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4 Common Mental Health Problems Students May Face This Year

May 3 2021 - University can be a difficult time as it is, but with the pandemic still disturbing our normal way of living, it has put an even bigger strain on university students who may have had to adjust their study schedules and patterns so that they can help keep themselves and their loved ones safe from the coronavirus. This added stress can make what is already a stressful time even worse, as students not only have to worry about passing their exams and attending classes, but they also need to ensure that they are following government guidelines, such as wearing the correct protective wear and not heading onto campus unless it is essential. Typical seminar sessions turned into online learning, which although beneficial, could cause a strain as students have had to adapt quickly and without much warning.

There are several common mental health problems that may impact students. The best way to deal with them is to recognize the signs and know how to counter them so that you feel better and have a healthier and happier outlook on life. Here is a list of some of the most common mental health problems a student may experience and how they can counter them.

1. Mood Swings and Disturbances

You may experience mood swings and mood disturbances more frequently due to the uncertainty of the world and how countries are handling the current pandemic. This can impact your studies as you are unsure on your future and could be worrying about your health and well-being, but also the health and well-being of your friends and family. Add the usual stress of studying for and taking your exams, and your moods may begin to fluctuate from a high to a low much more easily and without much reasoning behind it.

The typical signs of mood swings are simply seeing that a personís mood shifts from one extreme to another very quickly. However, you may also experience irritability, aggression, ongoing sadness, emptiness, difficulty concentrating, and a change in sleep patterns.

If you are experiencing mood swings and disturbances, it is in your best interests to speak to a professional. They can provide you with the tools and resources needed to help you get through this difficult time. They may also assist you in your studies, such as suggesting a different option that may be better suited to you during this time. For instance, if you believe studying online to obtain a degree is the way to go, this is very wise decision - and one that may be beneficial to you as it can help you balance your day and moods better. One great online institution you could consider enrolling in is Marymount University, which offers a variety of accredited degrees.

2. Depression

It is believed that depression is much more common than we are led to believe, but rather than have people talk about it, people tend to suffer in silence as mental health issues such as depression are not taken as seriously as physical injuries or illnesses. There are a lot of surprising facts and statistics revolving around depression; for example, 50% of people living with depression globally do not seek or receive treatment.

If you are a student struggling with depression, or you are unsure as to whether you are depressed, then make sure you know the signs and symptoms. Typically, you will feel low and sad for extensive periods of time, you may feel confused, youíll experience extreme mood changes, and you may even withdraw from your friends and family.

The pandemic could easily trigger depression in people as many of us were forced into lockdowns and unable to leave our homes to see friends or family members. This alone can be a cause for depressive episodes. As a student, you may have some mental health nurses that work at the university. Do not be afraid to reach out to them.

3. Anxiety

The current pandemic has caused a lot of us to feel anxious about our futures, especially students who are unsure as to how they can complete their degrees but also what the job market may be like once they do complete their course and graduate. While university in itself could cause you to be anxious, the added stress of the pandemic could cause a personís anxiety to heighten. This is because when a personís daily life is disrupted, they may experience an intense feeling of anxiety that lingers or causes them to immobilize.

Typical signs of anxiety include feelings of stress or apprehension; shortness of breath; inability to concentrate; feeling fearful of the future to an excessive amount; sweating; dizziness; increased number of headaches; and upset stomach.

Some of us may be more prone to bouts of anxiety due to genetics, but life experiences (especially those that have been traumatic) can also cause anyone to feel anxious. Even those who may never have experience an anxiety disorder before could develop one.

4. Addiction

The student lifestyle can see students consuming large amounts of alcohol and, since the pandemic, there could be more of a temptation to drink alcohol to help them deal with the added pressures and stress of the current climate. If you are suffering from addiction, then you are likely to crave certain substances that are known to cause risk or harm to your health and well-being.

Students who suffer from addiction will usually exhibit symptoms such as fear and paranoia for no reason; a need for ingesting the substance they are addicted to; slurred speech and/or impaired coordination; and a sudden change in hobbies or friendship groups.

University life can be an exciting time, and being a student allows you to study a topic that you love while also meeting other students who are likeminded individuals and who may become lifelong friends. If you ever feel like you are struggling with your mental health, you should always speak to a mental health professional who can offer you the right resources. Never ignore any signs which signal that you may not be okay or feeling your best.

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