Theory of Knowledge

A unified approach to psychology and philosophy

The College Student Mental Health Crisis

There is an abundance of evidence pointing to deteriorating mental health among today's college students. This blog reviews the major pieces of data, setting the stage for a discussion as to what might be causing this mental health crisis. Read More

I believe it is the constant

I believe it is the constant competition and comparison between students and the need to ignore your personal style and conform to a certain way of doing things to be successful.

I wonder if certain subjects have a higher rate of depressed and anxious students?


Zoe is 100% correct.
Students at all levels are facing ever greater levels of competition each year. They're forced to higher and higher levels of performance with less time to grow as people or learn anything. They grow up delaying gratification forever because there's always another hoop to jump through. Extracurriculars are about what would look best on a college application or get a great scholarship. I don't blame parents at all; college admssions has gotten so competitive—and costs so insane—students and parents are running to stand still.


Thanks to Zoe and Anonymous for your comments. I am cataloguing the possible reasons and will share that blog in a week or so.


It's so sad to watch the

It's so sad to watch the deterioration in young people's mental health. It's like kids can take one of two paths: hyper-achieving or dropout. It's all or nothing, and the top is the only thing that's good enough. There's not much room at the top, plus it's crazy at the top - ask anyone who is there/has been there and is willing to be honest about it (me, for example, although this is not about me so you're spared the details). With no child left behind and every action quantified into competitive percentiles, no wonder our kids are suffering. I wish all our kids knew what garbage went into standardized testing, what adult life is really like, and how much we all fail along the way. They wouldn't feel so much pressure to be perfect, and they'd know the truth about the adults evaluating them.
Excuse the disjointed the rambling, it's just frustrating to see the effects of the world we created and what it's doing to kids.

I beleive we are more aware

I think the rise is due to a more open dialog concerning mental illness and our increased awareness. I was in college in the early 90s and in hind site I was suffering from mental illness. I felt suicidal, had a difficult time adjusting, was lonely and felt isolated. There were very few mental health services available at the time. I felt like it was wrong to talk about my suicidal thoughts and so I hid them. I only thought people with schizophrenia had mental illness and knew very little about anxiety and depression, or even how common it was. The counseling I received through the university was done by a student, not a listened therapist. I think that the rise in occurrences in mental illness we are seeing is due to our increased education and awareness. If I had know what exactly what was going on with myself, I would have advocated better treatment for myself. My view on mental illness was that it was not something that could be managed or even something that you could recover from. I certainly at that time did not want to be labeled "crazy". So I hid my thoughts and pushed through. I am hopeful that we will continue to find better treatments. I still have anxiety and depression and often wish I could have gotten better treatment when I was younger.

Mental Health crisis

Mental health condition decides a person's personality as well as stability. Mostly people were mentally suffering due to various reasons such as; depression, lack of less efficient diet plan, lack of physical workout and many more. But due to lack of proper mental health treatment we are unable to fight against mental health challenges; and here also we have found that how college students are also suffering from mental health crisis. I hope with the help of suitable medical care we can get enough chance to develop our way of serving medical care service.

mental health crisis

I am almost finished my B.A.

I found the only way to stay sane, is to do something like doodle, in a quite area untill. I admit I am tired. Drinking only increase the animosity I had from the corse load.
The other thing was having to remeber enough so in the second part of the course I would not forget the foundations I had learned.
Peopl always stress that the final gpa is the difference between a job or not.
I had to learn that reguardless of the gpa if I had done the best I could than that was more than good enough for me.
What all this amounts to is, a student has to give themselves time to decompress from the high competitiveness, that college edu comes with.
(My courses have been the 7 week full crredit ones, after 3 1/2 years,dealing with my personal life and overcomming surprises that arrived this is what keeps me sane.
Right now I am doodling and meditating
Next week?
Part of learning how to decompress is to leave safe options open so you can still enjoy your life.

The illusion of achievement

How can you be happy if you don't understand what makes you happy? How can you feel successful and valued if you believe your priority is to get bigger and better? In the over-advertised, over-sexualized and over-mediatized day-to-day, kids and teenagers integrate myths and lies into their lives that take years of working through anguish of all kinds to unlearn. Okay, so your sex drive is through the roof, but what you're really craving is emotional intimacy.

Being in front a screen for hours every week during a decade or more is a perfect base upon which to build unrealistic expectations and programmed responses. When autonomy and adult priorities start entering the picture in late high school and college, many people don't know what to make of their new emotions and priorities because they haven't practiced living in reality

The case of Elliot Rodger, who went on a rampage in May 2014, is the extreme end result of toxic images and ideas that fill up our days. His manifesto "My Twisted World" is revealing of many common social ills that foster mental illness when left unaddressed in childhood and teenage years.

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Gregg Henriques, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at James Madison University.


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