Counseling and Resource Center

When Someone You Know...

…Might Be Experiencing Depression


What Is Depression?

Depression is a treatable illness (called a “mood disorder”) that seriously impacts our overall outlook. It can result from a chemical imbalance or as a response to overwhelming life circumstances. Estimates are that 17 million Americans of all ages and races suffer from untreated depression.

What are the Signs (Symptoms) of Depression?

Does someone you know experience these:

*Also see the Counseling Center brochure on Suicide

Types of Depression

Major Depression - If someone you know consistently experiences many of the symptoms listed above for over two weeks, he/she might have Major clinical depression.

Dysthymia - Although less severe than Major depression, this is still a serious form of depression. People experience the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day:

Bipolar disorder - (Manic-Depressive Disorder) The person alternates between depression (severe “low”) and mania (a frantic "high"). Changes in mood can be sudden, but are usually gradual. "Manic" symptoms are these:

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - This depression can be the result of dark, gloomy fall and winter weather. There is a significant incidence of SAD in the Northwest, where we experience long periods of gray, cloudy, sunless days.

Factors in Depression Among College Students

“Traditional” Students (17-20+)

“Non-Traditional” (returning adult) students

Other issues for both

What can I do to help someone I know —or even myself?

Here are some action steps to combat depression. Depression is a treatable illness!

Some Self-Help Approaches

Add these to the above suggestions, or use them to cope with mild depression (or a bad mood or a lousy day!) Be aware that people with serious clinical depression might find the following difficult to do. Take one small step at a time & be patient.


Learn More:
National Institute of Mental Health  
National Alliance on Mental Illness  
American Psychological Association  
Care Crisis Line
Snohomish County Care Crisis Line: 425.258.HELP (4357) or 1.800.584.3578
(24-hour telephone crisis counseling; interpreters available)
King County Crisis Line: 206.461.3222 or 1.800.244.5767