Can PTSD and social anxiety relapse randomly for no particular reason? I had therapy for months last year, and I was normal for months after, but it is getting worst again.

To answer your question, yes – PTSD and anxiety symptoms can pop back up months, even years later. It’s typical for them to resurface without any clear reason, which can feel really frustrating and confusing. But here’s the thing, 2021 is far from a typical year, and there has been a lot to be anxious over these days. Even if you are not directly impacted by the physical effects of Covid-19, social and racial unrest, or the ongoing election stress, you cannot avoid all of the news and social media coverage which can have a devastating impact. Being constantly exposed to so much news of trauma can create something called vicarious trauma and can be incredibly harmful to our mental health. Research is finding that the bombardment of traumatic materials in the media can lead observers to anxiety, difficulties in coping, feelings of fear and helplessness, and in rare cases PTSD. Because of your history you’re more vulnerable to the effects of news and media in your environment. What you’re experiencing is a relapse of your symptoms. We highly recommend jumping back into therapy with your therapist!

I’m in my first year of college and I hate it. I feel lost in classes, not getting along with my roommates, and just want to go home. I’m thinking this isn’t for me. What should I do?

You need to give it more time to sink in. You have just left everything you’ve ever known and have entered a whole new world. Of course you miss your friends and family. See that as a reflection of the strong, healthy relationships you’ve built rather than a sign that these new relationships aren’t working. Feeling sad is a normal reaction to this incredible transition in your life. Every single comfort of familiarity is gone. We know it feels scary since new chapters and change is painful. However, pain and fear are often signs of growth and development. We encourage you to open up the way that you’re thinking about what you’re feeling. So, what’s the best kept secret about having a successful college experience? Making the mental shift from finding room for yourself in the life given to you, to taking control and creating your own experience. If you can lean in, and take advantage of this new experience, you’ll start to notice that it’s a new opportunity for you. You can do this!