College Stress Counselors: Are They Lonelier Than Maytag Repairmen?

by Doc Orman, M.D.


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In 2007, the Maytag appliance company launched a series of popular television commercials portraying the reliability and dependability of their washers and dryers.  These commercials featured the actor Clayton Earl Jackson in the role of a sad, but likable, repairman who kept repeating the slogan that Maytag repairmen were “the loneliest guys in town.” 

The point of these ads was to create the impression that Maytag appliances were so sturdy, that nobody ever needed to repair them.  Actually, these commercials were aimed at countering growing public concerns about poor reliability and frequent customer complaints.

College Stress Counselors

Well, those Maytag commercials (and the company itself) have disappeared from the airways now, but we may have a new contender for the “loneliest people around.”  Today, the loneliest people just might be college stress counselors. 

Despite all the stress that’s rampant among college students today, many students who could clearly benefit don’t avail themselves of the help a professional stress counselor could provide.

Why The Resistance?

While the image of college stress counselors, sitting in their empty offices day after day, is not really accurate (some students do come for help), they are woefully underutilized.  Part of the reason for this is that college students tend to take great pride in their new-found independence, and want to see themselves as working out any personal problems they might have on their own.

But a deeper issue may be a strong sense of arrogance (and denial) among students of college age—a deep-seated arrogance that is both a major cause of stress, while at the same time being a barrier that keeps students from getting the help they need.

Unfortunately, many college students who suffer from high levels of stress often wait too long before reaching out to a counselor or therapist for help. Sometimes, this delay has disastrous and tragic consequences.

It’s one thing if a washer or dryer breaks down and ceases to function as intended. It’s quite another when a young adult college student breaks down, especially when there are people all around them who could have offered needed help.

So, if you are a college student and are experiencing significant stress, ask around to find out what help is available on your campus.

Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this reluctance to ask for help is limited to college students alone.  It’s true for the vast majority of people today who are suffering from stress all across America.

April=Stress Awareness Month
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