Are you anxious yet excited about starting college??
Having been through the experience of leaving home to attend
college 8 hours from home I understand the anxiety that comes with the
project. Now as an experienced counselor
I see how stressful it is and want to offer some specific tips that will help
you get through the first year.
· Spend the Summer READING– you can do it on
your phone, use ‘real’ books or google on amazon or local library to get more
versed in the subjects you will
Risk / Symptoms Present
Loss of sleep
Not able to sleep 24 hours
Staying up and out late despite other responsibilities
Not able to sleep 2-3 days
Feel and stating they feel ‘wired’
is obvious to others, may include verbal abuse
is inappropriate – now angry and violent.
Desire to be impulsive:
Using drugs –more
of legal or illegal
Sexual acting out
Medium Risk/ Symptoms Obvious:
with impulsive thoughts:
You should get evaluated by a professional if you've hadfive or
more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks or if any of these
symptoms cause such a big change that you can't keep up your usual routine..
- You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
- You feel guilty for no reason; you feel like you're
no good; you've lost your confidence.
- Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever
going to happen again. You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or
it seems like you have no feelings.
First put down your phone. Really.
Anyone born before the 80's knows that you really can have a summer without having a phone attached to your ear or palm. We survived. We had to be creative! We also survived all those 'horrific' events of bug bites, poison ivy, seeing snakes, catching frogs, trips in the back of station wagon or pick up truck, discovering swimming holes, learning how to dive into mucky waters, card games, board games, Jarts(!), Kick the Can, numerous bikes (without motors), dragging our butts home bleeding from falls, jumps, and dares where a bunch of bandages, grilled cheese and tomato soup cured the pain .
One of my life's best pleasures or joys is reading. That pleasure is made visible every month I have been leading the way at the Frackville Free Public Library since 2003. We have ventured to read more than 120 books since we started. That's a lot of books, Especially when you hear the statistic that 40% of the country has not read a book in the last year, many have not since high school! Less than 17% even go into a book store and I can bet its even lower for walking into a library these days!
Our country is in the midst of an epidemic of Heroin addiction and deaths by overdose. As many as 80% claim they started by using prescribed opioid medications for seemingly 'normal' life eventsrequiring pain management: teeth extractions, sports injuries, accidents involving injuries, surgeries, child birth, cancer, and/or cosmetic/ re constructive surgeries. Physicians often prescribed them for increasingly lower level painful events - because they wanted their patients to be 'comfortable' and insurance companies often paid for the prescription that was reported as 'effective'.
Do you have trouble asking for help?
Do you perceive asking for help as a sign of weakness?
Do you know how to get help when you can't sleep, haven't slept, seem to cry 'all the time', feel emotionally fragile or vulnerable to the slightest statements, even those not directed to you directly?
Have you 'copped an attitude'? - that is either expressed in reactive anger at just about anything or apathetic or not caring about people, work or things you used to?
Are you feeling physically anxious
Is your home, neighborhood, town, borough, county or state dealing with the surge or epidemic of heroin addiction?
I doubt your answer is 'no'.
We're all seeing it, hearing about it, experiencing it or have dealt with the collateral damages of it.
I've been hearing about it directly from the addicts themselves, their mothers and fathers, their siblings, peers, professionals along with reading anything I had time to read. I recently got a chance to readChasing the Scream
If you have read any of my previous posts you know by now I'm a big fan of Marie Kondo's "Life changing magic of tidying up" best selling book. Having gone through almost the entire process - only 'historical documents and photos' are left - but condensed to 2 totes. . .
I want to encourage anyone male or female to try this process if you have had a significant loss or life transition in the last 5 years. Some can handle it within 1-2 years of a loss - but most can't - but when you're 'ready' this process is probably one of the best strategies to do what will be 'life changing magic' in a very heart and soul warming way.
It cannot be under-estimated how many consider suicide as an option as a way to deal with a crappy day, disappointment, ongoing trials, or seemingly hopeless situations. It is much more common than anyone probably believes - as once you're thinking about it - you tend to increase your isolation, stop reaching out and stay contained in your own world that stays 'bad' as long as you're drowning in it.
Here are specific ways to help a person who had the courage to share or you had the courage to ASK if they were feeling - thinking - planning suicide: