Left untreated, depression can become debilitating and even life-threatening. If you feel that you may be experiencing these issues or find yourself concerned for a friend or peer, it is important to take action now.
And don’t forget: you’re not alone. Mental illness is very common among students today. According to mental health research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- One in four students have a diagnosable illness
- 40% do not seek help
- 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
- 50% have become so anxious that they struggled in school
While a variety of other mental health concerns are both topical and common among students today, this article limits itself to 3 prevalent issues: depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Our guide is not a substitute for treatment. Instead, it aims to help you find resources helpful for leading to a happier and healthier college career. If you think treatment may be necessary, contact a medical professional immediately.
Please note that in any situation, it may be difficult for you to approach a friend regarding these illnesses. After all, people often dislike being told that they’re sick, what they’re feeling, or what they should do. It’s wise to be supportive and patient, but applying too much pressure on a friend can make the situation worse.
If you believe that you’ve developed one of these mental health ailments, try to remember that your friends are looking out for your best interests. They want you to be well, and they are not attacking you. Talking about your problems with someone close to you may seem like a daunting task, but try to let them help you until you are ready to seek the professional help you need to get better.
Depression among college students comes in many forms and, in a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors in 2013, 36.4% of college students reported they experienced some level of depression. According to the study, depression is the number one reason students drop out of school, and is a gateway issue that, if left untreated, could lead to other symptoms or even suicide. Depression is a common but serious illness that leaves you feeling despondent and helpless, completely detached from the world. It can interfere with your life, making important everyday tasks such as working, studying, sleeping, and eating difficult. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain likely caused by a combination of genetics, and biological, psychological, and environmental factors. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression is the most common mental disorder.
Low levels of stress and anxiety are a part of most people’s lives. In turn, experiencing these feelings does not necessarily mean that you have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders occur when anxiety interferes with your daily life, halting your ability to function, and causing an immense amount of stress and fear. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today. According to the organization’s report, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults over the age of 18, yet only one-third seek and receive treatment. The ADAA says that nearly 75% of those affected by an anxiety disorder will experience their first episode before the age of 22.
Millions of college students — both women and men alike — develop eating disorders during their college years. The vast majority don’t seek help or don’t realize the extent of their problem.
Eating disorders are extreme behaviors, emotions, and attitudes that revolve around food and weight perceptions. These disorders cause serious mental and physical problems that can result in life-threatening issues when left untreated. According to statistics provided by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD):
Eating disorders are extremely common among all ages and genders — at least 30,000,000 people in the United States suffer from some type of eating disorder
Of all mental disorders, individuals suffering from eating disorders have the highest mortality rate
Males are nearly as likely to develop a disorder as women. Due to cultural views of eating disorders, however, they don’t often seek treatment.
ARTICLE c/o bestcolleges.com
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