Withdrawing from college due to depression (+What can you do)

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This article will discuss if it is possible to withdraw from college because of depression. For that, the article will show what depression is, and why it may be important, when you are going through it, to withdraw from college. Along with that, the article will show what you can do to make your withdrawal happen.

Withdrawing from college due to depression

It has become more and more frequent to observe college students with depression. And in some cases, the students may consider withdrawing from it. Dealing with all the pressures that come with college, and a mental health condition can be overwhelming.

College is a time when young people are putting themselves in the real world in a way. They will need to learn how to handle themselves financially, and how to take care of themselves and the house they live in.

Along with that, they will be faced with the obstacle of making new friends in this completely different place. This can make them incredibly anxious. And there is also the impact that college itself has on them. They might try to give their best in all the classes they are taking, and worry about their future.

All of that can come at a high cost to their emotional well-being. And even if they look for treatment, taking some time off, and leaving college may be the best decision. But to discuss what are the main reasons that may lead you to withdraw from college because of depression, let’s first understand how this mental illness may impact you.

What is depression? 

Depression is a mental health condition that causes the person to experience intense sadness. Not only that, it seems to affect every aspect of the person’s life and put it under a negative perspective. When depressed you may feel empty, and as if your life has lost its purpose.

Not only that, you can feel hopeless, and lose interest even in things you used to love. Depression can take away your energy, and make you experience fatigue, along with guilt, and shame. Along with that, it can make you isolated from others, and cause your self-esteem and sense of self-worth to go down.

It also changes your eating and sleeping patterns, and in some cases may make people harm themselves, even think about death, or have suicidal thoughts. 

All of those are common symptoms of depression, but not everyone will manifest it the same way. But for a person to be considered depressed, they should have experienced some of them intensely for around two weeks.

Why it may be important to withdraw from college when you are depressed? 

Sometimes, even though you might be in treatment, you may consider that staying in college is too hard. In those cases, it is better to withdraw from it. Let’s discuss some situations in which that may be the best option.

College is hurting your depression 

It can be that sometimes the cause of your depression is related to your college life. Something in your college life may have triggered it in you. Or the stress that comes with the classes may be harming this pre-existing condition. 

When that is the case, it can be important to take some time away so you can get out of this negative moment.

It may be important to take some time away to cope 

You may also feel like college life is not giving you enough time to focus on your treatment. There are so many papers to be done, or studying for so many tests, that keeping yourself in treatment and a healthy lifestyle may seem impossible. 

If that is the case, you can withdraw from it to focus on your treatment. You can go on therapy sessions, try to set a healthy routine for yourself, and manage your stress levels in a calmer environment.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Trying to keep active in school is extremely hard 

Depression can take all of your energy, and it can make it impossible for you to keep your college life the same way as before. You may lose interest in everything, and even being around your friends will not seem like fun. Staying in a place where you need to force yourself to do everything seems to not be worth it.

Staying can make your GPA go down 

And as you feel you lost interest and energy to do things, you may start to see your grades dropping. That can happen because you don’t have the will and power to study for exams or finish your papers until the deadline. 

So instead of going through that, and scaring your college history with a bad GPA, you can take time to heal and come back as you feel ready.

You have no power to go on

Depression takes all of your energy, and sometimes even the simplest things such as getting out of bed can seem impossible. When that is the case, trying to push yourself to do things normally may only make your symptoms worse.

How can you make this request? 

Withdrawing from college because you are depressed is not a simple thing. Each college may have a specific way to handle this. But if you have decided that withdrawing from college is the best option for you, here is how you should do that.

Look for help

Even though it might be hard, the first thing to do is look for help. You can talk about it with your friends, teachers, and even a college counselor. The counselor will be able to show you good directions to look for treatment, listen to you, and even discuss with you what are your options.

Look for who will understand on your campus

You can also find on your college’s website about mental awareness programs they might have, and what type of help your university offers. Maybe you can find your college has psychologists on campus, or even that there is some space to discuss your needs in classes if you are going through depression.

Understand what your options are 

When in touch with your advisor, they may let you know if it is possible to adjust your schedule or give you an extension on your assignments, or even how it would be to withdraw. 

You may want to know how it works when you want to enroll again, and how that would affect your learning experience. Only through this conversation can you figure out what your best option is.

Create a plan 

And after you are aware of all your possibilities, make a plan, and go through with it. If you have decided to withdraw, formalize it with the university, and know if there is any specific calendar for that. 

You also need to check what documents are needed, since they may need some confirmation of what you are going through. That information can usually be found on the college website.

Focus on your healing

And when you are done with the process, let go of the focus on that university routine, and focus on your healing. Know it takes time, but that you made the best decision for yourself. And that when you go back, you will do so feeling a lot better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is it possible to withdraw from college because of depression? 

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from college? 

If you have a scholarship or student loans, it may mean that when you withdraw, you will need to repay all that has been given until now. But some programs may have a clause that if you are going through some conditions, you may be allowed to wait to pay for it or even go back to getting it once you enroll again.

How can I handle social withdrawal? 

If you feel like you have been withdrawing from people, you can try to understand if this is a defense mechanism and talk about what is happening. It might be important to look for professional help when going through this.

And when you are in treatment, you may want to make a list of what social interactions are that can make you feel safe. Through that, you may be able to allow yourself some social contacts little by little.

Can I go back to college after I withdraw? 

Yes, if you withdraw from college, once you feel like you can go back to school, you should ask to come back. Each school has a particular process for this, so as you are making your withdrawal formal, you can ask your school for what you need when you decide to enroll again.

Is withdrawing better than failing college? 

Yes, it is better to withdraw from college than to fail. If you withdraw you will take some time off to care for your needs, but you will be able to come back when you feel better. But if you stay in college, even if you feel like you are not up for all that it requires, your grades may start to go down.

This will lead your GPA down, which will be forever a part of your school curriculum. But it is not only about the grades. If you are not able to follow your college classes appropriately, you may feel you haven’t learned all that you should have had, which can make it harder for you to develop education-wise. 

So if you realize you are going through something that is making it harder for you to take the best of your college experience, you may consider withdrawing.

What is emotional bluntness?

Emotional bluntness is this feeling you may get when you start to take antidepressants, that you don’t feel like yourself anymore. You can feel that your symptoms of depression are getting better, but you can feel like, even though the crying may have stopped, you are not able to feel any emotional highs or lows.

Along with that, you may feel less empathy towards others, as well as less motivation. Your level of joy may be less than you have experienced before. This can go on through the first weeks of you taking the medication, and it can improve after that. But some people may experience it in the long term.


This article centered on why sometimes it might be important to withdraw from college when you are feeling depressed. For that, the article explained what depression is, and how it can impact negatively your study life. Along with that, the article explained what can be done if you have decided to withdraw.

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


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