Student Behavioral Health
UHS currently has a full-time Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Ms. Susan Andrews. We also have one part-time Psychiatrist on staff, Dr. Iverson Bell.
There are also several providers available for counseling.
For appointment options and medication management, students may call Christa at 901-448-5064.
Where to get help:
University Health Services
Call 448-5064 for appointment information.
The pressures of academic deadlines, worry about grades, juggling relationships and part time jobs can keep you “on your toes”. Throw in angst about figuring out who you are and where you’re heading in life and it’s a lot to deal with. A certain amount of anxiety can be expected for most students. For this kind of situational and developmental anxiety, paying attention to self care (adequate sleep, exercise and eating from food groups other than “fast food”) and learning self help skills such as time management, diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, meditation, positive self talk and clear communication may be enough to help manage the anxiety.
But for 15% of the population, anxiety reaches the point of a disorder that may require professional help. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common mental health concern in America. They affect 19 million adults each year .
Examples of the most common anxiety disorders include:
- Panic Disorder: Repeated episodes of intense fear that seem to come “out of the blue”.
Physical symptoms could include:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath,
- heart palpitations,
- abdominal distress and
- fear of dying.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Repeated unwanted thoughts or compulsive behaviors that seem impossible to stop and interfere with everyday life.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Persistent symptoms that occur after experiencing
or witnessing a traumatic event such as rape, war or a car accident. Symptoms can
- Reexperiencing the event through nightmares or memories,
- Avoiding people, places or things that serve as reminders and numbing yourself
- Increased arousal such as being easily startled, and problems with sleep and irritability.
- Phobias: Social Phobia involves overwhelming fear of evaluation and scrutiny by others
that makes it difficult or impossible to engage in social situations. Specific phobias
involve intense fear or panic and an exaggeration of the possible negative outcome.Examples
of specific phobias include fear of flying, fear of dogs, or snakes, and
fear of needles. When specific phobias are severe even the thought or a picture of the feared item may lead to intense distress.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Constant and persistent worry and anticipation of the worst even though there may be little reason to expect disaster. The worry is accompanied by physiological tension and symptoms such as fatigue, trembling, headache or nausea and lasts for 6 months.
If you suspect that you may have an anxiety disorder, the good news is that effective treatments for anxiety disorders exist.
- The first step is to meet with a professional to discuss the kinds of symptoms you have and to rule out other causes of your anxiety such as medical conditions. It’s important to figure out what triggers your anxiety in order to figure out how to treat it.
- The second step is to develop a treatment plan. The general goals for treatment include reducing physiological reactivity, eliminating inappropriate avoidance behavior and changing self talk or your subjective experience of events so that you feel able to master your anxiety.
- There are two main types of treatment for anxiety disorders: 1) Some form of psychotherapy and /or 2) some form of medication.
- In psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal approaches might be used to help you examine your thinking, behaviors and /or relationships in order to make changes that will help you feel more in control of your symptoms, your life and experiences in the present. Types of activities in therapy might include: learning a relaxation technique, identifying and expressing feelings, challenging mistaken beliefs that increase anxiety, and visualizing and practicing a desired outcome.
- Medications that are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders include the antidepressants
called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Selective Serotonin/Norepinephine
Reuptake Inhibitors(SSNRIs). Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor are examples of medicines
in this class of drug.
Other antianxiety medications routinely prescribed include: Benzodiazepines (like Valium, Xanax or Klonopin), Betablockers ( such as Inderal and Tenormin)and Buspar.
DEPRESSION IS. . . an illness which can affect your self-esteem, as well as your functioning at school, at work, or with your relationships. Depression is common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depressive disorders affect approximately 19 million Americans. Depression is an illness of the brain. As a result, depression is not a state someone can just ‘snap out of’. Treatment is recommended to lessen both the intensity and the length of the illness.
