Transition to College Age (18-25): Uncovering the Mystery, Busting the Myths

This presentation focuses on the college age years – when adolescence and high school is left behind to explore young adulthood. The dance between nature and nurture is now at its fiercest. Campus life promises rites of passage that are more dangerous and novel than ever before – Greek life, the roommate lottery, sex, drugs, and everything in between. The transition is more challenging than most parents are led to believe, even more so when psychiatric illness is involved.

College age is prime time. Parental supervision, guidance, and involvement are yanked. Protected by student right to privacy, attendance and grade decline go unreported. In these early years of adulthood, nurture is put firmly in its place, and whittled down. Ironically, this coincides almost exactly with the age that first episode of serious mood disorders and psychosis present. Nature demands to be noticed, and gene expression is stronger than ever.

Emotional issues that were absent, controlled, or hidden in high school will now surface.

1 in 4 young adults between the ages of 18-24 have a diagnosable mental illness.Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students

One single setting – the Campus ground – has so much to host, and so many roles to fill. Academics, residential, social, support services, exercise, and counseling. It addresses the influence of diet, toxins, sleep, and social experiences on health and learning. Accidental drug/ alcohol overdose is the#1 leading cause of death for college students.

Mental illness can impede college success.

64% of college students who have dropped out do so because of a MI   >50% of college students report that their grades were negatively impacted by overwhelming anxiety

>30% of college students report that their grades were negatively impacted by depression

This presentation provides the audience with a set of tools for students and parents to prepare for and navigate through college age years more effectively. Barriers to help-seeking are busted, and the consequences of untreated illness are defined – direct and indirect. Financial student debt burden, employment unreadiness, serious substance use, dangerous lifestyle habits, entitlement, expectations, quality of life discontent, poor self-worth, relationships – the list goes on. Millennials and their parents will vouch for the unsavory product of looking the other way.

Students in High School and College, recent graduates, parents, educators, campus faculty and administrators all stand to benefit from this conversation. Awareness, preparedness, active early intervention, and redefining roles for every citizen of our village. Because that is what it takes. Let’s stomp the stigma.

Nausheen Din’s Bio:

Nausheen Din completed medical school atGandhi Medical College, Osmania University in India, and did her residency in psychiatry at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL. She also completed a subspecialty fellowship at the University of Illinois – Chicago in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. After several years as an attending psychiatrist at two different residential facilities, Dr. Din went into private practice in Barrington, IL.