Pressure to perform can lead to disorder

Factors other than tertiary education, which most students get through fine, could lead to depression, said Dr Lim Boon Leng.

"Perhaps one of the issues is the high expectations students put on themselves, especially if they're in the better schools on scholarship.

"That could lead to stress, which can result in adjustment disorder," added the psychiatrist at Dr B.L. Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness.

This disorder is transient for most. But for those who have no proper social support system, the stress can be "insidious and gradual".

"Sometimes, if they don't get support, the stress is not identified early. If they don't know how to cope, it can grow into a bigger monster.

"If you're a foreign student and have no proper social support, you have no insight into your own changes. You may just become depressed without knowing it."