Strong Mental Health Linked to Academic Success
Depression impacts college students
Throughout the United States, college students are experiencing different mental health issues. For example, college students have confessed that depression severely impacts their academic success, according to a 2011 study by the American College Health Association– National
College Health Assessment. These individuals noted, “feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some time during two years. Another study at The University of Michigan found that depression was linked to lower GPAs and (in some cases) dropping out of college. These studies suggest that depression, which can be a severe mental health condition, can significantly impact academic performance to the point where people are abandoning higher education. As a result, it’s crucial to find and implement ways for college students to protect their mental health.
How symptoms of depression affect academic performance
There are specific symptoms of depression that can impact a student’s ability to perform in college. They are:
- Difficulty focusing
- Sleep disturbance
- Feelings of hopelessness
Students need to attend classes and be able to focus on their work. When you’re depressed, your ability to concentrate declines, and you can’t focus for long periods. If you’re taking care of your mental health and going to therapy, focus improves, and your grades will improve. Another symptom of depression is lethargy, sleeping too little, or too much. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may oversleep and miss class.
Depression can also make a person feel hopeless. A student who is depressed may question why they’re in school, or if there’s any reason to continue. They do not see hope in anything, including their academic life. If they went to see a counselor or therapist, they could talk about their loss of hope and learn coping skills for depression. That’s why it’s crucial to address your mental health issues in therapy.
Strong mental health helps students succeed
Some students live with chronic mental illnesses; however, these conditions don’t have to impact their academic success if they receive proper treatment. In the past decade, we have seen an increase in college students seeking help for their mental health. Between the years 2009 and 2015, there was an average of a 30% increase in college students seeking counseling services. according to a 2015 report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. Students who are seeking these services are performing better in school because they are taking care of their mental health. This study gives us hope that college students are seeking the help they need to get mental health support.
How online therapy can help
Sometimes, depending on the services available at a college, there are long waits to see a counselor. A student may be fearful of going to a mental health professional on campus. That’s where online therapy can help. If you’re in school and struggling with mental health, you could consider using a company like BetterHelp to get quality mental health treatment. Whether you work with an online counselor or someone in your local area, it’s crucial when you’re in college to prioritize your mental health. Your academic success will be greater if you put your wellness as a priority.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.