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Mental Health

ADHD/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Panic Attack

Social Anxiety




ADHD/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD begins in childhood and may extend into adulthood. In adults, it is a cluster of symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and restlessness.


  • Easily distracted
  • Poor listening skills
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Failure to follow instructions
  • Failure to follow through on tasks
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Frequently losing things
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impulsivity
  • Talking excessively or interrupting others
  • Restlessness or fidgeting


  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Limit caffeine
  • Keep a daily planner and a to-do list
  • Ask for detailed instructions for assignments
  • Break up big jobs into smaller tasks
  • Do your assignments in a quiet, private space
  • Work on boring tasks when you are most alert
  • Use deadlines and stick to them
  • Choose a career that will utilize your strengths

When to Seek Professional Help

If your symptoms interfere with your daily functioning to the point of affecting your grades, work or relationships, call the University Counseling Center at (920) 424-2061 to make an appointment for an assessment.

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

National Institute of Mental Health: ADHD


Anxiety and worries are part of everyday life. Anxiety can have a motivating effect on school and work performance. However, when you feel anxious for no reason and worry interferes with your daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Causes for Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are speculated to have a number of different causes. Life stressors can build up and cause symptoms. Some personality types seem to be more prone to anxiety disorders and heredity may be a component. Altered brain chemicals are thought to play a role in developing these disorders. In addition, use of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, street drugs and thyroid disorders can initiate anxiety symptoms.

Self-Care for Anxiety Disorders

  • Take care of your health
    • Eat well
    • Get adequate rest
    • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and street drugs
  • Share your problems with a friend or family member
  • Seek counseling or therapy
    • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is often used. This type of therapy identifies distorted/negative thinking patterns which cause anxiety. By learning to recognize distorted thoughts and replace them with realistic perceptions, you can reduce your anxiety
    • Exposure Therapy is used to develop tolerance for symptoms of anxiety
    • Other therapies are also used by counselors as deemed appropriate
  • See your healthcare provider for medical screening to see if medication is appropriate. Two different types of medications are used to control anxiety.
    • SSRI's—Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are prescribed to control symptoms. They take between two and eight weeks to become effective. Examples are fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Lexapro)
    • Benzodiazepines—Tranquilizers may be prescribed for short-term use on an as needed basis. They work within minutes, but may be addictive, cause fatigue or loss of coordination

The most common types of anxiety disorders are discussed below:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder


  • Worrying or feeling anxious every day about a number of events or activities
  • Trouble controlling the worry
  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension with resulting tension headaches, neck aches or stomach aches
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • The anxiety affects daily functioning
  • Depression often co-exists with anxiety

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

WebMD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder in which a person has recurrent and persistent thoughts that can’t be suppressed. Typical thoughts revolve around cleanliness and germs, orderliness and self-doubts. In addition, there may be repetitive behaviors (hand-washing, counting, checking, etc.) that the person feels compelled to perform the obsessive thoughts. These thoughts and behaviors interfere with a person’s daily life.


  • Fear of germs with repeated hand-washing and cleaning
  • Obsessions about orderliness with resulting checklists
  • Self-doubt resulting in checking behavior
  • Other obsessions and compulsions

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

WebMD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

3. Panic Attack

A panic attack is the sudden onset of extreme fear or anxiety resulting in the following symptoms:

  • Heart racing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of loss of control
  • Trouble breathing or rapid breathing

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Panic Attacks and Panic Disorders

WebMD: Panic Attacks and Panic Disorders

4. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is isolated to social situations and symptoms include:

  • Fear of social situations where you don’t know people well
  • Fear of embarrassment or humiliation
  • Blushing, sweating, trembling
  • Nausea, heart palpitations
  • Difficulty speaking

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

WebMD: Social Anxiety Disorder


Depression makes a person less likely to manage their life as it affects their behaviors, mood, mind and body. The number of signs and symptoms and the severity of depression vary from person-to-person.


  • Feeling sad, helpless and hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Negative thoughts
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headache, muscle aches, digestive problems, etc.
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Lose interest in hobbies, social activities, friends, etc.
  • Uncontrollable crying


  • Have your condition monitored by a healthcare provider
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Try to participate in normal, daily activities
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise daily
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs which will slow your recovery

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Depression

WebMD: Depression



Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you have problems falling asleep, wake up frequently, awaken early or have daytime sleepiness, you may suffer from insomnia.


Insomnia can be caused by:

  • Stress - academic, relationship or work problems
  • Anxiety - excessive worry; inability to relax
  • Depression
  • Environmental –too much stimulation such as loud music, exercise, socializing
  • Stimulants - caffeine, nicotine, street drugs or medicines
  • Schedule changes - school or work schedules to travel
  • Medical illness - pain
  • Eating late - indigestion or heartburn
  • Learned insomnia - worry about falling asleep


  • Develop a routine, getting up about the same time each day
  • Make a bedtime routine that is calming
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine or caffeine at least four hours before bed
  • Do not eat a large amount within a couple of hours of bedtime
  • Try a light snack before bed or a glass of milk
  • Exercise daily, just not within a couple of hours of bedtime
  • Don’t take daytime naps
  • Only use your bed for sleep; if you can’t fall asleep, get up until you feel sleepy
  • See a healthcare provider if these techniques don’t improve your sleeplessness

Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Insomnia

WebMD: Sleep Problems


Physical Symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Insomnia
  • Tense muscles resulting in headache, neckache or back pain

Emotional symptoms

  • Worry
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Poor concentration
  • Depressed mood


  • Eat healthy foods at regular meal times
  • Get adequate sleep, seven to eight hours per night
  • Exercise regularly, at least four to five times per week
  • Talk about your problems with friends or family
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Avoid alcohol or street drugs
  • Balance work and recreation, don’t take on more than you can do
  • Don’t try to please everyone
  • Don’t procrastinate, maintain a schedule for regular study
  • Listen to relaxing music or take a warm bath
  • Get a massage
  • Don’t suppress your emotions
  • Practice relaxation skills by meditating, deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation

When to Get Professional Help

If you are having any of the following symptoms you need professional help:

  • Thoughts of death or suicide—Get help immediately by calling the Counseling Center at (920) 424-2061 or the Student Health Center at (920) 424-2424. If the Counseling Center and Student Health Center are closed, call the Crisis Line at (920) 233-7707.
  • Use of drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Crying spells, and/or other symptoms of depression
  • Withdrawal from contact with family or friends
  • Uncontrolled or excessive worry

Additional Resources

Medicine Net: Stress Management

Help Guide: Stress Management


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