Reasons Why Teenagers And Students Are Depressed
There are a lot of reasons why teenagers and college students are experiencing depression. Psychologists believe that there are a lot of factors that contribute to this mental disorder. They include genetics, hormones, trauma, and brain chemistry to name a few. Teenagers face a lot of challenges that contribute to depression. They include social media, bullying, early puberty, substance abuse, medical conditions, and challenges with self-esteem to name a few. Lets discuss these issues.
Get Support From Friends And Family
It’s always helpful to have people in your life who will listen and offer encouragement. So, even if you are attending college far away from home, try to stay in touch with any supportive family members or friends who already know you well. Those bonds are important. Video chatting over Skype or Facebook is often a good way to do that. Try to set up regular times when you are both available and can share how you’ve been feeling.
And don’t overlook the potential support that might come from new friendships. By learning how to make friends in college, you can start building a network of support that helps you feel more connected to the world.
Implications For Academic Leaders
- Mental health problems are prevalent among college students with substance use, anxiety, and depression being the most common.
- It is critical for mental health providers to develop an extensive knowledge of the prevalence and range of mental health problems occurring among college students and of the various needs of traditional as well as non-traditional college students.
- College students may receive services from mental health providers inside and outside the campus and the need for communication is critical.
- Strategies to enhance treatment seeking and engagement among college students should be implemented.
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Prevalence Of Mental Health Disorders
Most mental health disorders have their peak onset during young adulthood. Kessler et al. observed that by the age of 25 years, 75% of those who will have a mental health disorder have had their first onset. Among traditional students, the significant disruptions associated with attending college may exacerbate current psychopathology that first manifested in childhood and/or trigger its first onset. Similarly, non-traditional students who may have to attend to the demands of their numerous roles may experience an exacerbation of their symptoms or a relapse.
Another common mental health problem among college students is depression, with prevalence rates in college students of 7 to 9 % . Zisook et al. found that over half of all cases of depression had a first onset during childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. Similarly, others have shown an elevated risk for mood disorders beginning in the early teens increasing with age in a linear fashion. In the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication study, Kessler et al. reported that one out of every five individuals with depression had their first episode by the age of 25 years. The onset of bipolar disorder appears to follow a similar trend. Approximately 3.2 % of college students meet the criteria for BAD . An emerging literature has shown that the majority of adults with BAD have the onset of their disorder in child and adolescent years, with at least a third of adults with BAD having their onset before the age of 12 years .
What Can We Do To Correct This Problem
While it might seem that this is an insurmountable problem and there are real economic, and campus-wide bureaucratic and logistical obstacles unique to every college campus, most students, parents, faculty and college administrators really do want to see things change. The big question is how we proceed.
Here are some guidelines for making positive changes on our campuses:
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The Mental Health Crisis Among College Students And What We Can Do About It
You may have heard about a growing trend in college students seeking help for mental health concerns. While this is a positive sign that stigma has decreased, it also indicates that young adults are increasingly facing mental health challenges.
One study found that nearly half of college-age individuals had a psychiatric disorder in the past year. 73% of students surveyed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported having a mental health crisis while in college. These startling figures have led many to call this trend the college student mental health crisis.
Why are we seeing these increases in mental health concerns, and what can schools, communities, and medical professionals do to address it? Here are some things to consider.
How To Talk About Depression
Although many college students may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their struggles with depression, it’s important for anyone struggling with their mental health to realize that there’s nothing wrong or shameful about asking for help.
The following section looks at some of the most common questions college students have when deciding to talk about their depression. Answers are provided by Dr. Michael Alcee, a clinical psychologist with a decade of experience in college counseling, and Susan Lichtfuss, a licensed child and family therapist and certified suicide prevention trainer.
Q. Should I tell my friends and peers about my depression?
Dr. Alcee: There are many ways to talk about depression with family and friends, but one that I find most important is for people to know that it’s nothing to be scared of. Just as people often have a very difficult time when talking about death, many also find depression a challenging topic to approach. It’s crucial for students to let family, friends, and teachers know that depression results from a number of different factors, and they just need to be understanding and present.
