Mental Health and Wellness Tips for College Students
The college years are a great period for those who want to discover themselves and learn new things about life, interpersonal relationships and many other adult-life related aspects. However, this is also a highly stressful period, generally characterized by emotional instability. This may lead to numerous emotional and mental health concerns. You must know that during the college years, most psychological disorders proliferate.
According to some data from 2011, more than 30% of college students were feeling incredibly depressed, some of them claiming that getting out of bed was a difficult task because of it. The same statistics showed that more than 5% of the college students interviewed considered committing suicide. Approximately 1% of the college students interviewed, attempted suicide in the previous year. The statistics are concerning and if you think of the fact that more than 60% of the students who withdrew from college, did it for mental health-related issues.
Unfortunately, only a few of those college students that battle psychological disorders seek appropriate help for their problems.
Common Mental Health Concerns Among Students
College students are the subjects of numerous mental health concerns. However, some are more frequent than others are.
Depression. Depression is the number one reason why college students drop out of school. Almost half of the American students report showing depression symptoms. Depressed students expose themselves to multiple risks, starting with binge drinking and continuing with substance abuse, risky sexual intercourse and so on.
Anxiety. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of college students struggle with anxiety disorders. Most of the American Adults show their first signs of anxiety disorder before the age of 22, during their college years. For these adults, daily stress is a daily occurrence, unfortunately.
Eating disorders. Across the US, 40 million adults suffer from eating disorders, most of them having their first episodes before the age of 22. These disorders typically begin between 18 and 22 years old. Unfortunately, eating disorders have high mortality rates. Identifying and treating those, according to the therapists at multiple luxury drug rehabs, is vital.
Binge drinking. Binge drinking is a common form of addiction across the world. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t concerning. Across the US, more than 60% of the college students in America drank alcohol, more than 40% binge drank and almost 20% were heavy drinkers.
Self-harm. It’s difficult to accurately estimate the number of college students that show similar behaviors because self-harm usually appears on areas of the body that are hidden. However, according to some estimation, approximately 15% of the American students harm themselves.
Why Are College Students More Vulnerable to Psychological Disorders?
The data above is certainly concerning. But why are college students more vulnerable to psychological disorders? This category of young adults is particularly vulnerable to developing similar disorders because they are more vulnerable to psychological stressors. The college years are a period when they enter adulthood and their coping mechanisms are not so well-developed. Also, many of them spend these stressful years of their lives away from their families, which makes them more vulnerable when faced with hardship and stress.
Besides, the college period is well-known for the reckless and dangerous lifestyle and decisions that many young adults are subjected to. Living in closely-knit communities like campuses are makes them more prone to “borrow” and imitate unhealthy, dangerous behaviors.
At the same time, this is a period when the young adult learns who they are when they are discovering themselves. The pressure usually experienced by college students in their decision-making process and about their future makes them particularly vulnerable to psychological disorders.
Mental Health and Wellness Tips for College Students
Getting over mental struggle and hardship is not entirely easy. In fact, it can be extremely difficult for a young adult that is still discovering themselves to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Below are some suggestions that may help college students deal better with stress, anxiety and take better care of their mental health.
- Develop a support network. While this can be particularly difficult for students, they should form a group of close friends and remain in close contact with their families. Get to know key individuals in your college campus that may play a key role in your development and mental health. Advisors and instructors are great to start with.
- Remain active. Or, if you never were, become. As we all know, daily exercise can do wonders for one’s mental health. This is a great tool if you want to avoid psychological issues such as anxiety and depression and it’s a great way to avoid risky behaviors. Try to exercise for at least two hours on a weekly basis and you should notice how your mental state improves significantly. However, regular exercise isn’t the surest way to a healthy mind.
- Pay attention to your diet. Your diet and mental health are in a strong relationship. Instead of eating what students usually eat during their college years, try to have a rich, varied and balanced diet. Try to eat regular meals, to keep up your energy levels and avoid late-night snacks. The Mediterranean diet is one of those diets that is proven to work wonders for mental health. Any diet rich in fibers and veggies will work wonders, in fact. If you worry about the financial burden of eating healthy, remember that there are plenty of online resources that will help you put together affordable and nutritious meals.
- Sleep well. Sleep is vital for our mental health. Due to this reason, you should try to get to sleep at reasonable hours, regardless of how behind you are with your studies. A restful sleep will also boost your mental capacities, which will allow you to remain productive.
- Seek professional help. If nothing else seems to work, seeking professional help should be a rule. Neglecting psychological concerns won’t help, but getting specialized help, will.
Mental health disorders are rampant among college students, so make sure that you take good care of yourself. If you ever notice that nothing else seems to help, professional help is advised.