College students facing mental health issues

College Students and Mental Health Challenges

College is a time of change, growth, and – hopefully – fun. But it also brings with it a range of mental health challenges that students may need to face. These mental health challenges affect academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being.

Stress and anxiety are often at the top of the list of college student mental health challenges. College brings pressure in various ways – academic, financial, and social – and these pressures can lead to significantly heightened stress levels. For many students, it’s the first time in their lives where deadlines, budgeting, and performance evaluations take on so much meaning. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and develop self-doubt.

Depression is also prevalent among college students. All of the same reasons as anxiety – transitions, homesickness, relationships, academic pressure – can trigger depressive symptoms.  And these feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness impact our motivation, energy levels, and desire for social interactions. Physiologically speaking, depression can result in difficulties sleeping, maintaining a healthy diet, and concentration, which further affect academic and personal progress.

Substance abuse and addictions are significant concerns on college campuses. Many students approach college as a time to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or other substances. They do this both as a way to cope with stress and escape, as well as for socializing purposes. Substance use, though, can lead to dependence, addiction, poor decisions, risky behaviors, and have severe negative consequences on physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are also rather prevalent among college students. These include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Unreasonable beliefs about food, weight, and shape can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors and unhealthy or excessive exercise routines.

Another type of common mental health challenge for college students includes homesickness and adjustment difficulties. Moving away from home, becoming comfortable with an entirely new environment, building new friendships, and fully managing independence for the first time can easily become overwhelming and stressful. Loneliness, isolation, and homesickness all impact mental well-being.

Lastly, anxiety disorders are frequently observed among college students. These include social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic disorders. It’s not uncommon for college students to have persistent worry about social judgments, performance evaluations, and the overall uncertainty of their future.

Evolve Counseling Services is Fort Collins’s most trusted therapy practice when it comes to helping college students deal with depression and anxiety. Give us a call to begin a discussion on how we can help bring out the best in you. Serving students (and adults!) in Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and across Colorado via online therapy sessions.

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