- College students face severe mental health challenges, which threaten to wreak havoc on their studies as well as their overall wellbeing.
- It’s important to keep a watchful eye on the college goers in your life, specifically if they exhibit harmful symptoms of a mental illness like anxiety or depression.
- In addition to anxiety and depression, college students sometimes present symptoms of OCD: these students might find their thoughts all too distracting, which leads to their withdrawing from class and schoolwork.
- Moreover, students can struggle with eating disorders or addiction, as they take drastic measures to change their physical appearance as well as their mental state.
- Furthermore, students who experienced a traumatic event as a child may suffer with PTSD in college, especially if they’re exposed to a frightening event that reminds them of their past trauma.
Did you know that more than 11% of college students have been diagnosed or treated for a mental health condition in the past year? And many see their studies suffer as a result of the harmful symptoms they exhibit. If you have a student in your life, here are seven common mental health illnesses exhibited among this group and some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Social anxiety
- Significant weight gain or loss
While a bit of a catch-all term for a variety of symptoms, anxiety often manifests itself through excessive worry. With this worry comes a host of other significant behaviors from shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat to being irrationally angry and aggressive. When these symptoms are spotted it’s time to step in and seek out professional help, as anxiety is a treatable issue.
Depression is known as a “gateway issue,” meaning that the failure to treat it correctly can lead to a worsening of symptoms and more serious mental health problems. Students, in particular, are prone to depression when leaving home for the first time, living away from friends and family and feeling overwhelmed by change and increased workload.
“Symptoms differ from person to person but some of the more common ones are a change in sleeping habits, under or over eating and a general sense of hopelessness and despair,” says Murray George, a personal development blogger at State of Writing and UK Writings. “At school or college the student may have trouble concentrating or finding the motivation to attend class. It’s important the student seeks help for this mental illness as soon as they recognise these symptoms in themselves.”
3) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Often stemming from other mental health issues such as anxiety, OCD can manifest itself in several different ways. It isn’t just about extreme cleanliness or repetition of certain actions; this illness can also mean students having long-term repetitive streams of thoughts or ideas that are inappropriate in the classroom. Sufferers may find the thoughts or behaviours so distracting they tend to skip classes rather than fight to control them.
4) Eating Disorders
Disordered eating can occupy a wide spectrum from full-blown disorders such as anorexia or bulimia to unhealthy, damaging eating patterns such as bingeing, starving, and bingeing again. This cycle is not easily broken and requires special treatment. Aside from changes in physical appearance, sufferers can be obsessed with food and ingredients, worry about their health, and change their eating patterns.
The student years can be a primetime to experiment with drugs and alcohol but when recreational use slides towards addiction, it can bring with it a host of mental health problems. Addicts tend to lie or play down their use of drugs or alcohol, but symptoms can include…
6) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Manifesting itself in anxiety and depressive symptoms, PTSD is generally the result of a trauma experienced earlier in life. “For students who faced a traumatic childhood the symptoms can come to the surface when facing an unknown or frightening situation or when under severe pressure,” Donald Adams, a Psychology Writer at Boom Essays and Essay Roo explains. “The student’s behavior may become hostile and unpredictable. While difficult to manage, a combination of medication and therapy is generally considered to make a difference and relieve the sufferer’s symptoms.”
Mental health issues are on the rise and far from being hidden away as they once were, students everywhere are recognizing the value of a healthy mind and healthy body. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms talk to a health care professional today.