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Rates of depression among college students have surged in the past decade. A new study from Boston University reports that the number of students experiencing anxiety or depression more than doubled between 2013 and 2021. They found that the number of students suffering from anxiety jumped by 110 per cent. The number of students with depression skyrocketed by 135 per cent over the eight-year period of the study. In 2021, over 60 per cent of students met the criteria for having some form of mental illness. This is double the rate from eight years ago. Alarm bells are now ringing among mental health therapists. However, the number of students seeking therapy has fallen by 18 per cent.
Rates of depression among students had been on an upward trend even before 2013. Researcher Dr Sarah Lipson said: "College is a key developmental time. The age of onset for lifetime mental health problems also directly coincides with traditional college years." She said: "Living in a new setting, and away from home, can often create overwhelming and stressful circumstances." She added that 75 per cent of lifetime mental health problems will be present in people by the age of 24. Dr Lipson cited the COVID-19 pandemic, the loneliness of lockdowns, and school closures as factors that exacerbated this mental health crisis. Many students fear for their future, which they see as being increasingly full of uncertainty.
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