Growing out of adolescence into young adulthood can be difficult and there are times when you might need help dealing with the stresses of your situation. Between the ages of 18 and 25 is a time of newfound freedoms for young adults and it’s often accompanied by instability, experimentation, and risky behaviors. Some have called this period emerging adulthood and it is a time when many young people form their own identity and begin to transition from having others take care of them – to taking care of themselves. This process can be hard, and it can be a time of tremendous uncertainty as emerging adults reach important milestones such as moving out of the family home, starting college, beginning a new job, exploring their sexuality, and developing healthy social and romantic relationships. During this time, individuals are more at risk than ever for suicidal behaviors, alcohol and drug use, and mental health difficulties.
Attending college can be an especially stressful experience for emerging adults as they must cope with the worries and anxiety that are a normal part of taking on different responsibilities than they have encountered in the past. It can be difficult to balance relationships, leadership positions, classes, homework, projects, sports activities, and outside interests. Building and maintaining social and romantic relationships can be stressful. Doing all of this while following a healthy diet and getting enough sleep is extremely challenging, while the widespread availability of alcohol and drugs offers a way of escaping the inner turmoil they may be experiencing. Dealing with these multiple stressors can be difficult for some young adults, underscoring the need for building effective adaptive and coping skills to prevent a decline in their social, emotional, and academic functioning.
When confronted with these multiple stressors, young adults may start to question everything about their lives, the direction they are headed, their sense of self, their self-worth, and relationships they are involved with, which only increases the stress and anxiety they are feeling and may lead to more significant psychological distress. They may experience sleep problems, increased hopelessness, lack of motivation, difficulties managing their emotions or controlling their impulses, and college students, in particular, may struggle with procrastination, test anxiety, perfectionism, and difficulties with time management, organization, and goal setting. It is not uncommon for young adults to seek treatment for anxiety, depression, suicidal and self-harm behaviors, trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
At DBT Psychological Services of Long Island, young adults and college students may benefit from our DBT groups that focus on problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance skills, and mindfulness skills. For more information, call us at 631-828-2082 or visit our contact page and send us a message.