Dealing With Depression While In A Different Country

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This is it! You’ve finally received your student visa and ready to embark on a new journey of your life towards seeking independence and establishing your own identity in another country. But there is one thing that is holding you back….what if I can’t make it? What if my depression will make things worse? This article will help you go through in dealing with your depression while continuing your studies abroad.

Plan And Prepare

The first thing that you should do is to assess everything if you are ready to undertake this change. This is a life-changing situation and whatever decision you will make will certainly affect your future. Should you wish to continue? It is best to seek advice from your mental health provider. Take for example the case of Tom.

When I learned that my application to Rome Business School was accepted, I immediately consulted my doctor and discussed with him my concerns about my depression while being abroad.

Tom, has been diagnosed with depression and has been taking medications and attending therapies to manage it. He decided to pursue a Masters degree abroad not only to gain novel experience but also as a chance to handle and manage his depression.

He consulted this with his psychologist who agreed with his plan. Together, they discussed several areas in relation to dealing with possibilities that he might get depressed. His psychologist offered information on medical networks where he can consult for urgent situations.

He was also provided with enough medications to last for 3 months and a prescription with international equivalents in case they have a different brand name in Rome. Tom was also instructed to be on guard on what are his triggers for depression to set in and was given directions on what to do in case such events will happen. All of these were laid out to Tom and he now feels ready and capable to continue with his plan.

Upon Arrival And Arranging Your Stay

Setting up your own apartment or student residence can be quite tasking especially in a new setting. Familiarizing yourself with the place, your neighborhood, your school, the people and many things can be exhausting and can lead to frustration or anxiety. This can be a trigger factor for depression to set in.

Take time and allow yourself to learn each day. Don’t rush things. Enjoy being a tourist and visit famous places. This will take away your mind from the chaos.

Inform your student abroad advisor or coordinator regarding about your mental state. They know the primary resources and services that you can ask for help.

In school, look for their mental health support or visit any health and wellness center where they can help you with your depression.

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Continuing Days

The succeeding months will leave you homesick and be missing everybody back home terribly. Again, this can lead to an exacerbation of depression and can even contribute to the reason for discontinuing your studies.

Krystine Batcho, PhD, said, “The more different from home the new location is, the greater the likelihood of missing home.”

It is understandable to feel this way, and we have the compounded the solutions to combat this problem:

Always keep in touch. It’s just very convenient to communicate nowadays. Skype call, Face time, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many other social media apps are available to keep abreast with everyone anywhere in the world. The internet and digital technology have made this easier for us. That’s why it’s like you’ve never left in the first place.

Attend social functions and activities if you are invited. Aside from making new connections, you will also have the chance to discover new thing and learn a new culture. “Having solid friendships is important for both our physical health and emotional well-being,” said Irene S. Levine, PhD.

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Surround yourself with inspiration. Motivational quotes hanging on your walls reminding you of success and fulfillment after you are finished with your task. They will surely put you on the right track. Read books about your favorite person. Their trials, hardships and how they overcome those can be your source of inspiration.

Journal your way to finishing this chapter in your life. Why not? You may even start writing a bestseller. Hence, write a chronological report describing all your experience while studying abroad. “Through your writing you’ll discover that your journal is an all-accepting, nonjudgmental friend,” wrote Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP.

Lastly, incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to include exercise in your schedule. Try a new sport or outdoor activity. Parties are forms of socializing but be very careful when drinking or being offered with alcohol.

Things They Don’t Tell You About Studying Abroad

 

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If you’re interested to study abroad, especially if you’ve never flown outside your country, you’re most likely curious about the sides to it that aren’t really talked about so much.

Why?

When people are promoting and selling exchange and study abroad programs, they are determined to put their best foot forward. That does not always mean good things from the perspective of the student.

They will not make it clear to you at first glance the difficulties you will encounter, and how these challenges would impact your overall experience. We asked someone to tell us a few things she learned that no one told her about prior to studying abroad, and here they are:

Language

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For students who are going to places where English is not the primary mode of instruction, learning their local language is more important than people realize. In these areas, schools might be offering classes taught in English, but the choices are likely very limited.

Taking classes in English in countries such as these might also mean that the classes are usually simplified, as they cater to locals who want to improve their English-speaking skills as well. Hence, your expectation of what you’ll be learning won’t always be met.

