What Causes Mental Health Problems in Students?

In recent years, the frequency of mental health problems among students has hit the roof. This crisis is a global issue that casts a shadow over the once exciting higher education. It has sparked widespread discussion and urgent calls for action from different quarters. In this regard, understanding the causes behind mental health issues is crucial for fostering a supportive environment that empowers students to thrive both academically and emotionally. As we delve into the undying factors contributing to this sensation, it’s essential to explore the causes of mental health issues in students to promote their well-being and success.

The most common mental health problems among teenagers are anxiety, mood disorders, attention disorders, and behavior disorders. It's important to note that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24 years.

Causes of Mental Health Issues in Students

students mental health problems
students mental health problems

With academic pressure and the socioeconomic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing a sharp increase in mental health problems among students. Schools have become battlegrounds where students face various things that can harm their mental well-being. We recognize that it’s vital to understand these causes to create a supportive environment that improves students’ mental health. We’ve researched the factors affecting the mental health of students to understand the causes in order to create ways to help our students.

Impact of the Pandemic

During the pandemic, students faced significant mental health problems. Isolation, fear, and uncertainty took a toll on their well-being. Students faced stress and anxiety from disrupted routines and remote learning. For instance, the shift to virtual classrooms has reduced the support networks in physical classrooms.

Academic Pressure

Universities and high schools have become sources of intense academic pressure that harm students’ mental health. Pursuing high grades, scholarships, and admission to prestigious institutions add to the burdens. The demand for coursework, exams, and extracurricular activities from student-athletes also lead to burnout.

Loneliness Battles

Although colleges are filled with people, students often feel lonely. Peers can surround you but finding genuine friends and connections is rigid. The demand for coursework and extracurricular activities leaves little time for socializing and building relationships. Moreover, the rise of social media has worsened since it has replaced meaningful human connection. Loneliness becomes a significant issue as a great factor affecting the mental health of students, which silently erodes their mental health.

Neglected Self-care

In the pursuit of academic success, students often neglect self-care and coping mechanisms. Ignoring physical health, sleep, and relaxation time can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Equipping students with stress management skills and promoting self-care practices are vital to safeguard students’ mental health.

Struggle for Protection

The strive for excellence can be hazardous in college. As the success pressure grows, students find themselves trapped by impossibly high standards. It becomes a stressful race where every assignment and exam grade feels like a judgment of their worth to them. This constant pursuit of perfection often leads to anxiety and mental distress.

Huge Expectations

Cruising through college is like carrying the weight of the entire world on your shoulders. Students face immense expectations from themselves, other students, and society. They feel pressure to excel academically, secure internships, and find suitable job opportunities. This expectation can crush your spirits and take away the joy of learning. Amidst these pressures, mental health often suffers and gets neglected.

Act Balancing

College life is a constant struggle to balance academic and personal responsibilities. You try to keep things in harmony, but it’s not easy. You have to juggle multiple commitments and obligations, which leaves you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. All this makes students face a scarcity of time and battle fatigue. Besides, pursuing knowledge and personal growth becomes challenging as mental health takes a backseat to the demands of college life.

But understanding the link between mental health issues in students and their academic performance is critical in today’s educational landscape. Stress, anxiety, and depression – common mental health problems often experienced by students – can drastically impact their ability to focus, learn, and excel in their studies. Under such circumstances, academic essay writing services like CustomWritings can be a valuable resource that offers personalized writing help to prevent students’ balance between their academic demands and personal responsibilities. Through this targeted approach, students can manage their academic workload better, leading to reduced stress levels and improved mental health.

Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students

Thus far, it’s no doubt that in higher education, dreams take flight, and a hidden mental health problem among students exists. Behind the curtains, college students face increasing mental health challenges. Their emotional well-being is scattered amidst the overwhelming workload and societal pressure.

Mental health issues in high school and college students can arise from a combination of genetic family history and environmental factors. Factors like home environment, friendships, extracurricular activities, jobs, academic pressures, and more can contribute to mental health struggles in students.
college student mental health
college student mental health

So, why are mental health issues rising among college students? We’ll tell you why.

  • Addiction: College students are susceptible to various forms of addiction, such as alcohol, gambling, gaming, and even excessive internet and social media usage. The pressure of academic performance and the transition to adulthood can also contribute to developing addictive behaviors. Addiction severely affects students’ academic performance and overall well-being.
  • Depression: College students often face various stressors that include homesickness, financial constraints, and academic excellence, which can contribute to depression. Symptoms may include changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
  • Anxiety: Students commonly experience anxiety due to academic expectations and the uncertainty of the future. Anxiety disorder involves excessive and persistent worrying, fear, or unease that significantly impacts daily functioning. Anxiety also affects students when writing because of panic attacks. Besides, chronic anxiety can also interfere with academic performance and overall well-being.
  • Eating disorder: Recent years have seen a rise in eating disorders among students due to academic stress, social pressure, and the desire to control. This condition is a serious mental health problem characterized by disturbance in eating behavior, body image dissatisfaction, and obsession with weight and shape. It leads to severe physical and physiological consequences if not addressed promptly.
  • Isolation: Many college students often feel alone because they live far away from home or feel disconnected from their peers. Social isolation often leads to feeling lonely and depressed. It is crucial for students to actively engage in social activities, join clubs or organizations and seek support from counseling services to combat isolation and promote a sense of belonging.
  • Sleeping disorder: This condition encompasses various conditions that interfere with a person’s ability to get sufficient sleep. Students commonly experience sleep disorders due to irregular schedules, academic demands, excessive stress, and poor sleeping habits. Such conditions as insomnia and circadian rhythm disorder increasingly impair concentration and memory.

So, Beware of the Causes of Student Mental Health Issues

According to a recent survey, 44 percent of students reported symptoms of depression, 37 percent experienced anxiety, and an alarming 15 percent said they were considering suicide. This is the highest rate of suicidal ideation in the 15-year history of the survey. The survey included over 90,000 students from 133 campuses across the United States.

Having identified the causes of mental problems rising among college students and their lifestyle, it’s clear that we need to take urgent action. We must understand the factors contributing to their struggle and work together to improve students’ mental health. Of note is that these mental health problems can vary in severity among college students. But by fostering a culture that values overall growth, providing accessible mental health resources, and encouraging open conversation, we can create a safe environment where learning and the importance of mental health can co-exist. With empathy and understating, we must ensure that no student suffers silently.


What is the cause of mental health among students?

Mental health issues among students can be caused by various factors such as childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect. Other factors include social isolation or loneliness and experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism.

What are the factors that affect students’ mental health?

Several factors can influence students’ mental health. Stress, life events, past experiences, and genetics all contribute to our mental well-being. Student life exposes individuals to various risk factors that can affect mental health, such as financial worries, periods of transition, substance use, parental pressure, culture shock, and disconnection from previous support systems.

What are the most common mental health issues in students?

The most common mental health issues in students are anxiety, mood, attention, and behavior disorders. It’s important to note that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 years.

Why do students experience anxiety?

Students may experience anxiety due to factors such as a lack of self-care and an unhealthy lifestyle. These can be risk factors that contribute to stress and anxiety among students.

Why are so many students depressed?

Several factors contribute to the high prevalence of depression among students. A lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and insufficient exercise can create a recipe for depression among college students. The stress associated with academic life, including financial concerns, pressure to secure a good job after graduation, and failed relationships, can be overwhelming and may lead some students to drop out of college or experience even more severe consequences.


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