Mental health and college students

December 4, 2018 by Len Canter, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—There's an adjustment period for almost every new college student—many young people have struggles balancing independence and a heavy workload. But there are some signs that suggest your young person needs more serious help than a care package from home.

Some problems are temporary, like anxiety and stress, which affect huge numbers of students. Some lifelong conditions, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, may first appear now.

It may be hard for parents to tell if their needs better coping skills, a stronger support network or treatment for a serious mental issue. But reaching out at the first signs of trouble can enable your child to get help before he or she reaches a crisis point.

Untreated mental health issues can lead to substance abuse, other dangerous behaviors and even suicide—the second leading cause of death among college students after accidents.

Being unable to study, attend class or sleep and eat well are red flags for many problems, including anxiety disorders, depression and .

Some Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse:

  • Not remembering actions and events.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Risky behaviors like driving drunk.
  • Falling and other injuries.

Some Signs of Anxiety Disorders:

  • Frequent feelings of fear or panic.
  • Recurring nightmares and other sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Obsessive thoughts.

Some Signs of Depression:

  • Deep sadness, anxiety and irritability.
  • Loss of interest in social activities and favorite pastimes.
  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Loss of or increase in appetite.

If you notice troubling signs, talk to your child about accessing on-campus resources like a counseling center or health service. If your child is reluctant to get college counseling but willing to seek help off-campus, you might start the search for a community mental health center, hospital outpatient clinic or private therapist experienced with the situation your child is facing.

Once your child agrees to talk to a counselor or doctor, the next step is for him or her to make the appointment and take an active role in treatment.

Explore further: Study explains why some childhood abuse victims develop certain mental illnesses

More information: The Jed Foundation has detailed information to help parents spot transition year difficulties early on.

Related Stories

Study explains why some childhood abuse victims develop certain mental illnesses

October 9, 2018
Children who are physically or sexually abused are at greater risk for developing mental health problems later in life, but the severity of these problems may depend on the time that abuse first began, how long it lasted ...

Helping your child adjust to college

July 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—College is a unique stage in a young person's development. But newfound independence coupled with the pressures of classwork and the need to fit in can make this a very emotional time.

One in three college freshmen worldwide reports mental health disorder

September 13, 2018
As if college were not difficult enough, more than one-third of first-year university students in eight industrialized countries around the globe report symptoms consistent with a diagnosable mental health disorder, according ...

How to tell if your teen has a mental health problem

March 29, 2016
(HealthDay)—Mood swings and other challenging behaviors are normal in teens, which can make it difficult for parents to spot serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, an expert says.

Back-to-school tips: Childhood test anxiety

September 12, 2018
It's normal for both adults and children to feel nervous once in a while. A little anxiety prior to an event like a presentation or test is common—and normal.

Never ignore depression

June 7, 2018
(HealthDay)—Studies show that depression is underreported. People aren't getting the help they need, sometimes because they don't know the warning signs or where to turn, or are embarrassed because of the stigma that can ...

Recommended for you

The richer the reward, the faster you'll likely move to reach it, study shows

December 11, 2018
If you are wondering how long you personally are willing to stand in line to buy that hot new holiday gift, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine say the answer may be found in the biological rules governing how animals typically ...

Receiving genetic information can change risk

December 11, 2018
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease but, it turns out, in some cases might also have influenced that risk, ...

Using neurofeedback to prevent PTSD in soldiers

December 11, 2018
A team of researchers from Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. has found that using neurofeedback could prevent soldiers from experiencing PTSD after engaging in emotionally difficult situations. In their paper published in the ...

You make decisions quicker and based on less information than you think

December 11, 2018
We live in an age of information. In theory, we can learn everything about anyone or anything at the touch of a button. All this information should allow us to make super-informed, data-driven decisions all the time.

These bacteria may be the key to treating clinical depression

December 11, 2018
We like to think of ourselves as individuals.

Meditation adapts the brain to respond better to feedback

December 11, 2018
In a new study in the Journal of Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience researchers from the University of Surrey have discovered a link between meditation and how individuals respond to feedback.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.