JOPLIN, Mo. — Isolation and uncertainty from the pandemic have denied students a traditional collegiate experience and right now many students are struggling. Experts are seeing an uptick in anxiety and even depression in students since the pandemic started.
Eddie Culp, Therapist, Will’s Place, said, “Anxiety isn’t just kids being nervous, it isn’t just someone being upset and the consequences can be detrimental.”
According to the national institutes of health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. But with the pandemic, experts say there is a growing concern for another group–college students.
“Just because of all the new stuff that’s going on, and like not having to be in school messing up their routine.”
Inaccessibility to their usual activities, isolation, and having to adjust to a virtual learning method, can all be sources of anxiety.
“If parents aren’t already, they should be just engaging their kids in general and kind of asking them about or inquiring about how things are.”
Culp says pay attention to the signs that something may not be right.
“Generally they’ll be more agitated, they may be more argumentative.”
But also pay attention to what they’re not saying.
“If they’re not talking to you as much as they were before then that’s a big red flag.”
Culp says a lot of times when we’re facing something uncertain or unknown, it naturally causes an increase in anxiety symptoms and those symptoms can impact students’ lives significantly.
“That can lead to academic underachievement, it can lead to kids starting to drink, it can lead to harmful behaviors, it can lead to suicidal ideation and ultimately what we really want for everyone to understand that your thoughts, actions, and feelings, are aligned. If you understand and know that, then you’re not acting on an unknown source.”
If you know anyone struggling with their mental health and they need someone to talk to, we urge you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-talk.