The first major reason as to why college students suffer from depression and stress is because when you leave your home and go off to college, you are enduring a whole new experience that is very intimidating and stressful.
You will no longer be pampered, and cared for by a parent, which is a taste of adulthood. I think that there are many teenagers who go off to college when they are not mentally prepared for it yet.
I also think that the idea of college, and succeeding because it can impact your future scares a lot of people. That kind of fear and anxiety can push someone into a deep depression.
As Anne Marie Albano, an associate professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University said, “College is a tender age developmentally, a period when young adults start taking responsibility for their lives. They’re selecting careers, [and] moving toward financial independence…”
I agree with Albano, because I believe going off to college puts you in a vulnerable position, where you don’t know many people and you are forced to change your lifestyle completely.
The second role I think that plays a role in depression or stress is the tremendous costs of colleges. There is a lot of financial troubles that many families have, especially now during the recession. With the extreme expenses of college, parents may put pressure on their kids to help out with the costs by getting a job, which would make life a lot more stressful if you are a student as well.
High school students could easily have these same issues because of increased stress of getting accepted into a college of their choice. There are many high school students who will push themselves to hard with work, and never give themselves a day to detoxify or relax. This can be detrimental to their physical and mental health. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can become ill, and lack of physical activity and social contact can contribute to depression.
I have a good friend at Fairfield Warde who is taking six advanced placement courses, and he no longer has any time to exercise or socialize with our friends. He fell into a clinical depression last year, and I think that his obsessive work habits contributed to it. He is on medication now and is back to normal, but stress and depression are very common, especially in a college motivated area like Fairfield County.