Are College Students Really More Depressed Than They Used to Be?


A study from the American Psychological Association found that severe mental illness is more common among college students now than it was a decade ago. Researchers base their findings on the fact that the number of students on psychiatric medicines has gone up more than 10 percent over the past ten years. They attribute the increase in part to the fact that better counseling at an early age has enabled students with “emotional difficulties and special needs” to go college when they might not have been able to in decades past. Really? Not prescription-happy college health centers, students familiar with symptoms required to get drugs, and big pharma’s robust advertising budgets? Dr. Katherine Nordal, with the APA, points to another study that shows that “approximately one out of every four or five students who visits a university health center for a routine cold or sore throat turns out to be ‘depressed.’” Yeah, so I have this nagging cough, but also a sense of ennui and crippling anxiety? It’s like sometimes I wake up hung-over and I look at my copy of Ulysses and I just want to cry. I dunno, you’re the medical professional, but I feel like some Adderall and maybe a few Xanax would help.

Depression On The Rise In College Students [NPR]