It is possible, however, to get by with minimal knowledge of their language. However, knowing English is also a big plus in communicating with fellow international exchange students and meeting locals.

Workload

Speaking of fellow international exchange students, expect to have more free time abroad than in your home country, and that it would be mostly spent with these newfound friends.

A common train of thought in developing countries is that because developed countries have universities that rank higher than their local universities, the standard is higher and it may reflect in the difficulty of requirements and nature of the workload. But studying abroad, most of the time means taking a light study load and having more free time. Students are often surprised that they don’t feel as much stress from the workload as they expected. This may be caused by the culture of rigorous degree programs in the home country, while universities abroad may not share the same nature.


Practicality

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What’s a study abroad program without some traveling to discover things about the foreign land you’re in? When it comes to practical skills, packing is the one that should be absolutely on your side when studying abroad.

Aside from preparing well for your departure, this is especially true for people who decide to travel around during the weekends and eventually for their return to the home countries. You might be surprised at how much things you accumulated during your stay and there’s a chance you won’t get to bring a bunch home.

When it comes to food, your neighborhood will determine how well you eat and how much you’d be spending on it. Studying abroad means a tight budget and tight budget means being practical about your meals, which incurs the largest cost next to accommodations.

Get used to going back and forth from the supermarket, finding cheap eats, and striking a balance between satisfying your palate and not spending extravagantly during your stay. Bringing some comfort food from your home country also does a lot for your physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s extremely easy to get carried away with expenses, but a mobile application for tracking your finances really helps.

Loneliness

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This is the feeling that hits hard. We all know what loneliness is, but what does loneliness mean to a person studying abroad? It could mean missing home because they always had someone to take care of everything for them.

According to Carmen Garrison, M.S., LPC, “The experience of loneliness is commanding. It can overtake our ability to experience joy and connection with others.”

It could mean not having to talk to your friends because of time difference. In addition, it could mean spending holidays like Christmas away from your loved ones. It could also mean crying because they’re just so tired of having to figure everything out.

Studying abroad could mean missing family affection to someone who has never been separated from their family. Lastly, it could mean anxiety for no direct reason coming to mind.

“One way to overcome loneliness is to get active and around others. Think about what activities you enjoy or hobbies that you used to be involved in,” said Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC.

Keep going

Loneliness comes in many forms, but remedies come in even more. The adjusting period is a lot shorter than people would think. You are bound to find someone you can relate to. You’re going to appreciate the place you’re in more and more, the longer you stay there.

Most importantly, the thought that you are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should give you the most comfort to make the most out of it. Don’t stop experiencing life. Chase your dreams.

“If you have doubts about your worthiness when it comes to career or relationships, you need to take a long look into your internal mirror,” wrote Barton Goldsmith, PhD. “Remember: You deserve happiness.”

How To Keep A Long Distance Relationship While Studying Abroad

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Getting the chance to study abroad is a great opportunity, but it can be taxing on your relationships. Luckily, modern technology effortlessly bridges the distance between long-distance couples. If you follow these tips, you’ve got a good chance that your relationship will go the distance.

Plan Your Visits

One of the cool things about having a partner far away is that you have a reason to visit a nice foreign place together. Look out for airline sales and plan if you’re on a budget. You can also make a list of places that are reserved for visiting with your partner.

“Take some time with your partner and negotiate how often and what modality you want to use to connect,” said Catalina Lawsin, PhD.

Trust Each Other

Trust is essential in any relationship, but more so with long distance. You have to face the fact that you both will be interacting with many different people throughout the day, so you just have to trust that the other person won’t do anything inappropriate. Being stressed about not seeing each other will only make this situation worse, so enjoy the space you have and don’t smother each other!

“You have to be able to trust the person, or it’s not going to be a happy, healthy experience,” Antonia Hall, MPsych, said.

Communicate As Much As You Can

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No matter how far apart you are, consistency in a relationship is vital. Set one day a week or one hour a day that you can talk on Skype or some other messaging app. Don’t be on your phones all the time though — give each other something to talk about when you do communicate.

“People in long-distance relationships must be way more intentional and industrious in doing the work that helps relationships thrive,” said Patrick Cheatham, PsyD.

