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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Counseling services at Columbia College

By Young Min Jung

Depression can cause a lot of problems. Suicide and spiritless are caused by depression. Everyone may experience depression, including college students. College students have many worries, often about their uncertain futures. College student can suffer not only depression but also relationship or physical problems. If students have these kinds of problems, they need an expert’s help. For them, the Counseling Services Center is available at Columbia College.

Counseling Services offers free, confidential counseling to help students cope with personal problems they may be experiencing regarding their progress in college or their personal growth. Counseling can be short-term and solution-focused with unlimited session each semester.

 Some of the issues that Terri Zeilenga, director of Counseling Services, helps students with are depression and anxiety, including test anxiety. Also, they deal with conflict like roommate issues, and they help to set academic goals and how to manage time. The Counseling Services Center is open to Columbia College students in the Day and Evening programs, said Zeilenga. She also said they see college staff for a few sessions and refer them off campus.

 There are three counselors in the Counseling Services Center. In the first session, students give a history about their concerns. After the first session, students are provided with a counselor. Counseling sessions will continue on a scheduled basis between the student and counselor.

 Students also can find help on the internet. One source,, offers resources about mental and physical problems. It is linked to the Columbia College Web site.

Signs and symptoms of depression:

1) a depressive mood most of the time (at least twice a week)
2) apathy
3) a significant weight loss or gain
4) a significant of change sleep habits
5) a marked decrease in mobility
6) feeling of worthlessness
7) a diminished ability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness
8) excessive fatigue/loss of energy
9) excessive guilt
10) recurrent thoughts of death
11) general suicidal ideas or a concrete suicidal plan/attempt.

A person who has more than five of these symptoms that continue longer than two weeks could have depression. (Source: “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” by the American Psychiatric Association.)

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