How to help your college student deal with anxiety

(WFLA) — The final group of students is headed back to the classroom. This time it’s the young adults that are college bound. As these students leave behind childhood and enter into “adulting,” dealing with anxiety goes up to another level.

For many, post high school is a step into a big scary world.

“It is a big transition that young adults are taking part in. Many of them 18-years-old, for the first time leaving their home or potentially going to a big campus,” says licensed mental health counselor Stephanie Moir.

The changing environment, making new friends, or being alone for the first time can create a lot of stress. How we view the changes in life can make this unhealthy.

“Just the way that we’re thinking about life. If we’re thinking about it in a negative light, that tends to mean that our anxiety is taking control of us. That’s never a good thing, because you should always feel in control of all your own anxieties,” says Moir.

If it does get to a level of anxiety parents can help by building trust, ideally begun in high school.

“As a parent your job is to be a support system. To be there for your college age children. Not to solve their problems, but to see them and help them through whatever it is that they may be going through,” says Moir.

Empowering your college age child will set them up for success and living their own lives.

“Cause you don’t want them to boomerang and end up right back at your house.”

The best prevention is to catch yourself before you focus on your stresses and learn to relax.

Be sure to watch WFLA News Channel 8 from 4:30 to 7 a.m. during the month of August. Every morning, we’ll bring you a special back-to-school story to help you and your family prepare for the school year.

MORE WFLA Back-to-School Coverage

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