As the conversation about mental health becomes more frequent among different age groups and social circles, lots of people are opening up about their own mental health struggles. As a result, mental illness is especially prevalent among college students.
As a center for mental illness treatment in Boca, we know that mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of their situation. Whether it’s due to anxiety, depression, or any other mental disorder, a person’s life can drastically change when their mental health is impacted.
The steady increase in health issues on college campuses has become a big concern. Attending college can be stressful for many people, and college students may be among some of the more common victims of mental health problems. According to the 2019 annual report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 21.8 percent of college students stated they received counseling before college, 19.1 percent were in counseling after college, and 15.1 percent did both.1 Mental illness can affect a student’s academic performance, physical health, and relationships with others. Although the college experience is usually over within a few years, struggling with mental health problems for any length of time can have long-term consequences.
There are several factors that contribute to the prevalence of struggles with mental health in college students.
Even before attending college, many students are pressured by their parents or teachers to perform well academically. After they’ve been accepted into a college, they are expected to continue this pattern until they graduate. This pressure to constantly perform at a higher level can be extremely distressing. Many students begin to associate their self-worth with their grade point average, feeling as if any sort of academic failure is a personal failure. This kind of strain can lead to anxiety and depression in any student.
At Banyan Mental Health, we offer an anxiety treatment in Boca specifically intended to treat the source and symptoms of anxiety disorders. In addition to generalized anxiety disorder, we also treat social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other specific phobias.
Many students attend colleges or universities far away from home. Living away from family can cause intense feelings of loneliness and sadness, which could lead to depression. Although many students try to prepare themselves for their college experience, some may not realize how much being away from their loved ones can affect their mental health.
Mental health in college students can also be affected by their need to work while studying. Whether it’s a part-time or full-time job, simultaneously working towards a degree and paying the bills can be stressful for anyone. Students have to learn how to balance their schoolwork and work schedule while separating some personal time. Many students can end up overworking themselves, resulting in anxiety and panic attacks.
Some students who attend college also play the role of a leader in their household. Family responsibilities like watching younger siblings, paying the bills, and taking care of older family members can add to anyone’s workload. Some students are also parents and need to work to take care of their children. Anyone could easily burn themselves out trying to manage all of these things daily while studying for a degree.
Living with other people isn’t always easy, and there are lots of horror stories about college roommates. Sometimes students can live with their friends or someone they know in college, but oftentimes they’re paired with roommates that may do things differently. Differences in hygiene, cleanliness, religion, social views, and more could all contribute to a stressful and difficult experience. This added stress could potentially lead to mental illness or worsen any existing mental health problems in college students.
Many people meet their future wives and husbands in college. Although this could be a positive thing, the responsibilities of a serious relationship in college could be demanding. In more extreme cases, abuse and other problems could occur and could cause or worsen mental health problems.
Although not everyone will develop a specific mental illness, general struggles with mental health may be more common than we realize. We offer several different mental health programs at Banyan Boca that cover a wide range of mental illnesses and disorders. College and mental health go hand in hand, and the sooner a mental illness is treated, the better.