Students: when to seek help for your mental health
Although very exciting times - University life can create many challenges for students: leaving home for the first time, meeting and making new friends, managing on a tight budget and coping with a whole new life.
Often students who have been coping with a problem at home find the new stress and responsibilities hard to manage and may need extra support or therapy in order to cope.
Some common signs that you may not be managing include:
- weight loss or weight gain
- sleep problems - too much or too little
- poor attendance at lectures
- drinking heavily or taking drugs
- becoming withdrawn or more agitated
- anxiety or depression
Do not be embarressed - you are not alone and seeking help whether that be from a friend, family, tutor, GP or mental health professional can make a huge difference.
Eating Disorders in Students
Sadly, teenage eating disorders is on the rise. We often find that the stress of leaving home and coping with new found independence can bring on or make worse an eating disorder.
If you become aware that either you or a friend is suffering from an eating disorder it is really important to seek professional help before it becomes entrenched and takes over your life. You can also read our tips to support someone with an eating disorder.
Drugs and Drinking Problems in Students
Student life encourages a more 'relaxed' attitude but if not checked drink and drug problems can easily get out of hand.
Party drugs may be more available but the effects are no less devastating on your studies and long-term mental health.
If you are concerned that your drinking or drug taking is getting out of hand and you find you are becoming reliant or experimenting with more drugs - it is important to seek help.
A certain level of stress is normal and can help you cope with situations. However, stress can become overwhelming. Some signs that stress are overtaking your life include:
- sleep problems
You can read more about the how your body changes when you feel anxious and how to cope with those changes here. Our online anxiety test offers an easy and anonymous way of finding out if your symptoms are the consequence of an anxiety disorder. The test should take about five minutes and could be the first step towards getting the help that’s right for you. Take our anxiety test
Professional mental health help for students
All of these problems can seriously impair your academic performance and can be very distressing for you.
If you feel you need professional help for yourself, a friend or a family member who is struggling with an emotional or mental health problem there is support out there for you. Remember that you’re not alone. Talk to a trusted family member or friend or look up online resources and websites to support your mental health. For young people, KOOTH offers online forums to talk things through. Heads Together and The Help Hub offer free online advice and supportive text sources.
Clinical Partners provides exceptional mental healthcare to thousands of people throughout the UK every week. Explore our adult health hub for more information.