Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Your Mind at Risk?

There's been a lot of interest lately in the startling number of young people showing signs of mental illness. More specifically, it seems a lot of people between the ages of 13 and 24 are suffering from stress-related problems. What can stress do to your mind? Well, excessive pressure can wreak havoc on your emotional state and cause depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What's causing all this stress? According to surveys sponsored by MTVu, the top problems faced by young people were:
  • academic responsibilities and competition
  • anxiety about the future
  • techno-stress
  • excessive commitments
  • peer pressure / bullying
  • international affairs / threats
One study found that college students in particular were at risk, with nearly half of all students reporting mental illness. A more alarming statistic is that suicide is the #2 cause of death among college students. However, the problems don't stop upon graduation. In fact, young professionals report more daily stress than their seasoned colleagues. To make matters worse, many young people refuse to seek the help they need because they see stress and emotional disruption as "normal."

Thankfully, there are many options available specifically for young people seeking help. One great site to check out if you want more info / ways to help yourself or a friend is Half of Us, which is sponsored by MTVu. The site offers self-assessment tools, loads of information, and also has a phone hot-line for immediate needs.

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