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Prudent Student: Things to do when anxiety takes control | Undergrad Success
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Prudent Student: Things to do when anxiety takes control

Prudent Student: Things to do when anxiety takes control
Sheerin Jafri

Anxiety, depression, stress are all very common with students, specifically undergraduates. So how do you feel when you’re anxious or depressed and do you know the reasons, as to why do you suddenly start feeling low? A huge proportion of depressed or anxious students roam around college campuses. There may be a variety of reasons behind student anxiety but there is not much awareness among students regarding help. Students resorting to extreme actions like: drug abuse, self-harm or suicide determines how most of them are going through mental stress and are unable to cope with it.

Psychological stress is somehow inevitable during college years due to academic pressures, fear of failure, bullying, the inability to fit in, adjusting to a work and study routine, relationship problems, uncertainty regarding future endeavors and what not. College is a time that is both, extremely exciting and stressful, because, this is when most people question their existence and make decisions like, what they want to do in life.

But there is hope for all those suffering from psychological issues because there is so much you can do when you feel like depression and stress is starting to engulf you. Here’s how:

How do most of them feel?

Most students say they experience a restless feeling followed by profuse sweating, headaches, lack of concentration, panic, fatigue, insomnia, decreased or increased appetite, and extreme mental stress while they are anxious. The problem is anxiety and depression further leads to several other health issues like hypertension, psychological issues, weight loss and deficiencies. Students, in such cases find comfort in excessive drinking or drug use which eventually leads to other serious health issues. Not just that but exceeding mental stress and anxiety in students also disturbs their academic performance, interfering with their attendance and reducing the chances of succeeding at getting good grades or completing college. One ailment can leave its negative impacts onto every major of your life.

Common causes:

As psychologists observe the reasons which most cause anxiety or depression among students, they find out that:

  • A number of students suffer from anxiety or depression during immense academic pressures, such as tension resulting from examinations.
  • Inability to multi task with tough schedules between studies and/ or part time work.
  • Most students graduate with heavy amounts of student loans so they are naturally more worried about loan repayments, getting a job and earning enough to be able to move forward in life. Hence, the fear of not having a successful future can literally make many students suffer from severe depression.
  • Peer pressure, is considered a common cause of depression and anxiety among college students. The need to fit in and adapt to certain college culture can sometimes result in anxiousness among students.
  • The inability to make it big on social media platforms, not having a strong virtual presence on platforms like Facebook and Twitter has been observed to increase causes of anxiety and mental stress. The age of social media and technology has increased the likelihood of cyber bullying among the younger generation.

How to cope with the problem?

The rate of students seeking help for mental health issues is less than the number of students suffering from problems like anxiety. Is there anything that can help students while the problem is still in its initial stages and prevent it from growing into serious problem?

  • If you get anxious more than often due to various reasons then freaking out about it won’t help you in any way. Try to stay as calm and relaxed if you think you are going to lose your cool.
  • Engage yourself in healthy activities like sports, meditation, swimming, music or just writing. All of these can help distract your mind from elements that stimulate depression or anxiety.
  • Try to manage things as smoothly as possible. College life demands multitasking but you should be efficient enough to manage things as productively as possible.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with everything at once. You know what amount of work and stress your mind and body can handle so you should keep that in mind before you decide to juggle between a tough work and study schedule.
  • It is quite natural and pragmatic to think about your future but if you’re stressing too hard upon what the future holds for you, then it will only result in affecting your present. It’s good to plan for tomorrow but overthinking can only lead to problems rather than solutions.
  • Maintain a healthy routine which allows you to have sufficient time to eat. A balanced diet that is based on healthy foods like: vegetables, fruits and less junk food can keep you more active and less stressful.
  • Don’t compromise on your 8-9 hours of sleep. A good night sleep can keep your mind and body more energetic and thus enable you to perform better in class, tests and other activities.
  • Yes, you have student loans to deal with in the near future but worrying about it would be of no help. So you better start saving early rather than start stressing about it early.
  • If you are going through severe psychological problem consult a psychiatrist or your campus’s counseling center immediately.

Psychological problems can start to affect your daily life and can intervene in your ability to perform normally, if not taken care of. Surround yourself with positive people and stay optimistic, life is not as hard as you think. As they say, “this too shall pass.”


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