I am a 17 year old who hopes to become a orthodontist in the future. Through the time being between today and then I want to grow in every way possible because I believe that there is always room for improvements. Even the smallest part of me will grow for the better by nurturing myself with new good and bad experiences that will be welcomed with open arms because those experiences will turn to lessons that will help me become wiser as time goes. I want to work on managing my time correctly, I do not want to waste a single minute or second of my life in something that won’t teach me anything or something that I won’t benefit from, life is precious and The saying it's true. Time Flies. It is hard for a high school student to have a life outside of school and make connections with activities that you are truly passionate about, but by learning to manage my time correctly I want to achieve a schedule that will incorporate time for my passions and what makes my heart and soul happy.
Growth occurs by challenging yourself, because if you never challenge yourself you will not come across new parts of yourself regardless of how small they are, they are important. You will not learn anything new about yourself. Getting out of our comfort zone is one of the hardest things to do, it is something that I personally struggle with yet I still push myself to do it because It will benefit me in the future. For my internship I am looking forward to those challenges and obstacles that await and I am excited to meet people who will also push me to become my very best.
Depression is a heavy feeling, something that hovers over you, like one of those dark clouds that follow cartoon characters around when they have a bad day, a heavy feeling that people find themselves trapped with and can’t escape it. I am Currently advocating for teen depression and was given the task of creating a T-Shirt design that people who have dealt with depression in the past or are currently dealing with it would feel proud of wearing, meaning that the message behind the design must not be stigmatizing to them in any way. My group and I worked on a T-shirt design for around 3 weeks and came up with the Idea of a brain with band aids on it and under the brain we hand wrote the phrase “Still repairing”. What that meant to us was that depression is not something you can easily overcome, it takes Time and not a little, A LOT, It is something you slowly get over with many different things such as social support, being outdoors and being active and most importantly taking the time to really be patient with yourself and not give up. Good Things take time.
After getting feedback from graphic designer David Varela we talked about incorporating certain factors or things that help overcome depression on the band aids to represent that you are healing or “repairing” as you do those things. As me and my group continued discussing our T-Shirt design and figuring out ways to change our slogan into something less stigmatizing. The reason why reducing stigma is so important is because many teenagers that deal not specifically with depression but with any mental illness in general do not get the professional support/treatment necessary in order to overcome or help cope with it, because according to the depression cure "TLC has been over three times higher than that of the antidepressant "treatment as usual" in the community".
To understand more about mental health stigma: stop stigma 2017
Festival del Sol arrived and it was time to show our progress and what we had worked so hard on for several weeks now. Throughout the last part of the project It was my responsibility to develop a T-Shirt Design that had a deeper message about depression in order to spread awareness to adults about their teens or other members of our community.
Developing a not so superficial message for the shirt was very challenging, because me and my partner were looking to create something that teens like me and him would wear while still portraying a message fighting against the stigma on teen depression.
During festival a Student participated in our interactive activity called “This Heavy Feeling” the purpose for this activity was to spread everything we had learned about our teen brain and how depression targets certain areas of the brain one of those areas being the Amygdala. The amygdala is an almond shaped structure in the limbic system that is responsible for regulating our emotions. Activity in the Amygdala is higher in a depressed teen’s brain and it continues to be that way even after recovery. Another Targeted area would be the Hypothalamus which is known as “The seat of emotions in the brain” and just like the amygdala, the hypothalamus is also overly active when a teen is depressed. As you may know one of the symptoms of depression is Negative thinking, hopelessness and negative interpretation of events, this is due to a overactive hypothalamus, it all happens there. This student was amazed by how depression can pretty much make your life unbearable and take over your life and he commented that indeed a lot of people aren’t well informed about this.
Sources : Depression and your hypothalamus
As a teen advocate, I think that adults need to have more knowledge on the teenage brain before saying something stigmatizing or judge the way teens behave sometimes. From my point of view there is a lot of stigma when it comes to the teen brain alone, now imagine how much stigma a teen with a brain illness receives from others?. Teens are seen as immature people, we are seen as crazy, we are seen as people who are unable of doing great things or do things for ourselves. We are misjudged. During Dr. Geidd presentation to us about the teen brain, he mentioned that our “frontal lobe is still “cooking”” which is the explanation behind why adolescents can be reckless or why it is hard to make the right decisions sometimes. The frontal lobe is responsible for problem solving, impulse control and social and sexual behavior, and adults don’t understand that we are simply wired differently.
For the teen brain health project this semester I am advocating for teen depression. Nowadays the word depressed is used as a synonym for sad and seen as something super common that is not alarming or serious because so many people say it, it loses its meaning and not taken seriously. Since so many people use the word depressed, when someone that actually has this condition asks for help or tells someone they are oftentimes told to “focus on the bright side” or “just be positive” what other people don’t understand is that depression is serious and it is a mental illness and most importantly It is NOT a CHOICE.
Going to UCSD to C.A.R.E program at Hillcrest was a really good and fun experience, My favorite part of this field trip was the hospital tour, the reason why this was such a special moment for me was getting to hear all about how students and professors from UCSD get to help people from all over san diego, including Illegal people who might not be given the medical health needed from other hospitals because they don't have insurance. Throughout the tour we went through very important parts of the hospital, such as The surgical ICU, where women deliver babies, Emergency room and Trauma.
The difference between the Surgical ICU and the ICU is that the Surgical ICU patients are treated by surgeons trained critical care, when patients are at the intensive care unit it is because something major happened and their condition has to be closely and frequently monitored by using advanced medical resources that is usually not available elsewhere, and again the reason why UCSD was so amazing to me is because they do not deny medical attention to anyone regardless of what it is, one of the reasons they do this is because they also use these medical experiences to obtain research which is funded by the amazing state of california. Something I didn’t know about hospitals is that newborns are actually not held in the nursery when they are born, they are now being held in the same hospital room as their baby momma because when babies are born earlier than expected skin to skin contact with their family strengthens their connection making babies stronger when everything may not be right.
In the future I would love to attend UCSD and hopefully get to help and learn so much from the patients that are being treated there.
My Name is Vanessa Anguiano, I am a junior at High Tech High Chula Vista.