By Molly Leischner
| It isn’t all that surprising that college students are among the most anxious demographic in our society. I mean, look at the types of things do you deal with in your early twenties: homework, exams, money, relationships, homesickness. Causes of anxiety range from high academic pressure to overprotective parents to obsessive engagement with social media. College students become so overwhelmed with all the things they need to get done that they almost become paralyzed with not knowing where to even begin.
In a recent study performed by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State, it was concluded that “anxiety has now surpassed depression as the most common mental health diagnosis among college students.” They found that over half of students who visit campus health clinics note anxiety as a health concern. In fact, according to the annual national survey by the American College Health Association, one in six students have been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety within the past year. Anxiety has always been a common issue among college-aged kids, but it is the increase of intensity that is now causing more students to seek professional help.
This spike in the amount of anxiety cases among students brings a huge challenge for mental health centers on campuses. Due to such a demand for professional counseling, some supply closets at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Central Florida have been turned into therapists’ offices. In fact, the center reported a 15.2% increase in clients over the last year. Stephanie Preston, a counselor at U.C.F., suggests that more students are turning to professionals because “the stigma around mental health issues is lessening.” If you are feeling too overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, please don’t be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to seek help. Anxiety disorders are serious problems and can be treated.
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