New York: Severe depression is more commonin American college students, who are also increasinglybecoming impulsive and trying to injure themselves today thanin the past decade, a new study has found. But other problems, such as having thoughts of suicide,are less common among today`s students, according to the studywhich was conducted at a private university campus in the US.
Participants were examined for mental disorders, theirthoughts of suicide and injuring themselves and thoughts ofinjuring others. They also took part in interviews andcompleted two tests to assess their depression and anxietylevels. It was found that between 1998 and 2009, the number ofstudents coming into counselling who were diagnosed with atleast one mental disorder increased 3 per cent, from 93 to 96per cent. The percentage diagnosed with moderate to severedepression increased from 34 per cent to 41 per cent, Guthmansaid. The number of students who said they attempted to injurethemselves also increased for 4 per cent to 8 per cent overthat time period, while the number of those diagnosed withmore than one mental disorder rose from 3 per cent to over 40per cent. In contrast to depression, cases of severe anxiety showeda drop, especially over the last three years of the study. Suicidal thoughts among students also declined by 15 per cent,the researchers found. Guthman said the decrease might be the result ofimprovements in suicide prevention education and outreach aswell as more awareness of the types of assistance available. "It is important to understand which areas are changingin terms of mental health. "We need to be sensitive to the data and plan ourprograms and interventions to address the changes andchallenges in college student mental health." PTI
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