PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS

          


The number of students with significant psychological problems is increasing especially over the last 1 year

College students worldwide are at a higher risk for mental health disorders because of the range of stressors they experience and the transition from being a high school student to being a college student. Overall, the students may suffer anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, addictions, risk for suicide, use of prescription drugs, and other chronic psychiatric disorders.

Although college students share some similarities with other individuals in the general population, they have been found to be at a higher risk for negative mental health outcomes because they are exposed to two sources of transitional stressors: stress related to the transition from high school to college student status, and stress related to the transition from adolescence to adulthood. 

According to the World Health Organization [WHO] , over 450 million people live with a mental disorder. The WHO indicates that poor mental health is associated with certain determinants such as: rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, risks of violence and physical ill-health, and human rights violations.

 Moreover, there is evidence that there are factors present within academic institutions that negatively influence the mental wellbeing of college students. For example, an increase in stressful events such as not passing an exam, or financial worries related to student loans, or finding a part-time job to help cover the costs of books or other course materials, and for first year students, moving into unknown environments may result in the development of psychiatric symptoms.


T
he first-year students are more vulnerable to increased levels of stress because they often have ineffective coping abilities and lack autonomy when compared to students in subsequent years of study. The stress and anxiety experienced by first-year students also appears to be influenced by the isolative nature of the university environment now that students have moved away from family and friends, and have to be self-sufficient and function independently. They may demonstrate an inability to adapt appropriately to the stress and anxieties related to school demands and expectations, and eventually develop mental health problems.

Considerable number of students use addictive behaviors to cope with stressors related to the academic environment, like alcohol consumption and tobacco to cope with salient stressors within their social and academic environment.

The time span allotted for sleeping is often very limited among first year university students, which in turn can negatively influence their mental health status and psychological well-being. The increasing levels of stress can lead to changes in sleep patterns among this population which may lead to increasing amounts of alcohol consumption within the student population. Furthermore, these students often use alcohol, along with stimulants and other non-prescription drugs to help improve fractured sleep patterns and fight feelings of fatigue in order to perform academically. Chronic poor quality and quantity of sleep lead to the development of mental health issues problems, including increased agitation, depressive symptoms, feelings of fatigue, as well as negatively affecting their ability to function academically and socially.

 The most Prevalent Mental Disorders among University Students include Anxiety, and Depression. Depression is the most diagnosed mental illness among university students.

In conclusion, continuing stressors have negative influence on both physical and mental health, which exhausts individuals’ energy and may lead to less functional productivity.

If you are concerned about a college student's mental health please reach us on 0714972228, 0738905182, 0202365638 or email us @ nairobiparentingclinic@gmail.com

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