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College Anxiety or more?
An_242930 posted:
Hi, my son is a second year college student living on campus. He has just called and says he has anxiety about EVERYTHING (classes, what is he doing here, what does he want to be professionally, worrries about hometown friends who have gone down wrong paths....etc. He said it is all consuming and he can't sleep (mind racing all the time). He says he has nothing to look forward to and the thinggs he used to enjoy are either gone or don't give him any joy anymore (he is an ex- highschool athlete). I am very concerned, because he is not one to bring up feelings issues at all....and he made the call to reach out. He also was on accutane (for acne) last year but has been off for a few months now. Is this normal college anxiety, or does this sound like something more serious and a possible side effect of accutane?
marysings responded:
I've been on Accutane and so has my older son. Anxiety/depression is not a side effect.

Why he feels the way he does should not enter into this picture. He reached out for help and you should help him.

Usually colleges have a counseling department. Send him there first. If they can't help him, find a private therapist. You also should look for a psychiatrist to evaluate if drugs are needed.

This is your son's prime of life. Help him.

All the best,
I'm strong willed and I tell it like it is. I make mistakes, I'm sometimes out of control, but I love and give with all my heart. Have patience with me as I heal.
marynj responded:
My son had a rough 1st year living at college and he is now commuting instead. Living away at college can be extremely stressful for some students, and if your son is reaching out to you, then you need to take it seriously. A key indicator (according to a lot that I've read, as well as according to my son's therapist) is a change in sleep patterns. My son never had difficulty sleeping, but suddenly last year, midway through freshman year, it took him hours to fall asleep every night. Of course, that made it difficult for him to get up in the morning and go to class. Things went downhill from there (a full-blown episode of major depression). He's better now, fortunately. But my point is that if your son is reaching out and feeling lost and anxious all the time and isn't sleeping well -- this most likely isn't normal college anxiety. Please get him some help. Most schools seem to have pretty good counseling services. He needs to start there. If that doesn't work, then bring him home. He can finish college any time. His health and happiness are more important than ANYTHING. Good luck!

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