The R-Word Is Not A Word You Should Be Using

The R-Word Is Not A Word You Should Be Using

Spread the word to end the word.

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I'm having a conversation with a group of friends and it's going well as conversations with friends should go. Out of the blue, one person says something along the lines like, "Yeah, I looked retarded."

Excuse me, what?

Out of all of the adjectives in the world, you pick that one?

Allow me to elaborate. The R-word is not a word you should be using in an everyday context. You shouldn't call someone that and you should never describe someone or something as the R-word. Why? Because it's an offensive, derogatory term to humans with special needs. Basically, you are degrading others and their abilities by saying the R-word as well as not being accepting or inclusive. It's crude and needs to be eliminated from everyday speech.

Now don't get me wrong. This hasn't always been the case with the R-word; This word was socially acceptable at one point (back in like, the 17th century). In fact, the word comes from the Latin verb "retardare" which means "to hinder" or, "to make slow." We see it pop up in older literature and conversation but around the 20th century, it became a word that describes people living with mental disabilities and quickly became associated with other terms such as "moron," "idiot," and "imbecile."

In fact, on October 5, 2010, President Obama signed S. 2781 (known as Rosa's Law for the young girl who worked to get it signed) into law. This bill replaced the term "mental retardation" with "mental disability" as well as the phrase "mentally retarded individual" with "an individual with an intellectual disability." Now, the former terms and phrases no longer exist in federal health, education or labor policies. The overall goal for this law was and is to eliminate this harmful language permanently to prevent hurting and offending the vast number of people and families that have a loved one who may live with intellectual disabilities.

This concludes the history lesson portion of the article. For these reasons, the R-word has become a degrading word with negative context and we as a society should realize that, find a dictionary, and pick another adjective to describe how you look.

Still don't get it? Still think that it's socially acceptable even after my history lesson?

A former teacher of mine once used the following as examples to prove this exact point that I'm trying to make and as much as I hate typing them out, it hits hard and it will shut down any person that tries to argue that the R-word is fine to use. To sum up the examples in the softest way possible, it's basically the equivalent of calling an LGBTQ+ person a "fag" or an African American the n-word. You don't. Because all of that is WRONG and DEGRADING and you have no right to be using terms such as those. Does it make sense now? Yes? Good.

If you're interested in finding out more about ways to stop the use of this word, I recommend checking out https://www.r-word.org this organization raises awareness about the negative context of the R-word and encourages people to pledge to "spread the word to end the word." You can check out personal stories and find out when events that promote the organization are taking place.

The world isn't that big but our vocabulary is. If you use the R-word, chances are you'll seriously offend someone. Instead, please find another adjective. It's not that difficult. By doing so, you'll be helping to end the use of the R-word permanently.

Cover Image Credit:

Pixabay

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11 Symptoms Of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Something many people have, but few people know about.
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Not many people really know what the vagus nerve is so first, let me explain that. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body that regulates the gut and also affects the cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and respiratory systems. That means it's a pretty major nerve in the human body. So when that nerve is dysfunctional, you can imagine it can have some pretty ridiculous side effects.

This past autumn, I figured out that my vagus nerve is, somehow, dysfunctional. And it turns out that a lot of people have a dysfunctional vagus nerve. When you struggle with vagus nerve dysfunction, you can be perfectly healthy for a long time, catch a cold or hit a wall, and then your body will take months to recover. I got so sick that I didn't have the energy to even get out of bed for days and probably would have withered away if my mom didn't bring me food.

Living with vagus nerve dysfunction is something that you have to learn to live with because there is no cure. So if you have a friend with a dysfunction vagus nerve, please try and understand them and read through these common symptoms that come with it.

1. Chronic nausea

Unfortunately, this means there isn't a lot that seems appetizing to eat.

2. Weight loss

Due to not wanting to eat from nausea, you can lose significant weight. At my worst, I unintentionally lost 15 lbs. in about three weeks.

3. Weight gain

Most likely due to chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

4. Bradycardia and tachycardia

Otherwise known as decreased heart rate and increased heart rate, respectfully. This can make simple things like walking or standing for long periods of time difficult.

5. IBS

Constant stomach pains and nausea generally means constantly feeling uncomfortable.

6. Depression

Not only just because it's connected to your brain, but always feeling down and sick definitely takes a toll on your mental health.

7. Anxiety

I still sometimes get panic attacks at the thought of leaving the house because I might have a terrible dizzy spell in public again.

8. Chronic inflammation

It just sucks.

9. Chronic fatigue

There's a difference between feeling tired all the time because you're a college student and feeling tired all the time because your body is sick.

10. Heartburn

All I have to say is no thank you.

11. Dizziness/fainting

We try our best to not stand up too fast because that'll make it worse.

While there isn't a cure for vagus nerve dysfunction, there are a lot of things we can do to manage it. Some of us take medications for our mental health and nausea. Yoga is always great for increasing our muscle function. And massive intake of salt and water is vital (we drink a lot of Gatorade). But that doesn't mean that we don't have bad days.

So try your best to be there for your friends with dysfunctional vagus nerves. Instead of always suggesting to go out, maybe just ask if you can bring over a lot of Gatorade and salty snacks and binge Netflix. It will be greatly appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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My Stance On ADD/ADHD Medication, As Someone With A Diagnosis

Medication for ADD/ADHD children is such a controversial subject. Each parent has their opinion on it and people should respect that, it's their child, but a the same time I think that the child should also have an opinion on the matter. After all, it is their life that is being affected.

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I wasn't formally diagnosed with ADD until my junior year of high school. I wasn't diagnosed earlier because until then, there was no need to. When I was younger my mom always kept me in check, she helped my study and stay on track in school so there was no need to get tested or put on medication. As I got older she realized I needed to start being more independent so she started backing off, as the more she backed off the worse my grades were.

Up until this point in my life, I was always on the A or A/B honor roll for school and I think after realizing I had C's on my report card, this disorder became real. From the summer after sophomore year through the first semester of my junior year, my mom tried every holistic treatment she could find. We tried essential oils, vitamins, supplements, you name it we tried it. While these holistic treatments sometimes did make a small difference, they just weren't making a big enough difference. I don't blame my mom for wanting to try more natural ways to treat me, I actually think it was a great idea. I know some people with ADD/ADHD who swear by essential oils or natural supplements, unfortunately, it just wasn't working for me. When it came down to it, my mom and I discussed putting me on medicine, she was skeptical but ultimately it was my decision.

After starting on Adderall my life changed drastically. I never even realized just how bad off I was until starting the medication. By the start of my Senior year, my grades were back up, I had gotten a raise at work, and was running and/or a member of 4 different clubs at school. Getting the right treatment for ADD/ADHD helped me reach my full potential. While I am glad I decided to start medication, it's not for everyone. I have been on both Adderall and Vyvanse and there are side effects to both. Now I know people who have little to no side effects from either medication and I know people who do. I personally experienced multiple side effects, but this was all before finding the right dosage of the right medication for me. I now have little to no side effects and I live my life just like everyone else.

I know parents only want the best for their children, but at some point, you have to let them decide for themselves. I know medication is not the answer for everyone, but it doesn't hurt to try. The difference it made in my life was incredible, and I hope that more parents out there consider letting their ADD/ADHD children at least try medication.

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