Therapy for College Students: 4 Conditions Treated


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Are you a college student? Are you balancing a mental health condition on top of coursework and relationships with others? You’re not alone. Research suggests that around 77% of students in college meet the criteria for moderate to severe mental distress. You can learn more about how therapy programs can improve the mental health of college students here.

Mental health conditions: 4 common types

Experiencing a mental health condition while also managing school, work and social life can be challenging. Even though a large portion of college students struggle with their mental health concerns, it can often feel isolating. It’s important to know that you’re not on your own. Many of your peers may be going through any of the most commonly occurring mental health disorders on college campuses such as:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD) — MDD involves frequent bouts of low mood and the loss of interest in everyday activities. It affects 20% of college students. It can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life. If left untreated, MDD can be dangerous. It’s associated with self-harm, suicidality, substance use and impaired functioning. Therapy can prevent many of these risks from developing or worsening in college students who are juggling school and depression.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) — GAD is another condition that can interfere with the quality of college life. It’s characterized by chronic worry or concern about daily activities for more than six months. GAD can cause a college student to experience trouble with schoolwork and classes. It also interferes with socializing with peers and getting a good night’s sleep. Approximately 36% of college students experience GAD symptoms.
  • Self-harm — When a person is deliberately trying to hurt their body, it’s known as self-harm. Self-harm behaviors include pinching, cutting or burning oneself. People who self-harm are trying to find temporary relief or release from their mental health distress. They are essentially unhealthy coping mechanisms. Approximately 29% of college students carried out nonsuicidal self-injury in one year.
  • Suicidality — The risk of suicide is referred to as suicidality. which often includes suicidal ideation, intent and planning. It’s triggered by overwhelming negative thoughts and emotions. It can make a person feel like there’s no other way out. The intense mental health distress that comes from college has resulted in approximately 14% of students experiencing suicidal ideation in a year. Also, 6% devised a suicidal plan.

Benefits of therapy for college students

Therapy does more than give you the chance to talk about your feelings with an impartial party. Therapy sessions can provide several benefits to college students with mental health conditions. Some of the benefits of therapy include:

  • Improving self-confidence — One of the top benefits that psychotherapy sessions can provide to college students is increased self-assurance. Therapy can help people of all ages, including those in college. It helps them take steps toward building confidence in their own capabilities.
  • Improving self-management of symptoms — Therapy can teach young adults with busy schedules how to manage their symptoms, learn healthy coping strategies, and build resilience. 
  • Developing the ability to manage stress — College can quickly become stressful, and psychotherapy can help students learn how to manage their stress so that it doesn’t overcome them. Stress-management skills can prevent the exacerbation of many mental health conditions.
  • Building on emotional regulation skills — Licensed clinical therapists provide college students with the tools they need to regulate their emotions. Several mental health disorders may make emotional regulation a challenge. Therapists can teach young adults coping skills. They can also help students challenge old thought patterns and behaviors.

Prioritize your mental health with Lightfully U

While therapy can be an invaluable resource during and beyond the college years, sometimes additional interventions are needed. If you’re a college student in California struggling to cope with mental health challenges, meet Lightfully U. This virtual outpatient program was intentionally designed to accommodate the unique mental health needs and diverse schedules of college and university students so they can receive care without leaving school. All clients enrolled in Lightfully U’s virtual program can expect:

  • Flexible access to evidence-based mental health care
  • Personalized treatment tailored to meet your individual needs
  • Weekly process-based therapy sessions
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Group sessions
  • Care delivered by licensed clinical therapists
  • Learn skills and coping strategies
  • Medication management
  • Same-day admission available
  • Ongoing support even after you’ve completed treatment

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take steps toward a brighter version of yourself, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take those next steps together toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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