reduce depression after college.
- Decide whether you want to take more classes or if you want to find a job. Explore opportunities, whether that means going for your PhD or looking for a job in a field you enjoy. A career counselor can help.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help with post-graduate depression, such as seeking depression therapy from The Petoskey Center. If your school has mental health counseling available for you, take advantage of this resource or set up an outside appointment with the provider of your choice for depression therapy. And above all, know that depression after college doesn’t define you, and you are not alone. For more information about the intensive outpatient program (IOP) intake process or IOP treatment team, reach out to us today.