According to Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, expectations, stress and social media are putting lots of pressure on the college student’s life, rising with the severe problem of mental health. One of five students is diagnosed with this illness, out of which 40% students are left untreated. The university and college counselling centers reporting more students seeking help for severing psychological problems, rather than development and informational needs. The students feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities and struggle in the college. The most common mental disorders are anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, eating disorders and addiction.
In this forum, we will discuss the mental health ailments, their symptoms, and possible treatments. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your family and friends to help you until you are ready to seek professional help.
In a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counselling Center Directors, many college students experience some level of depression. Students living on their own for the first time might feel homesick. The new schedule, the workload can cause them to feel overwhelmed. Money and personal relations can also be the primary source of stress. Dealing with the new lifestyle can trigger the depression during college life. These changes could lead them to alcohol abuse, smoking and impaired academic performance as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Frustration and irritation, over small matters
- Feeling unhappiness or sadness
- Change in appetite and weight
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Insomnia or excessive sleep
- Slowed thinking and movements
- Trouble in concentrating, decision making, memory and unsettled
- Fatigue, weariness and lack of energy
- Feeling worthless and guilty for the past failures
- Angry outburst and crying spell for no distinct reason
- Frequent thoughts of suicide, dying and death
- Make a habit of keeping a journal. Write down your positive thoughts, what is happening in your life, even if they are few. Write the goals you want to achieve. If you find it too much to carry, you can go for a weekly journal.
- Eating a “happy” (healthy) diet can help you improve your mood. Some foods contain such chemicals which raise the level of the serotonin chemical in your brain that contributes to happiness. For example; fish oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, eggs, etc.
- Taking protein-rich diet boost alertness in the body, Certain diet may not cure depression, but it can instantly put you in a good mood and be supportive in the treatment of depression.
- Exercising for a few minutes can help in relieving from depression, as certain exercises can improve the mood controlling chemicals like norepinephrine and serotonin.
- Meditation is a hard thing to do, but it helps overall in life. Find a quiet place to retreat, control your breathing to let go of negative thoughts. Meditation relaxes your mind and lets you acknowledge the problems and solve them in a better way.
Anxiety is the most common health problem in college life. You might have an anxiety disorder, if it starts to interfere with your everyday lives, lowering your ability to function and causing a massive amount of stress and fearful thoughts. Instead of changing the stressful situation, it is important to control and manage your emotional reaction to stress.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Feelings of fear and edginess
- Fear of others finding you irrational
- Trouble in concentration
- Irregular heartbeat and panic attacks
- Muscle pain and headaches
- Trouble in breathing
- Sweating and vertigo
- Make a regular habit of taking chamomile tea, which might help you calm down. “Matricaria Recutita” chemical present on chamomile works same as drug Valium and relax your brain nerves.
- Adding Amino-acid in your daily routine, reduce the level of stress hormones. You can find it in green tea, beans, fish or meat.
- Exercise again is the best medicine to control your anxiety. It supplies your brain the feel good hormones. Research shows, exercising, can control your neutral circuit which is responsible for cognitive function and mood.
- Always keep something to eat with you like dark chocolate, walnuts or biscuits. Dropping a level of blood sugar may result in an anxiety attack.
- Breathing exercise helps in lowering stress and anxiety. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a count of five to seven, exhale slowly and completely through your mouth. Repeat twice a day.
- Catastrophizing is very common when anxiety attacks you. You start to see the situation in a worse way than it is. Take deep breaths, short walks and consider the chances that this problem will spin out into catastrophe.
It is the brain disease as the abuse of substances leads to changes in the function and structure of the brain. Treating the hold of addiction requires outside help. The pattern of addiction takes hold of a person even before they realize it. Excess use of substances may lead to many chronic mental health issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
- Getting into trouble often like accidents and fights
- Suspicious behavior
- Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
- Poor performance in college
- Sudden change in personality and frequent mood swings
- Blood inflamed and glassy eyes
- Lack of confidence and motivation
- Irritability and frustrated without reason
- Sudden weight change
- Detoxification is the first step of the process of treating the addiction. Patients who stop the further treatment in between, start their drug use.
- Take the help of individual or group counseling or both. It includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational incentives and motivational interviewing.
- Biochemical Restoration is a treatment to repair biochemical imbalances causes a craving for drugs. It is a type of chemical nutrient therapy. It helps in balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, improve nutrient deficiencies, balance amino-acid.
- Yoga, which means “union” is very helpful in treating addiction. It helps in aligning body, mind, and spirit together, through asanas (physical postures), breathing exercises, and meditation.
- When it comes to the treatment of substance abuse, acupuncture is not very known, but is a very efficient and helpful treatment. This technique stimulates specific nerve points on the body. The most used method of acupuncture in penetration of thin needles, while another approach includes pressure, cupping therapy and application of heat. It stimulates the endocrine system, resulting in circulation, relaxation and tends to reduce inflammation.
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