By Kimberly Evans
For many, college is the most exciting, interesting time of their lives. But these years of learning and self-discovery also come with tremendous challenges. From financial pressure and home sickness to problems associated with a lack of parental control, many students find themselves crumbling.
You might not even realize that a student you know is battling against mental health problems associated with the realities of college tuition.
Here are 3 mental health challenges that college students face so that you can identify and try to help them.
College is full of great times – falling in love, passing your exams, making memories – and crushing lows.
While it is normal to go through mood fluctuations, the pressure of performing at college often drives students into a deep depression.
Brought on by an array of factors such as the end of a relationship, being away from home for the first time or an academic struggle, depression manifests itself as a drastic change in attitude and behavior.
There is also the realization that college isn’t a constant party as shown in the movies: it’s hard work and it’s expensive, so there is tremendous pressure to perform.
Many people become depressed at some point, and with depression becoming more prevalent among college students, it’s important to understand and recognize the signs.
If a friend or child is constantly sad, has a heightened emotional reaction, starts sleeping constantly, reacts with anger, often cries, or simply withdraws from day-to-day life, they might be depressed. Unfortunately, depression looks different on everyone.
Get them to see a specialist who can help them through therapy or medication before they take drastic action of their own accord. Often, all that’s required is a little help. For instance, a student I know suffered fits of depression when ransomware attacked his PC and hid his college research report. He got help and recovered his file with MonsterCloud. The solution to depession is sometimes easier than you might think but you wouldn’t know if you don’t seek it.
Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge faced by college students, with almost half of students battling against feelings of stress to the point that they cannot function normally.
Although it is normal to face stress at college – it’s an important thing to learn to overcome – many students find that their fear of failure is so great that they start to shut down.
A mixture of deep distress, panic attacks, sadness, and a feeling of helplessness are all reflective of a student battling to overcome their anxiety.
Understanding the causes of anxiety may help students, as it is often the calm implementation of coping strategies that helps overcome the irrational fear that drives this mental health challenge.
Full-time college students are twice as likely to become addicted to substances as people of the same age who don’t attend college.
Students often feel the need to experiment with drugs and alcohol as they learn more about themselves, and then become dependent on these to cope with stress and “fit in”.
If you, a friend, or a child cannot function without substances, they might be addicted. Seek help immediately.
Remember, there is always hope and you can feel better. If you are suffering, talk to someone today – it will make you feel better.
Kimberly Evans is a writer, traveler and Internet chatter. She writes for The Huffington Post and covers stories about businesses and lives that inspire her.