Effexor may help college athletes at a higher risk for depression

College athletes may have a higher risk for depression, according to a new survey.

College athletes may have a higher risk for depression, according to a new survey. Drugs that combat depression symptoms, such as Effexor, may offer hope for collegiate athletes.

Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center announced the findings that NCAA athletes displayed depression-like symptoms at a higher-than-normal rate. Data used by the doctors to reach this conclusion was derived from a series a surveys sent out to nine NCAA Division I schools. The makeup of the respondents included 163 former college athletes and 117 current college athletes.

The surveys showed that 17 percent of the current athletes displayed symptoms of depression. Just 8 percent of former college sports participants were cited as being depressed.

The findings were contrary to what the scientists hypothesized. At the start of the experiment they said they expected to see an opposite correlation, in which former athletes would display depression tendencies more frequently than current ones. However, after the study, the scientists did admit that they can see why college athletes are more prone to depression.

"College in general is a potentially stressful time for many students. The additional stress of playing high-level sports appears to add to that stress," said Daniel Merenstein, M.D., associate professor at Georgetown.

He also recommended that coaches, family members and teammates look for warning signs of depression. One specific red flag he noted was a change in sleep pattern. Balancing an academic and athletic schedule can often result in a lack of sleep. 

There are several things that these athletes can do to promote a healthy sleep pattern. Suggestions from the National Institutes of Health include removing sound and light distractions from the bedroom, allotting time for naps during the day and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine eight hours prior to bedtime.  

With these steps and the use of Effexor purchased at a discounted Canadian online pharmacy, college athletes may be able to control symptoms of depression.