Students, like other young people are prone to face mental health challenges at one time or another.

Mental health professionals stress the importance of talking about such issues, but young people may lack the confidence, will, and money to seek the professional support they need. This article identifies potential mental health issues students may face, and the possible ways to overcome them.

Depression is a mood disorder that involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities. People experiencing depressive episodes may also experience mood swings, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, headaches and body pains that have no apparent physical cause. 

Symptoms for depression differ from person to person. These include the following:

  • Changes in sleep habits and appetite changes
  • Sadness, feelings of being overwhelmed, feelings of hopelessness
  • Having trouble concentrating and paying attention, difficulty reading and completing work tasks

If you begin to experience these symptoms with some regularity, you should seek assistance.

Consider contacting your primary healthcare provider or your student health center for a mental health assessment. Support groups can also make a big difference.


Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. However, mounting, ongoing feelings of worry, tension, and panic can interfere with daily life. When your daily life is disrupted, anxiety crosses the line to become a medical condition.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders may sometimes be mistaken for everyday stress or simply written off as someone worrying too much.

Symptoms for anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Feelings of stress and apprehension
  • Irritability, trouble concentrating
  • Sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat
  • Living in constant fear of failure — academically or socially
  • Trouble concentrating or seem to have a blank mind
  • Visible panic attacks 


Recognizing the Signs

Brief and occasional flashes of anxious feelings or behavior do not automatically indicate a mental illness. However, if anxious feelings persist, or if they begin to manifest in obsessive behavior or an overwhelming sense of fear, then it’s time to seek help. 

Consider consulting your primary healthcare provider (or your student health center) for a mental health assessment. An assessment can help determine if you are experiencing an anxiety disorder.

College students frequently use alcohol and recreational drugs, which can become problematic. Addiction describes a tangible pattern of physical and/or psychological dependence on one or more substances, including strong cravings and indulgence in substance abuse despite known risks and harms.

Symptoms of addiction are:

  • Slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or impaired coordination
  • Fear, anxiety, or paranoia for no apparent reason
  • Prone to suspicious behaviors, frequently get into fights
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, such as weight loss or gain, and changes in personal grooming habits
  • A sudden change in friends, activities, or hobbies

Drug and alcohol addicts often conceal their symptoms or downplay their addiction. 

Consult your healthcare provider today and find out what your options are for treatment.


As sensitive as this subject may seem, it is a reality and cannot avoid being mentioned in an articles as this. Quite a number of students have been victims and this could have been avoided if they have gotten the help they needed.

It’s important that anyone who may be suicidal receives the help they need as soon as possible. A majority of college students who take their lives have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness.

Many students experience frustration and doubt, but sometimes those thoughts gain an intense momentum, bringing students to a place where they seriously consider ending their lives. Signs of suicidal ideation differ from person to person; common warning signs can appear in a person’s speech, mood, and behavior.

Suicidal people may talk about feeling trapped, feeling as if they are a burden to others, feeling like they have no reason to go on, and ending their lives.

If you see any of the behaviors listed above in a friend, it’s important to talk to them about your concerns as soon as possible. They could be in a fragile state, so approach them with patience and help them seek out a mental health professional. 

Suicidal thoughts often stem from a preexisting mental condition. Depression, which causes distorted thinking, can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. Feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless from anxiety may also lead you down this path. Mental illnesses left untreated can have dire conclusions.


Footnote: In Nigeria, the most common cause of depression and anxiety among students is agitation on how to pay their next tuition fees, getting a decent accommodation close to campus, and the fear of not completing their degree.

Edugrant’s main aim is to see that every student has a safe space to learn and healthy state of mind to thrive academically. 

As the word mental health day is being celebrated worldwide, please consider partnering with us to create a safe learning space for students.

To partner with us, kindly visit our website and our social media pages to know more about us what we do to support students.

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