Today I’ve got a guest post about depression and anxiety in university students, which is very applicable to a lot of us (myself included). I’ve tried propanolol for anxiety, and I’m currently havign CBT for low self-esteem and derealisation, which have mostly been caused by stress from university / trying to survive in London. I honestly know very few people at university who don’t suffer from anxiety, depression, or both! Keep reading to find out some advice on how to cope.
Did you know that many university students suffer with anxiety and depression while they are in school? And a lot of them suffer alone because they are silent about what they are going through and they are unwilling to seek treatment, possibly because they are embarrassed. The proper treatment and assistance from supportive organizations like Mental Health and Money Advice, however, could help students gain control so they could reduce their depression and anxiety symptoms.
Below is some information on how depression and anxiety can affect university students, and what you can do if you are one of the many students who suffer with these mental health conditions.
University Students and Anxiety
Just about everyone deals with some level of anxiety and stress every day, simply because of work or school and other responsibilities. Life could throw some stressful experiences your way, and if you start to feel overwhelmed, the anxiety could get out of control. Once the feelings of anxiety start to interfere with your life on a daily basis, and once it actually starts to inhibit your ability to function because you are in a state of extreme fear and stress, you have what is considered an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders, which include Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder, are more common than you think amongst university students. Millions of people over 18 years of age suffer with anxiety, but many of those people will end up being affected by an anxiety disorder before they reach 22 years of age.
Symptoms of anxiety could include irritability, shortness of breath, headaches, irregular heartbeat, frequent diarrhoea or upset stomach, muscle tension and pain, dizziness and sweating, feelings of apprehension and stress, having difficulty concentrating, and feeling fearful.
What You Can Do
Anxiety disorders are definitely treatable, so if you are exhibiting the symptoms above, consider consulting with the healthcare centre on campus. Or visit your primary doctor so you can have a mental health assessment completed to determine what type of anxiety you are experiencing and what can be done about it.
University Students and Depression
In addition to anxiety, feelings of depression are also common amongst university students. And, like anxiety, depression could create a range of symptoms and take on different forms. Plus, depression is one of the top reasons why students end up dropping out of university. Left untreated, it has the potential to develop into other more serious symptoms, and it might even drive an individual to committing suicide. This is why it is so important to recognise the symptoms of depression in yourself or a friend and get treatment right away.
Symptoms of depression include feeling helpless and detached from everyone and everything around you. This surprisingly common mental health condition interferes with your daily life, so even the most important tasks, such as sleeping, eating, and studying, become hard. Physical symptoms of depression could include having trouble sleeping or experiencing changes in your sleeping habits. You might also experience appetite changes. Emotionally, you might feel overwhelmed, sad, powerless, and hopeless. And you might also have a really pessimistic attitude, as well as difficulty concentrating.
It is important to note that the symptoms associated with depression are common (life is stressful, after all), and they might occur even if you do not actually have clinical depression. However, if you notice that your symptoms do not subside, or they become worse, it is really important that you seek treatment before it is too late.
What You Can Do
Like anxiety, depression is considered a treatable mental health disorder, but you do need to seek professional help to get the best results. Talking to someone about your feelings, as opposed to stuffing them down and suffering silently, is recommended. Whether you speak with a trusted family member or friend, you might find that opening up about what you are going through helps to ease the burden.
Just remember that seeking help for any level of depression is certainly beneficial, so never be ashamed to seek treatment or advice. You could also see if the health care centre on your university campus could help, and you could talk to your doctor about getting a mental health assessment for a proper diagnosis. On top of that, there are several support groups that you can join so that you can discuss what you are going through and not feel alone through it all.
With a greater understanding of how depression and anxiety affects university students and how many students actually suffer with these conditions, you can realise that you are not alone if you are one of them. If you have been experiencing depression and/or anxiety, seek treatment, as there is no shame in doing so and it is the best way to get back control.
Thanks for reading,