Post-CTY depression (+What it is and how to cope)

This article will discuss what is Post-CTY depression. For that, the article will explain what os CTY, is and how coming back from it can impact your well-being. Along with that, the article will explain are ways you can cope with Post-CTY depression.

What is CTY? 

CTY, also known as Center Talented Youth, is a summer program created by John Hopkins University in 1979. The CTY offers much coursework to gifted youth to work side by side. The course is offered to Americans and the youth of many other countries. 

The program is offered in the USA and Hong Kong nowadays. And its programs aim to offer courses for kids that want to get ahead in their school year, as well as courses that satisfy other students’ curiosity. 

The program lasts between 12 and 18 weeks, in which the students dive into their chosen program. Many CYT programs depend on the grades the students are in, and their interest

In the learning process, each group will have a teacher and a teacher’s assistant, so the students can have individualized support. And in the classes, students have many activities, such as debates, oral presentations, and group work. Classes go from Mondays through Fridays.

But it is not only study, the program also offers many social activities so the participants can socialize, and meet each other. This creates great on-campus morale and gives them a chance to do many of the summer camp activities.

To get into the program, the students should take one of the tests to prove they are eligible to be a part of it. Post-CTY depression happens because this is a life-changing event. Participants live such a powerful and positive experience, that going back to their regular life can be hard.

Let’s discuss in depth what Post-CTY depression is.

What is Post-CTY depression?

Post-CTY depression is an emotional disorder that happens when young people come back home from CTY. It is usually characterized by intense nostalgia. In it, they miss their friends, the experiences they went through there. 

Post-CTY depression can last a few days, a few weeks, or may even go on until they attend CTY again the following year. It is similar to mild depression. The most common symptoms of Post-CTY depression are:

  • Excessive crying
  • Re-reading text message
  • Joining all the social network groups related to CTY
  • And excessive posting on social media
  • Listening to songs that remind them of CTY, such as American Pie
  • Frequently looking over the photos of that time
  • Casually wearing their uniform of CTY
  • Planning your day in a similar way it would be in CTY
  • Eating things, such as cereal, that you had in CTY
  • Hanging the room sign you had in CTY at the door of your room at home
  • Insomnia and inability to relax because you are thinking of CTY
  • Miss hugging people, since, on CTY that is a common form of greeting, this can even make you hug yourself

What are ways to cope with Post-CTY depression? 

Going to CTY can be a great experience, but coming back can not be so easy. It might be hard to adjust to your reality at home. Here are some ways you can cope with Post-CTY depression. 

Understand reverse culture shock 

Reverse culture shock is what happens when you need to adjust back to your home life after a time away. Understand this will happen, let those feelings run through you, and with time you will adjust to life back at home.

But what you have learned in practice 

Having that CTY experience can teach you a lot. A way to still feel connected with what you went through there is by putting in practice the things you have learned. This will set a connection between what was your life a little ago, and what it is right now.

Explore what is around you  

Although you may have gone through many exciting experiences away from home, keep in mind that there are still exciting things to discover in your hometown. By exploring them you will be able to reignite that curiosity, and the pleasure in learning, you experienced in CTY.

This won’t prevent you from wanting to go to CTY again or stop you from thinking about the experiences you had there. But it will help you feel better during your time at home.

Connect with people 

To make you feel better at home it is important to be open to your friends at home. This will help you feel more connected and comfortable at home. Again, it won’t make you forget the experiences and friends you made in CTY, but it will allow you to have a greater time at home.

Look forward to next year 

Thinking of going to CTY the following year can be something that makes you feel better. It gives you something to look forward to. You know that you will live through similar experiences, and that can be a huge relief.

Be grateful for the experience you have had

When you miss your time in CTY, and Post-CTY depression quicks in, think about the positive experiences you had there. Being grateful for having the opportunity to go through those is a way to cherish it, and focus on the positive side of it all.

Be grateful you had that summer in CTY, and keep in mind it will come again soon. And before that, have a great time in your home town with people you love.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is Post-CTY depression? 

What is mild depression? 

Mild depression is a form of depression that is usually less intense. In it, the person experiences symptoms of depression for a short period. Because its symptoms aren’t so intense, it can be hard to diagnose this form of depression. 

The most common symptoms of depression are intense sadness, loss of interest in doing things they loved before, hopelessness, and difficulty focusing. People with mild depression can also have an altered pattern of eating and sleeping, and also isolate themselves. 

They can also cry, feel ashamed, guilty, and more irritable. For them to be considered depressed, they need to experience some of those symptoms for more than two weeks. 

As for the treatment of mild depression, it is mostly done by some lifestyle changes, and people may want to do therapy as a way to understand why they felt like that.

Can I get depressed after a trip? 

Yes, after returning from a trip you can get depressed. You may have lived through so many new experiences while you were away, that it can make you sad to return to the life you had before. But this is not a clinical diagnosis of depression.

It is mostly an emotional process you can go through to adjust yourself to your life back at home. To handle this situation, you can keep the memories of your trip alive, be it by being in touch with friends, or sharing pictures on social networks.

But you should also try to have some good time with your friends and family back home, to regain the notion that there are also exciting things going on there. there will always be the next vacation for you to explore exciting places, but there are also exciting places for you to explore at home. 

Does depression have a cure? 

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Mental health professionals usually talk about depression going into remission. That happens because it is impossible to affirm that a person, after going through one depressive episode, won’t ever go through another one in their lifetime. 

Especially since depression has a genetic factor to it. Even if you take medication, at some point genetics can speak louder, and you might develop the condition.  It doesn’t let that discourage you from treating your depression. 

Depression in remission can cause you to return to your regular life. It will allow you to feel joy again and take back control of your emotions. What you need to keep in mind is that taking care of your mental health should, from now on, always be a priority in your life.

But that should be true for everyone. Nowadays people focus very little on their emotional well-being, and lose track of how taking care of them can lower your chances of developing many mental health conditions. 

How to cope with depression? 

To cope and treat your depression can change depending on how intense your symptoms are. If your symptoms of depression are too intense, it might be necessary for you to not only be in therapy but also take medication. That will help your symptoms to improve, and allow you to feel somewhat better.

Therapy will also allow you to have a mom-judgemental space to talk about your emotions, learn how to deal with them, and what might be the root of your depression. Aside from that, Some lifestyle changes can be of great help for people that are going through depression.

The first thing is to try and set small goals for themselves. Depression can seem overwhelming, so try to live your day with smaller goals. You can also try to take up exercising, it doesn’t need to be a big thing. Sometimes even going on a short walk can help you distract from the negative thoughts in your mind.

Having supportive people around you may also be a great help. You may want to isolate yourself, but having people to talk to, that you can distract yourself with, and even have a few laughs may make you feel better. 

What are the causes of depression?

Depression can happen due to some factors. As said before, it has a genetic factor to it, so people who have a family history of depression have a higher chance of developing it. The same is said about people that experienced depressive episodes before. 

Aside from that, there is an environmental cause of depression. And people that are going through traumatic experiences, such as grief, the end of a relationship, or even financial and legal matters can have a higher chance of developing depression. 

Depression can be related to how your brain is working. People with a chemical imbalance in their brains, also have a higher chance to develop depression.


This article discussed what Post-CTY depression is. To make it clear, the article explained what CTY is, and how coming back from it can affect you. Along with that, the article suggested what are ways you can cope with Post-CTY depression.

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