Mental health among college students is one of those issues that is constantly being studied. So, therefore it is important to not only identify the issues but also to dive deep into them.
There is a broad spectrum of mental health issues in the world that college students are no exception to. These can be anything from stress to suicide.
However, in 2014 the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University identified anxiety and depression as the two most recurring concerns for college students. But, what exactly are anxiety and depression?
To begin, neither of these are isolated to just college students. Anxiety and depression affects everyone, and can be seen as “gateways” to more serious issues.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety is very normal on occasion. This would be like anxiety before a test that ends once the test has been taken.
However, there are anxiety disorders that can occur but are highly treatable. Some of those include general anxiety disorder, obsessive- compulsive disorders, and social anxiety disorder.
The key difference between anxiety disorders and normal anxiety that is temporary is that anxiety disorders linger on a lot longer. Yes, there are treatment options, but an anxiety disorder will not go away instantly.
Now, onto depression. The National Institute of Mental Health defines depression as a “common but serious mental illness typically marked by sad or anxious feelings.” Though this is a little vague, it can escalate and oftentimes goes misdiagnosed.
Essentially, there is no one cause for depression. Causes of depression vary from person to person, and can range from genetics to outside influences.
For example, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression in seniors often goes unnoticed because it is confused with getting older. Meanwhile, LGBT individuals can get depression from being discriminated against.
College students can experience depression simply by moving away from home or losing a relative during the semester/academic year.
Of course, there is light at the end of the tunnel because depression can be treated. The key is to not let those feelings go unaddressed.
For both of these issues, early detection and counseling can be useful. The University of Arizona so happens to offer CAPS, (Counseling and Psych Services) for students dealing with anything.
It is always better to confront the issue and stop it early than to let it linger on.