Student with depression
The National Students Union (LSVb) concludes from a survey of 1100 students that half of the students suffer from psychological complaints during their studies. Stress, fatigue and depression are the most common. Do you recognize these complaints? The study shows that you are not alone! On this page you can read what a depression is exactly, what you can do about it and whether your health insurer will reimburse healthcare costs.
What is a depression?
Almost everyone has a bad day once in a while, you are grumpy, sad and really don’t want to get out of the bed or off the couch. This happens to all of us, and it is okay because we know that the dip will automatically be replaced by our normal feelings. However, it could be possible that you are not able to get rid of this feeling anymore. This could affect your study, social contacts or hobbies negatively. Perhaps your dip is gradually changing into depression.
A person who is dealing with depression suffers from a severe gloomy feeling. This gloomy feeling is not leaving this person within a few days but lasts for at least two weeks. Another result of depression is the effect it has on your day-to-day life; you are not able to study as you were before and daily tasks are more difficult.
What are the symptoms of a depression?
- Being somber and/or irritated during the day, (almost) every day.
- Feeling sad, empty, alone and hopeless can also occur
- Reduced appetite or eating excessive amounts of food
- No or little interest in doing things that you normally like doing, not enjoying things that you could enjoy before (no longer feel like going out, exercising, having drinks and/or sex)
- Physical complaints without a clear cause
- Uneasy feeling and difficulty sitting still
- Sleeping badly or sleeping a lot
- Feeling tired regularly or having a lack of energy
- Feeling guilty or having a sense of worthlessness
- Recurring thoughts of death and suicide
Do you recognize some of these symptoms (up to four) and do you suffer from these for a few days already? You will probably have a (heavy) dip. Do you suffer from five or more of the symptoms listed above for at least two weeks? Then you probably suffer from depression: it is wise to contact a student psychologist or general practitioner.
What can you do against your dip or depression?
Tips against a dip
Ensure sufficient movement, go out for sports or go for a walk outside
Get some regularity in your life; sleep sufficient (not too much and not too little)
Do not use drugs and use little to no alcohol; alcohol and drugs can make your symptoms worse
Talk to someone (for example, with a friend, parents, family, confidant, general practitioner, student psychologist) about your dip/depression
See a student psychologist
Almost every college and university has a student psychologist. These psychologists have a lot of experience with students’ problems and have many great tips and advices that are applicable to students.
See your general practitioner
A general practitioner not only helps with physical complaints, they also deal with psychological problems. Your doctor can help you or, if necessary, refer you to a psychologist (or a GGZ practice assistant).
See a psychologist/psychotherapist
Your doctor can refer you to a psychologist. Conversations with a psychologist can be very effective against depression. The psychologist takes the time to find out what your complaints are and tries to find a solution for your problems together with you.
Medication for depression exists, however, these are prescribed for very serious and long-term complaints. These medications are called antidepressants. They influence substances in the brain that determine feelings and moods. More than half of the patients taking antidepressants have a decrease or a complete disappearance of the depressive symptoms.
Antidepressants can be prescribed by a general practitioner or psychiatrist if they deem this necessary. Medications for depression are always combined with conversations with a psychologist/psychotherapist/psychiatrist, medication use alone is not the solution.
Are the healthcare costs reimbursed by my health insurer?
It is almost always free for you if you ask for help from a student psychologist through your study program, because the costs are paid for by your study program.
If you go to your doctor because of a depression the costs will be reimbursed from the basic package. It can occur that your general practitioner wants to refer you to a psychologist. This is reimbursed from the basic package as well. The treatments are only reimbursed if you have been referred by your doctor, so always visit the doctor first!
Most medications prescribed for depression are listed on the Medicines Reimbursement System (GVS) list and therefore reimbursed from the basic package. However, you often have to pay a deductible for this.