Why are anxiety and depression so high in college students? (2023)

Why are anxiety and depression so high in college students? (1)Share on Pinterest

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common among college students.

Students face many new challenges.

Often, for the first time, they are living far from their families and communities. Suddenly they are presented with new environments, social situations, and a heavy academic workload.

Often these new challenges can be overwhelming and lead to depression or anxiety. Sometimes this added pressure can aggravate or trigger a previously existing condition.

Many college students face mental health issues, two of the most common being anxiety and depression.

The symptoms are often short-lived and can be directly related to the challenges of being a freshman, such as feelings of loneliness. Sometimes it can take students a semester or two to make friends. This transition period can temporarily affect the mental health of many students.Study 2012found that social support is one of the most important factors in promoting well-being among university students.

As students begin to feel a sense of belonging to the school, many find that their symptoms of anxiety and depression lessen as well. However, other students may feel that their symptoms are the beginning of a mental disorder.

(Video) Why is anxiety on the rise among college students?

In fact, many mental disorders first appear in early adulthood. A 2014 study found that by the age of 2575%of those who will develop a mental health disorder have already had their first onset.

The stress that accompanies anxiety and depression can affect many aspects of a student's life.

survey 2021found that untreated mental health was associated with alcohol and drug abuse, relationship instability,low self-esteemand suicidal thoughts.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available

These resources give you instant access to free support:

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.callLife lineat 988 for English or Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The crisis text line.Send HOME tocrisis text lineem 741741.
  • The Trevor Project.LGBTQIA+ and under 25? Call 866-488-7386, text "HOME" to 678678 oronline chat24/7.
  • Crisis line for veterans.Call 988 and press 1, SMS 838255 oronline chat24/7.
  • Hotline for the deaf.Call 321-800-3323, text "HAND" to 839863, or visit thewebsite.
  • friends from all over the world.To beInternational network of crisis helplinescan help you find a local hotline.

How common is anxiety among students?

anxiety disordersare the most common mental disorders that affect those around us11,9%by college students. Many of these disorders present their first symptoms in adolescence or early adulthood.

Some of the most common anxiety disorders are:

(Video) College Student Opens Up About Depression And Anxiety

  • social anxiety
  • panic syndrome
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

While social anxiety usually begins in childhood or adolescence (usually between the ages of 7 and 14), other anxiety disorders may first appear or be triggered during stressful college years.

But even among college students who haven't been diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder, many are prone to high levels of college anxiety.

Asurvey 2018found that 63% of college students in the United States reported experiencing "overwhelming anxiety" in the past year. About 23% said they had been diagnosed or treated by a psychologist in the last year.

Anxiety has increased among students in recent years. a littleStudies 2020found that 71% of college students experience increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How common is depression in college students?

Depression occurs approximately7-9%by college students, but it can start much earlier in life. Really,almost halfof all cases of depression appear for the first time at age 18.

Suicide is also a big problem, being the third leading cause of death among young adults, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)🇧🇷 A greatsurvey 2015found that of 8,155 high school students, 6.7% had had suicidal thoughts, 1.6% had a suicide plan, and 0.5% had attempted suicide in the previous year.

Are mental health problems on the rise among students?

Mental health is a growing concern on America's college campuses. afterStudy 2018, more than 95% of college guidance leaders say managing students' mental health is a growing concern.

This study also showed that mental health problems among college students have increased significantly in recent decades. The number of freshmen with a mental illness has also increased.

While it's not entirely clear what is causing this trend, one isStudy 2018suggests that adolescents who spent more time with electronic devices (social media, smartphones, and games) and less time spent on non-electronic activities reduced psychological well-being.

What are the common symptoms of anxiety and depression?

(Video) Student mental health: Depressed and living in a bubble of one - BBC News

Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person, but may include the following symptoms:

  • bad concentration
  • Feelings of restlessness or nervousness
  • worry or nervousness
  • tension muscular
  • feelingtired outthe weak
  • difficulty to sleep
  • feeling out of control
  • feeling of impending doom
  • rapid heart rate
  • Sweat
  • shake or shake
  • abdominal pain or headache
  • fast breathing

Symptoms of depression can be:

  • I want lasting humor
  • fatigue
  • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism.
  • irritability
  • emotional numbness
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • poor concentration and memory
  • move or speak more slowly
  • feel uneasy
  • insomniaosleep too much
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • Pain without a clear cause
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or attempted suicide

Several in the last two decadesstudiesStudies conducted around the world (both in developed and developing countries) have shown that anxiety, depression, and stress are elevated among college students.

From social to academic stressors, college students not only face many challenges, but also many mental health disorders begin during this time.

AStudies 2021suggests that these risk factors fall into six distinct categories:

  • psychological
  • academic
  • organic
  • Lifestyle
  • social
  • financially

Within these categories, the most common risk factors include:

  • underlying mental health condition
  • substance use
  • academic pressure
  • low self-esteem or self-confidence
  • insufficient sleep
  • Mangel andsocial care
  • financial problems
  • in oneminority
  • Internet addiction

Most college-related psychological distress occurs in the first year. Proper treatment can make all the difference for students, both in academic success and overall well-being. However, many students currently do not receive the support they need.

A major 2011 online survey found exactly that.36%of students with mental health problems were treated in the previous year.

Reasons not to seek help include:

  • scare ofStigma
  • does not find the essential or urgent treatment
  • Zeitmangel
  • denial of symptoms
  • lack of suitable treatment options
  • financial struggles

In addition to seeing a mental health professional, there are several things students can do to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression:

  • Try not to avoid your stressors🇧🇷 If you are dealing with social anxiety orfear test, try to deal with the things that scare you the most. Maybe it's about going to a party or starting your next big mission. Getting started is often the hardest part, but once you start it usually gets easier and you gain confidence.
  • practice self care🇧🇷 Never underestimate the power ofTo eat healthy food,exerciseand get enough sleep. Whenever possible, try to spend time outdoors with friends and exercise.I am hygiene🇧🇷 Limiting or avoiding alcohol or other substances can also help.
  • look for resources🇧🇷 Check to see if there are mental health services or mental health support groups on your campus. EITHERonline education centerprovides a great list of resources for college students seeking mental health support. You can also look for one outsideMental Health Advisor.
(Video) College Anxiety and Depression - CollegeisStressful.com

If you are a college student living with anxiety, depression, or both, don't hesitate to ask for help. Most colleges have mental health counselors who can provide support.

The correct diagnosis and treatment can significantly increase your well-being and help you better cope with the stressful everyday life of your studies. Remember, college may mean gaining independence, but you're not alone.

(Video) Depression Among College Students


1. How Can We Solve the College Student Mental Health Crisis? | Dr. Tim Bono | TEDxWUSTL
(TEDx Talks)
2. College Students and Mental Health: Confronting an Emerging Crisis
(Harvard University)
3. anxiety and depression at university.
4. Your Mental Health in College | How to College | Crash Course
5. Depression in College | Mental Health + Things That Help
(Kailey Anderson)
6. Depression: A Student's Perspective
(Demystifying Medicine McMaster)


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