Sunday, January 3, 2010

Colleges see more serious psychological problems

Stress from the economic downturn, trouble coping with the transition to college, and general depression and anxiety appear to be hitting college students at rates never seen before on U.S. campuses.

College counseling centers are also seeing many more students with complex mental illnesses, such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder, center directors say.

In 1988, 58 percent of counseling directors nationwide reported seeing students with significant psychological problems, according to a survey conducted by Robert Gallagher of the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the past 10 years, more than 90 percent of directors reported seeing such students, with 93.4 percent this year, Gallagher wrote. Areas of concern include depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation.

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