The time after graduation is supposed to be the happiest in someone's life. This is when you can put everything you learnt to the test and excel at it. However, this is not the case for most new graduates. Although there is no official diagnosis of post-graduate depression as a mental illness, it is a real phenomenon and a lot of people suffer from it. So, what is post-graduation depression?
Post-grad depression is mostly as a result of the anxiety caused by the life transition from being a student to the next stage. However, this is not limited to college students. Post high school graduation depression is also a serious condition. High school students are usually anxious about what their new colleges will be like.
What causes post-college depression?
While this type of depression is mostly rooted in anxiety, the anxiety could be due to several reasons.
1. Change of environment
Entering the real world means you have to find a job, find a new place to live and make new friends. This can be overwhelming even for people who don't have a pre-existing mental illness.
2. Failure to achieve post-graduation plans
What does post-graduation plans mean? When approaching their graduation, most students have plans for what they will do after. These plans mostly entail getting a job right away. Although some of them actually get the job, a fair number get rejected. This impacts their self-esteem and makes them doubt their futures.
3. Losing friends
College is a small place and after being there for a few years, students usually form really close friendships. After graduation, everyone moves away to start their own journey, and they can no longer be as close as they used to. Most friendships dwindle after some time, and this causes loneliness.
One of the most common questions people ask themselves when they graduate is "What to do after graduating from college?" Every industry is crowded these days, and it is normal to wonder whether you are going to make it or not.
Some graduates get really lucky, and their careers kick off immediately they graduate. This is tough on those who aren't so lucky. Seeing your friends getting everything you don't have when you have the same qualifications inevitably leads to you to compare yourself to them. This comparison may lead to a lack of self-worth.
Signs of post-graduate depression
Post-graduation depression affects the mental health of the patients just as much as any other mental illness does. If it is not treated in time, post-graduate depression may worsen and become clinical depression. To know whether you or someone you love is going through this, watch out for the following signs:
- Lack of motivation for simple tasks
- Constant fatigue
- Chronic procrastination
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable things
How to overcome post-graduate depression
Overcoming life after college depression is not easy. However, with the right guide and the right help, it is not impossible. So how do you survive post-graduate life? Use these tips, and you'll be good to go.
1. Establish a routine
One of the reasons why the shift from college to the outside world is so jarring is the lack of routines. While in school, there is something to do at all times of the day, and the lack of structure after you get out may worsen the depression. You should, therefore, establish a routine to regain control of your day.
2. Get someone to talk to
Talking to a therapist or someone else you trust can also help tremendously. A therapist will help you learn how to cope and give you the tools you need to work through this. You could also talk to an older friend who has been through that, and they could share what they did to overcome it.
3. Avoid social media
If you often compare yourself to others, then you may want to take a break from social media for a while. When you are going through it, seeing others celebrating their wins may make you feel worse about your situation.
It is also important to remember that what you see on social media is a filtered view of their personal lives. Therefore, don't believe everything you see.
4. Surround yourself with positive people
When you are depressed after graduating from college, the last thing you need is a negative person. All they will do is discourage you and make you believe that every negative thing you have thought about yourself is true. Be around people who encourage you.
Read about successful people and where they began to remind yourself that everyone has their own path. Even those people you look up to did not make it overnight.
5. Remember that it is only temporary
It is easy to think that this stage will last forever and lose all hope. This is actually a symptom, and it is important to remember that those feelings of hopelessness will not last. Your situation will soon improve.
6. Acknowledge your accomplishments
When you are focusing on everything that is going wrong in your life, you may forget to celebrate when something goes right. One way to try to do this is to get a journal and make a habit of writing down things that you are grateful for. This will help you believe that you are not a failure.
7. Set realistic goals
Failure to achieve your goals is the biggest cause of post-graduate depression. It, therefore, makes sense to make your goals something easier to achieve. Once you have it, break it down into manageable steps so that you don't get overwhelmed and lose hope again. Do something small every day, and you'll achieve it in time.
8. Get a change of scenery
Job hunting is a very tedious process and you can easily forget to do other things. Don't forget to get out once in a while and forget about what is going wrong in your life.
9. Find something you are excited about
This could be anything from going on a trip to watching a movie. Having something to look forward to will improve your mood.
If you've ever asked yourself what is post-graduation depression, now you know. If you check the boxes of this condition, consider the tips outlined in this article. It may also be a good idea to seek professional help if the situation worsens.
DISCLAIMER: All the information in this article is not implied or intended to be a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, images, graphics, and information contained on this page is only for general information purposes.
Yen.com.gh reports that COVID 19 has led to an increase in the number of mental health cases in Kumasi. The fear that you will catch the virus combined with the devastating impact on the economy is the cause of this.
Dr Owusu Antwi advises that people should engage in things they enjoy and worry less about the pandemic.