Have You Heard About Post-Graduate Depression?

Many graduates suffer from mental disorders. According to YouGov one in every four undergraduates suffers from some mental disorder while studying. But no one talks about post- graduation and how many students feel confused, anxious and upset.

Depression makes you feel sad. This mental issue among recent graduates is still something that no one talks about although conversations about mental health are quite normal these days. We all think that when we finish the university it would be one of the happiest moments in life. But unfortunately many students don’t feel like that. After years of studying comes the time when they need to compete others in finding a good job. A job in that big, buzzing city that is paid well, that offers fast progress, fancy titles and all the things you hoped for,  while you were studying. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. After graduation many people feel desperate and they panic. Often they have no plan; they don’t know what they want to do while all the friends and family are asking what your next career move is. Sometimes the ex-student is not sure. This is the reality. Leaving university is a great and stressful change.

Now post-graduate students don’t need to worry about extra reading or studding for an exam but rather about finding a good job, making plans and saving money for buying a house. One graduate who suffered from depression after getting a degree in community nutrition said: “I suffered massively with anxiety and felt at a loss thinking about that was next. I felt unhappy and had no interest in life, this massively impacted my relationships with friends and family. I also suffered from crippling panic attacks, agoraphobia and suicidal thoughts.”  This is because until graduation students depend on their parents but then they need to continue on their own so it is normal to feel scared and anxious. University is a well – structured system and after leaving many graduates feel as they are lost, afraid to choose their career because they may make a mistake.  University may help with this problem. One graduate explains how careers service didn’t help him as well as his personal tutor who had cancelled all their appointments.

Katie, who is a recent history graduate, explains her experience: “The careers advice office were of little help to be honest when I approached them. On the one hand, I was told I could do anything with a history degree, but on the other, getting a well -paid job would be slim pickings.” These young people are in quite difficult situation because they are either under qualified for jobs related to their studies or over qualified for some temporary job. Employers are unfair because they want to hire only people with relevant work experience. And students often don’t have time to go to the PR agency because they are occupied with studying and working part-time job so they can make ends meet unless they have financial support to avoid working. The hardest part is not trying to get a job, it is the fact that you must move back home. It is not the same when you visited your parents during the holidays and weekends. Then it was fun as someone would always pick you up from the station, you would watch TV all day long and the fridge was always full with your favorite foods.

But when you come back to live there, there aren’t special meals anymore and the arguing about some irrelevant things begins. You are back and it feels like taking a step back in life while trying to find a job. One recent graduate explains: “I felt really down, I had lost my social group, my nights out and the excitement of living in a city. I came back to live at home and it was like had never left”.  There are also very nice relatives who often ask: “so what are you doing with your degree then?” Thorrun Govind is a pharmacist who advices these graduates: “ Reconnect with friends at home. Try and make healthy lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, cutting down on alcohol, giving up smoking and eating healthily.”  The most important thing: You are not ALONE! Every year there are thousands of graduates who feel like this. Eventually you will find your path.

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