Emotional Distress

The following checklist of symptoms can be useful in determining a student’s potential need for counseling, AOD intervention, or health care.  It is important to note that many of the following symptoms can be within the normal range of behavior for traditional college-age students when the duration of symptoms is brief. However, when clusters of signs and/or symptoms are long-lasting or you have reason to believe a student has a problem or is at risk of self-harm, a referral to the Student Counseling Center, the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Center or the Student Health Center is indicated.

  • SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR

Examples: suicidal or self-destructive ideation, a conversation or written communication that includes the how, when, and where of a suicide plan ( this warrants an IMMEDIATE referral to the Counseling Center), and/or other self destructive types of behavior over a period of time that interfere with the student’s functioning ( repeatedly missing assignments, frequent absences, taking excessive risks, alienating others, loss of future/career focus, long term depression).

  • MARKED CHANGE IN SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

Examples: difficulties getting along in the classroom, withdrawing socially, having continual friction with fellow students, declining interest in extracurricular activities, exhibiting behaviors indicating confusion and distress.

  • ERRATIC or IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR

Examples:  dramatic drop in grades or sudden change in academic performance, repeated absences from class, procrastination, lying, cheating, defiance of authority, fits of anger, fights, rule breaking.

  • MARKED CHANGE IN APPEARANCE

Examples: dramatic change in weight (loss or gain), poor personal hygiene.

  • SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

Examples: expressions of self-reproach, low energy level, tearfulness, insomnia, poor appetite, fatigue, decreased attention and ability to concentrate, restriction in involvement of pleasurable activities.

  • ANXIETY DISORDERS

Examples: irrational or excessive fear or worry, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

  • DIFFICULTIES INTERFERING WITH ACADEMIC SUCCESS

Examples: incapacitating test anxiety, chronic disorganization or procrastination, dissatisfaction with course of study, indecisiveness or conflict about career path, unrealistic career aspirations.