On One Hand

April 28, 2006

uhem

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:37 pm

I applied for a part-time job as minister for a campus UU/UCC religious group. I really, really care about the job. It will be a way for me to give back to a community that has been an anchor for me through some very hard times.

I want the job so that I will have an opportunity to write and do public outreach for a cause I consider very good, but also because I want to get in to heaven. Ministers of all kinds get into heaven for free since they plan most of the events there, and it’s very hard work to arrange for food and entertainment for billions of people for eternity. and on top the free entrance they each get three comp tickets. That way I can bring along some of my friends who aren’t already going.

April 27, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:13 pm

I’m so angry right now, and I don’t know what I’m angry at. I thought I was angry at Clay but he’s been nice (or at least I’ve gotten used to everything I would be angry about). Clay was sweet to me this morning, trying to make sure I’m eating, and I knew I wasn’t angry at him. But I’m still angry. Maybe I just find it pathetic that Clay tells me I should eat and says he cares but wouldn’t put anything into it beyond that. But that’s unreasonable. He shouldn’t have to worry about me like that.

I’m not even sure why I’m not eating. I mean I know, one one hand, (duh) that it’s because I ran out of money. That’s obvious. But I’m just so angry and I want to punish myself for doing so many things wrong, for turning in applications left and right and getting shut down on all of them, for having so much shit to do and knowing I can’t do it all, for not being more successful even though I’m dating someone who is very successful and I want him to respect my work, and for all the people who are angry with me because I’ve been confrontational lately. Maybe I’m angry at other people but I won’t let myself express it so I turn it in toward myself. I’m angry at religious fuckbags by making life so difficult, and I might be angry at God for not giving me any signs that the religious fuckbags are wrong. All I know is spend a lot of time not wanting to eat, even when I’m hungry, and when I do get the inspiration to get food I turn around and leave after extremely little provocation, such as the fast food line being too long, and end up not eating. And the hungrier I get the more I want to keep going hungry.

But I’m not tired. My body is full of energy, as if I’m extremely buzzed on something. Like my jaw is extremely tight and I can’t stop clenching my teeth or locking my jaw back. I probably look like I’m on cocaine. My jaw is so sore from holding it weird. Even though I’m so tired my mind is in this half-dreamlike state, I have no desire to sleep.

I feel so self-destructive right now, like my life is out of control and my feelings are out of control and the only thing I can do is turn it inward and destroy myself. Yesterday Clay and I were supposed to hang out, but when I met up with him at 7 he had to email some people, so I sat and waited in the computer lab while he did that, then he had to do something with a friend in the theatre building, so I sat with him and waited downstairs while he did that, then we walked to his place and he walked too fast and started acting funny so I left him and walked a different way, and I wanted to cry, then when I got to Clay’s place Clay talked on the phone for fifteen minutes, then got off the phone and talked to his roommate for a couple hours, then after I went to bed at midnight (I had an exam in the morning) he stayed up talking a while longer. I never said a word about how frustrated I was getting, but there were many times I was tempted to just walk away and go home. I wrote Clay a very long text message saying: “Not to be a bitch or anything, but if I’d known when I met up at you at 7 with plans to hang out that 5 very patient hours later I’d still be waiting and only have to go to bed, I would not have called you.” Then I saved the message as a draft and never sent it. Because I wasn’t pissed off at Clay, I was pissed off at myself, so I wanted to punish myself by suffering and not saying anything. I still felt better waiting for Clay than I would have felt alone, so it’s not fair for me to criticize him. Besides, he gave me a backrub and that helped me feel better at the time.

So I don’t know who/what I’m pissed off at, but I have so much shit to do and won’t have time to do it, and I could kill for a cigarette or a drink or even some food. But I have class, and I can’t miss class this close to finals.

I feel better than I do when I’m depressed. There are these moments when I’m utterly euphoric. But mostly I’m just very tense and anxious.

