College is a time of rigorous academic discipline. For many students, the transition into college, the pressure of academic performance, and a looming future creates too much stress. High volumes of stress can manifest in different ways. It is no secret that many college students “work hard to play hard”, regularly experimenting with drugs and binge drinking. However, too many college students develop a substance use problem, playing harder than they are able to keep working. A small but considerable percentage of college students are actively struggling with a substance use disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, more than 75% of mental health conditions develop before the age of 24 years old. Anywhere between 22-23 years of age is normal age of college graduates, meaning that their mental health issues are developing while they are in college.
College counseling centers around the country have reported higher amounts of college student stress, saying more students are showing symptoms of severe mental health issues. In speculation, it is easy to assume that no semester goes by on any given college campus without at least one student having a mental breakdown. The stress of their academics, relationships, social life, love life, future, finances, and more might be too much for them. Some cite helicopter parents as being to blame. Others cite transition adjustment disorders and other issues with taking on the responsibilities of independence and more responsibilities of adulthood. Mental health distress in college students shouldn’t be normal, but it is increasingly becoming normal. The problem is that students aren’t aware that having mental health issues is normal.
Shame about mental health stress in college students prevents many of them from asking for help. Despite on-campus resources and failing academics as well as health, they are too ashamed of their struggles to ask for help, so they continue struggling until their struggles become overwhelming.
Taking time out of college to work on your mental health could be a life-saving and a life-changing choice. If you are able to reduce your class load and make time for treatment, Design For Change has a student program for you to help you reach your goals, find sobriety, and manage your life in a way that promotes your mental health. For information, call us today: (877) 267-3646