Stress, depression and anxiety are major and commonly reported issue among the college students. Mostly stress and depression among college youths are cause of their educational and academics performance. Usually stress, depression and anxiety are associated with decrease in grades which effects one way or another to student’s skills and ability to perform. Most common reasons for stress, depressions and other psychological problems are time stress, failure, tough competition, academic pressure, some other problems include emotional breakdowns due to inferior feeling for other for some life is not worthy. Many students face psychological problems in a college they must be guided and counselled properly to cope up with their emotional problems and some measures must be taken like forming student counselling centres or mentors and mentee programme must be made compulsory on all colleges. Also a health committee should be formed and professionals must be hired and college must conduct activities for student and teachers too for their psychological conditions.
Today, I will talk about the stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological problems among the college students all around the world. I will discuss about the problems, its symptoms, and finally the methods to prevent these psychological problems from happening.
The college students are the future of our society, they represents the society investment for future thus their mental health is an important factor not only for them their own right but also for society as they are the one who are contributing for larger part of society. The psychological problems like stress, depression and anxiety among college students are increasing every year. There are many reasons for such psychological problem most common problems for these kinds of emotional disorders are greater academic demands, changes in social and family life, new and different environment. Other problems for depression and stress are time pressure, tough competitions, and pressure of academics and fear of failure.
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What are psychological problems? According to health websites and health professional psychological problems like stress, depression and anxiety are disorder in mood that makes us sad and hopeless for periods of time. These kind of psychological problems have significant effect on once life, work, health, his/her enjoyment and people he care about. These kind of physiological problems have impact for short time and long time, for short time psychological problems like stress and depression people feel low for some time but he is able to work and take care of daily activities. But risks are associated with long time psychological problems which sometimes turn into physical illness. There are survey which says millions of people are affected by depression, stress and anxiety every year.
The main cause of these psychological problems among college students are stressful life, drugs or illness, family crisis, financial problems, for some it is due to change from their high school life, for others it may be separation from family and academic failure is also one of major cause of stress, depression and other anxiety problems.
Why So Stress?
“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths”
Charles H. Spurgeon
Student forms the base of any society’s future, their wellbeing is quite crucial not only to themselves, but also to the society. Psychological problems in the college students are becoming quite big and needs to be taken care off. These problems varies between 2% to 5% of total student’s populace. (Young, 1978)
There are various reason why stress occurs among the students. First and foremost is the fear of academic excellence, often student fear of getting lower marks than expected. This is quite widespread, as practically marks will always be lower than what is expected. Other stresses might be due to changing environment from high school to college, being away from home. It has been observed that the stress, anxiety and depression among the students in second year is way more than that was in the first year, this is primarily due to the increase in the load and complexities of the subjects to be learned. (Eisenberg D, 2007) This further gives an implication that proceeding to the further years will exert more pressure on the student and so the stress will be more.
Causes of Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Students:
- Fear of academic excellence.
- Living away from the family.
- Feeling of isolation and loneliness.
- Conflicting Relationship.
- Increasing complexities in the academics.
- Financial condition.
Symptoms of Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Stress and anxiety often leads to depression, it is important to identify whether a student is having depression or not. It is recommended to consult a doctor. Doctor will ask following question to determine whether you are stressing over something. (Farnsworth, 1970)
- Any history of depression cases.
- Depression cases in family
- Medication history.
- Whether using drugs or alcohol.
- Negative thoughts of suicide and death.
Treating Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Often institutions provide medication to the students to overcome depression. The mediation for such stress and depression includes only two effective treatments, antidepressants and psychotherapy. However there might also be the case where a combination of both the two treatment methods can be found. (McArthur, 1961)
Antidepressants in medical terms works on neurotransmitters. They are some specific compounds alter the way brain works and regulate mood. However it must be used with caution, as exact ways are quite uncertain, how it would work.
Psychotherapy is the most recommended way of treating stress and depression. It involves changing the psychology or the thought process of the individual to permanently remove the negative thoughts. There are two ways by which this can be done, which are cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
CBT helps an individual to change the thought process. It includes several sessions to change the way the individual thinks, which consequently moves him out of the depression. While, IPT is used for more serious cases, includes conflicting relationships and other serious personal problems.
Preventive Measures to be taken by Educational Institutions
- Workshops and seminars should be conducted, to identify the students having psychological problems of stress and depression.
- Institutions should mandatorily have counselling centres to keep a track of thought process of the students.
- A survey or poll to be conducted to get a scalable insight of the psychological problems among the students.
- Once the students with such psychological problems are found, respective ways of psychotherapy should be implemented on them. (Mowbray CT, 2006)
Stress, anxiety and depression is quite widespread in the student’s community. This is due to various facts such as academic pressure, personal relationships, environmental changes etc. It was found that the quantity of students suffering from the psychological disorders was varying between 2% to 50%. There are some measure that can be taken by the institutional organisation, as discussed in the section 2.4.
The most recommended way to treatment of psychological disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression is Psychotherapy. However in more serious cases there could be a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants.
Problems like stress, depression and anxiety are serious issue not only for college students but also for us and we should always protect ourselves from getting such a serious and stressful disease. One must be ready to ask for support of his/her family or friends for help. These are dangerous disease thus one must be ready to take support and mentoring as early and appropriately. College must create more affective and war environment for its student to better cope up with the system and adapt it rather than getting depressed and emotionally breaking and getting psychological problems. For psychological well-being of college students health education programs and mentoring should be added to its curriculum and closer attention should also be paid on the teaching methods of institution, teachers and their teaching process.
Eisenberg D, G. S. (2007). Prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality among university students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 534-542.”Studied to know the fact and figures of anxiety, strees and depression in students”
Farnsworth, D. (1970). Mental health and social change. Ann. Int. Med., 467-472.”Studied to analyse effect of social environment change on student”
McArthur, G. B. (1961). Problems Connected with Studying Cf: Emotional. Appleton-Century Crafts.”Studied to analyse students thought process”
Mowbray CT, M. D. (2006). Campus mental health services: recommendations for change. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 226-237.”Studied to analyse what institutions can do”
Young, A. B. (1978). College blues. Psychology Today, 80-82.”Studied to analyse college environement in various years”
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