Sunbury, PA: More college students reporting anxiety; increase attributed to "decreasing stigma"

Dec 26, 2017, Sunbury (PA) Daily Item: Anxiety rising on campuses; universities doing best to accommodate Melissa Seek recalls her hands shaking during one of her anxiety attacks during her first year of college at Susquehanna University. Seek experienced an increasing number of panic attacks during her freshman year. Since then, she has been managing her anxiety by understanding how her anxiety works, the expectations of college as well as using breathing exercises and the support of those close to her. However, she said she isn’t the only college student currently dealing with anxiety. Seek is one of a growing number of undergraduate students who have reported increased mental distress and illness across the country. The Association for University and College Counseling Centers Directors found the number of college students concerned about anxiety went from 41.6 percent in 2012 to 47.3 percent in 2015. … “I think there are a lot of factors as to why we are seeing more cases,” said Kettlewell. On one hand, more people are able to openly discuss their mental illnesses due to a decreasing stigma against them, she said. But on the other hand, she also thinks cases of mental illness have increased in college students due to the cultural landscape of their upbringing. Kettlewell said the constant exposure to social media has increased loneliness in students. Social media not only enables the user to compare themselves with a curated image of another person but also miss out on getting to know oneself and others.