Tag Archives: Anxiety

Caring About a “Crisis of Mental Health” in College Students

A recent article in Psychology Today spotlights the state of many on our college campuses: college students are overwhelmed, anxious, and suffering from a wide spectrum of mental health issues. The statistics it cites are shocking:

“It is neither an exaggeration nor is it alarmist to claim that there is a mental health crisis today facing America’s college students. Evidence suggests that this group has greater levels of stress and psychopathology than any time in the nation’s history…

95% of college counseling center directors surveyed said the number of students with significant psychological problems is a growing concern in their center or on campus. Seventy percent of directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems on their campus has increased in the past year…

The Duck Syndrome: Do You Have It?

The perfect life. What does that look like for you? A perfect look? A perfect family? Perfect grades? The perfect friend group surrounding you? The perfect prayer life? This week, another article in the New York Times was written detailing the pressures of perfectionism that college students face. It’s not the first one that’s been written, highlighting once again the pressure that often leads to anxiety, depression, shame, and even suicide. After a popular student’s unexpected suicide at Penn State, a task force was formed to examine mental health on campus and, among other things, it “recognized a potentially life-threatening aspect of campus culture: Penn Face.”

It continues:

“An apothegm long used by students to describe the practice of acting happy and self-assured even when sad or stressed, Penn Face is so widely employed that it has showed up in skits performed during freshman orientation.

While the appellation is unique to Penn, the behavior is not. In 2003, Duke jolted academe with a report describing how its female students felt pressure to be “effortlessly perfect”: smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful and popular, all without visible effort. At Stanford, it’s called the Duck Syndrome. A duck appears to glide calmly across the water, while beneath the surface it frantically, relentlessly paddles. “

Worried, Anxious, and Holding a College Degree?

“Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers,” reads the title of a recent article in the NY Times. I work with college students so this wasn’t a surprising fact to read, but it caught my attention nonetheless. The university is in many ways a melting pot for all kinds of students – international students from Asia, the guy in cowboy boots majoring in agriculture, the partier on East Campus, the graduate student dressed to impress. All these students seem to have little in common, yet if this article is true, 1 in 6 of them have “been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety within the last 12 months, according to the annual national survey by the American College Health Association.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a student who hasn’t struggled with anxiety in some form throughout their 4 (or 5) years.

Depression: Warfare with the Sword of the Spirit

If you’ve ever experienced chronic undiagnosed car problems, you know exactly how frustrating this can be. Your car is suffering some minor malady – reduced mileage, strange noises, whatever – but the problem isn’t yet bad enough to cause a full-on breakdown. It just gnaws and gnaws at you day after day. Your best mechanic