In recent years, many of the stereotypes surrounding mental health issues and treatment have been broken down thanks to awareness, transparency and an influx of resources and help. However, it’s still difficult to ask for help when you need it, and no one knows that better than college students. The collegiate years bring a lot of big changes, and on the outside, it can seem as if everyone is coping really well. As it turns out, however, more college students are struggling with mental health than you think. According to the American Council on Education, 3 out of 10 college students have dealt with depression in the past two weeks, over 1 in 4 have expressed feelings of anxiety, and 1 in 20 have created a suicide plan in the last year. As startling as those statistics are, it’s even more jarring to think about the people that comprise them. College students that are trying to find their purpose and create a plan for their life need mental health resources more than ever. Fortunately, a college campus is the perfect place to find help.Anxiety – Everyone experiences anxiety in life, but sometimes, an abundance of anxiety can trigger a disorder. Emotional and mental symptoms of an anxiety disorder are feelings of stress, irritability, fearfulness and difficulty focusing. There can also be physical symptoms, like sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, muscle tension, headaches and a frequent upset stomach. Suicide – Suicidal thoughts and feelings should be taken seriously. They may have their foundation in depression or anxiety, but these thoughts and feelings gain momentum to the point that someone wants to harm themselves. To gauge whether you or someone you know is suicidal, pay attention to their speech, moods and behavior. Suicidal persons will talk as if they have no reason to go on. They will oftentimes become solitary, experience rage and humiliation to a high degree, and seem anxious and irritable. Finally, they may start giving their things away, withdrawing from friends and family, telling people goodbye, sleeping poorly, behaving recklessly, and imbibing in too much drugs and alcohol. Eating Disorders – Believe it or not, eating disorders are not mutually exclusive to women. In fact, according to BestColleges.com, men are just as likely to be suffering from an eating disorder. Some warning signs of an eating disorder include poor body image, excessive exercise, irregular heartbeats, dehydration, feeling like eating is out of control, fear of eating in public, and constantly making excuses for eating habits.Addiction – Finally, many college students struggle with addiction. While this is in large part due to a more prevalent drinking culture, college students are just as much at risk to develop a prescription drug addiction as well. Those who do develop a dependency on drugs and/or alcohol exhibit several symptoms: slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, impaired coordination, fear or paranoia, prone to suspicious behavior, a sudden need for money, higher-than-normal drug and alcohol tolerance, deterioration in physical appearance, and a sudden change in friends or activities.
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