A Mental Battle

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:09 pm
Tags: ,

http://thecampuspress.com/health/

Published in The Campus Press

For various students, the stress of exams can mean
depression and other psychological struggles

Matt Pizzuti
Staff Writer

As the end of the academic year approaches, most students are feeling the pressures of extended study sessions, rigorous final projects, essays and difficult exams that can determine students’ entire semester grades in a matter of hours.

For some students, this pressure can exacerbate underlying psychological disorders that need medical treatment.

“You can get sort of nasty cycles where academic stress and mental health problems can feed off each other and get very bad,” said Eric Anderson, a graduate student studying computer science who has suffered from depression.

Anderson said constant focus on schoolwork kept him from getting over his depression, while the depression constantly made him think he wasn’t doing well enough in school.

“I felt like I had to do more just to be OK. No matter how hard I was working the results just weren’t good enough yet,” Anderson said.

Freshman environmental engineering major Kelly Colwell, who has been diagnosed with a minor form of bipolar disorder, described a similar cycle that can run out of control in times of academic stress.

“During midterms and finals, I definitely notice it more; if I’m not paying attention things can get out of control,” Colwell said.

Colwell said if she doesn’t remember to eat or sleep on schedule, symptoms of her disorder, such as mood swings, spring up and knock her even farther from her routine.

“It’s a vicious cycle, if I lose track of one thing, I’ll lose track of other things,” Colwell said.

Joe Courtney, co-director of Wardenburg Health and Psychiatry Center said the numbers of students seeking psychological help increase before finals or midterms because of stress.

“When students struggle with issues like depression or anxiety, then make adjustments to accommodate those, they can often regress when they are under stress,” Courtney said.

Wardenburg’s Psychological Health and Psychiatry Center, where Courtney works, is a place where students can receive support for psychological disorders and substance abuse problems.

“We work very hard at following the students that have major mental illness and do everything we can to provide the supports that allow them to stay in school,” Courtney said.

Courtney said Wardenburg’s psychological health department also helps students who need to leave school when their illnesses get especially intense and don’t want to suffer the consequences of dropping out mid-term.

The process, called a medical withdrawal, allows the student to leave the university without receiving failed grades by wiping the semester clean. The student is then evaluated when he or she wants to return to classes, Courtney said.

“We hold the registration until we work out some kind of a treatment plan,” Courtney said. “When they demonstrate evidence that they are ready to come back, we usually lift the hold on registration.”
Courtney said several of these cases usually arise during a semester, and Wardenburg’s psychologists meet as a group to make the decision to offer a medical withdrawal.

Steve Bentley, the substance abuse program
coordinator at Wardenburg Health Center, said students seem to visit Wardenburg more frequently around midterms and finals wanting treatment for disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder.

Bentley also said the number of diagnosed psychological disorders among college students has been increasing over the years. He cited increased pressure on individuals as one of the possible reasons diagnoses of psychological disorders has risen.

“It isn’t just at CU, it’s national,” Bentley said, explaining that increased pressure and ambition to succeed might have created a culture that experiences more strain.

It “probably has to do with stress,” Bentley said. “I don’t know if it’s greater expectations of the day.”
Bentley said another possible reason students are turning to mental health services in greater numbers is the stigma of having a psychological disorder has decreased in recent years.

“Students recognize (getting help) is something they need to do to be successful,” Bentley said.

Bentley said students are more likely to realize they might have a psychological problem because diagnosable disorders are now more recognizable to average people.

“Students are more attuned to a response to stress and are aware of when they’re more off-centered with themselves,” Bentley explained. “They’re ok with seeking help to find some support.”

A third possible reason diagnoses have increased is the way improvements in mental health science have allowed people with debilitating disorders to do more than they could in years past, such as attending college, Bentley said.

With the influx of new patients, the challenge of finding ways to address those patients’ needs has emerged.

“All these pressures are having an impact on a health care system that is somewhat fragmented,” Bentley said.

Bentley also said many students who need help don’t get it, yet they have the same pressures as those who do get help.

