In the News: Student debt worries causing depression and alcohol dependency

A Study carried out by YouGov has highlighted the fact that female students are more likely to have mental  health problems than males and that LGBT students have a high likelihood of developing issues compared to their non-LGBT counterpart.

Overall, more than a quarter (27%) of all students surveyed reported having a mental health problem of one type or another in the past year.

The study has added to the recent problem of rising mental health issues in students by highlighting depression, anxiety, and eating disorders as the three main challenges being faced by young people at university today.

For a significant proportion of respondents with issues, day-to-day tasks were difficult to see through; nearly half – 47 per cent – said they have trouble completing some daily tasks. Four per cent admitted to not being able to complete the most simple of tasks.

Leader of that study, Dr Thomas Richardson, described how the findings suggested “a vicious cycle” whereby anxiety and problem drinking “exacerbate financial difficulties,” which then go on to increase anxiety and alcohol intake. He said: “Interventions which tackle both difficulties at the same time are therefore most likely to be effective.”

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity, acknowledged how alcohol can have a temporary, positive impact on mood, but warned: “Regular, excessive drinking can have long-term implications for students’ mental health.”

“Alcohol is a depressant and can disrupt the delicate balance of chemicals that affect mood. This can lead to increased anxiety and stress, and even depression.

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