Stress,Anxiety and/or Depression among College Students
Stress,Anxiety and/or Depression among College Students
Stress,anxiety, and depression among college students are prevalent in manycountries globally with suicide due to depression accounting to onemillion deaths every year. In the United States, 20% of adolescentswere reported to have suffered from the major depressive disorder.The trend is almost the same in Taiwan where 22.2% of collegestudents were reported to have suffered from depression. The averageonset age for many mental health conditions is 18 to 24, which is thetypical college age range (Chenet al., 2015).
Collegelife can be stressful as students easily get anxious trying to manageacademics, social relations and finances at the same. When anxietybecomes intense, uncontrollable and frequent affecting day to dayactivities, it leads to a condition known as anxiety disorder,characterized by the lack of sleep, restlessness, and nervousness(Royet al., 2015).
Causesof Depression and the Effects
TheWorld Health Organization denotes depression as a common psychiatricdisorder with symptoms such as feelings of unworthiness, lack ofsleep or appetite, sadness, reduced or loss of concentration, loss ofinterest or pleasure and a sense of guilt. It mostly results fromexposure to severe and prolonged stressful events. College studentshave faced some stressors especially the transition they have to dealwith such as exposure to new and diverse cultures, lifestyle, newfriends and even roommates, change in living environment, supportgroup and being away from one’s family. Therefore whenever studentsfail to cope with the transition, they are more likely to experiencefeelings of inadequacy and inability to deal hence becomingsusceptible to anxiety, stress, and depression (Royet al., 2015).Academic stressors are also contributing factors to students beingdepressed, with students being pressured to do well either from theparents or students themselves.
Identitycrisis and lack of self-confidence among college students are alsoother stressors they have to face as they make new friends in collegewho can no longer reinforce the identity they have developed forthemselves. Finances for college students is also a major stressor assome students need funds for food, rent, and entertainment. Somestudents may need to take part in a part-time job to get some moneyto sustain themselves in school hence juggling between work andstudies become stressful for the student to manage efficiently(Saileshet al., 2014).
Roleof Internet and Social Media
Currently,the increase in internet access to many people, in particular amongthe adolescents has led to increased Internet addiction, such that itis time-consuming, uncontrollable, and excessive. Studies indicatethat internet addiction is a contributing factor to students’stress, anxiety and depression hence students who are highly addictedto the web are the most vulnerable to stress, anxiety, anddepression. This is because excessive use of the internet consumes alot of time one could use to interact with friends and family and asa result, the social circle is significantly reduced leading tostress and loneliness. It also leads to anxiety because there is atendency to neglect important parts of one’s life such asacademics, social relations, and work (Youneset al., 2016).Among college students, neglecting academics only leads to a lot ofpressure when preparing for exams, and as a result, they becomestressed and depressed.
Stress,Anxiety and Depression among Medical Students
Ina study conducted on medical students, it was reported that internetaddiction for medical students aiming to develop into medicalprofessionals could interfere with their studies and have an adverseimpact on their long-term career goals and ambitions. Depressionaffects the academic performance of students and provokes them tofollow unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and abusing otherdrugs. In the National College Health Assessment of GeorgetownUniversity students, it was reported that stress, anxiety, anddepression were the major contributing factors that impactednegatively on the students’ academic performance (Royet al., 2015).
Inanother study conducted on nursing students, it was reported thatclinical placements and learning experiences affected the nurses’willingness to pursue nursing further, because of depression fromemotional stress and place pressure. A study conducted in Taiwanreported that 65.4% of nursing students were the unwillingness tochoose nursing as a career, mainly because of the poor perspectivetowards job prospects and emotional stress (Chenet al., 2015).High levels of depression observed among adolescents with low gradesindicated that grade points contribute to students being depressed.This was also attributed to academic work overload, worrying aboutthe future and other career planning after graduation.
ManagingStress, Anxiety and Depression
Stress,anxiety, and depression are common conditions among college studentsbecause of the change and adjustments they have to deal with. Tomanage these conditions, various interventions need to be put inplace. According to National Institute of Mental health, 30% ofdepressed college students do not know where to turn to for helphence provision of counseling services in colleges can prove to behelpful. In a survey by Anxiety Disorders Association of Americareports that there is an increase in the number of college studentsseeking anxiety disorder services. It is, therefore, important todiagnose anxiety disorder and stress at an early stage among studentsto prevent depression (Saileshet al., 2016).
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