No longer considered a drug for the fringe substance abuser, heroin has gained more mainstream popularity, even among college students. Heroin is an opiate in the same class as painkillers such as lortab, percocet or oxycontin. Although it is more recognizable in its injectable form, it can also be smoked, ingested or snorted. The widely accepted drug culture on college campuses has made it socially acceptable to experiment with various drugs, including heroin. Experimentation is not always innocuous, however, as heroin is a drug with a potential for drug addiction and a highly uncomfortable withdrawal. Accidental overdoses are particularly deadly, as some students do not even realize what they may be snorting at a party is in actuality heroin. To learn more, check out my latest article in The Tulane Hullabaloo.
College students are particularly vulnerable to sexual assaults, with 19 percent of college women having experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college. Often called the “silent epidemic” on college campuses, sexual assaults are the most underreported crime, with 95 percent of attacks being unreported. These type of assaults take serious emotional tolls, with rape survivors being 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than people who have not been victimized. To learn more about the emotional tolls of sexual assaults and resources Tulane offers for survivors, check out my latest article in The Tulane Hullabaloo.
It is no secret that casual sex is common on college campuses. In fact, studies have shown that 60 to 80 percent of college students have had some type of casual sex experience. Much research has focused on the link between casual sex and the negative effects it may have on a person’s mental health, such as contributing to depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. Much of this research is inconclusive or with mixed results. However, new research has indicated that it is not if a person participates in casual sex but the reasons behind their actions that contribute to negative emotional effects. To learn more, check out my latest article in The Tulane Hullabaloo.
Twenty-five percent of college students suffer from an eating disorder, and this statistic is on the rise according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder and females between the ages of 15-24 with anorexia are 12 times more likely to die from the illness than any other causes of death. Pathological dieting and poor eating habits have become normalized on college campuses, with students skipping meals or or doing “fad diets” so that they can go out to eat or binge drink at night. To learn more about eating disorders on college campuses, check out my article appearing in The Tulane Hullabaloo.
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Suicide is the second-largest leading cause of death on college campuses, with approximately 1,100 students dying by suicide every year. Click my latest column below to learn more about suicide in college students, the risk factors and warning signs, and knowing how and when to seek support. Although the answer to preventing these tragedies is complicated, it can certainly start with educating ourselves about this tragic mental health issue.
Pop culture icons such as Miley Cyrus, Madonna and Kanye West have glorified through their music the use of a popular drug called Molly, also known as MDMA or ecstasy. The drug has become very popular in the college party scene with a reported 5.8% of college students having used the drug in 2013. Although drug users often report a euphoric high from the drug, there is a dark side including serious physical and mental health risks. Check out my latest column to learn more!
Therapy can benefit many people but is too often avoided. Some think they will be labeled as “crazy” by simply going to a therapist while others don’t understand exactly what goes on in the therapy room.
On this edition of Psych Gumbo, we will demystify the therapy session by discussing popular forms of therapy, who can benefit from therapy and how to shop for a good therapist.
Today’s special guest is Dr. Arjune Rama. Dr. Rama is a third year psychiatry resident at Yale School of Medicine. He also writes regularly about psychiatry in print and online. His work has been published in The New York Times “Motherlode” blog, Slate.com, and The New Haven Register among others. In addition to his clinical work he also teaches interviewing and writing skills to medical students in Yale’s psychiatry clerkship.
As a psychiatry resident working in New Orleans, I have the opportunity to treat a wide range of interesting people. I also have the great opportunity to work with college students when they show up to the Tulane emergency room in crisis. Something that I often see in these students and other young adults is a pattern of self-injury.
Vampires, werewolves, witches and….the mentally ill? Halloween is a time we face our fears and make light of them by enjoying decorations, costume parties and horror movies. How has mental illness been lumped with the scary and supernatural themes of Halloween? Check out this blog post from Psychology Today that I helped co-write with Broadcast Thought!