Psychological/Psychiatric Conditions

Students with psychological or psychiatric disabilities represent a growing population on our campuses. Such disabilities may include severe depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorders. Although these conditions are “invisible”, they often impact a student’s learning experience. Psychological disabilities are often not well understood and accepted in our society, and many students with psychological disabilities have good reason to fear the reactions of others. Students report difficulties with focusing, concentrating, and completing work in a timely fashion. Reading, writing, and math may require extra effort and more time. Ability to function effectively may vary from day to day. Students may experience an increase in symptoms in response to stress. Medications help with some symptoms of psychological disability, but medication side effects (for example, drowsiness or headaches) can contribute to a student’s academic problems.

We suggest that you review our suggestions about learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; a number of these suggestions will also be appropriate for students with psychological disabilities.

Web Resources

The websites listed below are for informational purposes only. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by the CSD.

  • College Guide for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
    The team at realized those struggling with mental illness contend with a true disability that requires the full support of their learning community. They published this guide as a way to start a conversation about this issue.
  • Go Ask Alice!
    Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University’s health Q and A Internet site! Alice is glad you’re here, and hopes you’ll browse the archives in search of the answers to your health questions.
  • National Institute of Mental Health< The NIMH mission is to reduce the burden of mental illness and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. This public health mandate demands that we harness powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and eventually, prevention of these disabling conditions that affect millions of Americans./li>
  • is an anonymous and confidential service offered to students who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, and many other issues. Resources are available for students to learn more about mental health, including: alcohol, drugs, stress, sleep, depression and suicide prevention.