In-depth: Mental illness and its presence on college campuses

by Christine Murphy

Around the world, mental illness has become a big problem with college students.

According to Dr. Gregg Henriques, psychology professor at James Madison University, mental illness is something that is found on college campuses, and the problem is only getting worse.

Recent studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) have found that students have become more susceptible to mental illness than at any other point in history.

Ninety five percent of university counseling centers have reported an increase of mental health concerns on their campuses. Fifty seven percent of women and forty percent of men have reported having overwhelming anxiety in their lives. Some people said that it got so severe that they couldn’t function in everyday life.

(Photo: Google)

(Photo: Google)

A contributing factor to mental illness is that 14 percent of college students have a noted learning disability. With these issues, the use of “study drugs” have become much more popular among students, according to the NIH. Drugs such as Ritalin are prescribed for students suffering from ADHD, but according to Henriques, using drugs that are not prescribed for you is very harmful to your body both mentally and physically.

Sleep has a serious affect on a person’s mental state.

“With college students averaging just over 6 hours of sleep and the serious problems associated with sleep deprivation clearly documented, the poor sleep patterns are not to be taken lightly and are likely significantly associated with mental health problems in other domains,” said Henriques.

Abuse of alcohol, binge drinking, driving under the influence, and excessive drinking on college campuses has become a problem because of the mental stress. Over thirty percent of students in a study done by the NIH have been diagnosed with an alcohol problem. Having a fractured mental state can really affect decision making said the NIH.

When people have mental insecurities such as depression and suicidal thoughts, they tend to turn to the things that can do the most harm to their bodies. The NIH cautions anyone who wants to take matters into their own hands. It can become a very serious situation if handled the wrong way.

There is a big mental health crisis that is occurring in young people across the country said the NIH. There is a lot to be done to make people aware of the mental health concerns are present in society.

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