To The Girl Caged By Anxiety

To The Girl Caged By Anxiety

"Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries."
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I never thought I would be writing a response article to myself, but I cannot stand to look like a hypocrite.

Sometimes it's easier to say that you have control of your disorders in order to give yourself a false sense of hope and make everything appear "okay" to the public. Even though it very well may not be.

This was the case for myself last semester. I wrote an article where I spoke about how I don't let my anxiety or OCD define me and even my eating disorder that I didn't mention. Meanwhile, they were all eating me from the inside out even as I typed those words.

My first semester of college was what I like to call less than ideal. However, if you look on my Instagram page you might try to argue that it looked like I was having the time of my life. I was going out every weekend, joined a sorority, had lost weight, all the things that you would think make a new college freshman happy.

That's exactly what I wanted everyone to think. The things not featured on my social media were the panic attacks I was having every night, the entrapping anxiety I felt anytime I walked through the hallway, the false reality that I experienced that every person close to me was against me, and the days I would go without eating because I was so stressed and lost within my anxiety that I only wanted to sleep.

Sleep was my get away. When I was asleep my heart wouldn't race, my chest wouldn't feel like its imploding, I wouldn't be worried about how much I could mess up a friendship or relationship or have time to over-analyze anything I saw on social media.

My emotional, mental, physical, and social health were on the brink and no one knew but me. I was living a lie because I was too prideful to admit that there was something going on inside of me that I could not fix on my own. My family could not help me. My friends could not help me. I could not help me.

But none of this you could see from my Snapchat, Twitter, or my Instagram. And that was how I liked it. I was essentially living a double life and using my outward appearance as a security blanket to hide my internal feelings.

I could not beat the game that was going on in my head and I felt trapped within myself. Simple high school drama that I used to be able to brush off my shoulder became the reason I wouldn't get out of bed. I gave other people the power to destroy me because I wasn't strong enough to realize I had all I needed in my life. I let other miserable people push me further down my spiral. Any amount of negativity I was surrounded by, I absorbed. I let other people avoiding to deal with their own issues further the intensity of my own.

It wasn't until I was home for a month and away from any ounce of negativity that I had felt relief for once. I was surrounded by people who loved me and supported me with their whole heart and wanted me to get better. That was when I swallowed my pride and sought help. Just by talking to someone other than my family or friends showed me I wasn't crazy. I wasn't able to control what was going on in my head because it is not easy to control anxiety. You learn to deal with it and how to not let it affect your everyday life. Slowly but surely I let go of pointless anger. I stopped caring what one person may not like about me and spent more time learning to re-love myself. I started yoga which also taught me how to breathe through my panic attacks and start each day with a reason to smile and be grateful for life.

It wasn't easy. It wasn't fast. It wasn't without a lot of tears, but it was worth it.

To the girl who feels entrapped within her anxiety and has no idea what's going on in her head, where to turn, what to do, and who just wants to break down, I know how you feel. There is only one way out of this slump and it is through. You will make it through. Take it day by day and find the positives in each day. Value those who value you. And never forget that family is forever. Anxiety feels like a silent monster that creeps up on, grabs a hold of your thoughts and all of you and you cannot shake him. But you can and you will because you are strong and you are resilient.

"Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries." -Astrid Alauda

Cover Image Credit: http://mac.h-cdn.co/assets/15/46/980x490/gallery-1447432234-landscape-1447428802-anxiety.jpg

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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Measles And Us

Ever heard about the story of David and Goliath? This is one on both a microscopic and global level.

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Raise your hand if you have heard about the ongoing outbreak of measles within the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a total of 127 reported cases of measles within 10 states since last fall. Just last month, Washington declared a public health emergency due to at least 50 cases arising with the state, predominately from Clark County, an area known to be highly affiliated by the anti-vaccine movement. Since then, the vaccination rate for measles has skyrocketed to an astonishing 500%, as Americans seek defense from the disease. In today's time, vaccines are incredibly important for one's health and those around them. Creating awareness for public health is crucial to maintaining a healthy society, especially in times of health scares.

Now, what is the measles disease? Measles, also known as "Rubeola" is an airborne disease, caused by Measles morbillivirus, and can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or direct contact with secretions. Measles only affects humans, there is no "measles for other animals." Once a person is infected, they will have a very irritable rash spread across their body, from head to toe, within two weeks. Some side effects of measles are fever, encephalitis, ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea, rashes, and corneal ulceration—some can create permanent damage. Dr. Pritish Tosh states that measles is mainly a childhood disease, as children are more susceptible and have a higher mortality rate when exposed to the disease. There is no cure for measles, however, antibiotics can remedy the disease during the infection period of two-to-three weeks.

So, what can we do to combat the measles virus? Well, the CDC highly recommends getting the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination—aka the MMR vaccine—as soon and as early as possible. The MMR contains live, attenuated—or weakened by scientific methods in a laboratory—measles, mumps, and rubella—that stimulates your immune system responses, but not enough cause the symptoms of disease. The CDC recommends two doses of the MMR vaccination—the 1st at 12-15 months and the 2nd at 4-6 year—in order to empower the T and B cells that will kill off those specific pathogens in your body in the future. The earlier the exposure, the stronger the immune system response will be in the future.

So, what does it mean for the people vaccinated and those who are not? The earlier the exposure to the vaccine, the stronger the immune system response will be in the future. Last year, I learned from Professor Dr. Meysick that through artificial active immunity, the total number of antibodies within a community increases with each vaccine, protecting throughs in that community. In addition, microbiologists from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, have concluded that this herd immunity decreases the circulation of infectious agents in susceptible populations. But what does that mean for those who are not vaccinated? According to the World Health Organization, since measles is so contagious, compared to other diseases, if it infects an unvaccinated person, they will be incredibly susceptible to the disease, which increases the risk of other people in that community who are also not vaccinated or have a weak immune system to begin with. Thus, explains why measles is still so prevalent in a low vaccinated area like Clark County, Washington.

This is why the priority for vaccination should be held with the utmost importance. Since the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1963, has reported that the prevalence of measles has decreased by at least 99%. However, the CDC and WHO warn about the common diseases held in foreign countries that people from the US have the potential to bring back and start a mass infection. That is why they express caution to one's health overseas and be vaccinated before traveling; since this fall, the CDC has traced the measles epidemic of the US all the way from Venezuela. This is why vaccines are necessary to increase our and other's immune system's strengths against foreign pathogens and diseases. In order to protect others from diseases, we must first protect ourselves.

I hope this has been informative to your health and please stay health throughout this semester. Thank you.

Sources:

Board, D. S. (2004). Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Smallpox Vaccine Down Select Process report summary. Washington D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

Davidson, T. (2017). Vaccines: History, Science, and Issues. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood. ×Fine, P. (2014). Science and society: vaccines and public health. Public Health, 686-692.

Hanley, R. (2015). Needling the Profession. Irish Medical Times, 20. ×Kim, T. H., Johnstone, J., & Loeb, M. (2011). Vaccine herd effect. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases, 43(9), 683-9.

Rovenský, Jozef, & Payer, Juraj. (2009). Vaccine. In Dictionary of Rheumatology (p. 221). Vienna: Springer Vienna. ×Saplakoglu, Y. (2019, February 08). Measles Outbreak Spurs Vaccination Surge in Anti-Vaxxer Hotspot. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.livescience.com/64728-measles-outbreak-spurs-vaccination.html

Soucheray, S. (2019, February 19). CDC notes multiple outbreaks, 26 new measles cases. Retrieved February 19, 2019, from http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/02/cdc-notes-multiple-outbreaks-26-new-measles-cases

Sparks, D. (2017, May 11). More about measles. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/more-about-measles/

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