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Medical News and Perspectives
May 12, 2004

Stress, Sleep Loss, and Substance Abuse Create Potent Recipe for College Depression

JAMA. 2004;291(18):2177-2179. doi:10.1001/jama.291.18.2177

Ann Arbor, Mich—Syrian hamsters have it easy. The most stress they may ever endure is being moved from cage to cage so that researchers can study what happens in their brains as they tangle for territorial rights.

College students might well envy such a cushy life. They, too, face territorial issues as they jockey for the desk by the window in a cramped dorm room or the last seat in the anonymous back row of a seminar class. But for some students, the stress of adjusting to college life—with too many all-nighters, keg-drenched weekends, and easy access to illegal drugs—is off the charts.

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