Anxiety and stress are very common reasons students come to the Counseling Center. Stress is a normal, but often-uncomfortable part of being a college student. Concerns about grades, projects, relationships, sex, family and friends can accumulate and become overwhelming. A certain amount of stress is actually a good thing. Stress keeps us focused and aware of all the things that need to be done. It can motivate you to study harder when you just aren't in the mood and to be thorough with your work.
But too much stress can develop into overwhelming anxiety. Too much anxiety can be crippling rather than motivating. It prevents you from completing projects because every little detail might not be "perfect" so you are afraid to hand your project in. You worry about things you know you have no control over, but you just can't stop worrying. You can't concentrate because you are distracted by other concerns. You may even have physical symptoms that scare you, like a rapidly beating heart, or you may fear you are having a heart attack or are even going to die. That is too much anxiety. If these concerns are intense enough or last for a period of time, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Here are some signs that may indicate an anxiety disorder:
If you experience some of these symptoms for a week or more or if they are so persistent they interfere with your ability to live your life, you can contact the Counseling Center for an assessment. Treatment is available and it can help you feel better.
Below are some web sites that can provide more information on anxiety disorders. Remember, they are for educational purposes only. For a full assessment, call the Counseling Center.
This site has general information on anxiety as well as information on specific anxiety disorders (social phobia, agoraphobia, panic attacks, etc.). Also it has links to sites regarding medication and other mental health sites.
A comprehensive site from the National Institute on Mental Health addressing specific types of anxiety disorders and treatment.
Another complete site providing access to information and resources about anxiety and panic disorder.
Psych Central page on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A site focused specifically on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).