Isolation and Social Anxiety
By Ramir Wearen
It is no secret that isolation or any form of social isolation could lead to mild social anxiety or in some cases even severe anxiety. Many people tend to think that social anxiety is just fear of interacting with others. Although that plays a part in one realizing that they may be dealing with this condition, it is in all actuality much more than that.
So what exactly is social anxiety? According to the Mayo Clinic, “social anxiety disorder includes fear, anxiety and avoidance that interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school or other activities.” This disorder typically begins in the early to mid-teens, though it can sometimes start in younger children or in adults but, can these types of conditions be triggered by isolation?
Many studies have shown that throughout the pandemic a large share of young people reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. These types of problems are very common in teens and young adults when facing isolation or disassociation from a specific structure or people they are used to.
“Even those who would consider themselves naturally more extroverted could be struggling,” said Leslie Adams, case therapist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital when discussing why some may feel anxious about returning to ‘normal’ after living through a year of a global pandemic. As stated in healthline.com, “Dealing with long periods of isolation can increase social anxiety.” These problems need to be addressed more often because most people may be dealing with these issues and have no clue how to overcome them.
If you or anyone else you think may be dealing with social anxiety or other metal conditions especially caused by isolation or the pandemic please seek out professional help or mindfulness practices that could be helpful to them.
By C’Morra Cuffie
There are many types of depression but one people may not know about and can be found in teens more than adults is called “smiling depression.” Yes it's actually a real thing but it is also known as high-functioning depression. According to Newport Academy it states, “Experts believe that smiling depression may actually be a condition known as major depression disorder with atypical symptoms.”
Researchers estimate between 15 and 40 percent of people with this depression encountered present atypical symptoms. This depression may be misleading as it is very mysterious to look for. Sometimes even teens may not realize that they are depressed. For example they may have the persistent feeling of sadness or loss in certain interests, changes in sleep, appetite and energy level. However, coping with high-functioning depression can leave teens feeling isolated because no one can see what they are going through because they hide it so well. Without any help, teens with this type of depression are at a higher risk for self-harm or suicide.
Teens put on a happy face to the world because they don't want to stress other people out with what they are really feeling on the inside. They are exhausted with trying to hide their depression 24/7 and because of this they may feel overwhelmed, hopelessness, lack of confidence and self-worth, anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentrating or and making decisions, suicidal thoughts, feeling “too fast” or “too slow,” and even headaches.
Some reasons why teens hide their smiling depression is because they feel that struggling emotionally is a weakness and don't want anyone to see them, thinking they “lack personal character.” Teens with smiling depression are often perfectionists and afraid to fail, having high expectations of themselves and don't want to let anyone down. Usually teens with this depression have past grief that they build up inside them holding all their feelings in.
Furthermore if the teen is having family problems such as financial issues or their parents are divorcing they sometimes hide their depression because they think it's a burden, causing more problems. According to Newport Academy, “That may be one reason for a possible increase in smiling depression, along with other mental issues during the pandemic.” That is to say teens may feel guilty about complaining thinking they don't have it as “bad” as somebody else or they're just in denial about them having depression.
There are no specific treatment options available, however. According to Medical News Today it states, “Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) and medication. A doctor may prescribe various drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).” Not everyone responds the same way to these drugs, so people should speak up to their healthcare provider and let them know about any side effects they have in response to the medication.
Antidepressants: Are They Worth It?
By Mckenna French
An antidepressant is a medicine to help treat depression and other mental illnesses. They work by transmitting nerve signals to corresponding receptors in the brain. But are they really helpful? And if so, are the side effects worth it?
According to NHS, there are different types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs can include - anxiousness, loss of appetite, stomach aches, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, etc. Common side effects of TCAs can include - dry mouth, blurring of vision, drowsiness, weight gain, excessive sweating, heart palpitations or tachycardia, and more. Potential health risks may occur while taking antidepressants, as well as serotonin syndrome, hyponatraemia, diabetes, and suicidal thoughts.
There are times when these side effects and health issues don’t show up in people on antidepressants. According to Very Well Mind, antidepressants will affect different people in different ways. “While the antidepressants in a class will tend to have similar side effects and mechanisms of action, there are differences in their molecular structures which can influence how well the drug is absorbed, disseminated, or tolerated in different people,” the article states. People tend to have a variety of reactions to any medication they are taking that the next person does not experience.
Though antidepressants are one of the most common ways to treat depression, there are other alternatives. These alternatives include, counselling, interpersonal therapy, exercise and self-help groups. For more mental health resources, visit https://www.verywellmind.com/national-helpline-database-4799696
By Ella French
It was an ordinary Sunday morning, I felt the cool breeze sneaking through the window. While I was cleaning my Nana's kitchen, I reached for a book with a pink spine that was on the floor. I turned the book over and the title read, “How to Survive Breast Cancer: The Manual”
Breast Cancer. A scary topic. A cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. According to the CDC, “Each year in the United States, about 255,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,300 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer.” October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month because in October of 1985, the American Cancer society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries formed a partnership. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of Breast Cancer.
