Depression is a common, but serious illness that affects as many as 15 percent of college students according to the American College Health Association (ACHA).  Symptoms can last for weeks, months or years if left untreated.  However, most people, even those with severe depression, can get well with appropriate treatment.  Appropriate treatment usually involves short-term psychotherapy and/or medications. 

Depression is comprised of multiple symptoms including: depressed mood, problems with concentration, lack of sleep or increased sleep, fatigue or loss of energy, loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, difficulty making decisions, increased or decreased appetite, psychomotor agitation or retardation, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, suicide ideations with or without plans and behaviors.   

If you or anyone you know is thinking that life isn't worth living anymore, STOP and ASK FOR HELP.  Suicidal feelings can be intense but the impulse will pass, especially if you talk to a friend, relative, counselor or member of the clergy to get some relief from the emotional pain and make plans for getting ongoing support.  For more information on how you could be helpful, see How to Help a Friend who is Suicidal.

Faculty, staff, and student groups can also learn how to help prevent suicide by receiving specialized training on this topic.  Click here for more information.

If you are wondering whether you or someone you care about may be suffering from depression, call the BSC-Counseling Center for a confidential consultation at 716-878-4436.  You may also contact the Crisis Services 24-Hour Hotline at 716-834-3131 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

For more information about depression and suicide, visit  the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.