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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Depression among college students rising

By Jason Chesney

October 25, 2006 | We all experience feelings of being stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, sad or inadequate from time to time. But for some, those feelings may last continuously for weeks, or months, or even years. Such feelings that last are signs of depression, which, according to Dr. Jim Davis, the director of student health and wellness at Utah State University is the "number three diagnosis."

The number of cases of depression on college students has risen significantly over the last three years. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, "15 percent of all college students qualify as being clinically depressed."

Davis explained that clinical depression is a lack of neurotransmitters, or electrical charges that work to stimulate the nerves in the brain making us feeling happy or pleased. In most cases of depression the brain re-absorbs these charges before they have a chance to stimulate the nerves. When someone lacks the adequate amounts of neurotransmitters, feelings of worthlessness or sadness begin to take over.

The re-absorption of these neurotransmitters can be triggered in a variety ways. Sleep deprivation, mourning the loss of a loved one, stress, genetics, diet, and nutrition are all ways that depression can start.

Davis mentioned that the advancement of technology and the increasing demands of education have also be causes of depression. "Without a doubt we've become socially isolated."

In today's society, communication is electronic, classes can be taken on the Internet, and everything is available right at our finger tips due to the advancement of technology.

"We have taught ourselves to be impatient," said Davis. "We have taught ourselves to be impatient, because everything is so immediate now."

According to a report entitled Depression, Suicide Stalk College Students, given by ABC World News, 1,100 college students commit suicide every year due to depression.

Tom Berry, a psychology resident at the USU Counseling Center, said some signs that a person may be depressed to the point of being suicidal are "any changes from the previous level of functioning." Signs that person may be contemplating suicide is when there is a transition from being socially withdrawn, having increased fatigue or an inability to focus on common tasks, to a sudden spark of energy and motivation. Another sign is when someone begins to give away their most valued possessions, but Berry remarked, "We don't see that very often."

The number of college students experiencing depression has gone up so much that the University of Michigan has posted a webpage on their site that informs incoming freshmen of depression, how to recognize it, and how to overcome it.

According to the Journal of American College Health, students with a lifetime diagnosis of depression, or who have received treatment from depression are seven times more likely to use tobacco than other students.

Students with depression will often turn to substance abuse because they need a vice to temporarily numb them from the emotional pain that depression causes. But, there are other options than turning to addiction. There are treatments that will work.

Davis suggests that the best for of treatment for depression be prescribed medication and professional counseling. The amount of counseling a medicine all depends on the severity of the case. Davis explained that treatments are all just "trial and error."

Wisconsin United for Mental Health lists ways to overcome depression. The most common ways are to stay current on schoolwork, and become socially active by communicating with friends and family members, getting involved in clubs and campus organizations, and talking to a friend about everyday problems.

Another treatment for depression is diet and rigorous exercise. A daily routine of exercise will release endorphins, which are hormones that will help to boost the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain.


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