Practice Patience And Understanding

The main thing about being apart is that you don’t have time to fuss over the small things that irritate you when you’re together. You wouldn’t want to waste your precious Skype sessions on petty things after all. Also, it may be doubly frustrating to fight over the phone or text since you don’t get to see their reactions and facial expressions in real time, so try to hold off any big arguments until you can meet face to face. By that time, you may have even forgotten what got you so upset.

Make Technology Work For You

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There are so many ways to communicate nowadays, so there is no reason for you not to touch base once in a while. It doesn’t take much to send them a “good morning” text, which is why you need to do it every day. Another way is by sending photos and videos. If you see anything exciting or eat somewhere lovely, snap a picture and share! It lets the other person know that you’re okay and enjoying yourself, but are still thinking of them.

 

Maintain Shared Interests

Couples need to have things in common regularly. This ensures that they remain invested in the relationship, even if their partner is temporarily far away. For instance, there’s a new movie out that you’re both interested to see, go ahead and watch it, then talk about it during one of your catch-up sessions.

 

Continue To Be Spontaneous

Try to have fun even if you’re not physically together. Nothing is more unattractive than a depressed person. Also, you can surprise them by sending little care packages or flowers when they least expect it. It keeps the spark alive without continually being there.

 

Relationships can work despite the distance. Couples just have to be open to unusual ways of communicating and showing their love through technological means.

5 Mental Health Tips Psychologists Want College Students To Know

Psychologists have grown wary, if not more aware, of the mental health trends among college students. As per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 80% of college students often or sometimes feel stressed while 34% reported feeling depressed within the last 90 days. But it gets worse: The Associated Press reported that 10% of college students had experienced suicidal ideation.

With this trend in mind, psychologists have looked into the issue and shared some tips for students who are struggling.

Know What To Do About Test Anxiety

A licensed clinical social worker in New York City named Melissa Cohen stated that test anxiety has been prevalent among college students. At its simplest definition, test anxiety is the phenomenon of the condition before or after tests. Although it’s normal for students to feel nervousness before or after tests, it’s not healthy to experience test anxiety regularly and increased intensity.

To prevent test anxiety, Cohen advised students to study effectively to curb the test jitters. Moreover, Cohen suggested learning relaxation techniques, so when the fear strikes, college students would know how to comfort themselves.

Get Enough Sleep

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Research studies have consistently shown that a complete cycle of sleep is essential for anyone’s bodily functions. The Harvard Medical School warned that sleep problems could most likely lead to developing mental illnesses. However, college students tend to disregard this in favor of academic requirements to be finished by the end of the night.

Psychologists have repeatedly advised people who are sleep deprived to complete an eight-hour sleep cycle. After all, what’s the point of grades and academic accomplishments if it’s the cost of their health?

“Getting enough sleep is important for your health and happiness,” wrote Jade Wu, PhD.

Be Connected With Friends

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Humans are social beings; forging and maintaining social connections and relationships are essential to keep a person’s mental health int shape. And while it seems that the university gives many opportunities for this, a lot of college students still feel lonesome. Instead of taking the time to talk to friends or make new ones, a typical college student may choose to lock themselves in the library and study for an upcoming exam.

Does that mean that college students should devote a large portion of their time for social interaction? Not necessarily. Roger Covin, PhD, a psychologist from Ottawa, noted that each person differs from their need for social interaction. Some may need more than the others and vice versa. “Almost everyone has a fundamental need to be liked by other people. It is a healthy and normal part of life, he wrote.

A common problem why most college students feel lonesome is that they’re too shy to initiate conversations. For that type of student, Covin recommended joining school organizations or activities. These places are the perfect opportunities to meet new people who have the same interests.

Utilize Campus Mental Health Services

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University mental health services are great avenues to receive mental health support without costing the student a single dime. University counselors not only provide career and daily living advice, but they are also trained to provide therapy. If needed, they can refer students to campus-accredited psychiatrists or coordinate with professors regarding the workload of the students.

College students frequently shy away from university mental health services because of the stigma that comes with it. However, these university counselors are bound to keep your data and the results of your therapy session confidential. Moreover, not everyone who goes to counselors has mental illnesses. Counselors also service clients who have problems with career, family, relationships, and other issues on daily living.

