Tag Archives: depression

Stress Levels and Mental Health in College Students

College students usually get stressed when they have major tests in their classes. And it seems that stress levels spike when midterms and finals are approaching. However, most students feel stressed almost all of the time. It is said that one out of five students say they feel stressed most of the time (1). Stress can cause other mental health issues like anxiety disorders and depression. Stress, along with these other mental health disorders, has major effects on students’ day to day lives, and even their future.

It is said that stress is a precursor to anxiety or depression disorders. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, almost two-thirds of students drop out of school due to mental health reasons (1). Suicidal thoughts may be involved with these disorders. And 95 percent of suicides committed by students are related to anxiety and depression (1).

stressed student
“Stress, along with these other mental health disorders, has major effects on students’ day to day lives, and even their future.” Photo from: http://www.autismafter16.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_large/article-images/iStock_000010063963Small_0.jpg

Stress, anxiety and depression levels in students have risen dramatically since the 1980s (2). This means that there is also an increase in those going to their university’s mental health centers, if they are provided. According to Boston University statistics, in the 2014-2015 school year, students seeking psychiatric evaluation went from 120 students to 134, and those coming in because of a crisis increased from 647 students to 906 students (3). It’s happening all over the country. The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that 73.1 percent of counseling center directors reported an increase in the severity of student mental health concerns (3).

Radford University has a Student Counseling Services office located in the basement of Tyler Hall. They offer individual, couple and group psychotherapy, medication evaluations and management, professional consultations and other services (4). Their offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and their phone number is (540)-831-5226.

Mental health is one of the things that college students should take care of, especially in times of great stress. So, if you or someone you know is going through a rough patch, definitely try to make an appointment with the Counseling services; it could help you before things get too bad.

1 – http://stress.lovetoknow.com/Statistics_on_College_Student_Stress 2 – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201402/the-college-student-mental-health-crisis  3 – http://www.bu.edu/today/2016/mental-health-college-students/  4 – http://www.radford.edu/content/student-counseling/home.html

Rates of depression and anxiety normal in supported transgender children

According to a new study published on February 26 in Pediatrics, transgender children who are given the opportunity to socially transition, to change their hair, clothing, and use their preferred pronouns as well as preferred names, had the same rate of depression and anxiety as two control groups of cisgender children.

Image from healthywomen.org
A mother who fully supports her transgender child. Image from healthywomen.org

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These discoveries question the “long-held assumptions” that mental health issues in transgender youth are unavoidable, and some go as far as considering being transgender as a type of mental disorder.

The researcher, UW assistant professor of psychology and lead author Kristina Olson, noticed that in her experiment, 73 children, ages 3 to 12, had levels of depression and anxiety no higher than two control groups, which consisted of the transgender children’s siblings and other cisgender children of the same age. “Their rates of depression and anxiety were significantly lower than those of gender-nonconforming children in previous studies,” says Olson.

The research not only involved the children, but also the parents, having them fill out two short surveys asking the frequency of their children experiencing depression or anxiety in the last week.

The research said that the levels of depression regarding transgender children was an average of 50.1, essentially the same as the national norm, while their anxiety rates were 54.2, only a bit higher than the national average.

Researchers understand that “positive mental health among study participants might be explained by factors other than parental support.”

They know that the possibility of a parent making their child seem happier than they are is great, but they plan on creating future studies to investigate those possibilities.

This study was a part of the TransYouth project that Olsen founded. It’s the first large study of transgender youth in the U.S. It contains more than 150 transgender children and families from about 25 states, and Olson is still recruiting more participants.

Sexual violence alters the female brain

A new study in Scientific Reports found that prepubescent female rodents who mated with sexually experienced male rodents expressed reduced maternal behaviors necessary to care for offspring, could not absorb information as well, and had increased levels of anxiety caused by hormones.

Image from www.spcaotago.org.nz
Sexual violence alters the female brain, increases anxiety and impacts learning capabilities.  Image from www.spcaotago.org.nz

According to lead author Tracey Shors, this study is vital to understanding how sexual violence affects all living organisms, adding that it’s necessary “to know the consequences of this behavior in order for us to determine what we can do to help women learn to recover from sexual aggression and violence.”

