With the anxiety on the rise nation-wide, CSUSB counselors and students detail the symptoms and potentials solutions.
Tavon Harris, CSUSB’s Counseling and Psychological faculty member stresses, “Anxiety can be triggered by various things in a person’s life. With over 60,000 to 100,000 thoughts a day, you are stimulated from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.”
The stimuli and events around people’s lives are some of the things that trigger various thoughts and emotions for the day; with 40% of those 60,000 thoughts are negative according to Harris.
Harris is one of 12 counselors at CSUSB’s Counseling & Psychological Services Center, dedicated to individual counseling, couples counseling and group counseling.
Symptoms of anxiety can be as simple as “uneasiness, jitters, sweaty palms, dry mouth, slurry or irregular speech,” according to Harris.
Anxiety has become one of the most common mental illness across the US, making up 40 million cases a year. But although very common, only 39.1% of those affected seek help for their anxiety. With 5 main anxiety disorders, most have experienced symptoms but if ignored, it can lead to long-lasting effects.
UCR student Lucia Gomez, expressed some similar symptoms while in class, “I have experienced feelings of uneasiness or nervousness in class. Sometimes when I’m giving a presentation I slurry my words and that in itself makes me feel more nervous. It’s something I am trying to work on.”
Others like recent graduate Jackie Gutierrez, said to have experienced little to no symptoms saying, “I’ve never really had those types of anxiety symptoms but I have just felt the occasional nerves in class, but it was never re-occurring or lasting.”
Students have taken to social media to express their anxiety when a tweet by user @softedhearts gained varial attention with the caption, “stop forcing students to present in front of the class and give them a choice not to.”
Although UCR student Nancy Huizar raised a counter-point saying, “I think in-class presentations are essential to preparing you for your future careers. We need to be able to push ourselves to our greatest potential.”
While others like Alison Perez expressed, “ I have gone to see a doctor because of school anxiety and stress, it’s something I feel needs to be addressed in schools. I want to see a day where schools can offer alternative assignments to those who have difficulty with stress and anxiety because it can really take a toll on you.
Anxiety, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA), is an emotion characterized by a feeling of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.
Counsellor Harris suggests students to “identify what is triggering the anxiety and look for the warning signs because not getting to the root of the problem can lead to eating disorders, sleep disorders and even depression.”
A term Harris says can help to cope with anxiety is the 3 C’s, “Catch it, Check it, Change it. Instead of giving into those negative thoughts you may have, think ‘I’m being triggered by something, let me try to change it into something positive. Let me try to not run from the things that make me anxious, let me try to tackle it head-on.'”
Each quarter students on campus receive an email by the Counseling & Psychological Services to sign up for support groups like overcoming anxiety, meditation group, coping with anger group and many more. These groups are free to students on campus and the topics vary from anxiety, stress or even sexual abuse.
CSUSB also offers free one-on-one counseling that can cover topics on shyness, and loneliness, to anxiety and personal trauma. Personal Counseling with a therapist is made available to students for free up to 13 sessions per quarter.
If you are a student in need of help call, visit the Counseling & Psychological Services which is located behind the health center on campus to schedule an appointment today.