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Suicide Epidemic? Navigating the Mental Illness Crisis in the U.S.

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In recent news, two beloved celebrities, fashion icon, Kate Spade, and Culinary Hero, Anthony Bourdain, passed away, both from suspected suicide attempts. The shock of one “famous” person’s suicide is enough to provide significant emotional impact within our society, without also being exacerbated by another sudden death.

A question that often follows deaths like these, of people of immense talent and creativity, who have achieved significant popularity and wealth is why? Why would people who supposedly have such resources in their lives resort to something as desperate as this? However, the answer isn’t so simple.

Recent studies, such as those from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have shown upsetting news about the state of suicide in America, stating “Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US. Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016.”

Within the United States, suicide is accounted by as one of the highest causes of death, with at least 40,000 American mortalities estimated per year. The cause of suicide can be attributed to a number of factors: poor physical health, financial struggles, mental health issues (especially those that are undiagnosed), trauma (i.e. death of a loved one), etc. However, not each suicide is necessarily linked to a specific cause of distress.

depression

Source: Ryan Melaugh

In his 2013 TED Talk, writer, speaker, and mental health activist, Kevin Breel, had spoken publicly about his own experiences with depression and suicide,

“Now, for someone who has never experienced depression or doesn’t really know what that means, that might surprise them to hear because there’s this pretty popular misconception that depression is just being sad when something in your life goes wrong, when you break up with your girlfriend, when you lose a loved one, when you don’t get the job you wanted.

But that’s sadness. That’s a natural thing. That’s a natural human emotion. Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.”

Within a large part of the Western World, there are often inaccurate and limited perception of the causes and reasons behind depression and suicide. Many tend to negate the severity of mental health, with the media often stereotyping those with mental illnesses as violent or inhumane. However, as the study from the National Institute of Mental Health verifies, suicide does not discriminate, reflecting anyone regardless of race, gender, or economic background.

However, for many people of marginalized backgrounds, i.e. people of color, LGBTQIA+, lower economic classes, are often affected by external societal triggers, such as micro-and macro-aggressions and discrimination in the workplace or everyday environment, as well as limited access to mental health resources, creating mental health disparities among the general population.

It is our job within this society to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health, as well as providing resources for suicide prevention and those who are suffering from mental illness.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

By: Michele Kirichanskaya

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A Loving Boyfriend Surprises his Girlfriend with a Wedding Proposal at the end of her Chemo Treatment

Sydney Murphy

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At the end of this lady's chemo treatment program, her boyfriend surprises her with a wedding proposal.
Source: Memorial Sloan Kettering | Youtube

Max Allegretti had the chance to prove his love for his girlfriend, Jillian Hanson, during a sensitive and challenging time in their lives.

Though Hanson was going through cancer treatment, Allegretti was her unwavering support system.

The couple met when Hanson signed up for a dodgeball tournament in her senior year of college and ended up playing on Allegretti’s team.

Allegretti and Hanson had known each other for a while before they started dating. It wasn’t until a couple of years after they had met that Allegretti asked Hanson out on a date. 

“I knew he was the one after a month of us dating. I never usually move that fast, but something about him was different,” Hanson said.

When Hanson was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in July 2017, Allegretti held her hand in support and said, “I’m not going to leave your side.”

This was an immense undertaking of Allegretti, which strengthened Hanson’s trust in Allegretti’s love for her and the strength of their relationship. 

“They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Hanson said. 

When Hanson learned that her cancer had spread and that treatment was going to get more intense, Allegretti remained by her side. They went through radiation treatments, lymph node removal surgeries, and hair loss after chemotherapy. 

“I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy for five months, plastic surgery, 25 rounds of radiation for five weeks, and now I am finishing infusion treatments that I do every three weeks,” Hanson said

Allegretti never failed in giving his all to Hanson’s comfort by finding ways to distract her or brighten up her day. He planned little events like going to the movies or spending a night out for dinner.

Throughout Hanson’s treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital Monmouth, Allegretti was there supporting her and empowering her through it all. 

“He told me that I was the strongest woman he knew and that this whole experience has made him love me more,” Hanson said.

Allegretti was sure he was going to propose to Hanson and was excited about what their future together would hold.

He discussed his plan for the wedding proposal with Hanson’s family and friends to create the best experience he could for Hanson.

“We all decided it would bring a lot more joy even to the special day it was going to be already,” Allegretti said.

Hanson was thrillingly surprised when Allegretti proposed to her at the hospital. Though just the thought of having a wedding was exciting enough, the luxury wedding planner Lauren Grech offered the couple a free designer wedding as recognition for Hanson’s strength and Allegretti’s loyalty. 

This couple’s undying love is true inspiration to savor each relationship’s good health and the loyalty involved. 


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The Science Behind Chronic Tardiness and Procrastination

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Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late.
Source: MIKI Yoshihito | flickr

Are you always late to things? Whether it be to hang out with friends, working on an important assignment, showing up to class, or just going to work in general, more and more people are putting off important things. 

Is it because we feel like they are not important? Or maybe we do it unintentionally? There are many reasons for our chronic lateness, here a few you probably didn’t realize could be causing yours.

We Believe We Have All the Time in the World 

Contrary to popular belief, time doesn’t slow down when we are running behind schedule.  When we make plans or wake up late, we underestimate how much time it actually takes us to get ready. We believe that time will slow down and allow us to get ready and go to our destination on time. 

As Christina Morgana, a junior at Hofstra University says,

“I feel like I am usually late to something because I didn’t allow myself enough time beforehand or I don’t anticipate the amount of traffic I am going to hit.”

While Christina may be a college student, the reasons behind her lateness are nearly universal. Once we get into a specific routine, we get so used to how long the routine takes that we forget how long it  actually may take. And in a world that is constantly moving, a routine is nice to have even if it may make us late. 

You Dread Dealing with a Specific Issue or Person 

Another reason for your chronic procrastination can be because you dread dealing with a certain person or issue. Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late. 

Putting these things are not going to make them go away or make them any less annoying. You might not even notice that your dread is making you late. Or even that you are dreading anything at all.

Being late gives you more time to prepare to deal with the inevitable. Ultimately this strategy doesn’t usually work out all that well and you are left being late.

You Prioritize Other Things Than Being On Time 

Usually people are late in the mornings because they want to get as much sleep as possible. For good reason, as getting enough sleep is key to being a healthy adult. So you put off getting ready and going to work because you want to get the most amount of sleep possible. 

Madison Spence-Moore, another junior at Hofstra University said,

“I feel like the reason [I am late] is because I really like to sleep in the morning, so I try to stay in bed as long as physically possible. And then I leave out of my room very last minute. But in terms of things happening in the afternoon, it’s usually my phone or not planning ahead. I get very distracted by my phone unfortunately.”

So while sleep may be a top priority in the morning, tardiness for afternoon events are usually caused by distractions. In the age of smartphones, it is easy to see why they would provide distractions that prevent you from being on time.

Prioritizing other things over getting ready and making the effort to be on time is a primary reason behind chronic tardiness

There Are Outside Factors that You Cannot Control

 Sometimes it might not even be your fault that you are always late.  Your car can stall as you are trying to get to work. Your usual route can be distrubed by an accident or another commotion of that sort.

The weather can slow you down as well. You can also have a medical condition that makes you late. Eduardo Guzman, another junior at Hofstra University, has a medical condition called IBS, or Irritated Bowel Syndrome. 

He cannot control this condition but it does make him late to things occasionally.

“I have IBS so whenever that acts up it’s kind of crappy and I don’t feel that well. If I am having a pretty rough day, I need to be careful of what I eat because my sensitive, irritable bowel will take it a certain way. So sometimes it acts up when I don’t want it to act up,” Guzman said.

Guzman may be chronically late to things unintentionally because of his medical condition. There is not much he can do to control this particular reason behind his tardiness, so instead he focuses on what he can control. His disorganization, which is another big reason behind his procrastination.

Being late or procrastinating is something that everyone does, not just young people. Sometimes there are  psychological reasons behind your tardiness, other times outside factors make us late, and other times it is only our fault and our fault alone.

Whatever the reason is, just know that you are probably not the only person running late.

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A Possible Drug Treatment for Coronavirus in the Works

Erin Albus

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As part of doctors' plan for medical treatment for curable diseases around the world, they are researching drug treatments for the current disease, coronavirus.
Source: Creative Commons

The coronavirus has been in the news almost everyday these past few months.

Labeled by the CDC as 2019-nCoV, or Novel Coronavirus, the new coronavirus is closely linked to Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), having mostly like mutated from a virus related to SARS.

Both of these are considered coronaviruses, but they are not the same bacteria that causes 2019-nCoV.

The CDC has issued a statement discouraging travel to China, and to look at travel advisories for other countries. While the disease is curable, it is spreading so fast it is now considered an epidemic. Over 40,000 cases and 900 deaths have been reported in China alone as of February 2nd. 

Despite the alarming statistics of this new virus, Doctors in Thailand have had some major breakthroughs in creating a drug treatment for novel coronavirus.

Separate from Mainland China, Thailand has had a total of 19 cases, eight of whom are now considered cured. The other eleven are still receiving treatment

What is the secret to this success? 

“A powerful cocktail of drugs“, said the Thai doctors. In severe cases of novel coronavirus, they administer a mixture of the anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir and the flu medication oseltamivir.

While doctors stress that this is not a cure, the patients given this treatment have shown considerable improvement in 48 hours. 

On the other side of the world, scientists in America have been working on a universal treatment for all iterations of the coronavirus, including MERS and SARS, not just novel coronavirus.

This drug, remdesivir, has been shown to be effective in fighting off MERS and SARS.

Since novel coronavirus is related to SARS, scientists believe that it could be an effective way to fight off the virus. It, however, is still in development.

With all of the fear surrounding the situation, the CDC is very firm in reminding everyone that this is a evolving situation and to check advisories when travelling, as well as see if you are in an area of risk.

As of now, they are of the belief that the novel coronavirus is airborne but spread through close human contact—within six feet of another person. 

Even with the possible drug treatments in the works, it is always best to avoid putting yourself at risk of getting sick.

Practice normal precautionary methods for other respiratory diseases—wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid crowded spaces while ill.

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