Common Symptoms of Depression:
- Depressed mood for over two weeks
- Decreased interest in usual activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Appetite changes
- Sleep disturbance
- Poor concentration
- Decline in sexual interest
- Suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behavior
The current thinking is that genetics, environmental factors, and neurochemical changes in the brain contribute to the development of depression. Depression can result from loss, disappointment, and a change in one’s life, sometimes even positive change, such as a job promotion, or childbirth. Medical illness may contribute to depression and drug and alcohol abuse may occur concurrently with depression. At times, no exact reason can be identified, but a family history of depression may be present. It is not uncommon for a person to be depressed and anxious at the same time.
Treatment may consist of visits to an individual therapist or a recommendation to attend a particular group. Besides individual and group therapy, sometimes medication, such as an antidepressant, is recommended, and can be a very effective treatment for symptoms of depression.
Remember: Depression is very Treatable!
If you are suffering and are not functioning at your previous level, seek help. If you or a friend or loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek help as soon as possible. Many options are available for treatment.
Why Do People Drink?
Students give many different reasons why they may drink. Some students say they drink because of peer pressure and to be part of a crowd. Some use alcohol to avoid difficult situations that may arise at school and work and with family and friends. Others use alcohol to avoid uncomfortable feelings, like anxiety or sadness. Anyone who drinks runs the risk of developing an alcohol problem. A serious problem can develop quickly, especially among college students.
How Do I Know If I Have A Drinking Problem?
Below is a set of questions designed to help you find out if alcohol use may be a problem:
- Do you prefer to drink alone rather than with others?
- Does your drinking cause problems with school (e.g., falling grades) or at work (e.g. being late)?
- Do you drink to escape your problems?
- When you drink, do you get very emotional?
- Do you ever have memory loss or blackouts due to drinking?
- When you drink, do you often get drunk even when you did not mean to drink to excess?
- Do you find that you have to drink more and more to get the same effect?
- Do you get into trouble with the law or injure yourself when you drink?
If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, you may have a drinking problem. If you have a drinking problem, or suspect that you have one, there are many others out there like you. As a matter of fact, more than 10 million people suffer from alcoholism.
What Effects Can Alcohol Have On Me?
Immediate physical effects from alcohol include: loss of muscle control, impaired reflexes, vomiting, and unconsciousness. Because alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, overuse of alcohol can effect almost every system in the body. Long term use can cause cancer, brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, weight gain, and birth defects if drinking while pregnant. Excessive drinking can also cause serious accidents, injuries, and death. For example, more than one out of every three motor vehicle fatalities involves alcohol and one out of every four drownings are alcohol-related.
Alcohol can have psychological effects as well. It can affect your school work and family and social relationships. Studies have shown that students who drink alcohol to excess end up with poorer school grades and take longer time to complete their degrees. Because alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, risky and violent behavior can result. For example, students impaired by alcohol often engage in vandalism and physical fights. Friendships and romantic relationships can also be jeopardized. Alcohol can lead people to say or do things they might regret, like making a bad decision about having sex with someone. Alcohol abuse can also lead to family conflicts and broken households.
One does not have to be using alcohol to be damaged by its effects. Children and partners of alcoholics can be seriously effected too. Family members and other loved ones often suffer from psychological symptoms, including low self-esteem, depression, health problems, and relationship problems, like difficulties getting close to others. They may also find themselves minimizing the severity of their loved one’s problem, feeling responsible for the problem, or feeling a lot of anger, shame, and resentment.
In addition, family and friends of alcoholics may display their own addictive behaviors. Being related to an alcoholic or living with an alcoholic puts one at greater risk for alcoholism and other addictions, including gambling and overeating. Finally, family and friends who are close to an alcoholic often take on their responsibilities, attempting to function for them in ways that are often unhealthy. This is commonly known as "codependency" and includes feelings of having lost control over one’s own emotions and behavior.
How Can I Get Help?
Help is available and easy to find! There are many different types of treatments to help those whose lives are affected by alcohol. For severe alcohol addictions, there are detoxification programs that require the alcoholic to stay in a hospital or a treatment center. There are also programs that treat the problem at a clinic that the patient can attend daily. Once the physical addiction is addressed, follow-up treatment is always recommended.