A major group of students who might not be getting help are those who do not get health services at Wardenburg, Bentley said. For example, he explained, out-of-state students who do not have Wardenburg’s insurance plan do not know where they can easily get help.

Other mental health services on campus include a health center in Muenzinger, the Office of Victim Assistance in Willard, the Multicultural Center in Willard that provides six free counseling sessions to every student, and GLBT resources on campus, Bentley said.

“I think it’s really hard for someone to come to terms with realizing they need help, then to figure out how to get help in what is the most acutely stressful time in their lives,” Bentley said of college students with undiagnosed psychological disorders.

He said students come in wanting medication for ADD, but they are asked to provide some documentation of a previous diagnosis, and that Wardenburg will otherwise “ask that person to undergo some kind of testing” for a new diagnosis.

Courtney offered this advice to students who are struggling with mental or emotional problems.

“If you are approaching midterms or finals, it’s important that people are attending to self-care. That means eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and staying connected to supportive people. All these can help to manage one’s stress level,” Courtney said.

Colwell said her own experiences reflect that eating well and getting enough sleep are important to keeping her mood disorder under control. She said that being properly diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder helped her discover how things like diet and sleep can affect her.

“Before I knew what was going on, it was hard. I had a rough time with school,” Colwell said. “I would say to anyone who thinks they have any kind of disorder, talk to someone about it.”

Uncut Version

A Mental Battle (Submitted Vesion)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:08 pm

Original Uncut Version

As the end of the academic year approaches, most students are feeling the pressures of extended study sessions, rigorous final projects, essays and difficult exams that can determine students’ entire semester grades in a matter of hours.

For some students, this pressure can exacerbate underlying psychological disorders that need medical treatment.

“You can get sort of nasty cycles where academic stress and mental health problems can feed off each other and get very bad,” said Eric Anderson, a graduate student studying computer science who has suffered from depression.

Anderson said that constant focus on schoolwork kept him from getting over his depression, while the depression constantly made him think he wasn’t doing well enough in school.

“I felt like I had to do more just to be OK. No matter how hard I was working the results just weren’t good enough yet,” Anderson explained.

Freshman environmental engineering major Kelly Colwell, who has been diagnosed with a minor form of bipolar disorder, described a similar cycle that can run out of control in times of academic stress.

“During midterms and finals I definitely notice it more; if I’m not paying attention things can get out of control,” Colwell said.

Colwell explained that if she doesn’t remember to eat or sleep on schedule, symptoms of her disorder, such as mood swings, spring up and knock her even farther from her routine.

“It’s a vicious cycle: if I lose track of one thing, I’ll lose track of other things,” Colwell said.

Joe Courtney, co-director of Wardenburg Health and Psychiatry Center said the numbers of students seeking psychological help increase before finals or midterms.

Courtney explained that people who have developed ways to deal with psychological problems can fall back on old, unhealthy coping strategies like eating disorders and substance abuse when stress is elevated.

“When students struggle with issues like depression or anxiety, then make adjustments to accommodate those, they can often regress when they are under stress,” Courtney said.

Wardenburg’s Psychological Health and Psychiatry Center, where Courtney works, is a place where students can receive support for psychological disorders and substance abuse problems.

“We work very hard at following the students that have major mental illness and do everything we can to provide the supports that allow them to stay in school,” Courtney said.

Courtney said Wardenburg’s psychological health department also helps students who need to leave school when their illnesses get especially intense and don’t want to suffer the consequences of dropping out mid-term.

The process, called a “medical withdrawl,” allows the student to leave the university without receiving failed grades by wiping the semester clean. The student is then evaluated when he or she wants to return to classes, Courtney said.

“We hold the registration until we work out some kind of a treatment plan,” Courtney said. “Whey they demonstrate evidence that they are ready to come back we usually lift the hold on registration.”

Courtney said several of these cases usually arise during a semester, and Wardenburg’s psychologists meet as a group to make the decision to offer a medical withdrawal.

