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Mental Health

ANXIETY

At some point most college students report that they feel stressed. New environments, relationships, financial responsibilities, studying for exams or class presentations can leave you feeling anxious. In certain situations time and self-care (adequate rest, balanced diet, exercise), may resolve these feelings. Other students may feel a heightened degree of anxiety that includes intense worry or panic, physical discomfort, and an inability to calm themselves or relax. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 9 people in the U.S. suffer from an anxiety disorder at any given time. The good news is that there are effective treatment options for anxiety disorders and for many, the symptoms resolve or become more manageable.

Examples of anxiety disorders include:

Panic Disorder

A discrete period of intense fear or discomfort with symptoms that could include: palpitations (racing heart, pounding), sweating, shortness of breath or chest discomfort, dizziness, fear of dying or losing control, and abdominal distress. At times the symptoms appear to be unrelated to specific stressors and often dissipate in a short period of time.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Excessive apprehension and worry about a number of events or activities (such as work, school performance, health) that the individual finds difficult to control and persists on more days than not for at least six months. Symptoms associated with GAD may be restlessness or feeling "keyed up", fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbance.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Persistent unwanted thoughts, images, beliefs or compulsive behaviors that are distressing and interfere with activities of daily life. Common examples of obsessive thoughts are fears related to locking doors, leaving appliances on or unrealistic contamination from germs. Many people with OCD develop compulsive behaviors characterized by the overwhelming need to perform a ritual in order to prevent or reduce the resulting anxiety associated with the obsessive fear. Common compulsions are excessive hand washing, checking behaviors, counting rituals, ordering and hoarding.Persistent unwanted thoughts, images, beliefs or compulsive behaviors that are distressing and interfere with activities of daily life. Common examples of obsessive thoughts are fears related to locking doors, leaving appliances on or unrealistic contamination from germs. Many people with OCD develop compulsive behaviors characterized by the overwhelming need to perform a ritual in order to prevent or reduce the resulting anxiety associated with the obsessive fear. Common compulsions are excessive hand washing, checking behaviors, counting rituals, ordering and hoarding.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Persistent symptoms occurring after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Common examples are physical or sexual violence, accidents or war experiences. Symptoms can include: recurrent, intrusive and distressing recollections of the event, including thoughts, images or perceptions; recurrent dreams of the event or difficulty sleeping; acting or feeling that the event is recurring; avoiding people or situations that serve as a reminder; being easily startled and feeling numb and detached. Symptoms must persist for at least 1 month following the event and cause significant distress in one's life.

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