College students often feel a blend of emotions. They’re proud of their achievements and this step towards independence; but they probably also miss their friends, family, and routine back at home. Students may also be apprehensive about how they’ll handle the newfound or recurrent stresses of college.
Mental illness is on the rise among college students. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “more than 85% of college students described feeling ‘overwhelmed,’ and 51% reported feeling that ‘things were hopeless.’”
This is a new and startling trend, one that Dr. Anthony Rostain, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, attributes to a lack of emotional readiness in a generation raised on social media and by parents who tend to over-prepare and overprotect their children.
Dr. Rostain outlines three types of obstacles that students face when attending college:
- fear of not belonging socially
- fear of not performing well academically
- unrealistic expectations around what “success” actually means and looks like
For students who grew accustomed to excelling in high school, college can be a massive shock – students report feeling like they are in over their heads, and a single bad grade can feel like an ominous sign that failure is inevitable.
The Wall Street Journal article, titled “Is Your Child Emotionally Ready for College?” gives the example of a student athlete who injured his hamstring in his very first semester – he couldn’t compete in track anymore, and became isolated from his teammates. To cope, he resorted to drugs. It wasn’t until he failed a drug test that he began to receive help for the underlying depression.
The fear of failure, and an inability to effectively navigate it, can lead to a spiral of distress in students. At the same time, most students who are struggling do not believe that their problems are bad enough to require assistance from a mental health professional. The American Journal of College Health found that the reasons college students don’t seek help are because they don’t feel the problems are serious enough (66% of respondents,) they don’t have enough time (27%), or they feel they can handle it on their own (18%).
Fortunately, many colleges are working hard to remove the stigma of mental illness and are taking proactive steps to educate students about the signs of stress and mental illness. But what should you do if you are struggling? It’s important to know that medications with the potential of side effects are no longer the only option for treating depression and anxiety.
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Alpha-Stim uses a modality called cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) to restore balance to the brain. It delivers a painless microcurrent of electricity in a patented waveform through two small electrodes that clip onto your earlobes. You can use Alpha-Stim while you relax in your dorm, or while you study or do homework – it’s as compact and discreet as a cell phone with earbuds.
Unlike with medications, you won’t need to increase your dosage over time to maintain improvement. Results with Alpha-Stim are cumulative – you’ll feel better even as you use it less and less. And if you’re already taking medications, you don’t have to stop them if you don’t want to; Alpha-Stim is safe to use in conjunction with other treatment modalities.
Going to college is a major life change; it’s normal to experience fears and uncertainty. But don’t let depression, stress, and anxiety stand between you and your goals. Get started with Alpha-Stim today, and enjoy college to its fullest. You have big dreams, and we’re here to help you achieve them.
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Rostain, Anthony and B. Janet Hibbs. “Is Your Child Emotionally Ready for College?” The Wall Street Journal. 24 Aug 2019: C1. Print.