Susan Lichtfuss: If you’re not comfortable talking with your friends about your feelings of depression, it’s important to find someone you are comfortable with to confide in, such as a trusted adult. Don’t keep your feelings of depression to yourself.
Q. Should I tell my professors about my depression?
Q. How can I talk to my parents about my depression?
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Don’t Ignore Your Troubling Feelings
When you’re busy going to class, completing assignments, and tackling other day-to-day activities, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to confusing feelings. But even if you’re having trouble explaining exactly what you are feeling , it’s important to pay attention. Don’t minimize what you are experiencing or let your feelings become more and more intense while trying to pretend that they aren’t there.
Admit to yourself that you are feeling something unusual. Make a commitment to pay closer attention to what might be triggering those feelings. That way, you lower the odds of depression sneaking up on you. And even if you already have depression, you may catch it at an earlier stage when it can be more easily treated.
Implications Of Age Of Onset On Trajectory Of Psychopathology
In summary, mental health problems are prevalent in college students, with substance use, anxiety, and mood disorders being the most common. Traditional college students are in a transitional age, young adulthood, which is associated with numerous stressors and during which many mental health problems often first occur. Non-traditional college students also face numerous stressors associated with having multiple roles, demands, and financial obligations. College students who have their first onset of mental illness or initiate substance use during childhood or adolescence appear to have a more pernicious trajectory and course of illness. Early identification of college students with mental health problems and thorough assessments are critical in order to provide adequate services and to ensure better outcomes, such as graduation.
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Signs Of Depression In Teens
Both teenagers and adults experience depression. While diagnosing this mental disorder is the same, the signs and symptoms are not the same among young students and adults. Some of the common signs of depression that teenagers show include:
- Experiencing feelings of guilt or blame
- Difficulty focusing
How Common Is Anxiety Among College Students
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders, affecting about of college students. Many of these disorders show their first symptoms during adolescence or early adulthood.
Some of the most common anxiety disorders include:
While social anxiety often begins in childhood or adolescence , the other anxiety disorders may first appear or get triggered during the stressful college years.
But even among students who arent diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder, many are vulnerable to high levels of anxiety in college.
A 2018 survey found that 63% of college students in the United States reported feeling overwhelming anxiety in the past year. About 23% reported being diagnosed or treated by a mental health professional in the past year.
Anxiety has spiked in college students in recent years. A small found that 71% of college students had increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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University Mental Health Resources
In conjunction with on-campus clinics and hospitals that provide the full gamut of health services to students, faculty, staff, and the community, most colleges and universities offer a range of mental health services geared specifically to the needs of students. For example, The Center for Student Wellbeing at Duquesne University offers free, confidential University Counseling Services to enrolled students to help them overcome anxiety and deal with other mental health conditions. Additionally, the university offers a crisis support line, therapy groups, and workshops that give students the opportunity to discuss their problems as a component of their recovery. The Duquesne Wellbeing Resources page offers tips and links to sources for more information about anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep disorders, among other mental health topics.
Take Charge Of Your Recovery
Overcoming depression is usually easier when you feel empowered. That’s why it is important to take ownership of your diagnosis while playing an active role in the process of getting better. When you aren’t relying solely on other people to make you better, you can take larger steps toward imagining a positive future.
As Anne Lamott says in her book Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair:
“It can be healthy to hate what life has given you, and to insist on being a big mess for a while. This takes great courage. But then, at some point, the better of two choices is to get back up on your feet and live again.”
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Reflect On Who You Are Right Now
When was the last time you really thought about what makes you you? Put aside all of the labels that other people have given you. Instead, dig deeperwithin yourself. Write down everything about yourself that makes you proud, including your values, personality traits, and achievements. And think about the things that give you joy, make you sad, or cause you anger or frustration. Be honest.
All of those things are clues to who you are at this moment. When you identify them, you stand a better chance of staying grounded and confident going forward. Plus, knowing more about yourself in this way can help you recognize areas where you might trip up or need a little extra support or guidance.
How College Students Deal With Depression
College student depression pervades, with one in four young adults aged 18-24 diagnosed with mental illness. College pressure can increase feelings of isolation for students struggling with depression, but they are not alone.
