“You May Not Be There Yet, But You Are Closer Than You Were Yesterday.”
College is a time for wonderful new experiences, finding oneself, and exploring new ideas. However, over the past few years, anxiety and depression have affected college students greatly and these challenges are one of the main reasons why students go for counselling.
Below are some reasons why 1 in 5 college students have anxiety.
1. Dangers posed by technological advancements
Excessive use of technology (like video games) and social media platforms (like twitter, Facebook, etc) are one of the main causes of anxiety in college students. These factors lead to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation and promote weakened social relations which in turn is a reason why so many college students have anxiety today.
Increased use of social networking platforms also distorts the differences between the real and virtual lives of college students. Most are facedown into their smartphones and other gadgets sending texts, checking feeds, or taking selfies instead of enjoying the real joyous moments available at large.
The competition between their virtual and real lives eventually results in students leading a dual life, wherein the virtual life takes precedence over the real life.
Research has shown the relationship between addiction to smartphones and ailments like anxiety, sleeping problems, increased stress, and depression. One study indicated that more than 45 percent of students woke up in the night to answer messages on their mobile. It also showed that using technology during sleep time resulted in poor sleep quality and increased rates of anxiety and depression.
2. Use of Drugs
The pressure of getting into a good college and keeping good grades has caused many students to seek help in the form of drugs, especially stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. Studies indicate that college students usually seek such chemical assistance before appearing for major exams like the LSAT, MCAT, or the finals.
Psychiatrists and counselors who deal with student anxiety have stated that more and more students are opting for medications meant for ADHD/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder so as to be able to fare well in their exams.
The ADHD medicines prescribed for sufferers are quite effective in easing the condition. However, when they are used for purposes other than what the drugs were designed for, such use comes with great risk. One of the major side effects of Adderall and Ritalin is anxiety and sometimes depression. The risk of such side effects is greater in people who have not been prescribed the drugs.
3. Other reasons
There has been a marked increase in cyberbullying cases in high school. Victims of such bullying often experience anxiety and depression when in college. The rate of depression in American has gradually increased over the past decades. Thus, parents of current college going students have higher depression rates. Thus, their genetic tendency towards anxiety and depression may be passed down to their children.
Financial stresses, such as fear of growing college education debt and increasing college fees, as well as fears of not being able to find employment about college can also trigger anxiety in college students. So if you’re ones of these college students that have anxiety or know someone that does, a CBT based solution is essential in the healing process.