By Alexandra Calvin
During the month of October, many changes are happening and many things are being celebrated or acknowledged. Among breast cancer awareness, Halloween, and stepping into the autumn season, October also takes a day to bring awareness to mental health with World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10. There are many mental illnesses to be aware of. Common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, and many more.“Understanding is really nice,” said Joey Foos, sophomore integrated social studies major. “I don’t usually talk about it and I think there’s a really big male stigma with mental illness. [We assume] you can’t have that if you still want to maintain whatever masculinity you have. Even though that’s definitely false, I think it’s certainly a stigma, but it certainly helps when you are actually suffering from it and someone understands.”In an experiment posted by the American Psychology Association, it was found that 95 percent of college counseling center directors claimed the number of students with significant mental health issues is a growing concern in their center or on campus, according to the latest Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey. 70 percent of directors believe that the number of students with severe mental health issues has increased in the past year. The survey also discovered that anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students (41.6 percent), followed by depression (36.4 percent) and relationship problems (35.8 percent). On average, 24.5 percent of clients were taking psychotropic medications.It can be difficult to tell the difference between feeling overwhelmed and identifying one of these illnesses. Malone offers free counseling. If you are concerned you are living with a mental illness, it is important that you get the help that you need. With midterms coming up, it is common for students to feel overwhelmed and anxious about these exams.“A lot of times, even if I have a lot of work to do, I’ll just put it off and do stuff to make myself happy, and then I will get to it eventually even if it’s really late,” said Andrew Schmidt, sophomore chemistry major.It is important to be aware of your own limits. Getting your work and studying done is important, but taking care of yourself is even more important. There is a lot of pressure behind the word “midterm,” but students make it a lot scarier than it actually is.“[Midterms] are a lighter exam than a final,” said Michelle Brackett, sophomore zoo and wildlife biology major. “It always depends on the class. If your class gives you a study guide, definitely do that because a lot of times the test is really similar to the study guide. As long as you actually take the time to study, it will be easier. There have been a few times that I didn’t feel I needed to study because I didn’t in high school, but it is not the same [as high school]. You need to study.”A few methods of relieving your stress can include counseling, taking walks, meditating, deep breathing, laughing, listening to music, reading, or other things that make you feel at ease. It is important to do these things, even when you feel you don’t have time for them. It is almost impossible to try to focus on your work when you feel you have no control over your emotions.Midterms may vary by class, but Malone is graciously giving students a fall break that will take place from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22. This gives students an opportunity to either cool down after exams or prepare for upcoming ones. When we return, we look forward to our next break, which is Thanksgiving.
LXIII Issue No. 4