Dr. B's Blog

Emotional distress and college freshman

The New York Times had an article several weeks back describing the levels of stress students face in college as being at an all-time high. Given what I'm seeing in my DBT-U, with full groups every semester and our recent addition of a second group in Durham, which is also full, I'm not surprised. The NYT reports:

“Most people probably think emotional health means, ‘Am I happy most of the time, and do I feel good about myself?’ so it probably correlates with mental health,” said Dr. Mark Reed, the psychiatrist who directs Dartmouth College’s counseling office.

“I don’t think students have an accurate sense of other people’s mental health,” he added. “There’s a lot of pressure to put on a perfect face, and people often think they’re the only ones having trouble.”

I chose this part of the article to highlight because it seems quite important to point out what many in our groups find: there are others out there who are struggling, too, and getting validation of that can be therapeutic in itself. Clearly, just having a support group isn't enough to deal more effectively with emotions - DBT skills group is much more than a support group - but it does help to know that you're not alone.