What are the tips to deal with post-study abroad depression?
This blog answers: What are the tips to deal with post-study abroad depression? What are the signs of post-travel depression? Is post-travel depression the same as a reverse culture shock? What is depression? What are the symptoms of depression? What are the treatment options for depression?
What are the tips to deal with post-study abroad depression?
Some tips to deal with post-study abroad depression are:
Take a stroll
When individuals experience a post-study abroad depression they can try and take a stroll around the city. Finding new areas in the city to explore and being well aware of the various changes that have come about since the last visit can help individuals with a sense of calm. This can also help them find a new area that they would like to spend more time in.
Go out with friends
With increasing connectivity through advancing technology many individuals believe in socializing through texts and social media however those who feel extremely low due to post-study abroad can try and get in touch with their friends in person.
Research indicates that spending more time with those individuals they feel close to can help to reduce their risk of depression and enhance their mood.
Many individuals who experience post-study abroad depression shut themselves off from everything happening around them in the host country. However, individuals must stay updated even after leaving the country to be aware of what’s going on. This helps them feel more connected and reduces the sense of low mood.
Individuals who experience post-study abroad depression can also try and seek help from other students who are going through the same. This can be connecting with those friends in the host country who have returned to their own home countries. This helps students and individuals to understand that it is natural to feel low after returning to their home country and feel connected.
Reconnect with your hobby
Depression can be very overwhelming causing an individual to shut down from the outer world. However, individuals must actively reconnect with their hobbies or try and explore new areas to develop as this keeps individuals distracted and also helps them understand their skills and creativity.
Polish your skills
Individuals must polish the skills that they acquired from their host country in their period of learning abroad. Often due to the low mode and post-study abroad, blues individuals become very mundane and forget to work on their skills making them fade away gradually.
Plan your next trip
Many individuals feel low after returning from abroad because they feel that they have no escape from their home country. However, they must realize that now that they have been abroad it is much easier to get back there again. Holding this attitude can help reduce individual stress and resulting depression.
Looking for other possible courses that individuals can enroll in and planning for their next trip can help them feel more comfortable after returning home.
Take up a cause
Individuals can also consider enrolling themselves or providing service in nonprofit organizations voluntarily to use the skills and experiences that they have bought back from abroad to make the world a better place to survive.
What are the signs of post-study abroad depression?
Some signs of post-study broad depression are:
- Withdrawing oneself from friends with the thought that they don’t understand them anymore.
- Spending excessive time on social media platforms rather than investing time in activities with people around.
- Showing hesitance to leave once home with the idea of avoiding social interaction.
- Spending too much time on the Internet looking for ways to travel or live abroad and neglecting responsibilities
- Comparing the host country culture with home country culture and criticizing the way things are done in one’s home country.
- Gaining or losing weight quickly
- Difficulty in concentrating on work and tasks
- Changes in sleep pattern with too little or too much sleep
- Feeling worried, sad, or empty much of the time
- Feeling that one’s life will never be fulfilling or fun as it was when they were abroad.
Is post-travel depression the same as a reverse culture shock?
There are subtle differences between post-travel depression and reverse culture shock. In that, everyone experiences reverse culture shock after spending a significant amount of time abroad while not all travelers might experience signs and symptoms of post-travel depression.
Reverse cultural shock can make individuals feel overwhelmed after returning home. This is mainly because things feel different once individuals get adjusted to the surroundings that they were unfamiliar with and the adjustments that they need to make after returning.
However, the best news is reverse cultural shock eventually fades away. However, post-travel depression might require a little longer to cease.
What is depression?
Depression is one of the most common serious mental health conditions that negatively impact how an individual feels and thinks.
Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in daily activities, and drastic changes in the energy level and the daily routines of an individual.
Depression in itself can lead to other physical and emotional problems which can be detrimental to a person’s functioning.
The symptoms of depression can vary from individual to individual from mild to severe depending on various factors.
Studies indicate that depression affects about 15% of adults every year and one in every six people experience depression at some time in their life.
Although depression can occur at any age it is more common among teenagers and early adults. Research indicates that women are more vulnerable to depression than men.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The characteristic symptoms of depression are:
- Feelings of sadness or depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
- Changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss
- Changes in sleep patterns with very little sleep or long hours of sleep
- Decrease in the level of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feeling guilty
- Difficulty thinking and concentrating
- In severe cases thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms of depression must last up to two weeks and cause significant impairment in an individual’s daily functioning to meet the diagnosis of depression.
What are the treatment options for depression?
Depression though widespread is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. About 90% of people with depression respond well to treatment.
Some possible treatment options for depression are
Antidepressants are very commonly prescribed by doctors to individuals with depression. These medications are not sedatives or tranquilizers. They generally do not have any stimulating effects on people who do not experience depression.
Antidepressants usually show their effects within a few weeks. However, in cases where patients do not see any improvement after several weeks, they can alter their doses based on the suggestions provided by their health care practitioners.
Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy. It is used as a single mode of treatment for mild depression or for moderate to severe depression along with antidepressants.
Psychotherapy might involve the individual alone or other related individuals for instance the family of the concerned person.
Depending on the severity of depression psychotherapy might take a few weeks or much longer for significant improvement
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the therapist actively focuses on problem-solving. This is done by helping individuals replace their negative thoughts with more positive ones.
Electroconvulsive therapy is a treatment model that is commonly used for patients with severe and major depression who usually do not respond to other lines of treatment.
It involves brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.
Patients receive electroconvulsive therapy two or three times a week for a total of 6 to 12 sessions.
Self-help and coping strategies
Apart from therapy and medicine individuals can also carry out some self-help coping strategies such as carrying out regular exercises, getting sufficient sleep, indulging in pleasurable activities, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol to reduce their symptoms of depression
Experiencing depression after studying abroad is very natural in many individuals. However, it’s not mandatory that every individual who travels abroad to study might experience the same. Individuals must acknowledge the fact that they are experiencing this way because they have lost touch with their home country and become more familiar with their host country.
In such situations, individuals must give some time to themselves as well as their environment to reconnect again and build a sense of belongingness. This can be done with the help of social support and also by seeking professional help.
Frequently asked questions: What are the tips to deal with post-study abroad depression?
Do international students get depressed?
Homesickness and culture shock are very natural causes of anxiety and depression among students who have been abroad for study or other work-related matters.
Do people come back after studying abroad?
There is a growing number of the student population who dream of going abroad for further studies and careers while some leave with the plans of coming back some are determined to have a life abroad.
What do you do after studying abroad?
Students and other candidates can consider various job opportunities after their study abroad. They can get in touch with various agencies which will help them with job placements and also consider speaking to their social support groups that can help in this job-seeking journey.
Does studying abroad look good on your resume?
There are significant benefits of studying abroad and the most visible one is the impact that it has on one’s professional career. it leaves a lasting impression on one’s resume and opens up various job opportunities for the candidate.