However, despite my general positive attitude and ability to stay on top of my life, I am still constantly being pulled in different directions, which takes its toll on me, both mentally and physically. My life at school, like almost everyone else’s in college, is stressful. I also often find myself unable to sleep at night, constantly thinking about things I have no control over; this is always much more unnerving than small worries like an unfinished term paper or a bad grade on an exam.
“Hey are you okay? Why are you so sad? Are you sick?” What was I supposed to tell everyone? I wish I could have said, “I can’t get out of bed and I do not know why. I have no motivation to do anything and I do not know why. I keep crying everyday and I do not know why.”
Throughout my time abroad thus far, my greatest lifestyle change has been the extent to which I am alone. But let me clarify: alone doesn’t mean lonely. In fact, perhaps my favorite aspect of this experience has been learning how to successfully be alone.
My name is Jacalyn Kai Webster, and I had an eating disorder for 8 years. I've been a leader, a teacher, a performer, a musician, a writer, an artist, a world traveler, a mentor, a recipe developer, and a blogger—all while another part of me only knew life as an anorexic and later on, a bulimic.
I have often thought of my depression as a murder that I have to solve. It is dramatic I must admit, but in the darker moments it is true it feels as though a life was lost – my own – the person I would have been, the things I would have done, the love I would have shown, had I not fallen into this hole.
Short and sweet clichés that saturate our culture, like face your fears, tend to have some kernel of truth. With repetition, we learn to either reinforce our anxieties or learn to navigate the world with courage. Each step we take towards our intended selves, the selves that are able to triumph over our fears, leads us closer to gaining confidence over these fears.
Before this semester, I was so excited whenever I thought about going abroad. I was going to France where I would be immersed in the culture, speak the language, and enjoy every moment in a place I had dreamed about. However, as soon as I arrived I was immediately overwhelmed by the pressure to speak French as much as possible.
If you find it difficult to even start a conversation with yourself about loving yourself, imagine that you’re thinking about someone you really love. Maybe a best friend or partner for whom you want the absolute best in life. Would you want them to pursue a career outside of their true passions? Or pull all-nighters all the time?
With everything going so well in Ann Arbor, I started to grow worried as my time abroad drew closer. I was scared of relapsing into the anxiety and emptiness I felt the first half of 2018, and was unsure what I would do if those feelings returned while so far from home.
The peer based-model has been implemented at universities across the United States and the world, and now has come to the University of Michigan. Over the course of two days, six students and seven psychologists from the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) came together to work with a certified Body Project trainer to learn how to implement and facilitate groups.
Working with the actress to not only tell the character’s story, but also my own, is teaching me not only how to better direct, but how to be an actor and truly channel the deepest truths of the characters into my work.
As is all too common with media, the controversy surrounding 13 Reasons Why had all but faded to the background of the internet as the show’s popularity declined. Then, last week, the show returned to headlines following the publication of a University of Michigan study on the impact of the show on at-risk youth.
When most people think of veterans and mental health, they think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The movie takes a unique approach to the trauma veterans face once leaving combat, specifically one not often reflected in the mainstream media: moral injury.
Instagram can often be a black hole of self-doubt. To avoid it, you can branch out and follow some accounts that will “fix your feed.” Here are 10 accounts that are a mix of activists, artists, grandmas, and flower arrangers.
Skepticism is typically the first response to learning about ASMR. Some people find it unsettling or even creepy to watch these videos, whereas others feel relaxed and cared for. There’s a mix of responses that, to a great extent, depends on whether you get the chills from normal stimuli.
“On campus you start to see people being more open to sharing their struggles after witnessing celebrities sharing more of their personal stories,” Shelby tells us. “It merges the worlds of fame with our normal world even further.” At least that’s the goal of “Who Can Relate?”
Sugar became an easy exit from anxiety and depression, albeit the fleeting illusion of escape. My eating habits were a symptom of larger underlying issues that I had avoided and attempted to suppress with spurts of gratification.
People from all backgrounds and levels of experience with suicide and suicide loss are welcome to all of the events and to the Out of the Darkness walk. Registering is free, and participating in the walk is a great way to engage friends, family, and coworkers in this important conversation.
How often have we looked into the mirror and hated what we’ve seen? You’re in the bathroom, washing your hands at the sink, and you raise your head. You see your face and judgments pour out of you. Somehow your eyes manage to land on every little flaw–every imperfection that you hate. You try your best to fix them, but to no avail. How do you hide that acne, change the shape of your eyes, cover up that eczema? So instead you leave it there, and walk out the bathroom with a slightly more dejected aura than when you entered.
When I first opened the journal and saw a question asking what I wanted to accomplish in the next thirteen weeks, I was instantly overwhelmed. In thirteen weeks I’ll have graduated college and will be moving to a new city and into an apartment I have yet to find. How am I supposed to make long term goals when I don’t even know the start date of my new job?
I often occupy myself with my phone so that I don’t have to think about whatever’s making me nervous about waking up the next morning, whether that’s a presentation, or work, or just the fact of waking up. So I decided to ditch the phone for a week--before bed, anyway--in order to see how things go.
I am no stranger to silence. I was raised Quaker, and in lieu of traditional church services, Quakers observe a silent worship. When I came to college, I found that this practice was something I missed but I never took the time to keep up silent worship on my own.
DAMN. opens with a question proposed to its audience – “Is it wickedness? Is it weakness?” and Kenny provides us with an immediate answer – “you decide.” Is this referring to his own demons? Is this referring to American struggles? Maybe it’s both?
Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition is first and foremost one of the most unique albums I’ve ever listened to. Danny has always been an artist that a lot of people don’t actively listen to because of the shrill voice he uses when he raps and the heavily explicit subject matter of his music. I’ll readily admit that before Atrocity Exhibition, I thought most of his work felt annoying and excessive.
Two weeks ago, I took a week-long break from all of the social media sites I have accounts on: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. I’m not somebody who posts or interacts with social media a great deal, at least compared to a lot of my peers, but regardless, I was very curious if not using them at all would affect my mentality.
Early in my first semester, it was maybe two coffees a week when I was exhausted. Then I discovered my love of Mountain Dew. I started downing glasses several times a week during the day when it was too hot and too late for coffee. Next thing I knew, it was at least one cup of caffeine almost every day. So much for not getting addicted.
This past Saturday I went and saw Split, the new M. Night Shyamalan film. I walked into the theater with next to no expectations as Mr. Shyamalan has continued to disappoint audiences time and time again ever since his breakthrough film “The Sixth Sense.”
I have a tendency to reject the trendy. I keep eating gluten no matter what they tell me. I scoff at the prices of green juices and acai bowls. When I was asked to try meditating using the iPhone application Headspace, I clenched my jaw and hesitantly agreed.
I present a collection of songs that speak truth to the sentimentality of the past. A few retrospectively, some as old as the moments themselves, yet all inexplicably linked to the people, events, and various headspaces that I find my thoughts fixating on.
With midterms coming up, we all need a little more joy in our lives. These are all songs that make me the happiness when I am upset. With artists like Zedd and Mikky Ekko, your stress will instantly melt away. Delta Rae said it best: jealous is the night when the morning comes!
In honor of Valentine’s Day being this week, this playlist’s theme is about the cycle of love. From the first days of having a crush, to the honeymoon phase, to the fall out, and then unfortunate post-breakup stage, whatever part of “love” you may find yourself at, there is a song for you.
When I’m having a bad mental health day, sometimes the best but hardest thing for me to do is get to the gym; however, when I complete a workout I always feel so much better. This is the playlist I use to pump myself up and feel strong when I’m running or lifting weights.
When life gets too chaotic and I feel overwhelmed by school work, managing my social life, figuring out my future, and keeping my mental and physical health under control, I simply take a step back and treat myself with something simple and easy. Today was a hot cocoa day.
I chose this photo and wrote these words in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, this week. I struggled with disordered eating for five years, a struggle that was fueled by my inner insistence that beauty necessitated perfection. However, the truth is that perfect things may be beautiful, but not all beautiful things are perfect.
Making music is my expression, like an interactive journal. As I hear the sounds produced at my fingertips, it comes out like a voice; it allows me to surface emotions swept to the back of my mind and set them free. It liberates me.
But by taking the time to acknowledge the brighter parts of my day, I've found that the tough stuff becomes easier to get through. And no matter how much seems to be going wrong, it's helpful to remember that there are always things to be grateful for that make life worth celebrating.
When you’re feeling down and the last thing you want to do is leave your house, sometimes you need to go to the gym to keep up your physical health. When you’re sick, sometimes you need to stay in and rest even if your FOMO feels like it’s going to crush you. Don’t prioritize short-term satisfaction over long-term well-being.
Many times I have been asked by my therapist what might be ways to help relieve stress or take my mind away from obsessive thoughts. For me, this question seems easy to dismiss, yet I always struggle to come up with an answer. In truth, it’s one of the most meaningful questions I’ve been asked.
There is something about museums that feels safe. Stepping past a guarded entrance, a wealth of human knowledge begs to hold you. The effect of being surrounded by so much knowledge is existentially comforting – a gentle reminder that you are part of a narrative much greater than any one person could ever be.
Jamil reported that she felt “bombarded” by images of how the ideal woman should look and act, even during a time where this narrative wasn’t instantly available in the palm of your hand. One additional factor at play was a lack of alternative role models.
Aside from being proud Michigan alumni, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are composers primarily known for their work in Dear Evan Hansen, a musical that highlights the life of a high school teen and his community following a classmate’s suicide.
Lady Gaga became the face for mental illness at the 2019 Grammys with her inspiring and emotionally raw speech that took a twist, both literally and figuratively, on the hearts of the millions who connected with her message. Upon receiving the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her duet “Shallow” with Bradley Cooper, Gaga quickly moved past the typical statements of appreciation to God, her family, costars, and industry personnel to a reflective statement regarding the film that produced “Shallow.”
Clifford Beers is widely regarded as the pioneer of the “American mental hygiene movement.” This movement began when Beers learned he was suffering from bipolar disorder while working on Wall Street. This eventually lead him to attempt suicide and spend years in and out of hospitals. Beers’ firsthand experience with a lack of proper treatment for mental health in hospitals spurred his work in the field.
When the world lost Chester Bennington, people were shocked and appalled despite the vocalist having openly and publicly discussed his mental health struggles in interviews. Even by listening to popular songs such as “Crawling” and “Numb,” it was clear that these lyrics were portraying the demons that Bennington, the writer of the songs, faced.
In her 2008 commencement speech at Harvard, Rowling relates the monstrous Dementors to depression as “[t]hey [Dementors] infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you.”
Don Draper, the face of the award-winning AMC series Mad Men, is a man of many emotional issues. And he’s not alone. Jon Hamm, the outstanding actor behind the drama’s protagonist, has had his fair share of struggles over the years as well. But there is one big difference between the character and the actor: Jon Hamm is willing to talk about it.
Psychological effects are common in prisoners, and even more so in persons in solitary confinement, such as El Chapo. Prosecutors argue that the harsh conditions are necessary because of El Chapo’s history of running his drug empire from behind bars, as well as his previous escape from two maximum-security prisons.
After reading various interviews with Downey, he can begin to come off as dismissive and aloof; however, who am I or anyone else to ask him to speak on behalf of someone else’s recovery process. Downey is also 53 years old, and of another generation than the myriad of young celebrities we currently see speaking out about mental health.