Many colleges and universities recognize how various school stresses exacerbate the link between depression and college students. In response, they offer programs that can help students during this difficult time. Schools typically staff counselors and other licensed professionals who provide mental health services to students.
This page shares some of the common symptoms and causes of depression in college students. Readers will also find helpful resources and ways to manage and improve their mental health.
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Teens Face Mental Health Issues Even Before College
Teens and young adults are facing mental health challenges even before entering college. Part of this could be due to the stress of preparing for higher education. However, it seems to be part of a larger trend. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of adolescents seeking mental health services increased in 2015 compared to the previous decade. About 13% of adolescents ages 12-17, or 3.3 million teens, sought treatment in a specialty mental health setting in 2015.
Why Does Every 5th College Student Suffer From Anxiety Or Depression
Its a worrying trend: more and more people are suffering from anxiety, depression or some other form of mental illness. Research indicates that 1 in 5 students suffer from depression, which means we cant afford to ignore this any longer.
Why do people get depressed? And, more importantly, why do students?
Social Interactions Have Suffered
Most college-age people have ready access to social media, and arguably spend more time than they should online. This hinders their real-life social interactive abilities, as more and more people prefer communicating through a social media post to actual conversation.
Mobile phone addiction is becoming a prevalent issue, and the virtual world competes for your attention with the real world. Often, the consequences are all too realaddiction to phones has been proven dangerous. It can cause stress, interrupt normal sleep patterns, and cause anxiety and even depression.
Cyberbullying Is On The Rise
Once a laughable matter that you could choose to ignore, cyberbullying is a major threat to peoples wellbeing, especially college-goers. Whether someone gets affected in high school or in college, it can affect their mental well being when they are in college.
When college students have to deal with separation anxiety on top of the problems we discussed already, it can get too much. Add career expectations and peer pressure, and its easy to see why anxiety and depression affect 20% or more students.
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Helping Students With Depression
Figure 2. Strategies to Help Students with Depression
Figure 2. Strategies to Help Students with Depression
Give frequent feedback on academic, social, and behavioral performance.
Teach the student how to set goals and self-monitor.
Teach problem-solving skills.
Coach the student in ways to organize, plan, and execute tasks demanded daily or weekly in school.
Develop modifications and accommodations to respond to the student’s fluctuations in mood, ability to concentrate, or side effects of medication. Assign one individual to serve as a primary contact and coordinate interventions.
Give the student opportunities to engage in social interactions.
Frequently monitor whether the student has suicidal thoughts.
Develop a homeschool communication system to share information on the student’s academic, social, and emotional behavior and any developments concerning medication or side effects.
Support For College Students With Depression
Going to college can act as a catalyst for the onset of depression in many young people. According to Executive Director Courtney Knowles of The JED Foundation, the average age of onset for many mental health conditions is the typical college age range of 18 to 24 years old. Students deal with a unique amount of stressors, Knowles said. Leaving the support system of friends and family, an unstructured schedule, increased academic pressures, substance use, non-nutritious eating and erratic sleeping habits all increase the risk of depression occurring in college students.
You are certainly not the only one who is experiencing depression. About one-third of U.S. college students had difficulty functioning in the last 12 months due to depression, and almost half said they felt overwhelming anxiety in the last year, according to the 2013 National College Health Assessment, which examined data from 125,000 students from more than 150 colleges and universities.
There are many tools and techniques to use against depression. One might attempt to tweak their diet, sleep, physical activities, and most importantly interpersonal relationships. However, taking action by connecting with the right professional services is one of the most critical tasks.
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Signs Of Depression In Students
In students, depression may show up in some specific ways that arent quite so obvious at first.
For example, a student with depression might suddenly avoid meeting up with friends when previously they were pretty social. If this starts becoming a regular occurrence, it could be a symptom of depression.
Final exams or big projects can certainly cause anxiety for students. But if you find it hard to shake the worry even after your exam or deadline has passed, it may be a good idea to review whether youre experiencing depression or an anxiety disorder.
If you suspect you may be going through depression, youre not alone.
You may be experiencing depression if youve had some of the below symptoms most of the time for the last 2 weeks:
- ongoing feelings of sadness