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College is a time of new beginnings and opportunities. If you are struggling with a psychological disorder like ADHD, clinical depression, or anxiety, however, your college experience can suffer greatly. Here is a look at these three disorders, and why symptoms can exacerbate during your college years.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, does not only affect children. Children with ADHD grow into adults with ADHD; this is a neurobiological disorder resulting from chemical imbalances in the frontal lobe, so it is not a condition that children simply "grow out of."
Psychiatrists recognize three forms of ADHD: predominately inattentive, predominately hyperactive-impulsive, and combined inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive.
Regardless of the type of ADHD that you have, you encounter unique challenges in college that your peers do not face. Left untreated, your condition will interfere with your ability to succeed in college, even though you are an intelligent, driven, and creative student. Organizing, prioritizing, remembering deadlines, and adhering to commitments and responsibilities are all necessary skills for college success, and this disorder complicates each of these tasks.
Over 14 million American adults suffer from major depression. Depression is a mood disorder that involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, disinterest, and emotional exhaustion. Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad; everyone feels down every now and then, but people diagnosed with depression usually experience these feelings as a result of complicated genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
Your college years can contribute to your depression, even if you have never experienced symptoms before. The transition to college is ripe with lifestyle changes that frequently include new-found independence, financial struggles, stress, sleeplessness, and social strains. The same things that contribute to depression are also worsened by depression; for example, difficult classes can cause stress and bring about depression, which in turn affects your motivation and ability to do your best in these classes. It is a vicious cycle.
Anxiety disorders are very common, affecting about 40 million American adults. There are many types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety. These independent disorders have different causes and symptoms, but the underlying symptom is excessive, irrational anxiety that interferes with day-to-day life.
Like depression, anxiety can be exacerbated by college life. Anxiety disorders can interfere with your school work and your social life, and often come in tandem with other conditions, like depression. As a matter of fact, anxiety disorders are so incompatible with college environments that a large number of students diagnosed with anxiety end up dropping out altogether.
If you think that you might be suffering from ADHD, depression, or an anxiety disorder, make an appointment with a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. A skilled professional can help identify the symptoms you are experiencing and determine if you are indeed suffering from one of these disorders.
You might think that your symptoms will disappear over time, and they occasionally can. Yet, is your college education worth the risk? Your health care professional like Carol Vinson PhD can get you the help that you need, either through counseling or medication, so that you can focus on your education instead of expending your energy on coping with your disorder.