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Signs of Distress

We all have bad days, times when we are anxious or feel sad or isolated. If these feelings persist for more than a week or two, or if they are so intense that they interfere significantly with the student’s ability to work, then it makes sense to seek help.

Signs of distress include the following:

  • Impaired concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Change in appetite
  • Increased isolation
  • Self-injury, such as cutting
  • Panic (heart racing, shortness of breath, fear of dying)
  • Unusual suspiciousness
  • Deterioration in physical hygiene
  • Unprovoked anger or hostility
  • Frequent tearfulness
  • Expressions of hopelessness
  • Talk about suicide as a personal option
  • Poor decision making
  • Avoiding contact with advisor

Some of these signs individually may not be an indication of significant trouble, but if you observe them, or a combination of them, it is a good idea to get consultation about how best to get help for the student.