Anxiety is often a struggle for college students


Matt Dizon

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Forty million adults suffer from anxiety disorder in the U.S., according to a study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Students who suffer from anxiety can talk to a campus nurse for help. Cosumnes River College Nurse Michelle Barkley said about 8 out of 10 of students who come to see her, have some form of anxiety.

About 73 percent of college students living with a mental health condition experience a mental crisis on campus, according to a statistics in a study by Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska.

Studies by the ADAA show 75 percent of adults will experience their first episode by the time they’re 22 years old. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses, according to the ADAA.

Barkley said she has seen how anxiety can affect students’ learning abilities and their attendance in school.

“One big thing that is huge that I don’t think we do enough of is, stop, take a big deep breath in; even I have to take a step back and breathe,” Barkley said.

Sixty-one percent of college students felt overwhelming anxiety in the last 12 months, according to the 2017 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment.

“I’ve suffered with anxiety since my early 20s. I actually didn’t know that’s what it was until I was around 27 when I went back to school,” said Burt Herron, 29, an economics major . “My first experience was right before I was about to graduate and I just assumed it was from the stress of it all.”

“It wasn’t until later on that I started noticing a pattern, and experiencing it in other places than school, it would happen at home and at work,” he said.

Monique Woods, 38, a psychology major, said she doesn’t feel mental health is treated with the priority or even as delicately as it should be.

“I feel like if people can’t physically see what’s wrong with you, they don’t believe you,” Woods said.

More than 50 percent of students have felt overwhelming anxiety, making it hard to succeed academically, according to a study by CSC.

“That’s not hard to believe at all,” said Herron. “It’s a mental thing, yes, but you feel it, too. Your heart races, your breathing changes, your sleep patterns suffer like crazy.”

Herron and Woods are just a few students at CRC who have felt the effects of anxiety.

“Anxiety is just so awful,” said Tierra Mann, 29, an undeclared major. She mentions having on and off occurrences since she was in seventh grade.

“I would get so worked up when my mom would drop me off to school that by time the bell rang I was in tears and had to call her to come get me and high school wasn’t much better and I missed a lot of school dealing with anxiety,” Mann said.

Mann mentioned it took a lot of research to help her keep her anxiety at bay through breathing exercises and changing her thoughts to positive when it seemed like the walls were closing in.

Forty-two percent stated anxiety as the top presenting concern among college students, according to the ADAA.

As the fall semester starts it’s important for students to know there are resources they can reach out to on campus during stressful times and receive the proper help to get through the term successfully.

The CRC Health Resources is open Monday- Thursday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and can be found in OPS-126 or reach out by phone (916) 691- 7584.

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