Top 4 Emerging Psychological Problems Faced By Students
Record level of stress found in college freshmen — a headline flashed in New York Times in 2011. With the acceleration of information technology and an increasingly global economy, higher education has become more essential to achieve success. For the students, college and university is more likely to be a tumultuous time with many developmental milestones that can harm students emotionally and psychologically. Being committed to students’ wellness, EssayGator.com has decided to make you aware of the major psychological problems that students commonly counter. This article gives you the opportunity to recognize the signs of having mental health problems and the effective ways to fight them.
Top 4 mental health issues faced by college students
This section covers the most prevalent issues in academic life and further helps you to find resources and tips that will make your academic life merrier and peaceful.
In Australia, as many as five Australian students attempt suicide every day. The number of students who took their own lives in England and Wales rose by 50 percent between 2007 and 2011. In 2013, there were 41,149 student deaths by suicide in United States. The numbers are glaring. Do you know why this has become an alarming situation in the society?
- First, students do not like to be told they are sick.
- Secondly, 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their personal and academic responsibilities
- Thirdly, 50 percent students start getting anxious by thinking the amount of tasks they have to do in academic years.
These reasons lead maximum students to four life-threatening challenges:
Depression is the topmost reason students drop out from college. If it is left untreated, it could lead to other symptoms or suicide. There has been a significant number of students seeking help for serious mental health problems at campus counseling centers since 1900s, depression in the forefront of concerns.
Are you depressed? Judge by reading these signs of depression —
- Are you feeling sad and unhappy?
- Did you encounter a change in appetite or weight?
- Did you lose interest in activities and social gatherings?
- Are you encountering fatigue, loss in energy, sleeplessness?
- Are you feeling angry and guilty over past failures?
- Are you facing trouble in concentrating?
- Do you become angry and frustrated without any particular reason?
- Are you having thoughts of dying or suicidal tendencies?
If your answer is positive to most of the above questions, unfortunately you need to take immediate precautions to fight off depression.
If you are in the initial stage of depression, use these 5 tips to keep depression at bay.
- Exercise: There is a scientific reason behind it: physical activity releases endorphins (neurotransmitters that produce an overall positive feeling in the human body). Exercise is for those who counter mild and moderate depression.
- Create balance between academic and social life: To adjust expanded workload, do not lock yourself and study for endless hours. Academic life is also about networking, extracurricular activities and leisure. However, if you feel you have no choice but to study round the clock, don’t do it alone.
- Take advantage of technology: Staying connected with your family, friends and relatives has become easier with the advent technology like Facebook and live chat services like Skype. So contact your parent and friends on a regular basis (if possible). It is necessary to make new friends in the new environment and be involved in the college community.
- Get enough sleep: Maintaining 8 hours of sleep can ward off depression. As sleep is the key to learning and memory formation, students should pay attention to getting sufficient sleep. But many students follow irregular sleeping patterns, thanks to late night studying and partying. So get 8 hours sleep in a day.
- Use counseling services and student mental health centers: Counseling centers offer free or cheap health services. These counseling centers provide short-term and long-term talk therapy. Doctors at mental health centers do diagnosis and treat depression.
If you are already suffering from depression, the most common treatments are —
- Psychotherapy; two types of psychotherapy — Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
Anxiety is a part of most people’s lives. Simply experiencing the feeling does not mean you have an anxiety disorder. When anxiety occurs in your daily life, it restrains you from performing your daily tasks and causes immense amount of stress.
Do you have anxiety disorder? Evaluate yourself
- Are you feeling stress or having an apprehensive feeling?
- Do you feel irritated most of the time?
- Do you encounter trouble concentrating?
- Do you fear you will fail in your tasks?
- Do you experience frequent sweating and dizziness?
- Do you encounter shortness of breath?
- Do you experience irregular heartbeat?
- Are you suffering from muscle pain and tension?
- Do you undergo headaches?
- Are you facing problems of upset stomach and diarrhea?
If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the questions, you need to adopt few new strategies to avoid this feeling.