Steve Bentley, substance abuse program coordinator at Wardenburg Health Center said students seem to visit Wardenburg more frequently around midterms and finals wanting treatment for disorders like Attention-Deficit Disorder.

Bentley also said the number of diagnosed psychological disorders among college students has been increasing over the years. He cited increased pressure on individuals as one of the possible reasons diagnoses of psychological disorders has risen.

“It isn’t just at CU; it’s national,” Bentley said, explaining that increased pressure and ambition to succeed might have created a culture that experiences more strain.

It “probably has to do with stress,” Bentley said. “I don’t know if it’s greater expectations of the day.”

Bentley said another possible reason students are turning to mental health services in greater numbers is the stigma of having a psychological disorder has decreased in recent years.

“Students recognize (getting help) is something they need to do to be successful,” Bentley said.

Bentley said students are more likely to realize they might have a psychological problem because diagnosable disorders are now more recognizable to average people.

“Students are more attuned to a response to stress and are aware of when they’re more off-centered with themselves.” Bentley explained. “They’re ok with seeking help to find some support,” he said.

A third possible reason diagnoses have increased is the way improvements in mental health science have allowed people with debilitating disorders to do more than they could in years past, such as attending college, Bentley said.

With the influx of new patients, the challenge of finding ways to address those patients’ needs has emerged, Bentley said.

“All these pressures are having an impact on a health care system that is somewhat fragmented,” Bentley said.

Bentley said many students who need help don’t get it, yet they have the same pressures as those who do get help.

A major group of students who might not be getting help are those who do not get health services at Wardenburg, Bentley said. For example, he explained, out-of-state students who do not have Wardenburg’s insurance plan do not know where they can easily get help.

Other mental health services on campus include a health center in Munsinger, the Office of Victim Assistance in Willard, the Multicultural Center in Willard that provides six free counseling sessions to every student, and GLBT resources on campus, Bentley said.

“I think it’s really hard for someone to come to terms with realizing they need help, then to figure out how to get help in what is the most acutely stressful time in their lives,” Bentley said of college students with undiagnosed psychological disorders.

When asked about the possibility that students are being diagnosed with disorders they don’t have, Bentley said that over-diagnosis is a real phenomenon but he doesn’t think it is responsible for the overall increase in diagnosed psychological disorders.

“I think don’t think there’s any question that there’s a tendency to go through fads,” Bentley said. “Is there over-diagnosis for Attention Deficit Disorder? Probably,” Bentley said.

But he explained, “as a healthcare clinic, we are not about to just pass out meds to people. That’s bad practice.”

He said that students come in wanting medication for ADD but they are asked to provide some documentation of a previous diagnosis, and that Wardenburg will otherwise “ask that person to undergo some kind of testing” for a new diagnosis.

Courtney also explained other psychological services that Wardenburg provides students.

“For this age group, if someone is not in an acute emergency, group therapy is one of the best modes of treatment,” Courtney said.

Courtney offered this advise to students who are struggling with mental or emotional problems.

“If you are approaching midterms or finals, it’s important that people are attending to self-care. That means eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and staying connected to supportive people. All these can help to manage one’s stress level,” Courtney said.

Colwell said her own experiences reflect that eating well and getting enough sleep are important to keeping her mood disorder under control. She said that being properly diagnosed and treated was important in helping her cope with bipolar disorder because that’s when she found out how things like diet and sleep can effect her.

“Before I knew what was going on, it was hard. I had a rough time with school,” Colwell said. “I would say to anyone who thinks they have any kind of disorder, talk to someone about it.”

April 25, 2006

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April 23, 2006

God walked once through town

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:59 pm
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God walked once through town, and the people were scared so shut their windows when God passed. It was the little one who came to talk, and stopped God while God was looking at some tulips. God said hi and the little one said hi, I have some questions if you aren’t busy. God said as he always says, ask away, I always have time, so the little one ran her small fingers through her dark hair and started with something simple.