Set Realistic Goals

College students often reach goals that are too unrealistic without them knowing. For example, they may strive to get a grade range of 90 – 100 in every subject of the semester while simultaneously aspiring for an executive position in an organization. Without giving leeway to themselves, these students could develop burn-out and, in some cases, depression and anxiety.

For this reason, college students should try to set realistic goals and set their pace at a manageable speed. Instead of striving to achieve a grade of 90 – 100, college students should try to get an above average grade range of 85 – 90. They should also ensure that they give time to themselves while trying to achieve these goals.

“Effective goals are ones that are: A – Achievable, B – Believable, C – Committed,” said Frank L. Smoll, PhD.

Conclusion

Research studies and psychological organizations found that college students are susceptible to mental health problems. But with these tips in mind, college students could keep a healthy state of mind as well as prevent the development of mental health disorders that arise from stress. No grade is worth the deterioration of a student’s mental health.

A Quick Guide To Becoming An Excellent Student In New York

Academic excellence must be one of the goals that you have to accomplish in college. As much as possible, you need to make it as a primary objective so that you can be proud of yourself when the right time comes. Keep in mind that being great in academics can shape up your future. If you continue to excel in your classes at school, you will have a better chance of getting good grades from your professors and probably make your therapists New York proud of you. The more you accumulate these amazing grades, the more opportunities will come your way.

 

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In this article, you are going to discover the different ways on how you can excel in college. Take note that this is the point in your life where time management becomes a challenge. It can be confusing to find a balance between academics and your social life. At the same time, it will also be difficult on your part to study for the subjects especially if you want to become relevant in other extracurricular activities. To solve these issues, make sure to familiarize the guidelines listed below:

 

Study Well

 

Keep in mind that you have to work hard for everything that you want to accomplish in college. Success will not magically appear in front of you. Just because you attend the class lectures every day does not mean that you can sit back and relax until the finals come. It is imperative for you to exert a lot of effort in studying the subject. When attending a particular class, be sure to become attentive to the topics being discussed. Even after class, you must continue to learn more about the said topics or study in advance for the next lessons.

 

Visualize Success

 

Think of getting everything you want in your college life, mainly being on the dean’s list or receiving medals for excellence. Before you go to school, do not forget to remind yourself of some great affirmations. Imagine yourself being on top of the class so that you will remain inspired to aspire for greatness and success. As you continue to this, you will start to manifest better things and circumstances to come in your life. The essential tip to remember here is the importance of having the right mind and attitude about college education.

 

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Take A Break

 

Keep yourself away from stress and anxiety to ensure that your cognitive functions will not be adversely affected. What you have to do is to assess your stress levels regularly. The moment you notice that you are already exhausted and stressed, the best thing to do is to take a break. However, take note that you must only do it during vacation time because it would be uncanny to be absent for your classes to relax. If you need to rest, all you have to do is to get sufficient sleep every night. Do things that can help you recharge yourself.

 

Communicate To Teachers

 

If you are having difficulty at school, do not hesitate to connect with your teachers or professors. Let them know about your primary concerns so that they can find ways on how to help you. The first thing that you have to understand is the reality that these professionals are not going to judge you the moment you ask for questions or clarifications. Instead, they will be proud of how brave you are to accept the fact that you have trouble understanding a particular lesson. If necessary, you can also opt to talk to a guidance counselor who can help you deal with this matter.

 

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Conclusion

 

College is a fun experience, which is why you have to make the most out of it. Do not be afraid to try out new things as long as you can still manage your academic concerns. Moreover, be careful with the kinds of people that you surround yourself with. There are those who will only have a bad influence over you. As such, make an effort to stay away from them. Instead, be with a set of friends who will inspire you to do better and make your parents happy. Continue to believe in yourself so that you can accomplish a lot of things.

 

How To Handle Pressure In Academics 

There are several challenges that you need to face when it comes to taking up a course or finishing a college degree, Whether you like it or not, there will come a time when you will receive pressure from everything and everyone around you. It can be difficult to continue your journey to becoming a professional graduate if your family and relatives expect a lot from you. At the same time, you may also feel pressure from your friends such as when most of them are in the honor’s list while you are not. 

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Making a Student Budget Stretch Abroad

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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Studying Abroad

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