Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 30 comments on Students in Crisis: Depression, Anxiety on Rise

  1. Another major influence on what to do after college is the availability of health insurance. The current changes will help a little with that, but choices after age 26 are completely impacted. Stay in Massachusetts whatever the opportunities elsewhere?

  2. How about the grade deflation at this bureaucratic school that couldn’t care any less about their students? Professors interested only in their research, extremely low GPAs to boost the ego of the school, yea, that’s why students at BU are depressed.

    1. Maybe students are depressed because they know that even though they might earn a degree that they are at risk of not finding work and also the tremendous amount of debt they are in.

  3. Could it be seasonal affective disorder or Vitamin D deficiency? Both are rampant in northern climes. One of the many symptoms of both is depression.

  4. “Could it be seasonal affective disorder or Vitamin D deficiency? Both are rampant in northern climes. One of the many symptoms of both is depression.”

    As someone with a sibling that suffers from Vitamin D deficiency, I must say that, while it is a possibility, it cannot adequately explain the abundance of depression cases. Sunlight exposure and multivitamins will not fix actual depression.

  5. I am so glad to see that the issue of student dissatisfaction and unhappiness at BU is finally being raised. I give some props to BU for publishing this article.

    I think there are good points made in this article about the causes of student depression and anxiety, but they don’t dig deep enough. Facebook and the economy make the problem worse, but they are not the root. The elephant in the room is that BU is a very large research university that does not devote enough time or energy to supporting its undergraduate students.

    I think the biggest reason students struggle at BU is because they feel like they’re totally on their own without any help. For example, until reading this article, I had no idea of the resources SHS offered for students dealing with depression and anxiety–BU needs to be there more for its students. Like the article said, it’s way too “easy to disappear” here.

    The “You Wonder Why?” post articulates well the feeling that many students have here–that they are just a number to their teachers and the administration. It’s easy to feel that way at BU: as an undeclared CAS student without an adviser, or in the gigantic Morse auditorium lectures where you rarely get a chance to talk to your professor. BU freshman, in particular, are very vulnerable to feeling alone at this school–which is why there needs to be way more of an effort at integrating freshman, especially those who aren’t placed in Warren or West for housing. That first semester can strongly shape how a student views their experience at BU; it can be exciting and inspiring or totally discouraging.

    Other problems are that many classes are way to big, a huge percentage of faculty is adjunct and/or has never received proper training to teach, and communication between schools is poor–how many BU students do you know that have been inconvenienced because their adviser didn’t know what was up with the university?

    This is not to say that everyone is unhappy at BU, or that the school has done nothing right. From what I’ve heard, the engineering majors receive a lot of academic support and tend to know their classmates and teachers better than other majors, like Psychology (which has the highest student-teacher ratio). And, it’s important to recognize that an emphasis on research and funding is necessary, to a certain extent, for BU to be able to afford resources and a good education for its students.

    And, I do believe that at least some people in the administration care about making the school better for undergrads. For example, a task force recently assessed the university and has started the “One BU: A Connected University” initiative (

    But, will the recommendations made by the task force be put into effect? BU is a huge school with a lot of red tape, and–based on its history–few people in the administration who are willing to put in the time and energy to make BU a better place for undergrads.

    Right now, whether or not a student has a good experience at BU (and I’m talking about the average 18-21 year old, who doesn’t have all the tools or independence to succeed without help) depends on luck. Maybe that student happens to get the good biology professor whose actually earned a teaching certificate and isn’t just a researcher filling his class quota to get his grant from BU. Or, maybe the student doesn’t and loses faith in professors at BU and stops trying to form relationships with them–which is so unfortunate, because having relationships with your professors is not only fulfilling, but necessary to students’ learning and personal growth.

    Regardless, a student’s experience shouldn’t be based on luck. BU students, especially for how much their education costs, should enter college with the support system they need to succeed.

    I am very proud of BU for raising this issue. But, if there is going to be any real change, we need to take a hard look at what’s really causing the problem–and not blame it on Facebook and the economy, two factors which the university can’t do much about.

    1. The same goes for students at colleges outside of BU. The lack of support leaves students feeling lost and overwhelmed. Students seeking counseling is great but I think school administration should spend as much time and money on properly training professors as they do research and funding.

  6. This is a super important topic. But will people please stop putting Facebook as the number one reason for depression. It’s very easy to lay blame.

    The key point NOT raised in this article, which is a huge pity because most people know about it, is that screening is better now than in the past. We have a better mental health system now than then. We are more aware as a society of what mental health issues are and how they manifest.

    My strong hunch is that there has always been 30% of the student body who would qualify as clinically depressed.

    So, this is a positive trend: we are attacking problems now that will be worse problems in the future. Yet you paint it as a negative trend because you are looking at it narrowly.

