Counseling Services

University Life & Services | Leading the Experience

University Life & Services


Coping with Depression


Everyone has experienced feelings of depression at one time or another. These feelings commonly follow loss or disappointment and they usually pass in a few hours or days. When depressive feelings, however, persist and interfere with one's health and social well-being, then some sort of intervention or professional help is needed.

What is Depression?

Depression is a prolonged and persistent negative mood which can color and interfere with many aspects of one's life. It is characterized by feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, loneliness, sadness, hopelessness, and self-doubt. Suicidal thoughts may also be present. Normal everyday depression can last for a few minutes to a few days. We've all felt these periods of being "down" or "sad." These feelings are a normal part of being human. On the other hand, depression that becomes intense and lasts for extended periods of time may be a dysfunctional form of depression, something beyond the "everyday sort." This more serious type of depression can often be helped by seeing a mental health specialist.

What Causes People to be Depressed?

Symptoms of Depression

  1. Emotional Symptoms
    • Sadness.
    • Anxiety.
    • Guilt.
    • Anger.
    • Mood swings.
    • Helplessness.
    • Hopelessness.
  2. Physical Symptoms
    • Sleeping too much or too little.
    • Overeating or loss of appetite.
    • Constipation.
    • Weight loss or gain.
    • Irregular menstrual cycle.
    • Gradual loss of sexual desire.
  3. Behavioral Symptoms
    • Crying for no apparent reason.
    • Withdrawal from other people and new situations.
    • Getting angry easily.
    • Being unmotivated to set or meet goals.
    • Loss of interest in one's physical appearance.
    • Loss of interest in activities which were once of interest.
    • Turning to drugs or alcohol.
  4. Thoughts/Perceptions which may become Self-Defeating
    • Feelings of being a failure.
    • Criticizing oneself frequently.
    • Disappointment.
    • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
    • Blaming oneself for unfortunate happenings.
    • Being pessimistic about the future.

How to Overcome Depression & Regain a Positive Outlook

How to Help a Depressed Person

Help! Where to find it.

Counseling Services
120 Richmond Quad, Ellicott Complex

Copyright - Counseling Services, State University of New York at Buffalo
Counseling Services | 120 Richmond Quad | University at Buffalo | Buffalo, NY 14261-0053 | Tel: (716) 645-2720 or 829-5800 | Fax: (716) 645-2175 | Director: Sharon Mitchell | E-Mail: