Under Pressure

College years are said to the best years of your life. There’s the newfound freedom from regulated classrooms, leaving the nest for the first time, meeting new people everywhere you go and less hours in class.

Along with these positive sides, there comes the ever-weighing responsibility that is attached to them.

Fewer hours in class means more homework and independent studying. Living on your own means being responsible for meals, doing you own laundry, finances and waking up on time for class.

Meeting new friends means putting yourself out there for people that you know nothing about.

These are just a fraction of the worries and stressors that affect college students across the nation.

While it is normal to have mild anxiety in everyday life, such as feeling nervous before an oral presentation or meeting a new group of people.

It is not normal for anxiety to be so severe that it alters daily activities, such as going out with friends, working, and going to class.

When it becomes a barrier in living every day life, it is no longer normal anxiety, but is referred as an anxiety disorder.
According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, more than 40 million Americans are diagnosed each year, and almost seven percent of college students have been reported having symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 75 percent of people who suffer from an anxiety disorder experience their first panic attack before they are 22-years-old
There are several types of anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when a person experiences excessive worrying for months at a time.

Symptoms can include trembling, insomnia, muscle aches, stomach aches, and dizziness.

Panic disorders occur when a person has panic attacks for no reason. Heart palpitations, swearing, fear of dying, chest pain and difficulty breathing are symptoms of this.
This disorder occurs often with people who feel they are trapped in a certain area.

Social Anxiety Disorder occurs when a person feels extreme anxiety about being judged by others. This leads to the person avoiding social situations, including being around other people and daily outings. Faintness, blushing and extreme sweating are all symptoms of this disorder.

With symptoms being so severe, living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and can lower the quality of life significantly.
Realizing that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder is the first step in getting help.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorders are very treatable, but only one-third of suffERERS receive treatments. In todays day in age, there are multiple treatment options available.

On http://www.adaa.org, there are self tests that people can take that ask a series of questions about every day life.
After taking the questionnaire, the Web site advises to bring the sheet to your primary doctor to discuss the results.
The only way to be sure if you suffer from an anxiety disorder is to talk to a doctor.

When meeting with a doctor, he or she will be able to properly diagnose you and help you come up with a treatment plan that best suits you.

Treatments vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the anxiety.

Some sufferers may only need relaxation techniques. Exercising daily is a great way to relieve stress and excess energy to help the mind wind down.

Talking to a therapist or attending counseling on campus may also be recommended to work through issues that are causing the anxiety, and how to work on not letting them affect daily life.

Medication may also be prescribed to help lessen symptoms of anxiety disorder, either on a short-term or long-term basis. Combanations of therapies are very popular.
The important thing to remember is that if you are feeling like this, you are not alone.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, up to 90 percent of patients can get better with treatment.
College years should be a time for individual growth and excitement, not an over abundance of fear and dread.
The only sure way to be properly diagnosed with an axiety disorder is to a see a doctor.

For more information on anxiety disorders, go to http://www.adaa.org, or visit the Health and Counseling center on campus in Marillac Hall, room 130.