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
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