Fall semester topics
- Week 36. Benefits of volunteer work
- Week 37. Living with learning disabilities
- Week 38. Personality disorders
- Week 39. Setting up healthy boundaries
- Week 40. Learning to improve concentration
- Week 41. Suicide prevention – learning to help
- Week 42. Phobias – dealing with fears
- Week 43. Sleep disorders
- Week 44. Sexuality – the biochemistry
- Week 45. Addictive relationships
- Week 46. UNESCO day of tolerance
- Week 47. Improving self-confidence
- Week 48. Helping friends or others in distress
- Week 49. World AIDS day – living with illness
- Week 50. Value based decision making
- Week 51. Being assertive in a diverse world
- Week 52. Spirituality – spiritual growth
- Week 1. Dynamics of intro- & extraverts
- Week 2. Orientation – a career that fits!
- Week 3. Living in a foreign country
- Week 4. Overcoming test anxiety
- Week 5. Understanding dysfunction in a family
- Week 6. Smoking – giving up methods
- Week 7. Valentine’s day – commitment
- Week 8. Communication – focusing on skills
- Week 9. Domestic violence
- Week 10. Work-life balance – expectations
- Week 11. Loneliness and feeling alone
- Week 12. Understanding of joy and happiness
- Week 13. Racial discrimination
- Week 14. PTSD
- Week 15. World health day
- Week 16. Panic disorders
- Week 17. Academic honesty – authenticity
- Week 18. Death and dying
- Week 19. Job interviews - good impression
- Week 20. Characteristic of sound families
- Week 21. Celebrating cultural diversity
- Week 22. Growing up in a single parent home
- Week 23. Act of love (self and others)
- Week 24. Focusing on personality tests
- Week 25. Childhood traumas
- Week 26. Relating to the elderly
- Week 27. Grief – dealing with loss
- Week 28. Drug and substance abuse
- Week 29. Dealing with depression
- Week 30. Procrastination
- Week 31. Recovering from shame and guilt
- Week 32. Perfectionism
- Week 33. First generation university students
- Week 34. Compulsive obsessive behaviors
- Week 35. Body image – eating disorders
- Week 36. School bullying - mobbing concerns
Spring semester topics
A few words about depressionDepression is a serious condition. Depression is a disturbance in mood characterized by varying degrees of sadness, disappointment, loneliness, hopelessness, self-doubt, and guilt. Most people tend to feel depressed at one time or another, but some people may experience these feelings more frequently or with deeper, more lasting, effects. In some cases, depression can last for months or even years.
The most common type of depression is what is referred to as "feeling blue" or "being in a bad mood." These feelings are usually brief in duration and have minimal or slight effects on normal everyday activities.
In the next level of depression, symptoms become more intense and last for a longer period of time. Daily activities may become more difficult…but the individual is still able to cope with them. It is at this level, however, that feelings of hopelessness can become so intense that suicide may seem the only solution.
A person experiencing severe depression may experience extreme fluctuations in moods or even a desire for complete withdrawal from daily routine and/or the outside world.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression may affect one's life in any of the following ways:
Crying spells or, at the other extreme, lack of emotional responsiveness.
Changes in Feelings and/or Perceptions
˘ Inability to find pleasure in anything.
˘ Feelings of hopelessness and/or worthlessness.
˘ Exaggerated sense of guilt or self-blame.
˘ Loss of sexual desire.
˘ Loss of warm feelings toward family or friends.
Changes in Behavior and Attitudes
˘ Lack of interest in prior activities and withdrawal from others.
˘ Neglect of responsibilities and appearance.
˘ Irritability, complaints about matters previously taken in stride.
˘ Dissatisfaction about life in general.
˘ Impaired memory, inability to concentrate, indecisiveness, and confusion.
˘ Reduced ability to cope on a daily basis.
˘ Chronic fatigue and lack of energy.
˘ Complete loss of appetite, or at the other extreme, compulsive eating.
˘ Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping.
˘ Unexplained headaches, backaches, and similar complaints.
˘ Digestive problems including stomach pain, nausea, indigestion, and/or change in bowel habits.
Being honest with yourself about changes in mood or the intensity of negative feelings as they occur will help you identify possible sources of depression or stress. You should examine your feelings and try to determine what is troubling you - relationships with family or friends, financial responsibilities, and so forth. Discussing problems with the people involved or with an understanding friend can sometimes bring about a resolution before a critical stage of stress is reached. Even mild depression should be dealt with if it interferes with your effectiveness. You might also try to:
˘ Change your normal routine by taking a break for a favorite activity or something new - even if you don't feel like it;
˘ Exercise to work off tension, improve digestion, help you relax, and perhaps improve your ability to sleep;
˘ Avoid known stressors;
˘ Avoid making long-term commitments, decisions, or changes that make you feel trapped or confined - it is better to put them off until you feel you are better able to cope; and
˘ See a physician, especially if physical complaints persist.
Source information above was adapted from: Counseling Center at University of Illinois
Recommended booksWilliam J. Knaus; Albert Ellis: The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program. 2012.
Phil Spencer: SUICIDE: How to Prevent and Deal with Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings. 2015.