Here are the strategies you can try on your own if you are getting anxiety feeling. Cope with the physical side of anxiety:
- Try meditation or yoga which has been proven to calm the mind and body
- Include physical exercise in your daily schedule
- Balance your diet
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid caffeine and products with amounts of sugar
- Try to avoid smoking or using nicotine products
- Keep a journal
- Take up a hobby or else join a club to develop your concentration power
- Seek external help or consider talking to someone about the problems you are facing.
Manage negative thoughts in your life in the following manner —
- Yell ‘stop’ as soon as you are aware that your mind is racing with worry or fear
- Once you get negative thoughts, take a deep breath and think about calm and pleasant things
- Say positive words to you, ‘I will do well on this project’
- Do something funny to help you maintain the positive feeling in your life
- Take short breaks from the projects and refresh yourself.
Take time and pace yourself:
- Break large projects down to smaller chunks
- Concentrate on completing one task at a time
If you badly need someone’s help, you can take help from
- Counseling services
- Health education services
- Medication center.
Check your college website and decide which one is more suitable for you.
3. Eating Disorder
A huge number of students develop eating disorder in their college years. However, they do not seek help or realize the gravity of the situation or the consequences they are about to face. Anorexia (eating disorder) is third most common chronic illness in adolescents.
Are you suffering from eating disorder? Review these symptoms to understand whether you have an eating problem.
- Do you have distorted or poor body shape?
- Do you indulge in excessive exercise?
- Do you have irregular heartbeats?
- Do you frequently experience dehydration?
- Are you feeling out of control?
- Do you fear of eating in public?
- Do you constantly make excuses for eating habits?
Here are few tips that you can apply if you suspect you are having eating disorder:
- Learn to get all information about anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Genuine awareness can help myths about food, weight and body shape
- Do not encourage the idea that particular diet, weight and body shape will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment
- Challenge the belief that weight loss and thinness are welcome while body fat or gaining weight is shameful
- Avoid judging others by body shape
- If you identify someone has an eating disorder, put front your feelings in a caring manner. Gently but firmly encourage the person to get trained professional help
- Consider talking about yourself with respect and appreciation. Choose to value your accomplishments, talents and characters.
- Support local and national non-profit eating disorder organization by investing time in volunteering or give a tax-deductible donation.
If you have serious eating disorder issues, it is advisable to take help from sources where you can find professional assistance for getting rid of alarming mental issue like eating disorder:
- National Eating Disorder Association
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Distorted Disorder
- Academy for Eating Disorders
- Eating Disorder Hope
- American College Health Association.
Late night partying followed by alcohol and drug use has become very common in college students. For few students what starts as a social tradition transform into full-fledged addiction. By definition, addiction is a dependency and repeated abuse of substance such as alcohol and drug.
Are you addicted to drug or alcohol? See these signs and judge for yourself.
- Do you have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or an impaired condition?
- Do you feel fearful, anxious or paranoid without any particular reason?
- Are you prone to suspicious behaviors; frequently get into fights or trouble with law?
- Are you suddenly experiencing a financial crisis or need of money?
- Do you need more substance to obtain the same effects of alcohol and drugs as you become tolerant?
- Are you encountering deterioration of physical appearances, such as weight loss or gain, alterations in personal grooming habits?
- Are you facing change in friends, activities and hobbies?
Here are few strategies that you can use if you are giving serious thought about giving up your addiction.
- Join research-based programs
These programs are methodically designed based on the current research, tested rigorously and proved to produce expected outcomes.
- Set goal and prepare to quit
The hardest part is to prepare yourself to take the big leap. Once you have decided on change, your next step should be establishing your goals. Be more clear, realistic and specific about your goal. For example,
I will stop drinking alcohol. My quitting date is …………………..
- Cut back if you are not ready:
If you think it is too hard for you to quit, you can reduce your drinking to certain level. Determine the number of drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit at least one or two days a week when you won’t drink or do drug at all.
Health professionals can help you with a treatment of substance abuse (alcohol and drug) either by individually or in a group setting. There will be several sessions that you need to attend where the health professional will encourage you to talk.
To sum it up, we recommend that you keep yourself busy with meaningful activities, such as sports, church programs or other group involvement. If you engage in good things, you are less likely to use alcohol and drugs and can successfully prevent depression, anxiety, eating disorder and addiction in your life.
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