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  • Depression is common at this stage, and can play havoc with examination performances, etc. it is generally reactive depression in character and is very treatable.

  • One of the early cues is a falling-off in school or college results. The young person tends to become preoccupied and detached; isolation is common and anxiety invariably present. He or she appears, and is, sad and often tearful; concentration is poor, and sleep is restless, often with anxious and alarming dreams. Stress is increased by the realization that academic performance has declined, often dramatically. Thoughts are often gloomy and morbid.

  • Many causes may be found: fear of examinations, disturbance between parents, bereavement by, say the death of a favourite grandparent. A very common factor is having to carry the weight of a parent's longing and pressure for the student's academic achievement.

  • Young people leaving home and having a job for the first time and first year students in colleges and universities can become depressed because of their difficulty in adjusting to the new life. Girls who have established boy friends at home may, in college, be subjected to great sexual and emotional stress, with academic disaster as a result. A modest person of unsophisticated upbringing, may find the stress of fitting into totally new ways a great problem. Yet again, others go through an identity crisis as part of the process of becoming individuals in their own right.

  • A more serious type of depression is that which may precede a more serious breakdown. If this occurs, prompt help is required and, with proper management and treatment, valuable lives can be saved.

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