Counselor offers tips to cope with depression dedepression in stressful school life

Pujan Dahal

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Russell Hollis said that people often confuse the difference between sadness and depression.

“They use the word sadness to explain depression, but it is much more than sadness. Depression is the overwhelming feeling of sadness when everything in your life seems to be going wrong,” Hollis said.

Hollis is the counselor for alcohol and drug coordination at ULM who spoke to students about depression and the affects it can have on their lives.

He said an estimated 35 milliion U.S. adults have experienced depression at some point  during their lifetime.

“With all the responsibilities in a busy life, managing depression can be even more overwhelming,” Hollis said.

Atmesh Acharya said that his hectic schedule can often take a toll on his emotional life, but said that he finds ways to cope with it.

“I eat a lot of chocolates and make my meals a special time,” said Acharya, a freshman computer science major. “I listen to music, exercise and play soccer.”

Acharya said replacing the stress and sadness with things he enjoys doing always helps him to get through the saddening times that school can bring.

Michaela Harris said Hollis’ seminar couldn’t have happened at a better time, as he said, “I deal with mental illness myself.”

“This seminar has taught me a lot about depression,” said Harris, a freshman arts major.

Harris said she plans to tell her friends what she’s learned in order to reduce their risk of depression.

Hollis said that’s one of the best things students can do because it’s important that “friends offer you support, understanding and encouragement.” He said no “single cause” of depression has been identified but that their are still ways of helping to prevent it.