By John Barton
When people think of mental health disorders, they often think of depression. But that is certainly not all it entails, as there are others like eating disorders, anxiety, addiction, and schizophrenia that take a toll on students and limit them from taking charge of their lives.
College is a trying time for most young people as it officially ushers them into adulthood. They are no longer directly under their parents’ care, and so it may take a while to establish healthy boundaries. Peer pressure, a demanding course, and the stress to fit in all contribute to poor mental health.
Here are some of the reasons students struggle.
The coronavirus pandemic led to the isolation that has adversely affected those who like being around others. When friends meet at universities, they form relationships that help them get through the years they will be there, and these bonds have been temporarily broken. Lockdowns have increased loneliness that has resulted in some people seeking destructive ways to stay on top. Drug use is increasingly rampant and its effects on mental stability are sometimes irreversible.
Biting Off More and More Each Day
There is a lot more to do these days compared to a few decades ago. With new technology comes an influx of information with too little time to absorb. Students taking on tough courses find they barely have time to get through their coursework before the semester is over. You only need to read one health essay example by Samplius to see the extent of issues affecting students at school. One of those mental health essay examples mentions that tears can be an outlet when people cannot sufficiently express themselves. Finding someone to share the workload at school with, such as a study partner, also helps one feel less burdened.
Research shows older students are going back to school these days more than ever, while also working full-time jobs and caring for families. This pressure may seem bearable at first, but the people closest to the student will notice a few changes. Due to stress, they are often more irritable and can sometimes put even more social distance between them and their loved ones. If this is not checked, it could lead to a mental disorder.
The Pressure to Fit in
Education isn’t the only thing a student will do at school. There will be social issues to contend with, such as belonging in certain circles. We are constantly reminded that the friends and connections we make in college can determine the next 20 years, and so many young people worry that they are not making the most of their time. Some also want to be part of several groups to place them in more advantageous positions over other students, and all this takes a toll eventually.
When to Seek Help
Since many of us are often too absorbed in our own lives to notice a change in other people, matters would have to escalate sometimes for a disorder to be recognized as such.
These are some symptoms you may notice from a person needing help:
- A negative outlook on life
- Suicidal talk
- Anxiety and getting agitated by seemingly small matters
- Finding it difficult to sleep or eat
- Social withdrawal
If living at home while the pandemic persists, a person who is stressed could find a friend to talk to online, or a sibling or parent that will not judge or condemn them. They could also seek professional help before matters escalate even further. As is with many health issues, early detection is always much better than waiting until it is too late to reverse a problem.
How Mental Health Impacts Other Areas of Life
If you are struggling with anxiety or other causes of mental disorder, you need to know it is not healthy to continue feeling this way without getting help, and at no point should it be dismissed as a passing or inconsequential situation. The sooner you accept that all is not well when stressed like this, the better you will be able to take charge again of your life and the make positive changes needed.
Mental health affects the way one interacts with family and friends, studies and social life, and colleagues at work, if employed. Writers have written extensive essay articles explaining the modern challenges facing students. Bottom line: You are not alone, and it is normal to accept help.
Talk to Someone
Reach out when you feel overwhelmed by events around you. You could write your thoughts on a journal or paper to help you note patterns and changes in your daily feelings and thoughts. This little act could eventually be the therapy you need to heal from within.