Mason walked to the student union and plopped down to drink his coffee.
Man, he just wasn’t feeling it. He went to class, but the studying and note taking, and researching all year was getting to him. He just wanted to go to bed and stay there. Just another example of student need for psychiatric care on campus. I’m a statistic, he thought to himself. Great.
It was that time in the semester for another round of exams, and he was worried he couldn’t pass them. He tried to study but it just didn’t stick. He’d go over it and over it…but couldn’t seem to retain much at all.
It’s not like he was partying or anything…he wasn’t doing much of anything social. He didn’t feel like seeing anybody. Just wanted to be alone. So he’d try to study then just lay his book down and turn over and go back to sleep.
Spiring Break was 3 weeks away. Maybe that would help. But he had to pass all his exams before then. What was he going to do? His self-confidence was fading, and he was feeling more and more like a real loser. What was wrong with him?
“Hey Mase! What’s up? Are you going to the campus movie night tonight?”
“No man. I’ve gotta study…” Mason felt like he was lying, because he knew studying wouldn’t help anything. His brain was a lump of cold oatmeal. Useless.
“Oh really? You know we’ve got a study group going for Chemistry, right? You wanna join us?”
“Maybe, man. Where do you meet…? “ He knew he wouldn’t go. He couldn’t handle being around people right now…
“We meet in Greg’s dorm room. At Stratton Hall. 327 Tomorrow after lunch.”
“Thanks man. Maybe I will…”
Depressed or Anxious Students Seek Solitude to Avoid Embarrassment
Mason trudged off toward his dorm before someone else came along to strike up more conversation. He felt like he was dumb as a rock. What had happened to him? It used to be easy to learn. Mason’s self doubts were common for students suffering from disorders. Student need for psychiatric care was weighing down the healthcare system on campus.
Once in his dorm, he sat at his desk and opened his economics book…determined to get something out of it. He opened to the page he was supposed to be reading and started reading.
Then his mind wandered off to an online game he had played last year… the action was really good in it. And it was challenging. He had to really work at making points. There were some cool guys who played… Wonder why they…
Aaackkk!!! Mason realized his mind was wondering again. He put his eyes back on the beginning of that page and started reading again. He read the first half of that page 4 times…and couldn’t recall what it said.
He slammed his book shut and dove into his bed and covered his head with his pillow. And that’s when his roommate walked in talking out loud. Mason pulled another pillow over his head.
If only he could sleep. I mean really sleep. When was the last time he’d actually slept all night? Laying there in the dark, his mind wandering…his worry about school choking him… listening to his roommate snore. How does he do that?? He’s over there sleeping like he doesn’t have a care in the world.
He knew his parents would disown him if he didn’t make the grades. He was so tired…
Student Need for Psychiatric Care on Campus Soars
It’s true. Mason isn’t alone. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) at Pennsylvania State University released an annual report in 2018 that showed that student demand for mental health care on 550 university campuses increased by 30-40% between 2009-2015. The increase in enrollment was only 5%.
The primary complaints have been much the same as they’ve always been as students seek counseling for depression, anxiety, and relationship struggles.
And there’s a difference between relationship counseling and student need for psychiatric care due to depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and PTSD.
But, a recent article in Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, indicated that students carry more distress than they used to, and it’s more upsetting and worrisome to them.
So they tend to take things harder, and if they never struggled before, they still are more likely to struggle in college.
Social Media is Again at Fault
Students now are also tormented by the belief that everyone else around them has a perfect life, and that they’re the only one struggling.
This is largely related to the facade they see on social media. As they internalize these false beliefs, some students succumb to self-doubt and self-hatred, because of these comparisons.
Suicide May Be a Consideration..?
On top of that, suicide has become less implausible…more common place—at least from some students’ perspectives. Obviously, this is a grave concern for campus counseling services. Through surveys, the CCMH has found that suicidal thoughts have increased among students every year for the 8th year in a row.
The reality of it has burdened these organizations to not only train their own staff for suicidal thoughts in students.
They also must train everyone on campus to recognize signs and symptoms and take action… including campus police, professors, residential advisors, librarians, and anyone else whose job includes student contact.
Some campuses focus on meeting the need in more minorities and male students, who tend to avoid mental health services. Other campus are including a counseling office in the campus clinic to make counseling more accessible with less stigma.
At any rate, while all these campuses scramble to provide services their students’ needs, the demand has risen so fast that they remain limited in resources for what they can do.
Meanwhile, more intervention is needed. The demand overwhelms the system.
Many of These Suffering Students Can Achieve Remission Off Campus
Many of these students are diagnosed for the first time with depressive or anxiety disorders in college. But many more were diagnosed years earlier, and have been undergoing treatment before college. The increased pressure and demands of college often push them into more severe symptoms.
For these who’re being treated before they enter college, or for whom treatment has become inadequate, a very real option can be IV ketamine treatment. When medicines are no longer helping, or never did, IV ketamine infusions can relieve symptoms dramatically.
The lack of energy, the struggle to learn, the despair, can be replaced by motivation, initiative, and the creativity to study and perform once again.
The restoration of brain circuitry, and proliferation of structures in the brain can rapidly build the resilience to embrace school again.
On top of that, suicidal thoughts or behaviors can be eradicated in an afternoon with IV ketamine treatment. It’s a remarkable way to reverse suicidal thoughts, so a student can focus on getting better.
IV Ketamine Can Transform Students and Reduce Student Need for Psychiatric Care on Campus
At Innovative Psychiatry, we see students like this regain their joy and hope after IV ketamine treatment and walk out with confidence. IV ketamine treatment can lift your student’s outlook and energy. Despair can become hope, and listlessness can turn into purpose-driven initiative.
That sullen student can wake up with new ideas, energy to socialize, and a song he’s singing.
This treatment can be transformative. And the more ill your child is, the more powerfully it seems to work.
If your child sounds like Mason, or if his symptoms are even worse, call us.
And if you can relate to Mason’s story, and don’t know where to turn for help, call us… we want to help you rediscover your creativity, energy for work, relationships, and fun. We want to see your hope restored.
Don’t let something like your education or your future fall by the wayside. You don’t have to because you do have options.
Let us help you live again with joy.
To the re-energizing of your best self,
Lori Calabrese, M.D.