Mental Illness In College

Mental Illness In College

Why it is important to take notice.
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Tragedy has befallen my beautiful college campus recently as one of our own saw it better to end his life than to continue it. I have been told by many of those who knew him, as I did not know him very well, that he was a kind and caring individual. He dropped off the map and no one could reach him, no one could help it. It is awful to think that people can be that far gone that they isolate themselves rather than hurting those around them by making it clear that they are beyond help. Where was the support for this kind soul? Why did the school not reach out when he began not showing up for classes? Why was it not made clear that the college cared about this kid before it was too late?

There is not a clear answer as to why the school did not interfere, but it makes the reality of the situation so much worse. The smallest snippet of a notification sent out to the college did no justice to the lost life. This begs the question, what are we worth to the college? Are we nothing more than the money we spend to attend classes? Well, it sure feels like we aren't worth much. How can our lives be summed up in no more than two sentences by a place that we've grown to know ourselves in? I have no answers to these important questions, but I have thoughts on this. College is a time in our lives that is highly stressful and full of changes. It is so easy to lose yourself and your mental stability in the midst of everything. Sometimes it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Graduation seems so very far away. Perhaps your grades are not the best or you've lost touch with some really good friends. It is hard to balance everything, but you are not alone. Suicides are known to incite other suicides in individuals who feel the same way and believe me when I say that it is completely true. I did not know the student who ended his life very well, but I felt that if he couldn't find a way out of his depression neither could I. He was an honors student, he was in clubs, he had friends, he was about to graduate. This kid had his whole life ahead of him, but he couldn't see that.

Luckily, I have some very good friends who helped me to see that I am not the same as that student. I may have depression, I may feel like it is too much, I may want to give up, but I won't. What this experience has taught me is that, as students, we need outlets. We need to know that we are not alone in our suffering. We need to know that we are worth more than the money we spend to attend this place. If this article has done anything, I hope that it has prompted you to take a stand. Be the voice of mental illness in colleges.

If you struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempts, call the Suicide Prevention Helpline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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