Anxiety & Stress: The Effect on College Students

By: Amy Griffith

     There is no denying that college students are under extreme amounts of stress. Earlier this year, 19-year-old Madison Holleran, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, jumped from a parking garage to her death due to stress. She gave no outwards signs of being suicidal, making plans to meet friends for dinner and posting an Instagram picture of Rittenhouse Square an hour before her death. This is a clear indication that regardless of how successful one is, stress and anxiety can affect anyone.

     According to the survey, “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010,” which involved more than 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges, the percentage of students rating themselves as “below average” in emotional health rose. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who said their emotional health was above average fell to 52 percent. It was 64 percent in 1985 (NY Times). The second leading cause of death among college students is suicide, which counts for approximately 1,100 deaths on campuses per year. The first leading cause of death is accidents (drinking and driving and overdoses), which could potentially be linked to depression and anxiety as well (Business Week).

     Some of the outward signs of stress are: feeling continuously anxious and nervous, gastrointestinal issues, aches and pains, sleep issues, frequent illness, high blood pressure, feelings of withdrawal from friends and family, and frequent headaches. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, feel free to contact Arista Counseling and Psychological Services at (201) 368-3700 to set up an appointment with a mental health professional in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY.


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