Depression On Depression

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The Effect of Depression in Academia Depression, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is an illness where the affected finds a loss of interest or pleasure in daily life for more than two weeks. This loss of interest in daily life often leads to lack of concentration as well as impaired social, occupational, and educational functions. Depression in school-aged children has been on the rise for the past 4 decades in America (Youngminds.org.uk). This rise has caused many researchers to question how depression can affect a student’s education from elementary school to college. It is well established that depression can cause a multitude of difficulties in people of all ages, including mental, emotional, and…show more content…
Depressed students may pretend to be sick or cut class because they feel, as Arthur Schoenstadt MD states, “too overwhelmed by their school work or too depressed to leave the house” (Livestrong.com). The feeling of being overwhelmed can make someone with depression completely shut down and avoid all responsibilities. Students with depression also commonly exhibit a lack of motivation and concentration, which can severely impact their education. Researchers have found that, “prolonged dips in mood can greatly impact a student’s ability to study and perform” (jhsap.org). This especially hurts college students, as their academic success is more heavily reliant on self-motivation and concentration as opposed to high school and grade school. This difficulty staying motivated and concentrated is often passed of by educators and laziness. This assumption often negatively affects the way an educator may treat a student, and results in an even more negative experience for the student. Another common issue that depressed students encounter is test anxiety. “Students with test anxiety often find themselves rendered physically and/or emotionally unable to take an exam” (Burgstahler, Rickerson & Souma, 2001). Test anxiety can cause a student to feel isolated from their peers, and lead them to withdraw socially. When a student feels they are isolated from other students, they will avoid…show more content…
Research indicates that taking an individualized approach to helping depressed students in school is the most effective route. “School personnel must educate themselves on the characteristics and effects of depression, so they can provide the most effective interventions. Educators are responsible for not only meeting the academic needs of depressed students, but also ensuring their safety and welfare” (Crundwell & Killu, 2010). Research has found a few common strategies that help students organize their schoolwork, practice positive social habits, and increase focus within the classroom. The British Columbia Ministry of Education published a detailed handbook meant for teachers, principals, and other educators that goes into depth on the different strategies and how they impact students in a positive way. This handbook states that the most important thing an educator can do to accommodate students with depression is to make the classroom a welcoming environment. “ It is important for teachers to believe that they can make a difference in the lives of students and that all students can learn in their classrooms, even when they are depressed. The emotional tone of a classroom is powerful, especially to students with depression” (Naylor 2001). Providing this welcoming environment
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