Marion County College Students: Let's Talk About Managing PTSD and Prioritizing Mental Well-being

Cover Image: Marion County College Students: Let's Talk About Managing PTSD and Prioritizing Mental Well-being

In this article, Dr. Shelandra Bell, DO, Family Medicine, shares her expert insights of the findings and provides Florida residents with evidence-based recommendations for protecting their health.

Why This Matters to You: There is a growing mental health crisis of PTSD among US college students.

What This Means for Your Health: "PTSD can be a silent struggle for many college students. This can impact their academic performance, social interactions, and overall quality of life." Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine

Doctor's Key Insights for Mental Health in Marion County, Florida: "The impact of PTSD extends far beyond the classroom. Students grappling with this disorder often face a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicidal thoughts. The importance of early intervention should not be ignored.

By providing accessible, trauma-informed resources and support systems, we can help students navigate the challenges of PTSD and prevent long-term consequences on their physical and mental well-being." Dr. Shelandra Bell, Family Medicine.

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Key Findings: The prevalence of diagnosed PTSD among US college students increased from 3.4% in 2017-2018 to 7.5% in 2021-2022. This indicates a growing mental health concern in this population, including in Marion County, Florida.

Comorbidities: PTSD is often associated with other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse, further compounding the challenges faced by affected students.

Physical Health: PTSD has been linked to various long-term physical health problems, including cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal disorders.

**Actionable steps: ** The first step in managing PTSD is recognizing the symptoms and seeking help. Students in Marion County should reach out to campus mental health services, their primary care physician, or a trusted mentor when they experience intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, and a general unwell mental health state.

Resource: One powerful tool for college students in Marion County, Florida, to gauge their mental health is the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9).

This quick self-test can kickstart a conversation with your healthcare team about your mental health. ([Take the Test Here](https://med.stanford.edu/fastlab/research/imapp/msrs/_jcr_content/main/accordion/accordion_content3/download_256324296/file.res/PHQ9 id date 08.03.pdf))

Students should schedule an appointment with their primary care physician or campus mental health services and discuss their PHQ-9 scores. Dr. Uppal advises, "Sharing the PHQ-9 scores with a healthcare professional can help guide the conversation, ensuring that students receive the appropriate level of care and support for their specific needs."

By taking this proactive step and engaging in an open, honest dialogue with their healthcare provider, college students in Marion County can begin to address the mental health challenges associated with PTSD and its comorbidities.

This can serve as a crucial foundation for developing a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan that encompasses therapy, medication (if necessary), and lifestyle modifications to promote healing and resilience.

What They're Saying: "In this serial cross-sectional study including a national sample of US college students, we found a notable increase in the prevalence of PTSD and ASD, rising by 4.1 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points from 2017 to 2022, respectively. These trends highlight the escalating mental health challenges among college students, which is consistent with recent research reporting a surge in psychiatric diagnoses. 6 Factors contributing to this rise may include pandemic-related stressors (eg, loss of loved ones) and the effect of traumatic events (eg, campus shootings, racial trauma). Despite the study limitations, including the retrospective, self-reported data and single questions for diagnosed PTSD and ASD, these findings suggest the need for targeted, trauma-informed prevention and intervention strategies by mental health professionals and policy makers to support the affected student population." (Study Source)

Read More: Doctor's Tips to Better Manage Your Depression

Health Standard Newswire: Alarming Rise of PTSD Among College Students Across the Nation.

**Key Health and Medical Statistics of ** Marion County, Florida

Did you know there were 3351 deaths from suicide in Florida in 2021?

20.8% of you in Marion County are smokers.

16.9% of you in Marion County state that your mental health is not good.

20.7% of you in Marion County have depression.

37.7% of you in Marion County are sleeping less than 7 hours per night.

**Health Facts That Matter: ** The health data mentioned above have a direct impact on your physical well-being and play a crucial role in determining your overall health outcomes.

The Health Standard Newswire.