    Many people may not remember this, but in the late 80s, many students who went for mental health counseling were turned away. This was a trend here, at MIT and elsewhere. There were several very high profile suicides that ended up in some very embarrassing self-analysis and lawsuits. I am not sure if BU was spared the lawsuits, I know MIT was sued in one or two very large cases. So now we don’t turn a blind eye. That is the difference. Why wasn’t that said in this article?

    I see you finally got to this point a bit in Part III. Too bad you couldn’t get that in Part I.

    1. I think you are missing the point about facebook causing depression. Back then social media was not as big nor did people have social media. Now that we have it, people base their lives around what they see on facebook and what is right or wrong. IN addition, they compare themselves to other people’s lives further depressing them-self if it does not seem as good as theirs.

  7. I hate that this is affecting our generation. I actually have a friend who has changed in the past year; he seems to have social anxiety, or some other type of anxiety or mental illness. He always is in his room and doesn’t really make sense when he talks. I’ve tried to help him, and I’ve told him that maybe he should go talk to a professional. But the worst thing is that he doesn’t even realize he has changed, and he says going to talk to someone would be awkward.

    1. Same here, i had a friend who attends Oglethorpe University who is a very nice and plays soccer for them and out of no where he fell into depression. he had to be in a clinic and it was pretty serious. it is sad to see things like this happen.

  8. I agree that with how kids are raised today and the pressures that we have to deal with make it more likely for us to be depressed. I feel that whether it is athletes, international students, or regular students kids have pressure from their paarents to do well, their coaches, and all of them have to deal with the fact that they are away from home and on their own sort of.

    1. yes you’re completely right. kids now in days have a lot to worry about and its odd that this generation would such that we have a lot of technology to make our lives easier. i believe that every little thing adds up eventually

    2. I agree we have so much to be stressed about. Their has to be more programs implemented so fatalities cannot occur within people dealing with these mental health problems.

    3. I agree with you because many people leave home thinking that everything is going to be fun and stress free until they actual run into times where they are stress out with homework and the college life and don’t have their parents to go to directly for help.

  9. Social anxiety is such a confusing, and dramatic experience. I think alot of people dont take mental health as serious. For example if you were to tell someone your depressed some like to respond with just get over it. They view depression as being sad. People really dont take into consideration Social Anxiety being very harmful to ones health, schools ecspecially.

    1. That is very true, but i think the people who aren’t simpathetic to those that are in depression are those who have probably never been in depression. I myself have been in it at one point in my life, and its never as simple as just getting over.

    2. I think that they are would be more shocked that either people can see that they are depressed or they just now found out that they are depressed.

    3. Yes I agree! Many people tend to not understand the full definition of social anxiety or any mental health disorder for that matter. This goes back to my comment that I left on this page also that more awareness and knowledge needs to be instilled among students to have a complete understanding of what mental health disorders really include.

  10. I agree 100% with this article. As a college student i can relate to how stressing it is to not have money to pay for classes and then having to pull out loans gets you in dept. there are numbers of other factors such as failing and meals that contribute to this stress.

    1. That is something that I forgot to mention in my comment. Paying for college is one of the most stressful points in your life especially when you have to take out loans. You have to come up with the decision on your own whether putting yourself in thousands of dollars of debt is really worth the anxiety that comes with going to college.

    2. Not having enough money to pay tuition, buy textbooks or food if your living on campus is a headache. Just thinking about how I’m going to pay for my next year stresses me a bit because you have to take consideration of problems ahead of time and some issues just come out of nowhere. Then there is the need of fitting in or finding people to connect with which lead the person thinking that they need someone with them.

  11. I definitely agree with this article because I am a college student myself. It’s hard coming from an environment where my parents protected me from the outside world and then coming to college where you do everything yourself. It can be stressful on a person in transition and taking on all of that responsibility in such a short amount of time.

  12. i think mental stress and depression is body’s response to a life change. It is very unusually to see this happen because its is almost impossible to logically explain someone can drastically become depression

  13. I agree with the idea that there are many students that need mental health services but many students feel like they don’t need these services or do not want to acknowledge the fact that they need help from these services. More services need to be provided and more awareness needs to be created.

  14. As a student athlete, I agree that we are under tremendous pressure to excel in the classroom as well as on the field. I’ve also found that many of my teammates suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We are constantly concerned with not getting hurt, adjusting to new environments, and even passing classes on top of practices. Some times it makes the simplest tasks seem very difficult.

  15. I agree with this article that college students suffer from pressure of succeeding by family and friends because they want to be better than their parents or want to look good with a high paying job. Then there is social media that makes everyone virtually connected but in reality it’s not connecting but harming interactions in the real world.

  16. I agree with this article. Before I went into college, and even now, my parents are always on my back to succeed. I know it comes from love but it burdens me sometimes.

  17. I agree that many college students need help mental health services. Its been shown that it need to not just be classified in one specific race, gender, or family upbringing. Personaly as a student athlete people don’t normally look and see the stress we have to go through but many athletes have to deal with server anxiety due to the fact that they have a numerous amount of obligations to upkeep such as homework, sports and a regular life.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *