YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the
health world

Stress among college freshmen is easy to detect -- if you're looking

January 27, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

We now know that more college freshmen are reporting high levels of stress -- they've told us so. And this could be a warning sign of bigger problems down the road.

Stress increases the risk of depression, heart disease and a slew of other medical problems. What does it mean to be stressed-out? The American Institute of Stress cites these 50 common symptoms -- from blushing and sweating to insomnia.

For college students, though, lists these symptoms:

--Changes in sleep and eating patterns.

--Increased frequency of headaches.

--Increased levels of frustration and anger.

--Being more irritable than normal.

--Recurring colds and minor illness.

--Frequent muscle aches and/or tightness.

--Being more disorganized than usual.

--Greater sense of persistent time pressure.

--Increased difficulty in getting things done.

RELATED: More college freshman feeling overwhelmed, survey finds

Alcohol, drugs and tobacco, which students may use to escape the pressures of college life,   can trigger a cascade of other problems such as arrests, fights, etc.

Many universities provide resources for students to take steps to de-stress -- and counseling, too. This wellness guide from the University of Georgia helps students identify the source of the stress and offers advice on how to unwind.

But the measures only work if students try them -- without getting stressed about it.

Los Angeles Times Articles