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Category Archive for 'OBHS Says…'

Joe is a Senior

Joe is a senior – it’s his final semester at Wesleyan. He took a light course load so he’d have time to work on his senior essay, and also to spend time with his friends before many of them head off in different directions this coming summer. He has an ideal living situation – a comfortable house, with three close friends. He thought he’d be having a great time, but instead he’s feeling stressed and anxious. Recently he’s been having trouble falling asleep at night, and sometimes wakens early. He’s not feeling rested, and has been begun procrastinating working on his essay, which then causes more anxiety. Post-graduation pressures are also nagging at him. After completing his resume, he had planned to return to the CRC to do some serious job searching, but he seems to be avoiding that also. He’s beginning to feel depressed about the rut that he’s fallen into, but can’t seem to pull himself out of it. His advisor is concerned about him, and suggested that he make an appointment at OBHS. Joe was skeptical about that idea– after all, there’s nothing really seriously wrong, and he thinks he should be able to get himself back on track. But it just isn’t happening.

Don’t hesitate, Joe. And don’t worry that your problems aren’t “serious” enough. Call OBHS to set up an appointment for a consultation. We’re here to provide support, and will work with you to figure out what’s going on emotionally, and how to begin to address it. No problem is too big or too mundane. The sooner you make the call, the sooner you’re likely to feel better. And then you can get back to enjoying your remaining time at Wesleyan!

Call 685-2910 for all services offered by OBHS.

“My father died a little less than a year ago. My friends here at school were very supportive when it happened and for a time afterwards. My professors were also understanding at the time and I was able to finish that semester. But now I watch as everyone else is moving on and I am still struggling.

“There are still a couple of holidays that I will have to deal with for the first time without my father there. I do not know what I am going to feel during my first Family Weekend here without my father. I do not want to burden my friends by telling them how I feel but I also am somewhat jealous of them because they seem so carefree. And sometimes when I hear others start complaining about too much work and not getting the highest grade I get pretty annoyed that they are getting upset by such little things.

“It would help if somebody, anybody would just understand what I am going through.”

These are common reactions of students who are trying to move on with their lives while grieving the loss of someone close to them. Grief is a natural physiological and emotional process that occurs in reaction to a significant personal loss. While grief is highly individualized, it is an ongoing process that changes over time but has no pre-determined end point.

After a while, even your friends forget you may be mourning. It is not uncommon for grieving students to feel isolated and unsupported.

Grief is a time of suffering. It also can be a time of personal reorganization and growth. The Office of Behavioral Health for Students can be a resource for grieving students.

Use our consultation service as a safe and comfortable place to talk with someone about your loss and maybe get some ideas about how to best take care of yourself during this time.

Or you might want to drop in and check out the Peer Grief Support Group that is sponsored by OBHS and which meets once a week throughout the academic year. Come sit and talk with other students who have at least one thing in common, that is, experiencing the loss of a loved one. Come once, twice, a few times or regularly just to be with others who do understand what you are going through.

Call 685-2910 for all services offered by OBHS.

Bill and Sarah are seniors who have being dating each other since the end of their sophomore year. They are living together in a wood frame house and have settled into a routine and, if asked, would say, “Yes, we’re in love.”  As graduation approaches they know that the relationship may change or end, but both seem content to avoid talking about the future.  They get into more frequent arguments and find themselves being short with each other.  Bill also finds himself attracted to other senior women and fantasizes about being single again. Sarah notices Bill’s distance and responds by increasing her surveillance of Bill.  (On one or two occasions she’s even checked his email and text messages).

OBHS is available to assist Bill and Sarah individually and as a couple.  A therapist can help them sort out what each wants from the relationship and develop the tools necessary to confront these difficult issues directly.

Call 685-2910 for all services offered by OBHS.

Bill is a senior who has a lot on his plate.  He is writing a thesis and trying to figure out what he is going to do after graduation.  Although he is busy with his academic work, he is organized and uses his time efficiently. He does not have as much time to socialize as he would like, but he has friends and goes out on weekends.  He seems to be functioning well, but he has one problem.  There are nights when he has difficulty falling asleep.  Generally he is able to fall asleep within twenty minutes of going to bed.  On his “bad” nights it can take him several hours to fall asleep, leaving him sluggish and irritable the next day.  One “bad” night generally leads to several consecutive nights of difficulty.  Bill has had some difficulties with sleep in the past, but never to this extent.  He is now worried that his academics will suffer and that he will not be able to complete his thesis.

What can Bill do and where can he go for help?

There are resources for Bill at OBHS.  OBHS knows how important sleep is to maintain good mental health.  We have worked with many students to help them restore normal sleep patterns.

Call 685-2910 for all services offered by OBHS.

Sally is a frosh, and is thoroughly enjoying life at Wesleyan.  She developed some good friendships early on and is finding her classes to be mostly engaging and challenging.  The stress gets a bit high at times, but overall she’s managing to keep a balance between social life and academics.

All is well, except for one worrisome problem-eating.  Recently food and meals seem to have become a major source of stress and anxiety for her.   It all began when her clothes started feeling tighter, and she realized she had gained a few pounds since her arrival on campus-not surprising, given the vast array of choices at Usdan and the “all you can eat” arrangement.  Also, meals were a relaxed social time with friends, so it was easy to linger, maybe go back for seconds or dessert.

Worry about the weight gain led to skipping meals sometimes.  Then, hungry in the evening, Sally would find herself bingeing on junk food in the dorm, or heading over to Wes Shop for snack food.  Feeling bad about herself, and physically uncomfortable, she’d vow to restrict her eating the next day.  The following morning, she was determined to “stay in control,” and would feel upset and guilty if she “broke her plan” to restrict.  As time went on, she was experiencing more and more preoccupation and anxiety around meals, and less enjoyment of them.  It was beginning to feel like a never-ending vicious cycle:  restricting, bingeing, guilt, and worrying.  Sally was embarrassed by this dilemma and didn’t let on to her friends that anything was wrong.

What to do?  As determined as Sally is each day to “eat right,” she feels unable to extricate herself from this pattern.  She knows about eating disorders-one of her high school friends was anorexic-but she doubts that this qualifies as an actual eating disorder.  She looks fine; no one has guessed anything is wrong.  Is this even a “real problem”?  It seems ridiculous to her that she can’t simply stop the bingeing!

Sally, it’s time to get some help with this!  You want to figure out what’s going on here.   Is this just a negative habit you’ve fallen into?  A consequence of other stresses or anxieties?  Are there underlying issues or concerns, such as body image or perfectionistic standards?  Is your sense of self-worth not as solid as you’d like it to be?

And, more importantly, you want to figure out what to do about it.

Help is a phone call away.  Don’t delay.  Call OBHS to set up a confidential appointment to discuss your concerns with an experienced professional.  We can help you understand what this self-defeating pattern is all about–what’s fueling it and how you can begin to break out of it.  You could use support, and OBHS is here to help provide it.

Call 685-2910 for all services offered by OBHS.