People used to say that I made every task look easy. I often credited it to the fact that both my parents were technically geniuses (they were members of MENSA), and so I inherited their intelligence. They also taught me early that learning was fun and that enjoying sports was just as important; that’s why I worked hard to juggle my academics and remain as the captain of the women’s basketball and football teams throughout high school.
Before going to college, I received multiple scholarship offers due to my athletic skills. I declined many of them at first sight, considering they only planned to make me play all day long. That’s not what I wanted. Although I loved sports, I loved studying even more. Hence, I agreed to go to an Ivy League university to take up medicine and play football.
When I informed my parents of what I would be doing in college, they expressed their concerns. It was not because they did not believe that I could do both. It was more because they were aware of how physically and mentally taxing both activities were. Besides, I would be playing as a hobby – I would go to that university on a football scholarship, so I was expected to train hard and play hard. However, my parents backed down when I insisted that I could do it and said that they would support me all the way.
When Medical Issues Appeared
I mentally prepared myself for the exhaustion that I might experience once the semester started. I got ahold of my schedule early, so I even wrote my daily agendas on a massive calendar. In my head, that was all I needed to do to stay sane until the winter break when I could chill at home for at least a week.
I managed to follow my schedule in the first month because my professors were busy with seminars and other stuff. Most of what I did was go to class, attend a lecture until the afternoon, and join the football training for newcomers until the evening. My parents called me one day, and I assured them that everything’s still going as planned.
Then, after the winter break, I felt a shift in the winds. The professors started giving more assignments and pop quizzes, while my coaches wanted us to train up to nine o’clock at night. For the first time in my life, I experienced cramping, and I hated every minute of it.
I had to do two projects simultaneously while eating my dinner most of the time. If I needed a bathroom break, I would bring my book there. In between practices, I would also play an audiobook version of some of my textbooks. I would still ace my exams and excel in the games, but I started feeling like I never have an opportunity to relax and sleep for more than five hours.
This unhealthy routine went on until my sophomore year. It ended around that time because I collapsed on the way to class and was hospitalized afterward. The doctor initially diagnosed me with fatigue and dehydration, so I had to take a week off school and guzzled water whenever I could. However, when I returned to my usual routine, the dehydration returned, along with vertigo, migraine, and worse, balance disturbance. Meaning, I would often trip and fall, which was awful for a footballer.
My parents eventually got me a new doctor, who diagnosed me with dysautonomia.
No Longer A Player
The diagnosis ended my football career. Mom and Dad said that it was a blessing in disguise since my condition could have gotten worse if I continued playing. Still, as I just said, it ended my football career earlier than I expected. I was so unprepared for it that the absence of the sport in my life caused me to fall into depression.
How does gender affect depression?
According to studies, the depression rates among females are higher than those of male rates. One factor is that females reach puberty earlier than their male counterparts, meaning that they reach a more emotional state first. Females typically develop depression at an earlier age, and this difference may continue as they age, as supported by studies that have also been published.
Does gender count in depression?
Yes, gender does count in depression, as studies have shown that depression rates are higher with women than men. This is because women reach puberty sooner than men, leading to depression as their emotions are running high. The depression gap in rates for these two genders will continue with age. However, it has also been found that members of the LGBT community are also at a higher risk for depression due to many different factors directly connected with their gender identity.
What is the most reliable symptom of depression?
There are many different signs of depression that are usually the most common among those diagnosed. Among these symptoms is the loss of energy. This typically looks like a person being sluggish, and they seem always to be tired. Loss of energy can typically point you in the direction of depression immediately. Of course, it is still wise that you have this checked with a doctor to avoid self-diagnosing.
Why do more women experience depression?
There are different triggers for depression for both men and women. A study suggests that women tend to exhibit more internal symptoms, while men tend to show more physical symptoms. Women experience depression more than men because women go through more hormonal changes and brain chemical imbalances that cause irregularities in moods, leading to depression. Women also are susceptible to more forms of depression than men, especially during their monthly periods.
How do I know if I’m bipolar?