Treatments for detoxified patients and those with less severe problems include individual, family, or couple’s therapy. Support groups are also available for sufferers of alcoholism and their family members or loved ones. UTHSC students can contact University Health Services at 901-448-5064 to get more information about alcohol treatment or you can call:
Alcoholics Anonymous - (212) 870-3400 or (914) 949-1200 or www.alcoholics-anonymous.org
Whether you are over or under 21, the legal drinking age, you will be faced with decisions regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs. When encountering opportunities -- at parties, on dates, or in your dorm or apartment -- to use or abuse alcohol or other drugs, it is important to remember that you have choices. Prepare yourself to make informed decisions. The consequences of alcohol or other drug use can be devastating. The choices you make can affect your academic performance, increase your chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or developing other acute or chronic physical problems, expose you to legal repercussions, or jeopardize your enrollment at the University (which prohibits the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, distribution, sale, or purchase of alcohol or illicit drugs).
Any person can develop problems of substance abuse or dependence. Some factors, however, can place certain individuals at increased risk for these problems. Such factors include having a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has a problem with drugs or alcohol. Being closely involved with someone, such as a family member, spouse, or friend, who displays alcoholic or addictive behavior can also lead to emotional conflicts and subsequent problems in managing relationships and getting along with others.
You may at some point have concerns about the use of alcohol or other drugs by yourself or someone you know. It is often frightening to consider the possibility of a serious problem. A natural first reaction to such fears is to ignore them or to deny that anything could be wrong.
The student mental health staff at University Health is available to discuss concerns you may have regarding drug or alcohol use in your own life or the life of someone close to you. Frequently, seeking professional assessment can bring new perspective.
People who successfully build intimate relationships with friends and/or a significant other know of the benefits a good relationship can provide in an individual's life:
- Mortality rates for people with strong supportive ties are two to five times lower than people with limited or no relationships.
- The incidence of terminal cancer is higher among isolated people than those with close emotional ties.
- The rates of mental hospitalizations are five to ten times greater for patients who report few or no relationships compared to other patients.
Practicing some of the following skills can foster closeness with others:
BE YOURSELF. Don’t try to relate to others by acting like you think they would want/expect you to. Being real from the start gives each person a chance to see if they can be comfortable with each other's beliefs, interests, looks, and lifestyle.
COMMUNICATE BETTER. This is an essential skill in a good relationship of any type.
- Use "I" statements when talking to others about your thoughts or feelings. This promotes ownership of what you are saying, which establishes a strong, direct position.
- Self disclose at a slow, but steady rate. This is the art of sharing your private thoughts and feelings with people you trust. Revealing too much too soon can cause the speaker to feel overly vulnerable and the listener to feel uncomfortable and obligated to reciprocate. Take your time. You can increase your rate of sharing as you get to know the person better.
- Ask for what you need/want. Others can not read your mind, so limit your expectation that the other person should be able to guess what you prefer out of their affection for you. The best chance of receiving what you want is to speak up and ask for it!
- Check out your assumptions. You are no mind reader either. Misunderstandings can arise from acting on what you guess your friend/partner wants.
- Give both of you permission to peacefully refuse each other's requests at times.
RESOLVE CONFLICTS. Take the relationship from MY WAY/YOUR WAY to OUR WAY through negotiation and compromise. Start the problem solving by listening to and respecting each other's point of view. Conflicts are more easily addressed when both people participate in the solution, instead of one person dominating the decision making process. Aim for a balance of power.
RECIPROCATE. Give equal importance to the feelings, interests, and needs of each person in the relationship. Develop the skill of both giving and receiving emotional support.
ENJOY EACH OTHER! Let good humor and fun together be a part of your regular schedule.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis.
If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. With over 120 crisis centers across the country, our mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential.
Why should I call the Lifeline?
From immediate suicidal crisis to information about mental health, crisis centers in our network are equipped to take a wide range of calls. Some of the reasons to call 1-800-273-TALK are listed below.
- Call to speak with someone who cares
- Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
- Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area
- Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about
Students may also call the Student Assistance Program (SAP) 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 800-327-2255.
Suicide Crisis Intervention - 901-274-7477
What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted:
Go to a safe place and seek campus assistance through:
University Health - 448-5630
after 5:00 p.m.-541-5654
Student Mental Health-448-5064
Memphis Sexual Assault
Resource Center (MSARC)-272-2020
If off campus -
Memphis Police Department-911
Nearest Emergency Room
Do NOT take a shower, douche or change clothes.
You must make an informed decision of whether or not to report the assault.
If you report a sexual assault to campus administration, UT Police or the Memphis Police Department, such a report will become public record.
Reporting a sexual assault,
- will allow the police to assist the victim in obtaining medical services.
- assures the victim immediate safety.
- allows the police to pursue the perpetrator more efficiently.
- allows police to gather physical evidence from the assault
- provides increased security for others on campus.
Reporting an incident is a separate step from choosing to prosecute. When you file a report, you are not obligated to continue with legal proceedings or university disciplinary action.
IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO REPORT THE INCIDENT:
SEVERAL OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO MEET YOUR MEDICAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS:
- University Health Services can be of service by calling 448-5630 (day time) or 541-5654 (evening/weekends).
- Student Mental Health at 448-5064
- Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center (MSARC) at 272-2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Or you may choose to consult a private physician or go to an emergency department of your choice. However, emergency departments are required to report aggravated assaults.**
IF YOU CHOOSE TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT:
Call UT Police who will assist in providing security for the victim, will contact Student Mental Health and make arrangements to be seen at the MSARC.
A sexual assault victim should seek medical treatment and/or counseling to
- minimize emotional and physical trauma
- facilitate collection of evidence
- test for sexually transmitted diseases
- obtain treatment of possible injuries
- provide a pregnancy prophylaxis if desired
- Services provided through MSARC
- emotional, legal and medical support
- collection of physical and material evidence
- emotional support to family members
- equitable access to the criminal justice system
- court escort service
Student Mental Health Services can provide emotional support for the victim as well as maintain confidentiality.
Medical and psychological follow-up is available as long as needed.
**An aggravated assault is defined as a sexual assault involving a weapon.
The culture of thinness and fat phobia combined with the explosion of foods, the complexity of life issues and the intensity of developmental tasks make eating disorders and “body battling” a serious problem on college campuses including UTHSC.
Those with eating disorders share a sense of fear and terror of food and weight gain and often experience a sense of loss of control. They feel self critical or obsessive and have a conditional or negative sense of self. Behaviorally they use food in unhealthy ways (either starving and restricting or bingeing). Because of the secretive nature and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases go unreported. In addition many people struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical eating disorder attitudes and behaviors.
Who’s At Risk to Develop Eating Disorders?
Rather than one single cause eating disorders are multidetermined. The culture and media set expectations for unrealistic thinness. Bodies are battlegrounds and eating disorders are rampant when social expectations pressure people especially young women to be thinner than they can normally be. As a result, women represent 90-95% of those with eating disorders. Biological factors such as family history of depression, eating disorders or alcoholism also increase a student’s risk for developing an eating disorder.
Certain psychological, family and social group traits and experiences also play a role in increased risk. At this point in time, it is fairly common for mental health providers at University Health Services to see students whose parents struggled with eating disorders in college and even into adulthood. This multigenerational eating disorder pattern is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Exposure to perfectionistic and rigid standards especially for appearance, experiencing chaos and abuse in relationships or even enmeshed and overprotective relationships make it more difficult for students to avoid the cultural pressure for thinness regardless of the cost. Body traumas such as being overweight and stigmatized as a child or experiencing sexual abuse also increase vulnerability to develop eating disorders. And finally, certain sports and social groups that emphasize thinness have a higher incidence of eating disorders among their members.
How Do Eating Disorders Start and Develop?
What starts as a desire to lose a few pounds or engage in healthier eating according to the latest low fat or low carb diet can “start the ball rolling” for the development of eating disorders. In addition, food is a comfort and can act as a sedating drug for some who turn to it in order to deal with the anxieties of academic and college social life. The challenge of restricting food offers another focus of energy and attention that’s straightforward and measurable at a time when life may feel too complex and overwhelming. Controlling food and weight may feel like a major accomplishment and provide a sense of control. Students may receive positive attention for their weight loss, which further reinforces their interest in losing even more weight. For some vulnerable students, the dieting mind set and dieting behaviors as well as use of purging methods such as laxatives, vomiting and excessive exercising can become a vicious and increasingly entrenched cycle. It can feel like a 24-hour obsession that leads to loss of focus for other aspects of their life.
What to Do if You’re Concerned About a Friend?
- Set aside a time to talk privately and respectfully about your concerns in a caring and straightforward way. Try to pick a time when you won’t be distracted or pressured for time.
- Listen closely. Encourage your friend to talk about the struggles they are experiencing adjusting to college or feeling good about themselves. Even though your friend might not feel comfortable talking about their eating disorder behaviors they may be able to share their anxieties about doing well or their recent discouragements.
- Communicate your concerns with behavioral examples and in a non judgemental way. Avoid placing shame, blame or guilt for your friend's actions or attitudes. This will only lead them to clam up.
- Explain that you think that these concerns may indicate a need for professional help. Offer to find out about services on campus and support your friend by helping them to make an appointment and explore insurance coverage for private treatment. Offer to accompany them if it seems like this will help your friend get started in treatment.
- Get help and support for yourself if you are struggling about how to proceed or find that you’re worried. Consider reading self help books such as Surviving an Eating Disorder: New Perspectives and Strategies for Family and Friends by Michele Siegel, Judith Brisman and Margot Weinshel.
Post Traumatic Stress
Coping with a Sudden Terrible Event
What is a traumatic event? Most of us at some point in our lives will experience a sudden, terrible, overwhelming event. The event or our reactions to it are called a trauma. Examples of such events include an unexpected death or near-death, an automobile or other accident, a disaster such as a fire or earthquake, a physical or sexual assault or other act of violence, or the onset of a significant illness. The event might occur to us or to someone we know or care about, or it might be something we witness.What are normal reactions? Everyone reacts differently to a traumatic event. We are shocked by it, and it can shake us to our foundations. The following are some common and normal reactions:
|Physical Reactions||Cognitive Reactions||Emotional Reactions|
|fatigue||difficulty concentrating||helplessness or meaninglessness|
|changes in sleeping patterns||difficulty making decisions||numbness or hypersensitivity|
|changes in eating patterns||flashbacks or preocupation with the event||fear, panic, feeling unsafe|
|changes in other activities||memory disturbances||moodiness, crying, or depression|
|digestion problems or stomachaches||a sense that things aren't real||anger or guilt|
|headaches or dizziness||isolation from other people|
|physical tension, shakiness or weakness||feeling that your thoughts or emotions are out of control|
|neediness, not wanting to be alone|
How Can I Cope?
- Talking about the event and listening to others talk about it are important ways of understanding and making sense of what happened. Find a context in which you are comfortable - one-to-one, with a group, or writing in a journal or a letter to a friend.
- As much as you can, continue your usual routines. It may feel meaningless or uncomfortable, because"normal" life may not feel so normal any more. But walk through your usual activities as well as you can.
- Allow yourself time to react to the event however you need to. If you need some time alone, take it. If you need to cry, go ahead. If you need company, seek it out.
- Mental or physical activity can be very healing: try taking a walk, exercising, writing in a journal, or reading.
- Be aware of and avoid urges to numb your pain with drugs or alcohol. If you are taking a prescription medication, continue to follow the usual instructions and contact your doctor if you feel a change is in order.
- If you are troubled by any of your physical, cognitive, or emotional reactions, or they do not begin to ease after several weeks, tell someone. A parent, counselor, or advisor can support you in your efforts to cope.
The death of a loved one is one of the most severe traumas we encounter, and the sense of loss and grief which follows is a natural and important part of life. It is not a sign of weakness, but rather a healthy and fitting response - a tribute to one loved and lost to death. Running away from grief postpones sorrow; clinging to grief prolongs pain. Neither leads to healing.
Common Reactions to Loss
No two people react exactly alike to a loss and there are very significant cultural differences. For many, however, the most immediate response to the death of a loved one is shock, numbness, and a sense of disbelief. Physical reactions such as heart palpitations, tightness in the throat, shortness of breath, sweating and dizziness are common. At other times in the grieving process you may experience such physical symptoms as upset stomach, sleep and appetite disturbance or a lack of energy. Also, you may be more susceptible to illness, nightmares and dreams about the deceased person.
Emotional reactions may include a preoccupation with the image of the deceased, feelings of guilt, hostility, fearfulness, apathy, self-doubt, and emptiness. Loss of sexual drive, depressed mood, anger at the deceased for dying, a lack of concentration, and extreme sadness may occur.
Bereavement may cause some short- or long-term changes in your family and other relationships and may cause you to be at least temporarily more closed off from others. A tendency toward increased risk-taking behavior is also a possibility.
Factors That May Interfere with Resolving Your Grief
- Avoiding your emotions
- Over-activity to the point of exhaustion
- Using alcohol or other drugs to mask the grief
- Unrealistic promises made to the deceased
- Unresolved grief from a previous loss
- Judgmental relationships
- Acting resentful to those who try to help
Factors That May Help You in Resolving Your Grief
Seldom does a person go into one side of grief and come out the other side the same as before the loss. Think of going through your grief, rather than getting over the loss. By seeing the process through, you can develop personal strengths to cope with other types of loss and difficulties that may come up later in life. Acceptance of the loss means gaining a perspective - a new sense of self and what you can do with your life. You may find the following helpful:
- Give yourself some quiet time alone to think about moving toward a new equilibrium - a transition from who you were before the loss to who you will be after the grieving process.
- Be as open as you can be in expressing your feelings; cry if you need to. Express any anger or sense of unfairness if you feel it.
- Play out in your mind the unfinished business in the relationship and try to come to a resolution; say good-bye.
- Tell someone you trust the story of your loss.
- Try to focus on what you were able to do for the deceased, instead of what you "should have done" or could have done.
Where Can You Turn for Help?
Parents, friends, and family can often be helpful. If you feel comfortable and trusting of someone close, there is a good chance it would help to talk with them. Members of the clergy may also be helpful. Mental health and counseling agencies such as the University Health - Student Mental Health Services and the Student Assistance Program (SAP) are important resources.
Seeking Professional Help If You Need It
If you find it too difficult to move through the grief on your own or with the help of family and friends, you may want to consult a professional who can help you resolve some issues of grief in a confidential atmosphere.
Being Helpful To Others
Social support for the bereaved is most important. Others can provide a patient presence to allow the bereaved an opportunity to tell the story of the loss and to share how he or she is feeling. Remember that it is up to the individual to get through the grieving process; others can only provide support. If you are concerned for someone who appears to be having a difficult time managing alone, you may want to suggest seeking professional assistance.
Big test tomorrow, need strategic tips
Accept the fact that in the limited time remaining, you will not be able to study everything in your class notes and textbook.
Survey your class notes or textbook and mark off the ideas that seem most important; use any study information that the professor provided; try to guess correctly the material that will be on the test.
Make a special note of any definitions, enumerations (lists of things), points marked by bold text, and answers to basic questions raised by chapter titles and headings.
Prepare "cram sheets" by writing these key points and ideas on the front side of a piece of paper. Use an outline form to show the relationship of one to another. On the reverse, write brief explanations, examples, or additional information in your own words.
Try to over learn this key material by frequent short intensive reviews of your "cram sheets", create drawings, diagrams, or other memory aids.
Take breaks in between. Get up and walk around the room, recite, repeat, etc...
Objective tests employ multiple choice type questions and attempt to measure your knowledge of facts, your ability to recognize distinctions, your ability to organize the material, and your ability to apply general concepts to specific situations. The recognition and recall of material from your cram sheets will assist greatly in these types of tests.
Essay tests generally require that you write an accurate explanation or valid generalization supported by evidence. The outline form or diagrams used on your cram sheets will help here. When you get your test, prepare a summary statement of what your essay answer will conclude and make a list of the supporting facts, words, or ideas (from your cram sheet) that relate to your answer before you begin writing.
Some people may think self care or nurturing is just for the fragile;-the "weak willed" or "wimps". It certainly couldn't be for strong, ambitious college men and women. Actually, it is a vital part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life. It's not just an occasional manicure or a 6-pack. Building up a repertoire of reliable self care habits now can affect your quality of life today, and in the future.
If it's not a manicure-what is it? Self Care is a way of living that incorporates behaviors that help you to be refreshed, replenish your personal motivation, and grow as a person. It's the equivalent of keeping your car filled with gas so that you are ready to "motor" when you want to go somewhere!
Three main components of Self Care
Here are some examples of self care in action;
Moving your body, whether in some structured sport or exercise, or just dancing around, stretching, walking over to the park to feed the ducks. Give it something good to eat, that doesn't come in a bag or box from a drive through. Cook it yourself-take time for yourself, not just what ever is the fastest thing. Get the massage or something to wear that has great texture and color. Go to the doctor when you are sick.
Be accepting, kind, easy to forgive yourself.-how would you treat a good friend who needed some TLC? Take every 3rd "I should" out of your vocabulary and say "no" at least once a week! Reasonable expectations. This doesn't mean the end of motivation or working hard. The point is to stretch yourself, not break yourself. Set limits if that is what you need- overindulgence is not nurturing either.
Get enough people in your life, that you can laugh with, share that pizza with, talk to seriously when an occasion comes up, who respect you and don't expect you to do all the work of keeping up the friendship or relationship. Do a variety of things for fun and stimulation, some that you can do with others, and some to do alone.
Having trouble coming up with an idea? Remember things you liked when you were a child, but have long ago given up. Get the creative juices flowing? Paint, draw, get out the hammer and nails and construct something.
Develop a practice that exercises your mind and soul. However you define that. Whether it is a routine of prayer, meditation, attending services, that build up your spirit and faith with like minded others, exploration of yourself that helps you to identify your values and priorities, reading wisdom literature and discussions with others that deepen your knowledge of yourself and the universe, finding a way to contribute to the well being of others.
Dirty Rumors about Self Care
Isn't it Selfish to Put Myself First?
Some others may consider Self Care the territory of the self involved, who have little consideration for others around them.
Wrong again! Taking care of your needs lays in a balanced, steady place on the middle of a continuum, with intense selfishness on one end, and extreme sacrificing what you need or want for others' sake on the other end.
In fact, nurturing oneself is a key factor in being able to keep up strength, resolve, motivation and inner resources to continue to give to others, whether that be your immediate partner, family and other important people in your inner circle, or the larger community around you.
You might consider that doing too much for others could deprive them of the opportunity
to learn how to provide their own self care.
I Don't Have Time to Take Care of Myself!
If you do a "self care audit", you will likely find that some of the activities you spend your time on now, could be better spent "recharging your own battery" Studies show that mental acuity decreases after a short period of concentrated study. You likely need more true, breaks, not just time killers stolen from study time you rarely spend in any really relaxing or satisfying recreation.
All the time management/ life goal experts say put your Self Care into your schedule, just like another class or job shift. How many times do we have to hear, "make a commitment to yourself" before we believe it?
My "Self Care" comes on the tube at 11:30 every night and is accompanied by a large pepperoni-Isn't that enough?
That may be just the ticket for some nights, but do you have enough nurturing choices for the other nights of the week? While not discounting the value of building up your knowledge of 1950's television trivia, the consequences of making this a nightly habit might include indigestion, sleep loss, weight gain, oversleeping in the morning, a feeling of grogginess and little energy lingering the next day.
Maybe you could use something alternatives? Perhaps you could use the comfort of
a cozy chat a special person, or some quiet time with your mind engaged- not just
Do I Have to Do It Alone?
No, although the best balance is achieved with a combination of time shared with others, as well as some time alone. Your attitude of looking for opportunities to practice Self Care can go with you into almost anywhere.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is an increasingly common issue facing college students today. AD/HD symptoms show up in various situations, such as in the college classroom, and may create difficulties getting work done. Symptoms may also affect relationships with friends and family. While AD/HD symptoms are frequently present prior to 7 years of age and are most commonly diagnosed in children, AD/HD often goes undiagnosed until adulthood. This can have a negative effect on an individual's sense of self-worth. For example, those with misunderstood AD/HD symptoms may have taken in negative perceptions of themselves as "lazy," "dumb," or "slow." To complicate matters further, men may be over-diagnosed and women may be under-diagnosed. The hallmark symptoms of AD/HD include:
- Difficulty focusing attention
It is not unusual for university students to experience some symptoms of AD/HD at some time in their college careers. For instance, at some point in their schooling, university students may find that they have difficulty focusing on schoolwork or make impulsive, poorly thought-out decisions; these characteristics alone are not reflective of AD/HD. Rather, symptoms must be present in two or more settings including school, home, and work and interfere significantly with daily functioning. Further, symptoms of depression or anxiety may be mistakenly understood as AD/HD.
Signs of AD/HD include:
- Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks
- Being easily distracted or forgetful in daily activities
- Making careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
- Lack of follow through in completing homework, chores, or responsibilities at work
- Losing things necessary for tasks or activities
- Fidgety or difficulty remaining still
- Talking excessively or not seeming to listen when spoken to
- Interrupting others or blurting out answers before questions have been completed
If you think you may have an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, you should contact the SASS (Student Academic Support Services 448-5056) for an assessment. If you are recommended for a full evaluation after the assessment at SASS, below are some suggested testing locations. SASS forms must accompany your appointment.
The United Student Insurance Plan now covers this cost after meeting the required deductible.
David B. Goldstein, LPPHD
4646 Poplar Ave, Ste 413
Contracted provider with the Student United Insurance plan
University of Memphis: 678-2147
Cost depends on income – under $25,000/yr = $150.00
(there will be a waiting list)
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning. Your mind is racing, going over everything that happened today. Noises keep you awake. What can you do? There are things you can do to get a restful night's sleep.
Sleep only when sleepy
This reduces the time you are awake in bed. If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. Sit quietly in the dark or read the warranty on your refrigerator. Don't expose yourself to bright light while you are up. The light gives cues to your brain that it's time to wake up.
Don't take naps
This will ensure you are tired at bedtime. If you just can't make it through the day without a nap, sleep less than one hour, before 3:00 p.m.
Get up and go to bed at the same times every day
Even on weekends! When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.
Refrain from exercise at least four hours before bedtime
Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.
Develop sleep rituals
It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of caffeine-free tea, do relaxation exercises.
Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable
A hot room can be uncomfortable. A cooler room along with enough blankets to stay warm is recommended. If light in the early morning bothers you, get a blackout shade or wear a slumber mask. If noise bothers you, try wearing earplugs or introduce some "white noise," like a fan.
Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine. Cigarettes and some drugs contain nicotine. Alcohol may seem to help you fall sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity but you will end up having fragmented sleep.
Only use your bed for sleeping
Refrain from using your bed to watch TV, pay bills, do work or reading, so that your body knows it's time to sleep when you go to bed. Snuggling is an exception.
Have a light snack before bed
An empty stomach can interfere with sleep but so does a stomach full from a heavy meal before bedtime. Dairy products and turkey contain tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. Tryptophan is probably why a warm glass of milk is sometimes recommended.
Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime
A hot bath will raise your body temperature but it is the subsequent drop in body temperature that may leave you feeling sleepy.
Use sunlight to set your biological clock
As soon as you get up on a sunny morning, go outside and turn your face to the sun for 15 minutes.
If you are a UTHSC student or employee (coming soon for BCHS students), you may now schedule appointments, exchange messages with UHS staff, complete forms or surveys, check your financial account summary, or review/print immunizations through a secure online web-based portal using your NetID and password!
University Health Services
910 Madison Ave. Suite 922
Memphis, Tennessee 38163