The Top Mental Health Challenges Facing Students

The Top Mental Health Challenges Facing Students

by Daniel Abbott — 3 years ago in Health 3 min. read

The formative and educational years of a student’s life have an immense influence on the years that follow. College students are at the brink of experiencing new things while barely reaching adulthood. They are exposed to a world that is unique and different from the restricted one in high school.

They also get freedom, which while being desirable is also pretty scary. All of these factors contribute to pressure, which in turn affects the psychology of college students. In their young budding years, students’ transition from young adults to proper adults takes place; they have both responsibility and freedom.

They are targeted by society and burdened with expectations that affect their mental health, making them prone to various unfortunate issues.

Mental health issues are a serious concern among college students. 88% of student counseling centers across the USA report severe psychological problems among college students.

A few of the reasons that take a massive toll on a pupil’s mind are:

  • Unbearable academic pressure
  • Peer pressure & hostility
  • Unrealistic parental expectations
  • Changing circumstances
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Anxiety Disorders

The most common mental disorders among college students are anxiety disorder. Among the many types, social phobia is highly prevalent, followed by panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorders (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).

Common symptoms are:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal sleeping habits
  • Tense muscles
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36.4% of college students across the USA suffer from depression. The primary symptoms of severe depression are:

According to recent studies, one in five college students suffers from some sort of recurring feelings of self-loathing and immense sadness. This may be the result of unhealthy amounts of stress and anxiety.

This may also be the result of failing to fit into groups and not making friends. Plus, the slew of comparisons facilitated by Instagram has only made this worse. Not only do college students compare themselves with others based on their looks and physical appearance, but they compare social status and materialistic possessions as well.

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Excessive pessimism or hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Decision-making difficulties and forgetfulness

Suicidal Tendencies

Suicides are a leading cause of death in college students and have been attributed to several reasons.

  • Intense academic pressure, fear of failure, and abuse are key factors behind such destructive behavior.
  • Substance abuse and depression are other risk factors that increase such tendencies.

Eating Disorders

Another common mental disorder that affects college-goers is an eating disorder. An estimated 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders that beset them quite early during their career.

Substance abuse is not the only form of harmful coping mechanism that students have.  They also binge and overindulge in food, especially the fatty and sugary kind. This harms their physical appearance and overall health. As a result, when they compare themselves to their peers, it only makes them more miserable.

Students are at a very sensitive and impressionable age in college. This is why they must navigate this phase of their lives carefully to keep their sanity and stature.

They must also be encouraged to ask for professional care if needed. The mental health of students is in general quite fragile and even the smallest hint of any mental disorder should not be overlooked under any circumstances.

Bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating increase at a rapid rate during the early adulthood and college years.

Attention –Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Around 2 to 8 percent of American college students are found to suffer from symptoms of ADHD. ADHD seriously affects academic performance, creates social difficulties, and increases the chances of alcohol and drug abuse.

Common symptoms in young adults are:

  • Carelessness
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Inability to focus and prioritize
  • Forgetfulness and edginess
  • Speaking out of turn
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Psychotic Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic behavior lies behind several violent incidences. Psychotic schizophrenia has been the cause of many fatal college shootings across the United States.

The following signs and symptoms signify the onset of this disease:

  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Disjointed sense of reality
  • Extreme persecution mania
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Abnormal motor behavior

As a student or care-giver, learn to notice these symptoms and convince the one in pain to consult help.

Know Your Rights As a Student

In the United States, federal and state laws prohibit colleges and universities from discriminating against students experiencing mental health issues. Institutions must support learners seeking help or treatment by offering academic deferments, leaves of absence, and other accommodations. Privacy laws protecting student confidentiality also apply, while disability laws play a role in cases of pervasive dysfunction.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), colleges must make “reasonable accommodations” to students with disabilities, including mental health challenges.

Accommodations incorporate approach and method changes in regards to issues like coursework and assessments. Nonetheless, influenced people should submit legitimate documentation with respect to their restrictions and the present status of their condition.

Daniel Abbott

Daniel Abbott is editor in chief & research analyst at The Next Tech. He is deeply interested in the moral ramifications of new technologies and believes in leveraging the data scientist, research and content enhancement to help build a better world for everyone.

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