Time To Raise An Alarm About The State Of College Students Mental Health
As we grow old, we either, change, evolve, or reinforce our behaviors and attitude. It could be due to our experiences in life or decisions we make. According to research conducted by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), shows that half of chronic mental illness begin at age 14 and three quarters by 24 years of age.
Most college students are between the ages 20 -24, and they, therefore, fall into this category. In the UK, a YouGov survey shows that 27% of college students are reported to have a mental illness. College life can be pressurizing to many, from the hefty tuition fees, taking a part-time job and even relationship issues can take a toll on one’s mental health.
If you are writing your letter of recommendation for residency, take time to go through this article to prepare yourself, in case you fall victim or happen to know a victim. It is essential to get professional help as soon as possible.
Common Mental Health Challenges that Students Face
Depression makes one feel hopeless and detached from the world. It is one of the main reasons why students drop out of school and can even lead to suicide. According to the American Psychology Association, APA, depression is the most common form of mental illness.
It usually interferes with the daily performance of an individual, be it sleeping, eating, working, etc.
2. Anxiety Disorder
Many people experience low levels of stress or anxiety, in their day to day life. However, anxiety disorder sets in when you encounter immense stress or fear. According to ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 40 million adults of 18 years and above are affected by anxiety disorders.
About 75% of the affected individuals will experience their first episode before reaching 22 years of age.
It is when one takes their own life, deliberately. It could be due to feelings of hopelessness, guilt or despair. Warning signs of suicidal thoughts can be detected from one’s behavior, speech, and mood. According to the NAMI research, the third leading cause of death among persons of ages 10-24, is suicide.
In addition to that, 90% of the suicide cases had a mental illness.
4. Eating Disorders
It is a disorder that affects both men and women. It is characterized by extreme emotions, behaviors, and attitudes that revolve around weight and food. Many fail to realize the significant effect of the condition and thus fail to seek help.
Signs and symptoms of this disorder may vary from one person to another and depend on the condition.
When and Where to Get Help?
It is not strange to feel stressed, down or anxious. However, when such feelings affect your daily life and stay for weeks, it is necessary to get help. Signs and symptoms of the mentioned mental illnesses may include:
• Losing or gaining weight
• Losing interest in life or work, e.g., residency lor
• Becoming withdrawn
• Doing too much work
When any of the symptoms set in, it is time to get help by talking to a friend, family or anyone you are comfortable around. Don’t just go on about your soap residency. Pay a visit to University’s Counselling offices and speak freely about your feelings. You can also join a community of people whom you share similar challenges, e.g., the National Eating Disorder Association, The Trevor Project, American Psychological Association, etc.
Explore sites such as the Students Against Depression for guidance and support. Visit a specialist if you have to, mental illness is not an issue to shy away from but one that we need to address.
Whether you know a person who has a mental illness or is affected by it, it is time to shine a light on it. Let us all come together and give each other support to overcome the challenges we face in our lives.