FEELING LIKE YOU CAN’T KEEP UP?
Within the space of a few years, you move from establishing independence from your family, identifying and honing your intellectual and professional interests to preparing for life after school. Yet on the way you are frequently dropped into an unfamiliar environment, unknown peers, or demanding academic requirements. At times, difficult and unsatisfying relationships with professors and other adults. Worries about your families, including siblings and managing those relationships can intrude on your own strenuous academic demands.
What College Students Need
Separation and transition from the safety of family and friends into a world where you are alone to make your own choices and decisions can be exciting, lonely, confusing, and scary. This is a time to make the right decisions, whether it’s romantic relationships, friendships, social activities or academic. These decisions not only affect your college and employment success, they set patterns you will repeat for the rest of your life.
Challenges College Students Face
On top of those tasks, during ages 18 to 22 you are at the highest risk for developing a biologically based psychiatric illness of mood disorders including major depression and bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse and dependence, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. These symptoms can cause further confusion and perhaps anger, and with that you can’t ‘force’ yourself to have more motivation, feel more calm, cut back on drinking, etc.
My Approach as your College Psychiatrist
Psychotherapy is often helpful, a starting point for a conversation to help you sort through your concerns, goals, and impediments. Adjuvant treatments could include medication; holistic alternatives or addition to medication could include nutrition, life style changes including exercise and mindfulness, light therapy. The goal is for you to feel resilient, competent and understand your path to your future.