Shors works in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience in the School of Arts and Sciences as a professor.

According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of women worldwide experience some kind of physical or sexual assault in their lifetime and young, prepubescent girls are much more likely to be victims of assault, attempted rape, or rape. Recent surveys show that as many as one in five female college students experience sexual violence while on campus.

Females who experience sexual violence are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, PTSD and other mood disorders. In spite of the indisputable relationship between mental health disorders in females and sexual trauma, very little is known about how violence affects the female brain. According to Shors, that’s due to the fact that there has not yet been an established laboratory animal model for researching the affects of sexual violence and behavior on brain function in females.

The Sexual Conspecific Aggressive Response (SCAR) model, developed by Shors and her team, sought to determine how stress associated with sexual violence affected female rodents.

Despite the fact that it’s normal for female rats to care for their offspring the females in this study that interacted with the adult male all through pubescence did not show as much maternal behavior as females that were not exposed to the adult male. Less generated brain cells were present in the females that did not learn to care for their offspring when contrasted with females that exhibited maternal behavior.

Although researchers don’t know if this type of sexual violence would have the same effects in humans, research has shown that sexual violence is one of the most likely causes of PTSD in females, which is linked with diminished brain functions related to learning and memory. The offspring of females who experienced sexual violence are at more serious danger for suffering traumatic experiences themselves as they age.

According to Shors, little is known about the brain mechanisms that affect the increase in depression and mood disorders among women who experience trauma from sexual violence, adding that along with these new methods, “we can find out how the female brain responds to aggression and how to help women learn to recover from sexual violence.”

A new way to treat depression

In a 2014 study, specialists at UCLA asked over 153,000 first year undergraduates to assess their general emotional health — and it was rated at the lowest level that UCLA has ever documented. Researchers found that nearly one in ten students said they frequently felt depressed.

A separate study by the American College Health Association discovered that more than fifty percent of colleges students have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” sometime over the past year. More than 30 percent of them said they have felt so depressed “that it was difficult to function.” Nearly 40 percent said they “felt things were hopeless.”

A new treatment for depression could significantly decrease its severity. Image from bkreader.com

Depression and anxiety with college students have been growing, and treatment of depression has been developing as well.

Analysts of a new study published in the most recent issue of Biological Psychiatry report effective decrease of depression symptoms in patients utilizing an innovative non-invasive method of vagus nerve stimulation, or VNS.

In spite of the increasing amount of neurostimulation approaches and medications available, leftover side effects may be both upsetting and incapacitating. Customary VNS is a neurostimulation procedure that has been utilized to diminish treatment-resistant symptoms of depression. Clinical trials proposed that it delivered relative advantage that developed over drawn out periods of time. Be that as it may, it was additionally expensive and required dangerous neurosurgery to embed the vagal nerve stimulators.

Drs. Peijing Rong and Jiliang Fang at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, working together with Jian Kong’s analysis group at Harvard Medical School, researched a new, altered type of VNS called transcutaneous VNS, which alternatively stimulates the vagus nerve through electrodes put into the ear.

Patients with major depressive disorder who volunteered for the study were either given transcutaneous VNS or placebo VNS and experienced a functional neuroimaging scan both before and after being treated for one month.

Contrasted with patients who were given placebo VNS, the patients who were given actual transcutaneous VNS displayed noteworthy improvement of their symptoms of depression. This change was linked with expanded functional connectivity amid the default mode system and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, a critical system in the brain known that is changed in depression.

As claimed by Rong, this treatment can significantly downsize the asperity of depression and shows promise for use later on in the future.

You should go to therapy. Trust me.

Have you ever thought about going to therapy? Maybe you’re thinking “I don’t need to go to therapy. Isn’t therapy for people who are really struggling with intense issues or they’re just crazy?” Well that isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, a lot of people who are in therapy are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental issues; however, therapy is simply an outlet for people to talk about their problem, whether they’re anxiety driven or not.

Going to a therapist was one of the best decisions I ever made. I began going to therapy because I was dealing with anxiety and struggling with my sexual identity; however, after I figured all of those things out, I continued to go because it was one of the most therapeutic and relaxing experiences I have ever had. I was allowed to talk about things, drama and other stressors, without the back and forth you have to have with your friends. I sat there for an hour as she listened to me talk and talk and my crappy friends and my messed up parents and she gave me advice and support. With friends, they can say “I’m here for you” and all those other cliche phrases but you know deep down that they have their own lives to deal with and they’re just waiting for their turn to talk. With therapy, the therapist sits there and talks to you like you’re friends but doesn’t expect anything in return from you. They are simply there to help guide you in the right direction and make sure that you are going to be okay. It’s fulfilling and relieving.

And how does that make you feel?  Photo from healthcommunities.com
And how does that make you feel?
Photo from healthcommunities.com

The best part about going to therapy is they know nothing about you. They don’t know anyone else’s side of the story and they don’t know the history of you or anyone else in your life. When you complain about someone or something, they have zero bias on the situation so they can give you honest and genuine advice about the situation. They tell you how it is based on the information you give them. With friends or parents, they usually understand the whole situation or have known the other people in the scenario, making it harder for them to stay unbiased. If you’re choosing between talking to a friend or a therapist, I’d go with therapy every time.

I understand that therapy isn’t for everybody; however, if you’ve never tried it what’s the harm? You may discover that you love it and it helps you more than any friend ever could or you could realise that you hate it and you never want to go back again and that’s okay too. Whatever the outcome may be, try therapy. It made me a happier person.

What smoking means today

Smoking hasn’t always had a huge stigma in society. It use to be something everyone did. In the office, the bars, in restaurants, everywhere really. It was something that everyone just did, regardless if they wanted to or not.

Back in the 1950s, smoking was at an all time high because it was cool and cheap. Actors like James Dean and Audrey Hepburn were never seen on screen without a cigarette in their hands or mouths.

Everyone was influenced by famous people in the 1950s and 1960s and because smoking cigarettes was cheap, cool, and socially acceptable, everyone did it.

Nowadays, however, smoking is much more controversial and stigmatized. Most people think smoking is disgusting, a habit that will kill you the second a cigarette hits your lips.

I think this change occurred because more medical information was released about cigarettes, telling consumers that cigarettes can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many more effects. However, what most people don’t seem to take into account are the effects of that alcohol can have as well.

People like to lecture smokers how on they can kill you, but don’t take a second to step back and look at themselves and the bad habits they have. Cigarettes may have more short-term effects, but alcohol can kill you in the long term.

Smoking, since the 1950s, has also become much more expensive. In the 1950s, a pack of cigarettes cost 25 cents. Today, on average, a pack of cigarettes cost $5.25.

No wonder people don’t smoke as much anymore;it’s way too expensive.

People rather spend that $5.25 on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, killing their arteries and increasing their risk for heart disease, than buy a pack of cigarettes. See what I did there?

Just because cigarettes are more direct with their health risks doesn’t mean that fast food or alcohol is any better for you. Fast food is a silent killers in a way, since they don’t tell their consumers out right what the effects of their products can have.

Simply because cigarette companies are legally bound to tell their consumers about the effects, people think cigarettes are the killer of all things when in fact they are just honest with their side effects.

1950s cigarette packaging Photo from Vintageadbrowser
1950s cigarette packaging
Photo from Vintageadbrowser

The stigma around cigarette smokers is mostly judgement and false opinions on those who smoke. People think that smokers are scary, rude, disgusting, and many other negative adjectives when that simply isn’t true for everyone.

Everybody smokes for different reasons whether it be to handle stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever reason, and this is personal to the smoker. People judge too quickly and don’t think about the reasons behind the actions of people. Think before you judge someone and get rid of the stigma. It is unnecessary and simply unjust.

A glimpse inside depression

Depression hurts, Cymbalta can help.

Maybe it can, but this isn’t an ad for a common depression medication.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I was in 8th grade. I hid it for years – the self-harm, the suicide attempts, the overwhelming hopelessness. I was diagnosed junior year of high school with depression and bipolar disorder, after one last, too-close suicide attempt.

