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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 a 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 obtain appropriate help.