Anxiety Surpasses Depression As Most Common In College Students

While anxiety and depression often occur simultaneously, they are different disorders that are often caused by different factors and often need different forms of treatment. For many people, symptoms can be hard to discern — many males have anxiety-like symptoms that are actually a result of depression, and many people in general go undiagnosed because they have lived with anxiety for so long they believe that their anxious thoughts and feelings may be normal. In fact, many dangerous choices can be linked to anxiety and depression, including promiscuity in college students, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

These traits can easily be passed off as personality traits or character flaws when a deeper problem is responsible. College especially is a time that is filled with a lot of “firsts” — first time living away from parents, first time being able to independently make choices — but that also comes with navigating social scenes, balancing fun and academics, or handling the pressure of grades and sports. Many college-aged young adults have to work a job for income as well. According to ABC News, for the first time in history, anxiety has surpassed depression as the number one mental health diagnosis that affects college-aged students.

Research results from a recent study by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State held some very surprising and concerning results — one in six college students has been diagnosed or treated with anxiety within the last twelve months. Many more are unaccounted for because they do not seek treatment or are improperly diagnosed, so the results could be even higher. Anxiety does not produce the same symptoms in all people. Some people actually experience anxiety attacks, including a feeling of panic, sweating, a rapid heart rate, and a sense of breathlessness. Many others may not have such overt symptoms. Instead, they have a general feeling of discord or uncertainty, which makes them likely to turn to behaviors that numb their thoughts — sexual activity, alcohol, drugs, sleeping all the time, or other habits which may affect their performance in school.

According to Latino’s Post, social media is often a trigger for anxiety in young adults. In college, social media is a staple of peer communication and may often erroneously appear to users that other people are more successful, popular, liked, and adjusting better to college life, which may deepen the college student’s anxiety. The best options for college students dealing with anxiety is to talk to a trusted older adult — a parent, clergyperson, professor, or perhaps more importantly, a professional counselor. They may be able to offer insight on how to cope with test anxiety, social pressure, and peer relationships. Most universities and colleges have counseling available on campus for students. Students should take advantage of these services as most are included in tuition fees.

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