There are many ways that you can spread awareness. According to nationalbreastcancer.org, “You can spread awareness by Rallying in Screening everyone such as make a donation to provide life-saving mammograms to women in need.” You can also Rally in Serving Everyone by volunteering to “join virtually in Helping Women Now.¨ Lastly, you can Rally in Supporting everyone by, “spread[ing] the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.” These are just a few ways that you can join in and support those in need.
Breast Cancer is extremely common and devastating worldwide and deserves awareness. My Nana, as mentioned previously, survived breast cancer. You have the power in your hands and to help against the fight to increase the survival rate. Feel free to visit nationalbreastcancer.org to learn more about how you can spread awareness. You can also donate at fundraise.nbcf.org.
By Lex Cornell
In America, there is a lot of fear and anxiety around getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Most teenagers look towards social media for answers to their questions. It leads to teens being uninformed or misinformed about what is in the vaccine and how it will affect their bodies. Teenagers get their information from people that they feel could be giving out truthful information, such as influencers, celebrities, and singers. But it’s best to do your own research.
Many people are unsure how the vaccine works. In short, the Covid-19 vaccine works similarly to most other vaccines. According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), the Covid-19 vaccines are made with live cells of the Covid-19 virus. The cells are mRNA modified to be harmless, also known as a “spike protein.” The vaccine is given in your upper arm muscle and starts to make the protein piece. After the protein piece, it starts to break down its instructions (mRNA). Once that happens, your immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there. The immune response starts to happen and your body makes antibodies against the virus.
Another part of the vaccine that most people don’t know or understand is what’s in the vaccine? In the vaccine, many things provide help to protect against the virus. Many parts of the vaccine are naturally occurring within your body, such as sucrose which is sugar. According to the CDC, this is what's in the Covid-19 vaccine, “nucleoside-modified mRNA, encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, 2[(polyethylene glycol (PEG))-2000]-N, N-di-tetradecyl acetamide, 1,2-stearoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine, Cholesterol, Sodium chloride, Monobasic potassium phosphate, Potassium chloride, Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and Sucrose.” They also spoke on what is not in the vaccine. None of the vaccines contain eggs, gelatin, latex, or preservatives. All Covid-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, rare earth alloys, or any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or nanowire semiconductors.
Now through all of this, you might be thinking how was this approved or how is it allowed for minors to have this vaccine? Also from the CDC, they talked about the process of how the Covid-19 vaccine was approved for minors. “The FDA reviewed a study of more than 2,200 U.S. children ages 12 through 15. Of this group, about half were given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The other children were given an inactive (placebo) shot. A week after the second dose was given, research showed no cases of COVID-19 in the 1,005 children given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Among 978 children given the placebo, there were 16 cases of COVID-19. None of the children had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19. The results suggest that the vaccine is 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 in this age group.”
Overall if everyone gets the vaccine, not only are they helping lower the spread of Covid-19 and lowering the rate of how fast the virus evolves or mutates, but also helping the people who are sick or can’t get the Covid-19 vaccine due to their situation.
Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates
By Ryan Barnard-Amico
Covid-19 has been a very distinct part of 2020 to now in the worst way possible it has impacted many citizens’ lives and many have lost loved ones to the virus. Many people have been hoping for a way to cure or minimize this virus and with the vaccine you can do just that. Although many people are not getting it because they don’t trust it, now jobs and schools are mandating students and adults in order to attend. Some airlines are also mandating it to travel.
Mandating the vaccine may help others get vaccinated that don’t want to but it makes others feel as if they don’t have a choice to get or not. The United States Department of Health is “requiring more than 25,000 of their staff to be vaccinated against the virus” (Littler.com). Even the White House has issued a Fact sheet that you need to be vaccinated to receive Medicare and Medicaid services. Over 25 states are mandating the vaccine to employees along with California who are mandating students to receive to attend in person learning.
According to LeadAge.org, “Six other states are easing into it by only mandating healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated, nine others have passed laws that ban employers from mandating vaccines for workers and three others are working on the ban.” Mandates are working their way around the US but I believe that “forcing” the vaccine on others will only make unvaccinated citizens not want it more. The government thinks it’s the best way but they could be causing more damage without even knowing it. The mandates are beneficial in the sense of lowering the amount of Covid-19 cases but the can be harmful as well because of the substantial amount of citizens feel like their rights are taken away, but getting the shot is the best way to contain the virus the best way possible.
New Procedures for Sporting Events
By Dayshaun Clark
After a year of being in quarantine, sporting events and arenas started letting fans and spectators back into stadiums but now there are rules if you want to come in and watch games like NFL and NBA games. We all know that Covid has affected sports as a whole, and now that people can go back to watching games in person, there are new rules to make sure that everyone is safe. Instead of keeping the no spectators or just letting anyone in, they set boundaries like needing to have a vaccine and test saying that you are negative.
