On college campuses across the nation, psychological health is a growing concern. Most universities provide mental health clinics where students can receive help if needed, but not everyone takes advantage of these opportunities. One of the most pressing mental health concerns among college students is anxiety. About 40 percent of students on campus struggle with some form of anxiety. Anxious feelings can be natural. After all, between finals, presentations in front of your class and concerns about the future, nervousness and stress are bound to crop up from time to time.
However, there reaches a point when anxiety becomes a real concern, as it can affect a student's ability to function and enjoy life. Thankfully, there are mental health resources that can help alleviate anxiety and allow students to cope. But first, students, friends and family need to look out for warning signs that anxiety has become too much and requires intervention.
6 Signs That a College Student Has Anxiety
Anxiety is more than just feelings of stress or anxiousness. It is a mental health disorder that can stem from genetics, biochemistry and even stressful life events. More than 40 million adults 18 years and older have an anxiety disorder, but that number may even be greater as some people don't recognize the signs that they struggle with anxiety.
What differentiates stress, which is common to almost everyone and perfectly normal, and an actual anxiety disorder? If you're a college student, here are six signs to look out for that could indicate you've crossed the line and may have an anxiety disorder:
- Excessive worry: This is often the hallmark of anxiety. Excessive means you worry too much about everyday things, both large and small. But how much is too much? A good rule of thumb is when you have persistent anxious thoughts most days out of the week for more than a few months.
- Difficulty sleeping: Whether it's trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, anxiety can cause chronic sleeplessness. You could find yourself agitated about school or nothing in particular, but many of those who have an anxiety disorder have difficulty sleeping.
- Physical symptoms: Although anxiety starts in the mind, it can manifest in physical symptoms felt throughout your body. The most common of these are digestive issues, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, dizziness, sweating, shaking and even difficulties breathing.
- Episodes of panic: A panic attack can be a terrifying event. These episodes cause you to feel intense fear and helplessness accompanied by physical side effects like dizziness, chest pain, numb or tingling hands and difficulty breathing. However, not everyone with anxiety has panic attacks.
- Compulsive behavior and obsessive thoughts: Even if you don't have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder, many people with anxiety struggle with repeated, unwanted thoughts or actions. OCD can be hard to spot as there are a number of different ways that it can manifest.
- Avoidance of social situations: Anxiety can be provoked by feeling uncomfortable in everyday situations like meeting someone new, making small talk or even eating in front of a small group of people. These feelings lead some people with anxiety to avoid social situations.
Brookhaven Retreat Can Help Women With Anxiety
If you're a woman in college experiencing severe anxiety, this disorder can make it difficult to perform daily activities, causing your school performance to suffer. It's okay to admit you need help. That's why Brookhaven Retreat is here. We offer support to women struggling with mental health disorders like severe anxiety. We provide a safe environment where you can learn techniques to cope with these symptoms so you can continue to thrive at school.
If you feel that you may need help with severe anxiety, we invite you to contact us today to find out more about our mental health services. We are a residential women-only mental health retreat that offers individualized treatment plans for longlasting recovery.