Between the ages of 18 and 25, young adults often experience unprecedented new freedoms accompanied by experimentation, instability, and heightened risk. This period is called emerging adulthood and it represents the time when many young adults are forming their own identity and transition from being cared for by others – to taking care of themselves. It can be a difficult process as individuals must adjust to the uncertainty involved with moving away from the family home, entering college, starting a new job, exploring their sexuality, and forming healthy social and romantic relationships. Emerging adulthood is a time of heightened risk for alcohol and drug abuse, mental health disorders, and suicidal behaviors.
College students must cope with multiple responsibilities and worries that can be quite different than what they have experienced in the past. They need to balance friends, classes, homework, jobs, athletic activities, and leadership positions. Novel social and sexual relationships are stressful, getting enough sleep and following a healthy diet are challenging, and the widespread availability of alcohol and drugs is an unavoidable problem. Managing these issues can be stressful for some individuals, highlighting the need for effective coping and adaptive strategies to avoid decreases in academic, emotional, and social functioning.
Faced with these multiple stressors, college students may question everything about themselves including their own sense of self, relationships, self-worth, and direction in life, thus leading to significant inner turmoil and psychological distress. Many seek treatment for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal behaviors, while insomnia, non-suicidal self-injury, alcohol and drug abuse, and difficulties managing emotions and controlling impulses are also prevalent. No less important are the academic problems caused by test anxiety, procrastination, perfectionism, and difficulties with time management, organization, and goal setting.
At Suffolk DBT, emerging adults and college students may benefit from our DBT groups that focus on problem-solving skills, emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance skills, and mindfulness skills.
Please call us at (631) 328-5930 for more information or to schedule an appointment.