Blues Bird

April 26th, 2016

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With all of the stress faced by college students there is a massive amount of pressure felt to be your best. The pressure from stress and anxiety can result in depression. Depression is defined and characterized by an extreme sense of sadness and loss of interest. Depression is a real and serious psychological disorder faced by many college students and individuals across the world. Depression is not to be taken lightly and can range in degrees of intensity from sadness to suicidal thoughts. If anyone you know are you yourself are facing depression it is important to know that you are not alone and that there are ways to get through it.

A Ted Talk video on YouTube (shown below) given by a young man by the name of Jack Park shares his personal story of dealing with depression. He describes the word depression as having two very distinctly different meanings so it can be difficult to understand. Feeling depressed means feeling sadness but being depressed is categorized as clinical depression and it the much more serious side of the word. Having feelings of depression need to be addressed because that can become more and more serious over time.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur8TZf6HWSs[/youtube]

Schools have psychological counselling centers to help students handle anything that they are dealing with. Longwood University has its own Counseling And Psychological Service (CAPS), located in the health and fitness center. They also have a phone number that students can call to set up an appointment which is: 434-395-2409.

One study done that surveyed students on what their thoughts and beliefs are on depression was titled: College Students’ Perceptions of Depressed Moods Exploring Accuracy and Associations. The findings showed that most students underestimated the prevalence of the feelings of sadness and depression but overestimated the prevalence of suicidal feelings. This shows that there are many misconceptions on depression and that many individuals are unaware of the seriousness of depression and more attention needs to be brought about on the issue.

College students cope with depressed feelings and depression in a variety of ways. Some forms of coping are effective while others are just hindering the individual from getting the right kind of treatment. Forms of unhealthy coping with depression include drinking, drugs, and attempts at suicide. Forms of healthy coping include talking to a counselor, confiding in family or friends, getting on medication that is prescribed, and many others.

Whether you are dealing with depression or a depressed mood from time to time get the help you need. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone and to get help. As Dr. Suess would put it, “Don’t give up, I believe in you all. A person is a person no matter how small.”

 

Ruffled Feathers

April 26th, 2016

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College is full of exciting and new experiences. With those new and exciting adventures comes a lot more responsibility and stress. The stress that students face on a daily basis ranges from writing papers, talking to professors, joining organizations, studying for exams, meeting new people, finances, and so much more. During this time in a college student’s life it feels as if the stress will last forever. The truth is that stress will always be there but the more experience you have with stress the better you will be on handling and managing it.

One study done by the College Student Journal found support to show the need for a stress management courses at universities. The study suggest that the stress college students are under is immense but the stress can become greater when it is not properly managed. The study included twenty males and eighty females. Students were given a survey covering four categories of stress: interpersonal, intrapersonal, academic, and environmental. The results showed that the highest stressor reported by students was intrapersonal which means the stress was caused by internal events, such as, sleep habits, eating habits, and breaks. The survey was done during spring semester so that may be the reason for the high stress reported about breaks due to upcoming trips such as spring break.

This study is an older one but is important for showing the types and reasons for stress that college student are undergoing. From these study and many more it shows that stress management is essential in order to have a successful college career. This study relayed an excellent idea by purpose college stress management programs for students.

There are many ways for college students to handle and deal with stress. One way that I personally deal with stress is to take breaks when I need them and to spend time alone or with friends. Sometimes when dealing with stress you just need to leave it where it is and take a moment to just breathe and relax. Sometimes talking out your stress with a friend or with family members can help you to create and map out a better plan of attack to handle it. Also taking a moment for yourself can help you to self-reflect on the issues you are facing.

A video on YouTube by BBC   shows what stress is from a psychological perspective explains how stress is the body’s response known as “Fight or Flight” (See video below). Fight or flight is the body’s emergency state to keep you from trouble. The video has its corny moments but it is embodied with helpful ways in managing and relieving stress.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnpQrMqDoqE[/youtube]

In conclusion the success to stress is to find the best way that you can to manage it, don’t run from it but face it head on and take it as it comes. Take a deep breath and get back to work you have a world to conquer out there.

 

Leaving The Nest

February 20th, 2016

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Leaving home to start a new journey in your life is the most exciting and terrifying roller coaster you will experience. Going to college is probably the first time that you will have to be away from your family and be completely on your own. This new found freedom feels strange but will become more normal over time. At first glance you are probably thinking this is going to be great; no one telling you what time to be home, no more chores, and you can have friends over whenever you want! That sounds great, right? The truth is after about a week of thinking like this, reality sets in… you actually miss your family. I know this probably sounds like a crazy idea to you and you are probably reading this thinking “no not me, I am an independent individual and can live sufficiently on my own.”

Of course you all want to be independent and do everything on your own, but the truth is that your entire lives you have depended on your family as your support system. Homesickness can cause you to be physically and psychologically sick. The stress from being away from home is a lot for anyone to handle for the first time. A research journal showed findings that being away from those you are attached to can cause stress and anxiety. Homesickness was correlated with trait separation anxiety.

Personally, I have had my experience with the dreaded homesick illness. I love my family and I really started missing them. Surprisingly enough I even missed someone telling me what to do. I would sit in my dorm and just think to myself what am I supposed to do now? I was so used to having them around me and having things to do that it was an odd and anxious feeling that I had. I realized the independence I was excited about came at the price of missing my family horribly.

Don’t worry though, there are cures for homesickness for you and your family, who is missing you just as much as you are missing them. I have found that surrounding myself with things that I love about home makes me feel less homesick. I love having my blankets and pillows that smell like home on my bed so that it feels like I am at home. The biggest advice I have for homesickness is to have pictures, pictures, and more pictures. Pictures help you to be surrounded by the ones you love constantly. Lastly, staying in contact with your loved ones like phone calls, letters, and skyping will help you to feel connected to them.