Feb 152004
Authors: J.J. Babb

It’s not a sore throat or a stomachache.

You can’t take penicillin and you don’t run a fever.

They’re much more difficult to diagnose, and even harder to

understand, but mental illnesses are just as serious and effect

just as many individuals.

Every day one in five adults suffers from a diagnosable mental

disorder (National I M H, www.nimh.nih.gov). From the more minor

disorders such as depression and anxiety to the more severe like

schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, mental disorders are four of

the 10 leading causes of disability in the United States (NIMH).

Many of the more severe disorders hit individuals in their prime as

young adults, the time most of us are living in today.

To battle this American academic we cannot demand a vaccine or

take a few vitamins; the only weapon we have is education and

understanding. It’s time you learn something about these disorders

and not rely only on the televised images of mental illnesses. And

you have just the chance on Saturday on campus.

The seminar, “Solving Psychiatric Disorders Medically,

Therapeutically and Socially,” will take place in room A103 of the

Clark Building beginning at 9:10 a.m. and last through the day

until a question and answer period begins at 1:40 p.m. The event,

which is free to all, hosts psychiatrists from Fort Collins and

across the United States discussing topics including the social

consequences of psychiatric disorders, anxiety, depression, eating

disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Why should you care? Maybe no one in your life has a mental

disorder, but believe me, you’re not out of the woods. The average

age of onset for depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and

schizophrenia is the early 20s (NIMH).

When I was in high school I was diagnosed with generalized

anxiety disorder and depression and have since been taking

medication to reduce their effects. When I first began to feel

something wrong deep inside, I was terrified of telling anyone. I

worried they wouldn’t believe me and they would just think I was

‘crazy.’ I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this.

There are so many misconceptions about the causes, the symptoms,

diagnoses and treatment of mental disorders, no wonder so many

individuals refrain from telling anyone or seeking help. Yet, we

can put a stop to this. By educating yourself, family and friends

of mental disorders you can help those close to you seek treatment

or maybe even help yourself.

Living with a mental disorder is not the scariest thing; dying

because of it is. More than 90 percent of people who kill

themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder and suicide has

become the third leading cause of death in individuals from 15 to

24 (NIMH), our age.

Senior psychology major and vice president of Premedica Tiffany

Burk, enoucourages students to come for the session on eating


“In our county there are a lot of people that suffer from

psychiatric disorders especially eating disorders,” Burk said.

“Eating disorders affect a lot of women on campus.”

According to the NIHM, an estimated 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent

of females suffer from anorexia and 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent

suffers from bulimia in her lifetime with the mortality rate of

people with anorexia being 0.56 percent each year. This rate may

not seem high, but it is about 12 times higher than the annual

death rate due to all other causes among females ages 15 to 24 in

the general population.

One in five. That could mean your mom, your sister, your

boyfriend or girlfriend or yourself. Don’t let the misconceptions

continue, and don’t let the lack of knowledge or understanding keep

you or someone you know from seeking help. Please attend the

seminar on Saturday and continue to learn and be aware of those

around you and your own mental health.

For more information on the seminar contact Premedica at


For more information on mental disorders visit the National

Institute of Mental Health at



Solving Psychiatric Disorders Medically, Therapeutically and


February 21, 2004

Colorado State University, Clark Building A103

8:45 to 9:10 Registration (Free)

9:10 a.m. Welcome by John Kowalczyk, President of Premedica

9:20 a.m. “Social Consequences of Psychiatric Disorders,” Carol

Plock, Northern Larimer County Health District

9:40 a.m. “Anxiety: Living with the Stresses of Today,” Glenn

Pearson, MD, Psychiatrist, Fort Collins

10:20 a.m. “Depression: Fighting Against America’s Silent

Epidemic” Christian Hageseth, MD, Psychiatrist, Fort Collins

11:00 a.m. “Eating Disorders: Multifaceted Afflictions Facing

College Students,” James Mitchell, Psychiatrist, University of

North Dakota

11:45 a.m. Refreshment Break

12:05 p.m. “Bipolar Disorder: Restoring Balance by Evening the

Highs and Lows,” Sylvia Simpson, MD, Psychiatrist, UCHSC

12:45 p.m. “Schizophrenia: Attempting to Reconnect the Split

from Reality,” Ann Olincy, MD, Psychiatrist, UCHSC

1:25 p.m. “New Horizons in Solving Psychiatrically Related

Societal Problems,” Carol Plock

1:40 p.m. Moderated Question-Answer Period, Carol Newlin, MC,

Ph.D., Psychiatrist, Fort Collins

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