My grandfather went to see a Buffalo Bills game and started talking about how long the lines were because they are checking everyone's tickets and making sure that they are vaccinated and how many people weren't wearing masks. If you plan on going to the Buffalo Bills stadium, prepare for a long walk after the lines of checking people because they don’t have any transportation around the stadium. If you want to enter the Blue Cross Arena, “For events between Sept. 29 and Nov. 2, guests can enter with proof of one vaccination dose. Guests must be fully vaccinated beginning Nov. 3.” and also visitors under 12 will be required to mask at all times.
Negative Covid tests will not be able to be used for entry, so you will need to get the vaccine to enter certain places. If you want to go to any events that have to do with a lot of people or closed spaces please check the terms that are needed to enter before you go.
By Aryana St. Marthe
Why are certain students trusted with their phones and others are aren’t? Why can suburban school students have their phones but urban school students can’t? What is the difference between the students in suburban schools and urban schools? These are three questions I want answers to.
Phones are being taken from urban school students more frequently than suburban school students. I want to know the difference between urban school students and suburban school students because there is a reason why suburban students are more trusted with their phones than urban students.
When I asked Principal Blocker questions about the decisions to take phones at East, she said, “Phones were taken because they were being used during class, being used to set up fights, being used to record fights, and not helping the educational environment. We tried first to give scholars a chance to use self-control and to do Red Zone and Green Zone where kids had full control, but even that didn’t work so we went to collect them.” After reading this I could completely understand why because I’ve seen it happen many times but I want to know what happens in suburban schools. Do they not fight? Do the phones start it? Do they know how to act with their phones? This may be an indicator of a much larger issue in schools.
By Nelson Martinez
The Dallas Cowboys are having one of their best seasons with a record of 5-1. I think the Cowboys are the best in the NFC and I think they are doing ten times better than they did last year. Any why? 3 words: Prescott, Diggs, Parsons.
According Kimberly Muratore, a Cowboys super fan, quarterback Dak Prescott is the key. She says, “very few mistakes from him and he’s a smart player that knows how to protect the ball. It’s not just these percentages though that make Dak who he is. He’s a servant leader, who puts the team first and maintains great composure both on and off the field. He’s my favorite Cowboys quarterback since Troy Aikman.” And she should know. Muratore comes from a long line of Cowboys fans and has been watching them play since she was born in 1981.
Their offense is doing great and the defense is amazing. They are running the ball really good and Diggs has 7 picks. There have only been 6 games and he averaged a pick a game. This team is such a great team. I think y’all should give it one chance and watch the Cowboys play.
A Terrifying Piece of History
By Greg Tucker
Kool-Aid is a popular beverage, often associated with a high sun and a high temperature outside. Guyana is a place known for its jungles and tropical climate that makes it so that most days have these weather conditions. Americans are known for their freedom, especially of religion. So, who would have thought that in 1978 a mixture of Kool-Aid (laced with cyanide), gorgeous Guyana, and religious freedom would lead to the death of 900+ American citizens?
Founded in Indiana in the 1950s, The People’s Temple, a Pentecostal church, originally called The Wings of Deliverance, was formed. A man by the name of Jim Jones, who was a preacher with an evangelical style, was its founder. Britannica reports that Jones was known to be charismatic and claimed to have had psychic powers that included future vision and healing abilities. Jones was also known for aiding the homeless and promoting racial integration, something looked down upon by his white contemporaries. All of these alluring elements allowed for Jones to amass a large following of desperate and marginalized peoples. By promising his followers a utopia, James Jones was able to convince his congregation to relocate with him to Guyana, a country in South America.
Once in Guyana, James Jones, established Jonestown: the promised utopia. However, the compound secluded in the Guyanese forest was anything but. History says, “Temple members worked long days in the fields and were subjected to harsh punishments if they questioned Jones’ authority. Their passports and medications were confiscated and they were plagued by mosquitoes and tropical diseases. Armed guards patrolled the jungle compound.” This information reached Congressman Leo Ryan which prompted him to visit the compound from California. When he arrived on November 14, 1978, he was met with the illusion of the utopia that was promised to the congregation. November 17, 1978, a jubilant dinner party was held but, by the end of the night, many scared members asked Ryan to return to the US with him.
On November 18, 1978, Jim Jones ordered his henchmen to ambush Congressman Leo Ryan and his crew as they readied for departure back to America. Rolling Stone suggests that Jim Jones ordered his followers to drink a cyanide-laced fruit punch after convincing them that the Guyanese forces would take their children away. Those who did not drink the punch, were injected with the poison or shot.
Time magazine reported that the massacre held the highest number of American civilian casualties until 9/11; about ⅓ of these casualties were children. These are all real events, which goes to show that sometimes the most terrifying stories are true stories.