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College Mental Health: Why You Should Check in with Your Young Adult

College is a new and exciting time for young adults. But, it can also be very stressful. “Many young people have struggles balancing independence and a heavy workload.”

Temporary stress and anxiety affect a large number of college students. But, parents should be aware of serious mental health disorders. College is the age when bipolar disorder and schizophrenia begin to develop.

College Mental Health: What are the Warning Signs?

Parents might mistake a serious college mental health issue for stress. “It may be hard for parents to tell if their college student needs better coping skills, a stronger support network, or treatment for a serious mental health issue.”

college mental health
College Mental Health: Signs of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can turn into a serious and life-threatening problem if left untreated. Signs of substance abuse include:

  • Not remembering actions or events
  • Relationship problems
  • Risky behaviors, such as driving drunk
  • Falling and sustaining other injuries
College Mental Health: Signs of Anxiety

If left untreated, anxiety disorders can ruin a college student’s life. The warning signs of anxiety include:

  • Frequent feelings of fear or panic
  • Recurring nightmares and other sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Obsessive thoughts
College Mental Health: Signs of Depression

Depression can be hard to spot. Parents often dismiss signs of depression for teenage moodiness. But, serious signs of depression include:

  • Deep sadness, anxiety and irritability
  • Loss of interest in social activities and favorite pastimes
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Loss of or increase in appetite
Poor College Mental Health

Parents should reach out to their adolescent if they notice troubling warning signs. Students suffering from mental health disorders need to seek professional help. Untreated mental health disorders can lead to “dangerous behaviors, and even suicide.”

College Mental Health Resources

Parents should encourage their child to “access on-campus resources.” Help is available at the “student counseling center, or health services.” Children might be reluctant to seek help on campus. So, parents should consider finding a nearby mental health professional. Search for a “community mental health center, hospital outpatient clinic, or private therapist.” After addressing a college mental health issue, it’s up to the student to “take an active role in treatment.”

To learn more about young adult treatment programs, click here