Personal Well-Being

Some Common Mental Health Concerns for College Students


Anxiety and stress are often used interchangeably but they are two very different issues that can often directly impact each other. The difference between “normal” worrying and a possible anxiety disorder is that the worrying associated with an anxiety disorder is much more frequent, disruptive, excessive and unrelenting. Anxiety can make life difficult and relaxation impossible. Here are few signs that you may be experience high levels of anxiety rather than normal worry:


Stress is a normal physical response to real or imagined threats. The body does not know the difference between these threats. Therefore, the body will respond the same to stress over a busy schedule, an argument, bills or a life-or-death situation. Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problem such as stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure. Here are a few signs that you may be experiencing high levels of stress:


It is a normal part of life to feel blue or down sometimes. When those periods last for a long time and lead to feeling of emptiness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness, it may be depression. Depression can make it tough to function and enjoy life fully. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, interact with others and have fun. Depression varies from person to person. Here are some common signs and symptoms:

Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are very complex. They are characterized as extreme and severe disturbances in eating habits or weight control behavior that disrupts physical, mental and social functioning. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The consequences of eating disorders can be devastating and lead to long-tern medical complications such as tooth decay, lowered hormone levels, bone-density loss, kidney problems, brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, severe constipation, low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse, mild anemia, and muscle weakness and loss. More serious medical consequences include heart problems and, in extreme circumstances, death. Here are some signs of eating disorders:

Grief and Loss

Grief is a natural and individual response to a loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Grief is typically associated with, and expected with, the death of a person or pet. It can be triggered by other events such as a relationship breakup, illness, loss of a job, financial instability, a miscarriage, loss of a friendship, trauma, or a loss of a cherished dream or goal.

There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Each person will experience these stages in their own way, order and timing. Grief is a normal process, but becomes a problem when it limits a person’s ability to function in everyday activities. Signs of grief include:


Reasons for suicide are multifaceted, complex and sometimes left to speculation. What is most commonly known is that whatever life circumstance or situation a suicidal person feels, living life does not appear to be the answer to help them escape or resolve their pain and suffering. Suicide occurs in persons of all ages and backgrounds, but certain groups of people are at increased risk for suicide attempts.

These include those with a family history of, or exposure to, suicide, and/or mental illness such as depression, substance abuse such as depression, substance addictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and eating disorders. Males are more likely than females to commit suicide, although attempts are more common among females. Thoughts of death or suicide are serious, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. Here are some warning signs that a person may be feeling suicidal:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1.800.273.TALK

Simple but Effective Ways to Take Care of your Mental Health

Want to learn more about mental health?

If you or someone you know needs help, contact:

For life threatening emergencies, call 911
Kalamazoo valley Community College Counseling – 269.488.4123
Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services – 269.373.6000
Family & Children Services – 269.344.0202
WMU’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services
      Kalamazoo Campus – 269.387.5105
      Grand Rapids Campus – 616.771.4171
Gryphon Place – 269.381.1510
Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan – 269.343.6725
Crisis Hotlines
      Gryphon Place – 269.381.HELP (4357) or 211
      Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
      Veterans Crisis Line -- 1.800.273.TALK (8255) and press 1 or send text to 828255.

Disclaimer: These are resources in the local area that have reached out to our student population and provided information about their services. This list does not include all available resources in the community nor does Kalamazoo valley Community College endorse or have a contract with the community resources listed above.