Why Now?

I’m trying out writing micro-posts (under 300 words). Let me know what you think!

Ah, the end of another university semester. When tears abound. When students get an abundance of stress headaches. When college students pull all-nighters, drink a bunch of caffeine, and eat food that really isn’t good for their body!

At the end of every semester, I see a slew of students struggling. I’m not talking about the ones walking around like zombies from a lack of sleep or the hyperactive people who clearly had too much coffee. Around this time of year, I see a large number of mental breakdowns. Some are purely situational, as soon as the situation passes so too will the mental issues. Still, others break down and stay broken down.

Why is it that mental illnesses pop-up at the most inopportune times?

The most likely answer: The diathesis-stress model.

I learned about this theory this past semester in my Abnormal Psych class. Combining the best of the nurture vs nature argument, the diathesis-stress model is a theory which explains the way that being biologically prone and environmentally triggered interact to cause mental illnesses. Diathesis started out as a Greek word for disposition. This theory helps to explain why some people develop mental illnesses while others do not. It also explains why the timing of onset differs from person to person. For instance, someone with a slight inclination towards depression may not exhibit symptoms until they lose their job. A person who is not genetically inclined but experienced the same stressor would not encounter the same breakdown.

The good news?

Mental illnesses are not the end of the world. There are routes to get better if you feel like you need help. Mental health centers are on most campuses. Most insurances cover therapy with only a small copay. Medications can help normalize some mental illnesses. Often, they combine different treatments for the most effictive results. At the end of the day, people can live perfectly normal, healthy lives with mental illnesses.

Peace.

Health.

Love.

Those still doing finals, stay strong.

Yours truly,

KD

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