College students going for counselling are more depressed and lonely than they were ten years ago but less likely to think of killing themselves. Researchers from Hofstra University in New York State looked at the records of 3,256 college students who had had college counselling at a mid-sized private university between September 1997 and August 2009. They found that the percentage diagnosed with a mental disorder rose from 93% in 1998 to 96% in 2009. The percentage of students with moderate-severe depression rose from 34% to 41% and these students were frequently socially isolated, depressed and on medication. In 1998 11% of those who attended counselling took psychiatric drugs - mostly for depression, anxiety and ADHD - while in 2009 24% did so. However, the number of students seeking counselling who had thoughts about killing themselves in the last couple of weeks fell from 26% in 1998 to 11% in 2009. The researchers did, however, stress that the results applied to students who had sought out counselling and that there was no evidence that students in general had become more unhappy over the course of the study.
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