My counselor found out via an anonymous tip and proceeded to take every last measure of making my life a living Hell. I won’t go too much into this, but to make it short – I spent an entire day in school at the guidance office, crying to my dad about how I didn’t want to make it so hard on him.

If you’ve met me, I’m a pretty normal, happy gal. But once you take a closer look, you’ll find out I’m nothing like who I portray myself to be.

I walk around campus, down hallways and stairwells, and think that everyone’s looking at me – judging me. I try my hardest to get from one place to another as quickly as possible.

“Normal” daily chores and tasks are harder for me. I struggle to get things done. I tell myself that everything is going to be alright, and I can get through it. Homework stresses me out. I get so anxious over little things that don’t matter, and try to do my best in everything I can. But I still procrastinate, I put off every single thing until the last minute, unless I know it will take me more than one all-nighter to do it.

Depression can follow you like a dark cloud Photo from dezzandcarol
Depression can follow you like a dark cloud
Photo from dezzandcarol

I find it hard to find basic meaning in everything I do. I ask myself “Why?” “Why am I doing this?”. I question myself, even things that I am supposed to enjoy doing – I don’t. Everything has become a load on my back, and I thought college would be better. College is supposed to be fun, right? But how am I supposed to “Get Involved”, if I have too much homework and too much anxiety?

I have to keep telling myself it will get better. I have so much in life to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to.

If you’re like me, don’t give up. Keep your chin up, and your head high. Take it one day at a time, and you might just turn out alright.

 

 

[PODCAST] From Our Perspective: Mental Health on Campus

In this installment, the Whim staff talks about mental healthcare on RU’s campus. We voice our concerns about lack of availability or priority placed on some of the most common health concerns for college students today.

Leave a comment with your feedback on this topic or your ideas for future topics and we’ll give you a shout-out in our next From Our Perspective.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

Mental health is just as important as physical health

We’ve all had to call in sick before, or bring a note to a professor as physical evidence that you were ill. But sometimes being mentally ill or just worn out is legitimate excuse, and needs to be treated as such. I know recently, I’ve really needed a mental break. But where’s the sympathy for those whose illnesses aren’t visible to the naked eye?

I recently visited a psychiatrist to discuss the fact that I’ve had panic attacks rather frequently over the summer. He nodded and agreed that you never forget panic attacks, because although they aren’t nearly as dangerous, it’s a lot like having a heart attack. They leave you physically and mentally exhausted. If you have a panic attack early in the day, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover and continue your day as if nothing happened, a lot like a heart attack.

Stress can really affect students. Graphic by Danielle Glumsic
Stress can really affect students. Graphic by Danielle Glumsic

Unfortunately though, most of the time a panic attack isn’t going to be a valid excuse for work as a heart attack would be. I recently had a very severe panic attack while I was at work. My boss had to take me to the side and bring me cold water as I slowly calmed down. He even asked if I needed to call someone or if I wanted to go home. Somehow, I fought through it and finished the work I needed to do, but he quickly sent me home. Almost as soon as I got home, I was passed out in my bed from being so exhausted.

Panic attacks can be very severe. I realize that heart attacks are very severe and I’m not downplaying them at all; however, I feel the need to emphasize that panic attacks should be taken more seriously. Most of the time it’s not so simple as “you need to calm down.” My most severe panic attack lasted about an hour and I was completely inconsolable. All you can really do is breathe, drink water and wait for it to go away.

In my experience, when I’m mentally off or an having a panic attack, being productive is pretty much impossible. Much like when you have the flu, all you want to do is lay in bed and wait until you feel better. A lot of times it’s better to make yourself get up and be productive to get your mind off of things, but it can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible.

So why do so many employers or teachers not accept “mental health days” as viable excuses? I suppose many people don’t believe what they can’t see. It’s a lot easier to see a runny nose or sore throat. Also, mental episodes aren’t really contagious, even though attitudes sometimes are. Working in a restaurant, you can’t contaminate a dish with anxiety like you can with germs.

