How College Students Can Beat SAD This Fall and Winter Semester
Sep19

How College Students Can Beat SAD This Fall and Winter Semester

Have you experienced SAD? No, not sadness. SAD is short for ‘seasonal affective disorder’, a kind of seasonal depression usually linked with the short days and cold months of winter. Research on exactly why SAD occurs and who it affects is still developing, but many experts believe it has something to do with the changing seasons disrupting our circadian rhythm, and lack of natural sunlight affecting our levels of melatonin (i.e. for sleeping) and serotonin (i.e. for happiness). College students have a natural predisposition toward mental illnesses like depression and anxiety for a variety of reasons, but SAD can easily set in and worsen moods and school performance. Here are a few things you can do on-campus to really help combat seasonal affective disorder. Try Light Therapy Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, involves sitting near a bright light, typically upon waking up, to compensate for your body’s lack of access to natural sunlight. Lack of natural sun can lead to vitamin deficiencies (esp. vitamin D), low serotonin, and a circadian rhythm that’s out of whack. These artificial ‘suns’ are usually referred to as light boxes. Often, light boxes use LED lighting and filters to block out most of the harmful UV light. Why LEDs and not just a regular lamp? LEDs provide the most light output with the least effort. For example, compared to a halogen bulb an LED will use 15% as much energy to produce around 85% more light. Light a mini sunbeam in your bedroom! Note that it’s best to get approval for light therapy from your doctor — they can also point you toward a physician-approved light box model. Deck Out Your Room With Healthy Accessories Maybe you think incense burners, essential oil diffusers, and salt lamps are hippy silliness — but they really boost your mood! Aromatherapy from incense and essential oils has been shown to be an effective mood lifter and sleep inducer for many people, as scent is one of our most influential senses. Accessories like Himalayan salt lamps aren’t just beautiful to have around, they also reportedly catch airborne allergens and release negative ions. Why are negative ions good for your mood? Negative air ionization was actually found to have a correlation with lower depression scores, according to a BMC Psychiatry study. You’re going to spend a lot of time in your dorm room during the winter, so you may as well make it a personal peaceful paradise. Take Advantage of On-Campus Counseling Centers Did you know your college or university most likely has an on-campus counseling center for student use? Many schools even factor the cost of the counseling center into the...

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Helicopter Rescue Saves Hiker Who Came Dangerously Close To Deep Crevasse

On Mount Adams in the state of Washington, a team of rescuers saved Josh Adams, a 27-year old hiker from Illinois who became stranded on the edge of a crevasse. Search and Rescue teams made this rescue operation on Thursday, Sept 6 and took just 24 minutes to find Adams after the helicopters were deployed. According to a news release from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, on a hiking excursion with his friends, Adams was heading east on Piker’s Peak when slipped almost 70 feet down the slope. This was on the south side of the mountain, and Adams came to rest on an overhang just above the Mazama Glacier. The head of Yakima Country’s search and rescue team, Sgt. Randy Briscoe, reported that Adams did not have crampons or an ice ax with him, leaving him unable to climb up the slope to safety. Without that specific hiking equipment, the ice terrain is too slippery and Adams would have risked falling off the edge of the precarious overhang. Adams’ friends reported his fall to the sheriff’s office, and the officials quickly decided to ask for air support from the Washington State Emergency Operation Center. They decided to pursue the rescue by air rather than sending a team up the mountain because they were not sure of Adams’s exact location and it would have taken up to 12 hours to get a team together. As of 2011, the United States had an estimated 224,475 total active general aviation crafts. While many of these aircraft are for personal or recreational use, they become essential in delicate rescue missions. As Adams had already been stranded with no survival gear, wearing just a pullover sweatshirt and jeans with no gloves, it is likely he would not have survived the night on the mountain. Two Blackhawk helicopters were launched from the Yakima Training Center with two Washington Mt Rescue members on board. Rescuers spotted Adams quickly, stuck within a few feet of the 11,000-foot crevasse. Due to this danger, the rescue team leader requested more assistance to save him. About a dozen more Washington Mt Rescue members were called. Adams was in a tricky spot for a helicopter to reach, leaving the rescue team leaders with a challenge. In an attempt to make one of the helicopters lighter so it could get closer to the crevasse, they removed nearly all rescue personnel from one aircraft and deliberately burned more of its fuel. Once they were able to get close enough, one of the rescue personnel was lowered to Adams’s position on a hoist. Adams latched on and they were able to pull both men aboard. Adams later reported that...

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Understanding The Complex Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Physical Appearance

