This is a great article from Harvard.edu regarding anxiety during our college years.
Even amid the rush of final exams and graduation celebrations at this time of year, college beckons with the chance to live on your own, find new friends, and explore interesting ideas. Yet for college students — as well as high school students and parents craning for a glimpse down the road — these changes can also be stressful. Overnight, college students separate from their traditional support system of family and friends. They also face many new challenges, such as living with roommates, managing heavy workloads, and developing an independent identity. It’s no surprise that anxiety often spikes during college. So, what do we know about anxiety during the college years? How can you cope if you’re facing it? And can you take steps this summer to help you handle anxiety when you head off to — or back to — a college campus?
- What do we know about anxiety in college?
- How to cope with anxiety in college for Students, Parents and Administrators
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My Comments: While this is overtly about anxiety and the college student, most of the content is applicable for adults, also. The main thrust of the article is; Anxiety is common, therefore often normal. And when too much, in intensity and/or duration, it is treatable. Anxiety is a signal, an alarm. It is part of our evolutionary make-up. Something new, different, or unexpected happens; we experience anxiety. It can be mild; or it can be an overwhelming emotional reaction. Within milliseconds our cognition jumps in to determine rationally, how much of a threat is this. Transitions, like beginning college usually triggers some anxiety. The article wisely points out that avoidance is almost never helpful and that there are things you can do that will reduce or eliminate. Finally, if your anxiety is limiting your functional capacities, it is treatable.