Tag Archives: mental health

Facing the Shadows: Mental Health and the API Community

by Sunli Kim, ’15

Mental_HealthDuring May, API (Asian Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) will be hosting a month-long issues series on mental health in the API community context, titled Facing the Shadows: Mental Health and the API Community. The workshops are open to all interested students, regardless of ethnic background. Not only will we be covering specific issues within the realm of mental health, but also we hope to raise overall campus awareness of Stanford’s available resources and evaluate the effectiveness of those resources to accommodate minorities’ narratives and cultural differences.

Mental health has been and continues to be an understated, unaddressed issue. We seek not only to raise awareness and critically analyze the root causes of mental health issues, but also to encourage our communities to directly confront these issues by exploring how an individual’s cultural context and larger institutional systems, such as education and law, influence mental health and promote a culture of stigma and silence. Continue reading

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Crazy Awesome: Breaking the Silence Surrounding Mental Illness

by Sophi Newman, ’13

58938_236610769812147_2074339146_nI can’t remember a time in the first nineteen years of my life when I didn’t feel off. Whether I was hurtling through days at top speeds of uncontrollable hyperactivity or dragging myself through each second with deliberate effort, whether I found myself overwhelmed by an intense, almost violent irritation with everyone around me or frozen and deadened by loneliness, whether I was composing silly limericks or scribbling out a death wish, I never felt peace. Never felt calm. I never felt good without a “but,” without a qualifier.

I’m one of the lucky ones, though; when I was eleven, a close family member sought help for suicidal depression, and it occurred to me that I, too, might be able to seek help. Continue reading

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On Usefulness and Other Nonsense

by Heather Charles, B.A. ’10 + M.A. ’12

I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have attended school with so many amazingly bright, well-educated and hard working people. This fact has become all the more glaringly obvious to me as I have gotten older. Its something you take for granted as an undergraduate and then you re-enter the world to be reminded that you are a freakish outlier. Or at least I am in my community, maybe that rings less true for others, but in any case, what I gained most intellectually from being at Stanford was from the daily and constant exposure to discourse and intellectual simulation. I am, what my boyfriend calls, classically intellectual curious, which at Stanford is a euphemism for someone who is laid back and spent finals week casually eating breakfast, casually taking finals and then causally reading appalling trash in the grass outside Meyer library. This is a trait that Stanford wants in its students, it asked specifically for intellectual curiosity in its application when I was applying.

And yet, as laid back as I was, I still possess that distinctly hard working streak that Stanford students possess. And this can lead to workaholism. In fact, it did lead to an almost blind workaholism. Continue reading

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Darkness

by an anonymous undergraduate student

Darkness. It dawns on people for different reasons, in different ways, with different severity. In its most pure form, its most dangerous form, its unexplainable.  There is no anniversary, no day that it began or experience it stems from. One Monday you look up and on a bright, sunny, 75 degree day, it feels like the middle of winter. It is that moment you realize that for “a while”, no set period of time, just “a while,” it has been dark. Filet mignon doesn’t taste good, parties are useless distractions, your covers in your room are your only shield from the world because people irritate you.  Homework is impossible to complete, mostly because it is useless, dumb, of no value. But then again, nothing has value.  Those little life missions, those moments that everyone lives for — the Friday pre-game, the Saturday football game, Special Dinner, spring break, summer break, sex — are all pointless.  And no one knows. No one gets it. Life goes on around you, everyone has it figured out… moment by moment… day by day… week by week… month by month… year by year.… You? NOPE, you don’t have a clue. You question everything around you, but more importantly, you wonder how no one else is. How do all these people.. ALL THESE FUCKING PEOPLE… not get it? Suddenly, your irritation of people has become anger…

Depression at Stanford is funny. There are panels, discussions, dorm communities to ensure this happy, perfect place remains just that — happy and perfect. Continue reading

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Ducks and Doors

by Abaho Katabarwa, ’15

Hi, I’m Abaho. You may see or may not see me around. I’m weird. I was born in Uganda, East Africa, and I’m African through and through, but I lived most of my cognizant life in Atlanta, Georgia. I like to exercise, read books, and listen to music (OMG Abaho you are special and unique at Stanford!) I don’t really have much to say about myself. I was born and sooner or later I will die (barring any bionic body technology that sustains our brains past the degradation of our original bodies) . Therefore Y.O.L.O, L.O.V.E, H.N.I.C, and remember to keep a well laundered sock draw.

Okay I admit it. I am one of those cynical people. Those that see a treasure and question its worth to the point that they overlook its beauty.

The “Stanford down” (I’ll explain what that is.) just added fodder to my cynicism. Prior to enrolling, I was enthralled by the tales of grandeur of the whole place. When I first stepped foot on campus, I remember thinking that I was in some kind of dream. I felt like I could float just a little bit, and everything was covered by some surreal aura. I couldn’t believe that this place existed, and I couldn’t believe that I made it here.

Stanford and I had that honeymoon period. Sometimes we’d just steal stares and knowingly giggle at each other (It was more like the giddy period.). We were so in love. But we all know that that can’t last forever. Continue reading

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Breaking the Silence: Mental Health at Stanford

by Helena Bonde, ’11

I made this documentary on mental health at Stanford in honor of my friend Cady, who died earlier this quarter.

Helena Bonde, English major, thinks we need more open dialogue about mental health on campus.

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