Self-esteem is defined as the confidence one has in their own worth and abilities. Unfortunately, the logic behind a simple definition is never simple itself; relatively small things, such as perceived flaws in physical appearance, can damage one’s self-esteem to the point of causing constant anxiety and depression (of which 350 million people suffer from worldwide). One study performed in Rhode Island focused on that exact connection in teens among psychiatric hospitals. Bradley Hospital, Butler Hospital, and Brown Medical School collaborated to assess the prevalence and clinical correlations of body image concerns in adolescent inpatients at Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. These included body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders (such as bulimia or anorexia), and other clinically significant concerns over shape and weight. The study discovered that adolescents with negative body image concerns (approximately one-third of Bradley Hospital’s inpatients) were found to be more depressed, anxious, and suicidal than those without intense dissatisfaction over their appearance, even when compared to adolescents with other psychiatric illnesses. Jennifer Dyl, a lead author on the study, stated the importance of these results. “These findings underscore just how central feelings about one’s appearance tend to be in the world of teenagers and how impairing these concerns can be. Helping teens verbalize their negative feelings and concerns about their appearance is the first step in getting them to value themselves as individuals and recognize the importance of other non-weight, or non-appearance-based qualities and activities as contributors to their self-esteem and self-worth.” That’s good advice for everyone, especially those suffering from physical changes they cannot control, such as hair loss. Approximately 60% of those experiencing hair loss say they would rather have hair than money or friends; that statement alone is indicative of a major self-esteem problem — you are not singly defined by how beautiful your hair is, how in-shape you are, or how perfect your teeth are (tragically, one in four Americans avoid smiling because of the poor condition of their teeth). Another fascinating study was done recently with the sole focus of charting self-esteem in individuals across their lifespan to understand how confidence and self-worth change as we grow. By surveying 164,000 people from ages four to 94, the study found that self-esteem actually increases markedly between the ages of 15 and 30, subtly improving until it peaked at 60. By rating statements such as “I feel that I’m a person of worth, at least on an equal basis with others” or “I wish I could have more respect for myself,” the trend (surprisingly, even to the researchers who executed it) was generally upward. This could be...

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UK Paraglider Allegedly Heckles Community From The Sky

When searching for a home, there are things on the forefront of the mind and things on the backburner. Where will the home be located? What’s the surrounding area like? Should we choose a 30-year fixed or 15-year fixed rate mortgage? Are the neighbors welcoming? You know, typical questions that people want to get out of the way before locking themselves into a new home and community. You’d want to be informed of local terrors, wouldn’t you? The sleepy Sussex community at Bexhill-on-Sea has been taunted, heckled, and, so they say, otherwise terrorized by a notorious paraglider. Over the span of two years, police in the area have received more than a dozen complaints about the man’s behavior. They’ve claimed he flies low and shouts obscenities, among other things, at people who live in the community. So, while 35% of people are gearing up for a home remodel, the residents of this community have made such a fuss that both the Sussex Police and the Civil Aviation Authority have launched an investigation into the potty-mouthed paraglider: “Over the past two years, Sussex Police has received reports of the paraglider causing criminal damage, obstructing the highway, being abusive and hostile towards members of the public and generally behaving in an antisocial manner,” said a police spokesperson. He came forward and says he’s doing nothing wrong. The man’s name is Paul Satchell, who has been referred to as the Bexhill Birdman. A 54-year-old local carpenter, he insists that he’s the victim of a campaign against his hobby. He calls the allegations from fellow locals false. A local lawyer says that much of the residents come to the coast for a quiet, retirement community by the water. What they don’t want is someone paragliding low and being boisterous. As much a resident as anyone else around there, Satchell states: “The same people who made these false allegations against me are the same ones who are picking on me for flying. Maybe they don’t have a life of their own. They will never stop me because I have done nothing wrong. I’m a free-flying spirit.” He does go on to admit that he can be a bit confrontational with people when they get on his bad side, yet he insists that he’s merely enjoying his hobby. Though, because of the dozens of complaints filed, the investigation continues. Who will prevail in the case of Bexhill versus Birdman? Only time will tell. In the meantime, his free flying spirit is free to fly. Though, now, perhaps he’ll keep his commentary to...

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GM Recalls Over 1 Million Cars Due To Software Defect

Because of a power steering issue, General Motors (GM) has recalled over one million pickup trucks and SUVs across the globe. Drivers worldwide have temporarily lost power steering function due to an issue in the software that controls this feature. Cars recalled include 1.205 million cars ranging all the way back to 2015, including the popula Escalade. The recall affects 1.02 vehicles in the United States alone. The faulty power steering causes a lapse in power steering control before suddenly coming back on again. Though this can result in issues when drivers are going at high speeds, it’s especially dangerous for low speeds where the risk of a potential crash is higher. As cars begin to rely on software to take care of hardware, more and more models and manufacturers have experienced recalls due to faulty equipment. Back in May, Fiat Chrysler had to recall almost 5 million vehicles due to an issue with cruise control. Recently, another recall has been issued by Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep due to issues with the powertrain controller. This caused over 12,700 vehicles to stall or fail to start altogether. Luckily, there were few stalls reported since the faulty software prevented most vehicles from starting. The recall for this event begins on September 28. Luckily, no crashes have been linked to the powertrain issue in the above models. However, GM’s current power steering issue has resulted in a reported 30 crashes and two injuries. This comes on the heels of a similar issue back in 2017. GM was forced to recall almost 800,000 truck models due to the same problem. In both cases, thankfully, no deaths stemmed from the issue. But the damage to cars and injuries sustained from the accident are problematic. It’s no wonder the auto body industry has an estimated worth of over $42 billion. GM claims they plan to update the software that controls power steering in all affected vehicles free of charge. Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep are also expected to resolve issues with their powertrain controllers. Nowadays, vehicles with automatic transmissions outnumber manual transmission from 10 to one. As our reliance on software for hardware features continues to grow, it’s likely issues similar to these will persist. Maybe “shifting” our reliance back to manual features is the way to...

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