Causes of Mental Illness in College Students

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Causes of Mental Illness in College Students

Causes of Mental Illness in College Students

​​On the journey to building better mental health within the student population, it helps to develop an understanding of some of the key causes of mental illness in college students. With mental health problems in students on the rise, exploring causes and their triggers can help students develop personal strategies to proactively combat them. 

The unique pressures of college are well documented – it is a time of fast-moving change, stress, and anxiety. Beyond this, biological factors are always at play – our genetic make-up is a key factor in determining predisposition to mental health challenges, emotional resilience, and behavioral instinct. Environmental causes, such as substance abuse, experimentation, and dependency, can also play an outsized role in both physical and mental health.  

There are causes and triggers of mental illness, both at college and beyond, that everyone is actively able to positively influence. Environmental causes can often be within your control, such as the ability to surround yourself with positive people and consciously choosing healthy behaviors. There are also elements beyond our control, such as biological makeup, that it is important for us to understand on our path to developing better self-awareness and embracing our imperfections. 

Campus DBT delivers programs that unpack the causes of mental illness in college students, helping you learn about behavioral triggers, know yourself better, and enhance your emotional resilience so that you are better equipped to tackle the complexity of campus life. 

Stress Leading to Anxiety and Depression

Straight up – college can be a lot of fun. But it’s not just one constant party. Degrees require effort, not attendance. This can become all consuming, causing stress which manifests itself in negative ways including harmful behaviors, anxiety, and depression. 

Stress is one of the leading causes of mental illness in college students . We all respond to stress, and stressful environments, differently. Learning how to mobilize powerful coping mechanisms that tap our unique strengths is a key component of DBT Therapy. At Campus DBT, we believe that the best version of you already exists within you. Harnessing this best version of yourself requires embracing those parts of you that are imperfect, so that you can recognize and approach stress from a place of calm and ever-increasing control. 

When we are better equipped to identify what causes stress, and how we can best minimize its impact, we become more powerful at developing resilience to it. You’ll encounter moments of stress beyond college – so it’s one of the best times to invest in your ability to master it. 

Pressure and Distress

College comes at you from 360 degrees. 

Pressure can build from anywhere – friends, family, finances, professors, and ourselves. We often encounter students who are overwhelmed by the perceived pressure of needing to figure out your whole life in a narrow window. Dialectical Behavior Therapy imparts life-long positive tools that help operate as a release valve for this pressure, ensuring that when we encounter it, we can positively influence pressure while reducing potential harm. With mental health problems in college students on the rise, developing mechanisms to control and release pressure when we encounter it is a vital tool on your journey to building better mental health. 

Distress tolerance, the ability to manage distress and pressure, is one of the key benefits of the DBT Therapy programs delivered by Campus DBT. We work with you to explore how you react to pressure and develop powerful tools to help you identify and manage it. Pressure, no matter its origin, justification or nature, can lead to further problems and is one of the many manageable causes of mental illness in college students. 

There will always be an aspect of pressure at college and throughout the rest of your journey. To truly own your experience, developing the ability to handle it effectively will help you both now and well into your future.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse, and the damage it causes, can be encountered at any stage of life. For many, they are exposed to available and harmful substances for the first time during their college years. 

Substance abuse is not monolithic. Theres no ‘one size fits all’ experience to alcohol or drugs, or the harm they can cause. What we do know for certain is the negative impact that substances can cause to your emotional and physical wellbeing. Substance abuse is one of the most easily preventable causes of mental illness in college students. 

Campus DBT approaches issues of substance use and abuse from a position of no judgement. Every path is different. Every solution to substance abuse can be tailored to tap the unique strengths you have to combat it. Our dialectical behavior therapy focuses on fundamentally evolving mindsets as the gateway to fundamentally alter behaviours. Behavior patterns change when we are more conscious of ourselves, our triggers and response mechanisms. 

We provide individual sessions, skills group training and phone support – so that you have access to the support you need, when you need it. We also engage with additional support groups, such as AA and NA, for additional assistance where required.  

Campus DBT Programs

Offering programming throughout the year.

Contact us to find out when our next round is dropping