It’s hard being one of these people who truly has a hard time getting out of my mental “funks”. It’s upsetting that mental health days aren’t viable excuses, all because you can’t go to MedExpress and get a note confirming you’re simply having an off day. Mental health needs to be treated sensitively. In my opinion, mental health can be even more important than physical health because a lot of times, your mental health affects how you feel physically and vice versa.

Limbaugh’s commentary on Williams’ death & credible news sources

A couple of weeks ago, we lost a legend. Robin Williams was found dead in his home, due to an apparent suicide. Scrolling through Facebook and various other forms of media, it was easy to see that his loss affected everyone in some shape or form. I’ll openly admit, to ugly-crying a few times watching tribute videos.

But, of course, in the sea of praise for Williams, there were also many negative voices. One of those voices belonged to the infamous Rush Limbaugh. In one segment of his radio show, Limbaugh began by reading a question from one of his listeners that asked, “what are the politics in Robin Williams’ death? Limbaugh began to explain that Williams’ death was somehow connected to the “general unhappiness of the left.”

rush-limbaugh-793679
“I was, however, very shocked that Limbaugh would be so trashy and distasteful as to tie a suicide to politics.”

Even though I’m definitely a left-winger, I wasn’t terribly offended by Limbaugh’s comments about how “miserable” the left is. After all, Limbaugh is a right-winger; he doesn’t know my level of happiness. I was, however, very shocked that Limbaugh would be so trashy and distasteful as to tie a suicide to politics. It’s especially offensive that Limbaugh would attack someone who was so very loved and brought nothing but joy to his audience just days after their death. No matter what your political preference is, there’re certain things that should be left unsaid. Suicide has nothing to do with politics. Williams lived a great life, but he was ill. He died of depression, not his political standpoint.

Limbaugh wasn’t only offensive in saying this, but he was also making a very far reach. What makes him think that he can tie two very different things together? Limbaugh has proven over and over again that he isn’t a credible source, though many would argue differently. His opinion is his opinion, but with logic so blurry, I can’t help but wonder how this man was given a platform. With so many talented young professionals looking for jobs, why do we allow this guy to have any platform?

A few people may agree with Limbaugh, which is sad. But why do we continue to give people such as him, or Bill O’Reilly for that matter, a platform? People like Limbaugh and O’Reilly make these far reaches just for the shock factor. But it seems that people believe them just because they have a platform. No matter how big of a platform they have, they may very well have no credibility or anything that makes them qualified whatsoever. The fact that Limbaugh isn’t categorized as a satirist is shocking to me. We need to stop making these people famous, and start looking into what makes a real, credible news source.

Are you a ruminator?

Have you ever had a situation happen, like a conflict or a stressful event, that you just couldn’t stop thinking about? Even days or weeks after this event happened, do you find yourself still thinking about what you could’ve done or should’ve done differently? If this description applies to you, then chances are you’re a ruminator. Don’t fret. A majority of people ruminate on their issues. The question to ask is, “when does ruminating become a problem?” Continue reading Are you a ruminator?

Spring fever: How it really works

Spring has long been known as a time of blossoming and virility. As young Bambi learned, “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.”

While spring fever may be hard to define in exact terms, scientists have figured out that it involves our circadian rhythms — what some have dubbed our “internal clock” and which syncs up with Mother Nature’s cycles. Continue reading Spring fever: How it really works

Don’t stress over stress with Jordan Burnham

Photo from lincolndailynews.com.

Radford University is hosting a seminar that will be focusing on topics such as depression, suicide, substance abuse and the physical and mental health connection. These are serious topics that not everyone is comfortable talking about, but one man has the courage to stand up and bring awareness to RU students. Continue reading Don’t stress over stress with Jordan Burnham

There’s no pill for grief

Most people at some point in their lives lost someone they love. Whether it be a family member, friend or pet, the loss of a loved one can be devastating. We go through the stages of grief in our own ways, and some have a harder time dealing with loss than others. Different deaths will affect us in various ways; a loss of a second cousin won’t generally compare with the loss of a spouse. Bereavement is entirely personal and, unless the individual means harm to themselves or others, the process should be largely respected. Continue reading There’s no pill for grief