It is always best that you have a doctor help you understand what you are going through to avoid further complications from self-diagnosis and self-treatment, and medicating. However, some signs of bipolar disorder you can look out for are: extreme changes in mood, extremely high periods of mania, very low periods of depression, and at times you might feel a mix of both an intense high and an extreme low or basically a mania and a depression at the same time.
Are females more stressed than males?
A study suggests that men and women have the same stress levels; however, women tend to be more vocal and report their stress levels rising than men. According to this study, women will more likely report their physical and emotional signs of stress than men. So, women are not more stressed. Women are more vocal regarding the stress they experience.
Who is most affected by stress?
No one specific group is most affected by stress more than the other as all of us experience a certain level of stress individually. Apart from this, what others may find stressful may not be stressful for you and vice versa. Stress can actually be a good thing for us to experience because it can keep us on our toes and keep us moving; however, unhealthy amounts can cause many other health issues both physically and mentally.
What are the five emotional signs of stress?
We are all entitled to our own feelings, and whatever may cause us stress should never be invalidated or minimized. There are five emotional signs of stress: anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and frustration. All these emotional signs can be caused by stress alone, and when you find yourself feeling this way, it might just be the perfect time to take a step back and breathe for a bit. A moment to yourself can never hurt.
What are the three causes of stress?
Many different factors can cause stress for other people. Of course, we all different triggers and limits. There is no specific cause for this, but it could be heavy workloads, pressure, being put on the spot, social gatherings, big life changes, and more. There will be an extra stressor for different people, so make sure that you take a step back and breathe when you start feeling stressed.
What diseases are caused by stress?
Many diseases are caused by stress, and most of them are pretty fatal, especially for specific age groups. We have cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and hypertension, depression, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and ulcers. There are more on this matter, which is why you have to ensure that stress does not take over your life.
What are the three most stressful things in life?
Different people will have other stresses and triggers. We are all entitled to our own emotions and our own levels of sensitivity to things that may or may not stress us out. However, the most common stressful situations in life are the death of a loved one, major illness or injury, and divorce. Apart from these three events, of course, there are more triggers such as job loss, moving from one home to another, bankruptcy, and maybe even finding out that you are adopted. Generally speaking, there will always be a difference in people’s reasons for being stressed.
What are the signs of poor health?
Be mindful of your body and what you may be feeling because it might just be a sign of having poor health. If you snore, or maybe the whites of your eyes are not white, perhaps you feel gassy. Even your pimples might be a sign of poor health. Ensure that you take extra care of yourself by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Remember, you only have one body, so if you do not take care of it, there is no redo.
What does stress do to a woman’s body?
Generally, stress can tense up your muscles, while long-term stress can actually cause migraines, general body pains, and insomnia. However, for women, this can affect their reproductive systems where periods are delayed, which can negatively impact the ability to reproduce. Apart from that, stress can make PMS harder to cope with. Other things that could happen: irritability, frustration, and anxiety. As a woman, you should keep the stress levels at a minimum to make sure that there is lesser discomfort in your life.
How do females cope with stress?
According to research published in 2015, women tend to cope with stress in a more emotion-centered approach. What women will do is they will change their emotional response to stress and do what researchers call a “tending and befriending” approach where they will be reaching out and talking to other people about how they are feeling and what has made them feel this level of stress. Studies show that women actually have a higher tendency to report their stress than men, which is why it appears that women are more stressed than men.
What are the behavioral symptoms of stress?
The behavioral symptoms of stress consist of these signs: not eating much or overeating – irregular and abnormal of the person, no drive to do work and keeps on delaying, more interested in drinking alcohol or taking substances unlike before, showing nervous ticks and behaviors such as nail-biting or fidgeting. Also, there will be a chance of insomnia that can cause you to feel more tired by the day. When you see someone or experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to relax and give yourself a moment to breathe and rest.
Luck must be on my side, considering my psychologist prescribed psychotherapy to me. I got diagnosed during a summer break, so all I did was see my therapist every other day for four weeks. It helped me understand that I still had another passion for focusing on – medicine. I even worried that the end of my football career also signaled the end of my
scholarship, but she also helped me see that my parents were willing and able to pay for my education out of their pockets. And if I didn’t want that, I could get student loans. Hence, when the next semester came, I studied hard, managed to join a sorority, and pretty much enjoyed my life as a student.