College & Bipolar: Strategies for Success

College can be hard even without a bipolar diagnosis but with lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma.
As if you don’t have enough to handle just getting through college, wham—you get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Truth is, the timing makes biological sense. The late-teen years are a vulnerable period for onset of mental illness, whether you’re at college or not, because of the way the adolescent brain develops and teenagers typically behave.
Finding out you have bipolar is a blow, but it doesn’t need to knock you out of the game. With lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma—especially if you’re willing to take some extra time, have a plan B and, most of all, accept and accommodate the illness, says Russ Federman, PhD.
“I feel very optimistic about students’ ability to lead satisfying and productive lives,” says Federman, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia (UVA) and co-author of Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (New Harbinger, 2010).
Read entire article at BPHope.com.

Guide for College Students with Psychiatric Disabilities

According to the latest statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 43.8 million Americans, or 18.5% of the national population, experience mental illness every year.
College students with psychiatric disabilities face unique educational challenges. Dedicated mental health counselors and disability coordinators are available on most campuses, and students can typically seek medical attention. Many students, however, do not know how to get help for their problems. To help students get the assistance they need, we have examined instructional strategies, course accommodations, and other campus services designed to serve this population. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive resource for college-bound high school seniors and currently enrolled postsecondary students who struggle with mental illness.
Read the entire article at www.bestcolleges.com/resources/

College guide for students with psychiatric disabilities

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported the following about college students:
  • 30% struggle with school work due to mental illness
  • 25% experience suicidal thoughts
  • 14% engage in reckless behavior
These shocking numbers moved the team at BestColleges.com to do more research about mental illness among students. We realized those struggling with mental illness contend with a true disability that requires the full support of their learning community. We published our College Guide for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities as a way to start a conversation about this issue. Our goal is to share this with as many students, families, and educators as possible.

 

Top Mental Health challenges facing college students

Research shows the top mental health challenges facing college students are:
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • suicide
  • eating disorders
  • addiction
Additionally:
  • One in four students have a diagnosable illness
  • 40% do not seek help
  • 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
  • 50% have been so anxious they struggled in school
In a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, 36.4% of college students reported they experienced some level of depression in 2013. Depression is the number one reason students drop out of school.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.; they affect 40 million adults over the age of 18, yet only one-third seek and receive treatment. The ADAA goes on to say that nearly 75% of those affected by an anxiety disorder will experience their first episode before the age of 22.
College can be a stressful time. Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and despair can build when students don’t take steps to cope with stressors. Statistics show that 10% of college students have thought about or made a plan to commit suicide. There are over 1,000 suicidal deaths on college campuses in the U.S. every year, as reported by Emory University. It’s important to note that most students who are suicidal suffer from depression or other mental illnesses.
Millions of college students – both women and men – develop eating disorders during their college years, and a vast majority does not seek help or don’t realize the extent of their issues. These disorders cause serious mental and physical problems that can result in life-threatening issues when left untreated. According to statistics provided by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) 95% of those with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.
Read more at BestColleges.com about these mental health challenges, including signs, symptoms, resources and more.
Learn about NAMIonCampus. NAMI on Campus is an exciting extension of NAMI’s mission into the campus community. NAMI on Campus clubs are student-led clubs that tackle mental health issues on campus by raising mental health awareness, educating the campus community, supporting students, promoting services and supports and advocating. NAMI on Campus clubs aim to address the mental health needs of all students so they have positive, successful and fun college experiences.