Facing mental health as a student is daunting. There is so much going on from friends, social events, new environment, classes, and stress from the pressure to get good grades. While some students can handle it well, others struggle under the weight of expectation. Finding a direction forward can be difficult if mental health issues are not addressed. When students face these five challenges to mental health, they need the best support of family and even treatment professionals to heal.
Depressive symptoms among college students come in different ways, from mild to severe. A student who is severely depressed is likely not getting out of bed, going to class, or pursuing their schooling. They may drop out altogether if they cannot get the right help. Depression may start as mild symptoms but can become serious quickly. A student who feels despondent and helpless may detach from the world. Studying, sleeping, and eating may be difficult for them. Depression is a common mental health disorder that needs to be addressed before it turns into anything serious, affecting schoolwork and their life long term. Some feelings a student with depression may experience:
- Physical changes of weight gain or loss
- Feelings of sadness, overwhelm, hopelessness, or powerlessness
- Not able to see the glass half full and may not be able to read for long periods of time, get work done, or pay attention
Identifying these symptoms may be tricky as students are away at school, away from family and loved ones. If they live at home, it may be more noticeable. Fear and embarrassment may keep them from speaking out or sharing their issues. The best way to help them find support is to offer to connect them with professional support. Encourage them to seek help and offer to accompany them. Without seeing a professional, they may not address the issues appropriately.
Anxiety is an offshoot of fear. Students who are afraid may struggle to get their affairs in order. Anxiety disorders occur when anxiety interferes with daily life. Stress will build and fear can contribute to anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge facing people today. Only one-third of people seek help for it because they choose to deal with it alone. Anxiety can manifest as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other things that interfere with daily activities. Symptoms of anxiety might include:
- Feeling stress and fear
- Sweating and dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Frequent stomach issues
College is a stressful time. Unexpected stressors can pop up. While stress does not cause anxiety disorders, it may worsen symptoms. Anxiety disorders are comm but identifying signs is key to healing.
Facing Mental Health with Hope
It can be hard feeling like a person is walking through depression and anxiety in school. These two common mental health challenges are not something to simply manage. They can quickly get out of control and spiral a person’s school work and life downward. It is essential that they seek help immediately. These two mental health challenges, along with others, can quickly turn into dual diagnosis issues like alcoholism, drug abuse, or seeking drugs to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety or stress. Disrupting this process by asking for help is important.
The person may not be able to do this because they feel they cannot manage the challenges of the disorders on their own. They may feel they are alone, have isolated themselves, or feel it is too hard to navigate getting help from their loved ones. Admitting they are struggling is hard for students who want to put on a good face like they are doing just fine. If parents and loved ones are able to talk to the student, they often find they have problem spots they can get support for before it turns into something more difficult to treat. Finding professional resources can help them including counseling, psychiatric care, medication, and a listening ear. With the right support, there is hope to heal from addiction and/or mental health issues.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental illness, now is the time to reach out for help. Burning Tree West is here to help students confront mental health issues and/or addiction. When this is going on, it is hard to focus on schoolwork or build healthy relationships. The key to healthy relationships and a life in recovery is to detox and quit substances for good. We help you find the resources and tools to make that happen. For more information, call us now at 855-997-1376