She said why did you make fire, God? And God smiled. God said honey I didn’t make fire, I just made a lot of stuff and fire’s just what happens when it gets hot. The little one paused and said ok, God, here’s what I really want to ask, why do you let bad things happen? while somewhere in the town a baby cried. God said it’s just the way you look at it, honey, I want you guys to need each other, and if nothing ever broke there’d be nothing to fix. The little one looked at the ground and thought of something broke. She said God, so why do wars happen? God shrugged and said, you know if it were up to me you’d all stop doing that. The little one said well God that makes sense but why do people die at all, and God said nothing dies no, not unless it stops moving, and dying keeps it moving. The little one let out a breath. She said ok God so when I die, does it keep me moving or do I disappear to make room for other things that move. God said it’s complicated, but if you want some good advice, just move.

And the little one moved. She said, one more question if that’s ok, and God said honey always, like God always does. She asked God why did you make the universe, and God stopped a while to think because there were many ways to answer. And when God thought of something God said, I didn’t make the universe – I just came across a lot of nothing and set the nothing on fire, and everything you see is just what happens when the nothing burns. The little girl said God that doesn’t make much sense, while God laughed deep which filled the sky with birds and somewhere far away a forest bloomed. God said honey you have a lot of questions. Yeah I know the little one said. And God said it’s ok but honey all you need to know is that the answer is always yes.

Corpse

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:29 pm
Tags:

This body had been cold too long
said nature who loathes a dead thing
so she came to reclaim it

and in moments the corpse
was oozing with little things
beetles and worms
fine mold that turned the flesh green
and in the gnaw of maggots
microbes magpies ferns
the husk
conquered by tree roots
was brought again to life

April 20, 2006

An Eye for an Eye

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 8:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/20/child.rapists.ap/index.html

CNN.com reports that South Carolina’s state House is considering a law extending capital punishment to child rapists instead of only murderers as in the case in most states. The state Senate has already approved the bill. Louisiana, Florida and Montana also have such sex-crime laws in place and Louisiana already has one man on death row for raping an 8-year-old.

Interesting that, in such a conservative and “Christian” state as South Carolina, the state legislature would do something that is not only utterly unethical from a secular standpoint, it is forbidden in the Bible.

First, the Old Testament limits retribution to punishment that which exactly matches the offense in Deutoronomy 19:21. The verse demands “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” It was written to avoid an escalation of violence that would occur if retribution were to exceed the initial attack – which is exactly the current proposal in South Carolina, somehow seen as reasonable in 21st century America.

During the ancient time period when nomadic peoples did not have the resources to build and maintain prisons, retributive, punishment-oriented justice was seen as necessary. It was by fear that criminals were kept from commiting crimes (wheras today they can be controlled physically by prison cells and therefore retributive punishment is unnessesary), while the limit on retribution gave the legal code a sense of fairness and reason. Retributivism was not mandated by the Old Testement, (in many cases monetary compensation was often offered as a substitute for physical punishment), but it was declared by scripture to be a limit on what penalty could be levied against a convicted criminal.

And not only does the Old Testament limit retribution to that which fits the crime, the New Testament explicitly admonishes the richeous to cast off Old Testament retributivism to embrace a compassionate form of justice. If you are Christian, no matter what perspective you have on the Bible, you must accept Jesus Christ as its most authoritative voice. And in Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” In a time when civilization had urbanized and built large and complex governmental systems as well as sufficient infrastructure and police, extreme measures were no longer necessary to keep the public safe. Jesus never suggested opening prison doors and letting criminals out, but did forbid any use of force beyond the minimum.

That moral teaching has been ignored and violated again and again by modern-day politicians claiming to represent the very framework it comes from.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 5:20 pm
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A fool will believe anything you tell him,
while a wise man is persuadable by reason.
But a fool who thinks he is wise –
not even God can change his mind.
(Hindu Proverb)

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