National Anxiety and Depression Week: How to Help
May. 6, 2016
âCollege students deal with a unique amount of stressors in their lives at this age. It is a time of transition, and sometimes the first time of freedom they have had,â said Todd Jakub, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde-Dallas. Perhaps thatâs why, over the last five years, depression, anxiety and stress have been the three most self-reported forms of mental health issues on Americaâs college campuses. âThey [students] are told to be an adult but often lack the ability to deal with the pressure of having to transition.Â Most college-aged students deal with it fine, but when they cannot this will a lot of times will result in anxiety and depression,â he points out. As we observe Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week, itâs important for future health care professionals to not only understand how to identify symptoms, but also how to practically address situations that may come up during your studies. âCollege students deal with a lot of âfirstsâ at this age,â said Jakub, âwhich means that they have their first apartment, first electric bill, new friends, exposure to new cultures, and becoming their own person. Discovering who you really are as a person is hard, and at this age they may not have the skills developed to deal with it.â Often times, these feeling will manifest themselves in both a physical and psychological way. There are many different signs to look, but the most common and most easily identifiable are the following:
- Sleep disruptions
- Sense of doom and irrational fear
- Excessive worrying about something
- Trouble concentrating
DepressionThe signs for Depression, include all of the same signs for Anxiety, but the additional major signs tend to be things like:
- Loss of interest
- Apathy/Loss of appetite
- Social isolation
- Sadness and excessive crying
- Suicidal thoughts/ideations
When those around need a helping handSince youâve made a commitment to being involved in the health care field, you probably are known for your big heart and willingness to help others. Thatâs why it can be especially difficult to watch a friend or loved-one battle with these symptoms and issues. At a time where you may feel the need to âfix it,â Jakub has some other alternatives to consider:
- First thing is to understand what depression& anxiety is, and that it is a medical condition and treatable. However, depending on the level can be very serious if not treated.
- Encourage them to get help, donât demand it, and just encourage them to do so.
- Always remember that it is best to be a good listener to them, other than you be the one talking and giving advice.