Depression is not sadness over a matter of days. It is usually a long-term illness, lasting for weeks, months, or years at a time. At its mildest, one may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make one feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.
Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety and a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness. The two illnesses are often interlinked. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with almost 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis. (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)
Impact on Study:
- Loss of motivation: little or no interest in hobbies or sense of ambition
- Easily distracted by negative thoughts/stress
- Difficulty in concentrating on assignments or during examinations, leading for example to failure in meeting deadlines
- In some cases, student may have a subconscious loss of interest in their work as a form of self-harm. It may seem that student has not worked hard enough, or lacks academic interest
Insightful video of depression, characterised by ‘The Black Dog’: