Quote of the day

We have evolved to the automation of simply being with the intention of nothingness. We pose questions and provide fake responses because that is simply how things are. We have been socialized to conceal our emotions from the outside world. The majority of us cannot fathom responding with “I’m feeling quite down today, but thank you for asking” rather than “OK, thanks for asking.” This is something we are all guilty of… but why?

DMK

Quote of the day

Many cultures, particularly in developing countries, continue to believe brain disorders in the context of metaphysical affiliations, exorcisms, taboos, bad luck to the family, et cetera… To this day so many people suffering from mental illness are homeless and left on the streets, where they are mocked, beaten, harassed or jailed.

DMK

Quote of the day

The question is– should individuals of color seek mental health care despite the high likelihood and risk of misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis, and underdiagnosis? Or should they remain put and perhaps devise a means of regaining a semblance of normalcy?

DMK

Quote of the day

If a person of color seeks help from a mental health professional perhaps they are depressed or anxious, they may be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia just because… There is so much prejudice and discrimination that it scares people away from seeking professional treatment.

DMK

Quote of the day

I simply cannot fathom the fact that individuals are either overdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, or not treated at all based on their skin color. The thing is, by the time you misdiagnose someone based on their skin color, you’ve gone too far…

DMK

Healthcare should be a human right

The United States has such significant health care disparity that it is the only developed country that relies on private health insurance. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, approximately 20% of Americans had little or no health insurance. As a result, about 45,000 of those people died each year due to the expensive cost of health care.

No one should become ill and die simply because they are poor or lack access to health care. How inhumane!

The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet its healthcare system is a disgrace. How can such a wealthy country be at the bottom of healthcare statistics given how much money it spends—research shows that the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country. In 2020, annual health expenditures were expected to exceed $4 trillion USD, with personal health care spending totaling $10,202 USD.

I’m curious where all that money goes. Our system prioritizes disease, specialty treatment, and technology over preventive care. Inpatient treatment, intensive care units, and subspecialties such as cardiology and gastroenterology are prioritized over nutrition, exercise, mental health, and primary care education. Doctors in high-tech specialties (such as anesthesiology, cardiology, or surgery) often earn far more than those in primary care.

You visit the doctor for a sunburn rush and receive a bill for approximately nine hundred dollars. Keep in mind that the time you spent with the doctor was about 2 minutes. For individuals who have health insurance, the bill will be lower or even covered. In fact, even insured Americans spend more money out of pocket for healthcare than residents in most other wealthy countries. Some people resort to buying drugs from other nations where the prices are much lower. Even though the power structure may be agreeable to healthcare insurers, pharmaceutical firms, and those healthcare professionals who benefit financially from it, our existing healthcare system is not financially sustainable. So, how much do you think individuals without insurance suffer from the consequences? This is completely ridiculous!

The most outrageous thing is that if you don’t have health insurance for a certain length of time in a year, you have to pay a fine/penalty to the IRS. In any case, health insurance is required. Even folks in the middle class who have health insurance risk devastation due to health care disparities. The rising expense of healthcare services can push people into poverty. According to a 2018 research, medical bills drove Seven million people below the federal poverty level. Medical bills have become the most profitable line of business for collection agencies. When it came to medical bankruptcy, the insured were 6% more likely than the uninsured to have declared bankruptcy in the past. They had not budgeted for unanticipated deductible and coinsurance fees. Almost two-thirds were unaware that their hospital was not included in their plan. Approximately 25% had their insurance claims dismissed. Every year, around 530,000 people file for medical bankruptcy. Health insurance providers have been raising patients’ medical expenditures by raising deductibles, which more than doubled between 2007 and 2017. At the same time, employers’ share has decreased. The average deductible in employer-sponsored health plans increased by 255 % between 2006 and 2018. Even those on Medicare are at risk. During retirement, the average 65-year-old couple anticipates $295,000 in medical expenditures. Most of them haven’t saved enough to cover these expenses without jeopardizing their retirement plans.

Is the purpose of our healthcare system to serve the public or to generate profit? A woman in labor was turned away from a private hospital in Alameda County because the hospital’s computer indicated that she did not have insurance. In a county hospital hours later, she gave birth to a stillborn infant. A hospital surgeon in San Bernardino sent a patient who had been attacked and stabbed in the heart to a county medical center after determining that his condition was stable. The patient arrived at the county medical facility in a comatose state, suffered a heart arrest, and subsequently died. These two hospitals transferred these patients to county facilities for economic, not medical, reasons — the receiving hospitals feared they would not be reimbursed for treating the patient. These patients were simply “bad business.”

“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General, World Health Organization
WHO

Everyone should have access to the health treatments they require, when and where they need them, without experiencing financial hardship. When individuals experience marginalization, stigma, or prejudice, their physical and mental health deteriorates. Given the complex and confounding variables that accompany health care in the United States, even contemplating it is a source of stress. But when individuals are given the opportunity to be active participants in their own treatment, rather than passive recipients, and their human rights are respected, the outcomes improve and health systems become more efficient.

We must all work together to eliminate disparities and discriminatory actions so that everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, health status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or migration status, can experience the benefits of good health.

Healthcare should be a human right!

References

Topic: Health expenditures in the U.S. (n.d.). Statista; http://www.statista.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/topics/6701/health-expenditures-in-the-us/#topicHeader__wrapper

Health is a fundamental human right. (2017, December 10). Health Is a Fundamental Human Right; http://www.who.int. https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/health-is-a-fundamental-human-right

Is our healthcare system broken? – Harvard Health. (2021, July 13). Harvard Health; http://www.health.harvard.edu. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-our-healthcare-system-broken-202107132542

How to plan for rising health care costs | Fidelity. (2021, August 31). How to Plan for Rising Health Care Costs | Fidelity; http://www.fidelity.com. https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/plan-for-rising-health-care-costs

Health Costs | KFF. (2019, September 25). KFF; http://www.kff.org. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/

2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey. (2021, November 10). KFF; http://www.kff.org. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/report/2021-employer-health-benefits-survey/

The Effects of Household Medical Expenditures on Income Inequality in the United States | AJPH | Vol. 108 Issue 3. (2017, October 24). American Journal of Public Health; ajph.aphapublications.org. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304213

Health Care for Profit or People? (n.d.). Health Care for Profit or People?; http://www.scu.edu. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.scu.edu/mcae/publications/iie/v1n4/healthy.html

Dealing and coping with college stress

I enjoy studying and learning new things every day and every minute—I don’t mind continually challenging myself. However, with all of that curiosity and drive to study comes tension, far too much stress, particularly in college. There is simply too much pressure—pressure to do well, pressure to excel, pressure to complete projects on time.

This semester, I took a tremendously difficult class—so difficult that I wept myself to sleep believing I was going to flunk it. I couldn’t let myself fail this class because, while being the most difficult, it was also my favorite, thus I was in excruciating pain. I recall writing an email to my professor following the second exam, whining about how hard the class is and how much effort I’m putting in, but nothing seems to work. I was really vulnerable in the email, especially because I was writing it after an emotionally charged event. It’s finals week as I write this, and there’s a lot of anxiety for every class, not just this one. I couldn’t even feel my breath before the weekend because I expect so much from myself and nothing less.

In the depths of my anxiousness, I had to remember to breathe, to inhale and exhale and experience every breath. I had to gather my thoughts and tell myself that everything would be fine. I also needed to remind myself that it’s acceptable to fail. Failure is not always a terrible thing; it simply means that you need to put in more effort or alter strategies—you must be flexible.

How prevalent is college stress?

 According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is an epidemic among college students. It’s quite common. 8 out of 10 college students report high levels of stress. Often, the physical and mental difficulties of studying rise in direct proportion to an individual’s progress toward their academic goals. Students are not only expected to manage an increased academic load, but also to operate socially, plan financially, and adjust to living with roommates or away from home for the first time. American Addiction Centers’ infographics depict a breakdown of college stress by majors and most stressful factors.

According to research, stress can contribute to the development of a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Additionally, it might result in the onset of physical ailments such as chronic pain. Stress hormone floods can make people more susceptible to depression, particularly harried college students. Anxiety is characterized by physical symptoms such as muscle tension and tremor, as well as racing thoughts, feelings of impending doom, fear, excessive concern, and anger. Anxiety and sleep disorders frequently coexist. Anxiety and depression can be caused or exacerbated by sleep issues, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and vice versa. Some students use alcohol or drugs to cope with stress; nevertheless, these risky coping techniques can lead to substance abuse. According to a 2018 study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 28% of college students had indulged in binge drinking in the two weeks preceding the survey. Some students may develop chronic physical illnesses as a result of stress, such as chronic neck aches, backaches, stomach aches, and headaches. To relax your body and remove muscular tension, the National Institutes of Health recommends practicing yoga and meditation.

Some common ways to manage stress in college

Get enough sleep—staying up all night studying or doing whatever isn’t going to help. It is usual for students to remain awake all night to study. Staying up all night to study is one of the most detrimental things a student can do to their academics. Two MIT professors discovered a link between sleep and test scores in October of 2019: the less students slept during the semester, the lower their scores. As a result, get adequate sleep—you’ll perform much better when you’re not weary mentally or physically.

Remember to eat healthy and to exercise. Regular exercise keeps your body healthy by releasing endorphins and improving your general cognitive capacities. Exercise can even assist you in falling asleep, reducing stress. Remember that exercise does not have to be difficult; yoga, brief walks, and stretching can all provide significant mental health benefits and help relieve tension.

Above all, avoid procrastination. It may feel amazing at the time, but it frequently leads to stress. You may avoid spending all night catching up on assignments by managing your time carefully. Also, discover your stress outlet and use it as frequently as possible. It could be having regular massages, spending time with friends and family, or taking a long drive while listening to the loudest music possible—dahh!

Personally, I deal with college anxiety and stress by getting adequate sleep, exercising, meditating, and eating a balanced diet—when I do these things, my body is capable of dealing with anything else psychologically. Additionally, I enjoy going out to dance or staying-in to dance, especially when my head is cluttered with so much to do. Dancing helps me in regulating my emotions, which improves my energy and helps me maintain a balanced frequency and vibration.

Along with self-help, institutions offer on-campus mental health services such as counseling clinics, online screening, and individual or group counseling. Using these services can help you improve your mental health, allowing you to thrive academically and socially. Check your school’s website for more information or reach out to any department and they will point you in the right direction.

Remember, if you ignore your stress for too long, it can quickly progress to depression and anxiety. Remember to take of yourself.

References

The Student’s Guide to Managing Stress | BestColleges. (2021, October 22). BestColleges.Com; http://www.bestcolleges.com. https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/balancing-stress/

The Impact of Sleep on Learning and Memory | Chronobiology and Sleep Institute | Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (n.d.). The Impact of Sleep on Learning and Memory | Chronobiology and Sleep Institute | Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; http://www.med.upenn.edu. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.med.upenn.edu/csi/the-impact-of-sleep-on-learning-and-memory.html

School Stress for College Students and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms. (n.d.). School Stress for College Students and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms; americanaddictioncenters.org. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/learn/college-coping-mechanisms/

Heckman, W. (2019, September 6). Stress: An Epidemic Among College Students – The American Institute of Stress. The American Institute of Stress; http://www.stress.org. https://www.stress.org/stress-an-epidemic-among-college-students

Drug and Alcohol Use in College-Age Adults in 2018 | National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, September 13). National Institute on Drug Abuse; nida.nih.gov. https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/drug-alcohol-use-in-college-age-adults-in-2018