Just about everyone has struggled with mental health issues at least once. You may have felt depressed after a loved one passed or anxious about an upcoming presentation. However, college students often face long-term or aggressive mental health issues that can lead to disastrous consequences now and in the future. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
Why Do College Students Struggle With Mental Health Issues?
There are many reasons you may struggle with mental health issues as a college student. If you are far from home and/or haven't been away from home before, you may feel alone, especially if you have a hard time making friends or haven't made friends yet. In fact, the stress of making friends and keeping up with social pressure can cause mood disturbances and mental health struggles.
Students are also under a lot of stress because of classes and tests, but many students also work, which adds more stress and takes time away from studying. If your grades start to fall, this can also cause mental health problems and extra stress.
Many students may also struggle with balancing school, work, social, and sleep, and if you aren't getting enough sleep, it can drastically affect your overall mood. Given the nature of college, many students may also develop new bad habits like eating junk food or drinking too much, which can also affect their overall mental health.
What Kinds of Mental Health Issues Affect College Students?
There are many mental health issues that can affect college students, but two of the most common are depression and anxiety. Even if you've never struggled with depression, the sudden change from home life as a high school student to an independent life as a college student can be enough to create thoughts of sadness, sleep disturbances, and loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
In extreme cases, depression can even lead to suicidal thoughts. In fact, one study showed that about 10 percent of college students had serious suicidal thoughts within the past year.
Anxiety can range from mild to paralyzing. Some people suffering from anxiety cannot leave their homes. However, with college students, anxiety typically causes feelings of worry, especially about grades and/or the future. Mild anxiety every once and a while is common, but if your anxiety is interfering with your life, you may need help.
How Do Mental Health Issues Affect a Student's Life?
College is a crucial time. Not only are you becoming a self-reliant adult, but you are also trying to plan for your future career. Some students may also use college to try and find life-long friends and a future life partner. Mental health issues can drastically affect a student's entire life, including their future.
Mental health issues can become so aggressive that they cause students to fail or drop out of college, which means a lot of wasted money. If you took out loans, you still have to repay them. Plus, without a degree, you may not be able to get the career you want.
Luckily, mental health experts understand the stress college students face, so you can find the help you need. In fact, your college may offer some counseling services for free or at a student discount. You can also speak with your doctor about a referral for mental health treatment.
College is stressful, especially if it's your first time away from home and taking care of yourself. Lack of sleep, lack of time, and lots of expectations can lead to depression, anxiety, and other problems. If you would like to know more or get college mental health resources, contact a provider in your area today.