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Mental Health and College Students – Addressing the Most Common Issues

  • Posted at Jan 27, 2023
  • Written by Rebecca
Mental Health and College Students – Addressing the Most Common Issues

Mental health and college students a topic that is becoming more important to address. College-age individuals deal with mental health issues at an increased rate. In fact, according to mental health statistics, half of the college-age individuals deal with a psychiatric issue every year. This is why it’s so important that people in this age group understand how to recognize mental health and know that help is available to them. One of the things that can help college-age individuals is to learn more about some of the most common mental health issues that face their age group.

Some of the most common types of mental health issues that college-age people face include:

Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorder is when people utilize addictive substances in spite of experiencing consequences due to substance abuse. Otherwise known as addiction, substance use disorder can form as the result of self-medicating other underlying mental health issues, being prescribed prescription addictive medications, peer pressure, and more. College-age individuals may be at a higher risk for developing substance use disorders as they are exposed to major life changes, peer pressure, and societal influences developed mental health issues in adolescence, and experience trauma during childhood. People who are living with a substance use disorder may or may not know that they have developed an addiction, but will still continue to use it even though they are experiencing debilitating effects that impact their lives, relationships, careers, and schooling.

Some examples of symptoms of substance use disorder in college-age individuals may include:

  • skipping class to get high or drunk
  • spending a lot of time and energy getting substances or thinking about using
  • behaving in ways that are self-damaging like driving under the influence, having unprotected sex, etc.
  • needing more of a substance than previously to experience desired effects
  • experiencing severe cravings to use an addictive substance

Depressive Disorders

Another commonly diagnosed mental health issue within the college community is depression. There are a few different types of depressive disorders, but they are all characterized by experiencing episodes of severe sadness, loneliness, and despair. Living with depressive disorders can bring about debilitating symptoms that can affect how a person experiences their lives, keeps them from experiencing healthy relationships, and can negatively affect daily responsibilities like schooling.

Some examples of depressive disorder symptoms in college-age individuals can include:

  • isolation and avoidance behaviors
  • sleeping issues (not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much)
  • issues with keeping up with hygiene
  • severe weight fluctuations
  • isolation
  • having apathy for things previously enjoyed
  • severe fatigue and exhaustion
  • feelings of hopelessness, despair, shame, guilt, and sadness
  • mood swings (specifically anger)
  • thoughts or ideation of suicide

Anxiety Disorders

Along with depressive disorders and addiction, college-age individuals are also more likely to develop anxiety disorders. Living with an anxiety disorder is more than just experiencing stress and worry – it’s when anxiety takes over your life and keeps you from doing the things you need to do like managing personal responsibilities and relationships. There are different types of anxiety disorders that are characterized by varying symptoms including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Phobias.

Some examples of anxiety disorders in young adults can include:

  • chest pains
  • panic attacks
  • loss of interest
  • isolation and avoidance
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating and chills

Getting Help as a College-Age Individual Living With Mental Health Issues

Are you of college age and believe you’re struggling with mental health issues? You’re not alone. Help is available to you. It can be beneficial to seek treatment that provides specific care for young adults in order to meet your personal needs and expectations for treatment. Yellowbrick offers individualized care for young adults who are struggling with mental health. Find out more about our young adult-centered services from our website.

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