Saturday, February 11, 2017

Initial Topic Idea

Blog #1

For my project, I am considering researching the prevalence and etiology of mental illness in college students. Particularly, I would like to focus on anxiety and depression. I am double majoring in psychology and social work, so these specific kinds of mental illnesses are something I like to learn about. Throughout my two years of college I've realized that many students struggle with lots of stress which can lead to anxiety and depression. Many of these students think they are going crazy, when in fact they are struggling with something that many of their peers are also dealing with.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great topic, and at least one other student is writing about this too. She told me her idea early on, so I lent her a book by Dana Becker, which talks about the way we have increasingly "privatized" stress and that might be exacerbating the anxiety and depression epidemic. The book is One Nation under Stress, and you can get a good sense of its argument from this article she wrote for TIME when promoting the book:

    There are lots of social sources of stress for college-age students, as this excellent article details:

    It makes sense that there would be a huge increase in anxiety in Britain as well as the US, as they are facing many of the same issues, especially of privatization and its "great risk shift" (as Jacob Hacker so aptly termed it). Privatization puts all the risk of choices on the individual while magnifying the economic repercussions of those choices. Is it any wonder that there is a huge spike of anxiety among college age people, who are suddenly faced with so many choices, little authoritative support, lots of social pressure (and a huge spike in social comparison), and tons to worry about. And as these pressures increase, so does the self-blaming of not being able to cope.

    My sister-in-law had a stint as a college psychiatrist in California. She found that the number of patients was overwhelming, and had learned that colleges like hers just could not keep up with the tidal wave size increase. She left and has moved to the more sane state of Minnesota to focus on academic work and private practice. But it made me personally aware of just how big an issue this is, as I have since read about in the Chronicle of Higher education and elsewhere.

    I look forward to seeing where you take this topic.