College students with psychiatric disabilities are entitled to reasonable academic accommodations as provided by the American Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008 amendments. The University of Washington through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education reports that tens of thousands of adult students report having a mental illness. Students with mental illness may experience symptoms that interfere with their educational goals and create a “psychiatric disability.”
Mental Health Intervention for College Transitions
Without mental health intervention, proper medication if prescribed as part of the treatment plan, or adjunct services, college students with mental health issues may experience severe disturbances in thinking, emotions or functional life skills. These disturbances may bring a diminished capacity to cope with the demands and stress of college life, which include a time of significant transition, a new lifestyle, friends, an alternate way of thinking, and exposure to new cultures along with the pressure of academic rigor and expectations.
College Transitions and Substance Abuse
Academic demands, new peer pressures, and poor ability to adapt and cope to the new environment of a college campus may result in students struggling with mental health or psychiatric disorders. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse report 45% of college students binge drink and almost 21% abuse prescription or illegal drugs, often due to the students’ struggle to feel adequate and cope with their new life situations. Partnering with a qualified college transition psychiatrist can help steer the college student toward positive management of both their psychological issues and academic success.
Symptoms of College Psychiatric Disability
Some of the most common symptoms exhibited by adult students with developing psychiatric disabilities include:
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Exhibiting increased anxiety, fear, suspicion, or blaming of others
- Confused or disorganized thinking
- Denial of obvious problems and resistive to offers of help
- Displays of extreme highs or lows in mood
- Marked personality changes over time
- Talking about or thinking about suicide
College Transition Psychiatrist
Developing a strategy and treatment plan, as well as stabilizing any psychiatric issues, can help to minimize psychological and mental health issues that would otherwise prevent a successful first college experience. Call the office for a confidential appointment.