Can depression cause me to skip college classes? (+How to cope)

This article will discuss how being depressed can lead you to skip your college classes. It will show how depression can affect your motivation and will to go to classes, and ways you can cope with it.

Can depression cause me to skip college classes? 

Yes, depression can cause you to skip college classes. This may happen for two reasons: one of them is related to the symptoms of depression, and another can be a protective factor, meaning that you can start to skip classes as a way to not make your depression worse. Let’s discuss both of them.

Skipping college classes as a way to care for your depression

As you first get into college it can all feel like a dream come true. The chance to move away from home, study what you are passionate about, have your place, and all the freedom that comes with it.

You may want to take the best you can from your college experience. You might apply to as many classes as possible, look for a part-time job, and try to make as many friends as possible. But with time, all of this can take a toll on you.

You can start to feel like studying for all of those exams, writing the papers, working, and having a social life, can be too overwhelming. And when that is the case, some people may become too stressed, which over time can lead you to become depressed.

When this happens to some people, they can begin to act in a way to prevents them from getting worse. Some students have reported that they have skipped some classes occasionally as a way to care for their mental health. 

Having that little time off on their schedule allowed them to take a deep breath and focus on something else rather than all their obligations.

Of course, sometimes the teacher can ask where they are, or what happened, but taking this time as a self-care moment can be extremely important, so don’t blame yourself. Slow your rhythm, still care to not fail classes, and you may find a balance between improving your mental health and graduating from college.

It is important to understand that while for some skipping classes is a way of not getting worse, to other people, skipping college classes can be related to the paralyzing feeling depression will bring you. Let’s discuss more that.

Skipping college classes because of the symptoms of depression 

Depression can have a huge effect on all aspects of your life, and your college life is no different. You might start to feel like going to college classes doesn’t interest you anymore. You can begin to feel like there is no reason to get an education.

You may lose your sense of purpose, and even though you may be in the college of your dreams, you may still not feel motivated to go. Depression can also lead you to feel more fatigued, and your energy levels can below. When that is the case, thinking of getting dressed and walking to class can seem impossible.

You may just give up as you think of all the effort you need to put into that. And it is not only the class in itself, but it may also be hard to be around people, and you may find it a lot harder to understand what your teacher is talking about because depression tends to harm your cognitive functions.

Your attention levels, ability to focus, and memory will probably be a lot worse during this time, making your schoolwork a lot harder. Depression can also lead you to feel so hopeless and helpless that some days even the simplest things such as getting out of bed can be impossible, leading you to skip many of your college classes.

With all of that going on, it is understandable why you might skip some of your college classes. But you should be careful as to not let depression define your whole college experience, and take away from you things you have wanted for so long. 

So now let’s discuss some ways you can deal with skipping college classes because of depression.

What can I do if depression is making me skip college classes? 

If you feel depression is making you skip college classes, there are some things you can do to try to get better.

Talk with your teachers 

If you have been skipping classes because you are depressed, whether it is a self-care strategy, or it just seems impossible to get out of bed, try to talk it over with your teacher. Letting them know what is going on can be extremely important to try and manage the situation. 

It can be that they can accommodate some of your needs, and can extend some of the deadlines for you, or even find other ways to evaluate you in their classes.

Don’t feel ashamed to start this conversation. Keep in mind that depression is not a choice, it is something that has happened to you, and acknowledging it, and trying to handle it the best way you can show courage and determination.

Look for professional help 

One of the most important things to consider when you are going through depression is to look for professional help. Having a therapist will allow you to talk to someone without any judgment, and it will help you understand your emotions better.

Some people, depending on how intense their depression is, will also need medication. For that, they will need to go to a psychiatrist. This is a doctor that specializes in mental health and will prescribe you the medication to manage your symptoms.

If you don’t know where to start in looking for help, you can look for a mental health center in your college, or talk to your counselor. If they don’t have a mental health service in your college, they will most likely give you the main directions to finding someone.

Take a look at your college plans 

You may have started college full of plans and ideas, but now you are noticing that your mental health needs a lot more attention than those plans. Don’t be ashamed to prioritize your mental health.

Understand what your needs are at the moment, and know that it is okay to slow down in reaching for that future you want. The important thing is for you to be healthy and happy.

Accept help

You can tell some of your friends about what is going on with you, and they may offer you some help. They can help you do your homework, or bring you the information for a class you have skipped. And even though you may find it hard to accept this help, this support can go a long way in your time of need.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can depression cause me to skip college classes? 

How can I deal with my child being unhappy at college?

If your child has gone to college and has stated that they are not adjusting too well to the life there, you can become concerned. But you need to learn to deal with your emotions so you don’t let them through to your child.

The first thing to do is to acknowledge that what you are feeling is called helplessness. It is terrible to know that someone you love so deeply has been going through so much pain. 

But this is the moment you are in life. When your kid goes to college, they begin a new moment in their lives, and now you will watch from the sidelines how they deal with it all.

It is important that you find ways to deal with feeling helpless so you don’t start acting in an overbearing way and try to solve everything, you should understand that there is a difference from that and be supportive. 

To deal with your worries, you can meditate, exercise, or even look for therapy. And when you are worried about their well-being don’t take your worry on them. Give them the time and space to do what they need to. 

And you can try and find them the help they need. For example, if you find mental health support in college, you can send it to them.

Is it okay if I leave college because of depression?

Yes, it is okay if you decide to leave college because you are depressed. But know that this is a huge decision and you shouldn’t take it lightly. Try to understand if you have gone through all the possible channels of help and adjustment.

If you feel that the college environment has become detrimental to your mental health, you may decide it is time to leave. Consider what you are going to do after you leave so you are focused on improving your mental health during this time you are away.

Are college students more susceptible to depression?

It has become more and more common to see college students getting depressed. College can be an extremely stressful period. Young adults are dealing with leaving alone for the first time, and even though there is a lot of freedom in it, it can also feel overwhelming.

They need to mend for themselves, care for their own house, and this is without even talking about all the studying they need to do. College can be a competitive environment, and all the discoveries that go on during that time can make things harder.

Heartbreaks, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, long studying hours, and poor eating and sleeping habits, all of that can make it easier for them to become depressed. That is why colleges have been making a huge effort in creating mental health programs, to prevent them from getting ill, but also to help them if they do.

Is it normal to feel overwhelmed in college?

Yes, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed when you are in college. There is so much going on in your life, studying long hours, part-time jobs, and all the new friends you have made, that you can feel, at times overwhelming. This is why it is so important to care for your physical and mental health.

Living a balanced life, in the best way possible in the college environment will allow you to deal with all the emotions that are surfacing without causing any problems.


This article centered on showing how being depressed can lead you to skip college classes. It explained why this can happen, and ways you can cope with it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.