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How to Deal with Post-Graduation Depression

TMS Maryland Experts Offer Advice on Managing Depression While Also Adjusting to Life After College

Growing up is tough. As you move into different stages of life — from childhood to the teenage years to the post-graduate days — you will face new challenges and difficulties. Learning how to adjust to life after college can especially be challenging. 

Many students struggle with post-graduation depression. While post-graduation depression does not have an official section in the American Psychiatric Association dictionary, it is still a real issue that plagues thousands of post-graduate students every year. TMS Maryland experts, the Psych Associates of Maryland, examine this phenomenon and the causes behind it. 

Common Causes of Post-Graduate Depression

TMS Maryland experts examine the most common causes of post-grad depression

woman with hands around her mouth

Graduating from college is a huge milestone in your life. For some people, college graduation is their first stop before jetting off to their first full-time job. Other people move on to graduate school or enroll in a post-bacc program. Many people end up returning home to live in their parent’s house while they apply for jobs. 

No matter what path you end up taking after graduation, you will face a whole new set of challenges and obstacles. Sometimes, this can cause you to develop post-graduate depression. Here are some common reasons why you might be experiencing post-college depression.

1. You are forced to deal with a great deal of rejection

Finding a full-time job can be stressful. Even before the start of the pandemic, many people graduated from college without having a full-time job lined up. As you continue to deal with rejection after rejection, this can take a toll on your mental health. It might lead you to question your worth and your abilities. As a result, it is easy to fall into a pit of despair and hopelessness. 

2. You’re going through a drastic transition

Up until now, the majority of your life was spent in school. At college, you were able to remain pretty independent and could go wherever you wanted. But as you move back home to your parent’s house or even move into your own place, you might struggle with this new transition. 

At your parent’s house, you might struggle with moving back to the house you grew up in while you are supposed to be starting your career out in the real world. When you rent your own apartment in a new city, you will have to adjust to certain growing pains such as stocking up your cleaning kit and managing the utilities. Either way, you are dealing with a new part of your life that you might not be fully prepared for. 

3. You’re having trouble adjusting to a new way of living

Adjusting to a 9-5 pm lifestyle can be challenging. No longer will you able to wake up at 10 am every day and head to class in sweatpants and sneakers. At most jobs, you will be required to wear business casual attire. Many of them also have strict time slots designated for eating lunch. This new routine can be a shock to new graduates who are used to going to class for only a few hours a day and being able to see their friends whenever they want. 

Symptoms of Post-Graduate Depression

See if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of depression

woman sitting by a lake

Depression can manifest itself through a number of different symptoms. However, this mental health disorder is typically characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in different activities. 

Depression is a serious mental illness that affects your outlook on the world and how you behave in certain situations. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may have depression:

  • Constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Irritability and anger toward small situations that would not normally warrant such as reaction
  • Disrupted sleep schedule; sleeping too much or too little
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
  • Increase or decrease in appetite, which typically leads to changes in your weight
  • Having difficulty recalling information and memories
  • Loss of interest in past hobbies and fun activities you once enjoyed
  • Lack of energy and trouble doing even the smallest of tasks

Many people who struggle with depression have trouble carrying on normal day-to-day activities, as it can be an extremely disruptive mental disorder. This can cause issues for a person’s career, education, and personal life. 

Dealing with depression can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. There is a wide variety of treatment options and mental health professionals available and ready to help you overcome this mental health disorder. 

Different Activities and Treatment Options You Can Try 

How to address and treat your depression

person running on the street

If you are suffering from depression, you have a number of treatment options to choose from. Many people benefit from using a mixture of treatments, such as adjusting their lifestyle choices while also attending mental health counseling sessions. 

Meditation and Fitness

Exercising both your mind and body on a regular basis can do wonders for your mental health. Meditation is one of the most effective techniques for treating depression as it encourages you to focus on the present and become more mindful. Remaining active and doing fun activities that you enjoy such as running or swimming can also help boost your mood. 

Mental Health Counseling and Life Coaching

Enrolling in mental health counseling services can help you cope with your symptoms while also learning how to make an easier transition out of college. Life coaching services, in particular, can help you create a career path for yourself and find out what you want in life. 

Medication

Your physician might prescribe medication for you to take. SSRIs like fluoxetine and citalopram are some of the most commonly prescribed depression medications. 


Have you been having trouble adjusting to life after college? Dealing with an unprecedented pandemic can worsen these feelings. Whatever is stressing you out, it’s crucial that you address and manage it for your mental well-being. Contact the TMS Maryland experts at the Psych Associates of Maryland today to schedule an appointment.

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