HEALTH ALERT: College May Trigger Bipolar Symptoms
(Health.com) The rituals of college -- making new friends, studying until dawn, excessive partying -- can stress out any young adult. But students with bipolar disorder, or those at risk for the condition, are even more vulnerable in a college environment.
Academic pressures, social concerns, and sleep disruptions can lead to bouts of depression as well as mania, the euphoric, revved-up state characteristic of bipolar disorder.
Without the right treatment and support, bipolar college students face higher dropout rates, drug and alcohol abuse, and even suicide.
"The new structure and new stresses for [bipolar] students who leave home to go to school sometimes can trigger problems and relapses," says Dr. Richard Kadison, M.D., the chief of mental health services at Harvard University and the author of "College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It."
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