Disabled Students Program & Services (DSPS)

Psychological Disability

A psychological disability is defined as a persistent psychological or psychiatric disorder, emotional or mental illness that adversely affects educational performance. As is the case for many students with invisible disabilities, these students are hesitant to disclose their disability. While many are stable and show no symptoms, others may have fluctuations in behavior and performance.  

The most common psychological disability among students is depression. It may appear as apathy, disinterest, inattention, irritability, or as fatigue. Most students with psychological disabilities are not disruptive. Many students do experience side effects from the medications they are taking and may request modifications.

As with other students with disabilities, students with psychological/psychiatric disabilities may require accommodations and additional support to be successful in college.

Accommodations for students with psychological/psychiatric disabilities may include: additional time on examinations, breaks during class or water in class, and tape recording lectures.

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