By: Yasharah Raza
Are you a college student? Do you spend a lot of time on a campus? If so, chances are you’ve seen the stressed visages that are so characteristic of college students. Many college students across the United States have a healthy balance of stress, anxiety, and free time in their lives; however many more suffer from anxiety disorders that have a great impact on their physical and mental health and overall well-being.
The first onset of an anxiety disorder often occurs in college. In fact, 30 million adults in the United States suffering from an anxiety disorder experienced their first occurrence by age 22 (ADAA, 2015). On top of that, over 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders each year (ADAA, 2015). There is a wide range of anxiety disorders that can specifically affect college students, including—but not limited to—Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and General Anxiety Disorder (MHAI, 2007).
Why are there so many people, especially college students, who suffer from anxiety? Entering college is a highly transitory period for almost every student. “Students experience many firsts, including new lifestyle, friends, roommates, exposure to new cultures and alternate ways of thinking,” said Hilary Silver, a licensed clinical social worker (Psych Central, 2015). All of these new elements of life, combined with the increase in academic competitiveness across college campuses can have a profound impact on students, especially those who may have already been struggling with a mental disorder in high school or even earlier (Psych Central, 2015).
Because students often fear suffering from the perceived social stigma attached to being diagnosed with a mental disorder such as anxiety, many students fail to receive the help that they need. Often times, the people surrounding the student may not even be aware that he or she may be suffering from an anxiety disorder (Psych Central, 2015). It is vital that people who may be struggling take advantage of resources available to college students, such as hotlines and local counseling centers. Anxiety disorders may be rampant across college campuses, but that doesn’t mean that one has to go untreated. If treated properly, college students will find that anxiety disorders need not affect them as much as they perceive it to.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2015). Facts. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from: http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/helping-others/college-students/facts
Mental Health America of Illinois. (2007). Healthy Minds: Tips for Every College Student. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from: http://www.mhai.org/College_Students.pdf
Psych Central. (2015). Depression and Anxiety among College Students. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from: http://psychcentral.com/lib/depression-and-anxiety-among-college-students/0001425