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The University of Mississippi

Signs and symptoms of student distress

  • Excessive procrastination and poorly prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work
  • Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Unusual dependency: hanging around or making excessive demands for contact outside of normal periods of association
  • Listlessness, frequently falling asleep in class or general lack of energy
  • Repeated requests for special consideration
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene
  • High levels of irritability, including unruly, aggressive, violent or abrasive behavior
  • Inability to make decisions despite your repeated efforts to clarify or encourage
  • Excessive weight gain or loss
  • Normal emotions that are displayed to an extreme degree or for a prolonged period of time: for example, tearfulness or nervousness
  • Impaired or garbled speech and disjointed thinking
  • Threats to others
  • Reference to suicide as a current option
  • Bizarre behavior that is obviously inappropriate, such as talking to “invisible people”
  • Social withdrawal