CAPS Self-Guided Resources
Stress is a survival mechanism that can be both positive and negative. It is our body’s response to both real and perceived harm that has evolved from our early ancestors' need to protect themselves from predators. While most of us are no longer in danger of being eaten by animals, we continue to experience other types of threats to which our bodies react with the same “fight or flight” response.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is marked by symptoms that stick around for most of the day, almost every day, over a long period of time. These feelings can feel as if they are coming out of the blue and no longer reflect a natural response to difficult experiences in life. In fact, you may find yourself with negative emotions even when positive things happen to you.
Common college stressors are transitioning from home, establishing greater independence, financial challenges, increased academic demands, choosing a career path, and creating a new social group. Most students can benefit from learning about skills and strategies to better cope with stress.
Suicide is a tragic epidemic in the United States.
Suicide accounts for 2% of all deaths, making it the 10th ranking cause of death nationally. It is also the 2nd leading cause of death for college students. In 2018, the CDC found that suicides in the United States have increased 25% over the past 20 years. 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2016.
Grief and Loss
Far from being a sign of weakness, grieving is a healthy and naturally healing process. While certain emotional responses are common, each person’s grief is also individual and may be experienced differently. Grief, with its many ups and downs, may last longer than most people expect or realize. The best way to deal with a loss is to recognize it, face it, accept your feelings and reactions, and get support during the grieving process.
Beginning as early as preschool and continuing through graduate school, examinations and academic assessment are a frequent and expected part of the educational experience. A lot can ride on the results of testing. It is normal to feel stressed or anxious when preparing for or taking an examination.
If you have been involved in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may not have a clear idea of what a healthy relationship looks like. The following are basic rights in any relationship.
Quality sleep is crucial for physical and psychological well-being. Research suggests sleep deprivation impairs emotion regulation, motor, and cognitive abilities. As a result of competing demands, university and college students are commonly sleep deprived, often leading to lower GPAs and interpersonal relationships marked by conflict. Below are some basic facts about sleep, followed by some helpful tips for improving sleep.
All relationships have conflicts. However, violence is not normal, and should not be tolerated. Relationship violence is when one partner attempts to establish or maintain power over their partner.
Self-esteem is your belief in your own worth and abilities. These can be both positive and negative evaluations about how you feel about yourself. Self-esteem is impacted by the messages you have received from others and the different experiences you have had. Adjusting to college and changes in adult identity can contribute to changes in self-esteem.
Eating disorders are patterns of eating and/or eliminating calories (purging) that contribute to negative health consequences. Most often, eating disorders are characterized by dissatisfaction and obsessive preoccupation with weight, body size, and shape (body image). Sometimes individuals who struggle with eating disorders develop distortions in the way that they perceive their bodies.
Pornography is sexually explicit material meant to satisfy curiosity, for sexual pleasure, or for entertainment. For others, viewing pornography is used to cope with boredom or stress, or to decrease feelings of loneliness or depression. Problematic pornography use is feeling compelled to view sexually explicit material in increased frequency or spending larger amounts of time doing so.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
For some, the effects of a traumatic event are much more severe and linger for an extended period of time. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD affects about 3-5% of adults in the United States. Symptoms of ADHD typically appear early in childhood. However, formal diagnosis and treatment may not occur until later in life, such as in college.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common disorder characterized by intrusive, obsessive thoughts and ritualistic compulsive behaviors. Those who struggle with the disorder experience distressing thoughts that they struggle to control, even if they often realize the thoughts may not be logical or likely to occur. Ritualistic and compulsive behaviors are often used to alleviate the symptoms of distress that come from the intrusive thoughts.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood, energy and sleep. People with bipolar disorder experience distinct and persistent periods of manic, hypomanic or depressed moods. While everyone experiences some ups and downs, extreme mood shifts in bipolar disorder are more severe and may result in serious negative consequences.