A (Short) Word on Underage Drinking

In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. I personally believe that is a fine age for it. At 18, many people are still in high school. At 21, one might still not know what they are doing with their lives, but at least by this point they are likely in college, possibly working, and making important life decisions. The adult brain is more developed. We’ve experienced more. Of course, this makes underage drinking in college easier and more likely to happen, but I don’t think underage drinking is unavoidable, no matter what age your set the limit at.

I personally don’t see the point in underage drinking. Alcohol isn’t necessary to have a good time. I can see why people enjoy having a drink with their friends; it can taste good, it can help you loosen up if you’re stressed, it’s a social norm and just part of having a good time. It makes sense, and I’m sure when I turn 21, I will take part. But I will not beforehand, nor will I drink to the point of blacking out, passing out, etc. I want to have a good time, but isn’t the point of that being able to remember it?

Anyway, I could go on and on about all of this. I am writing a bit about it because my boyfriend’s sister’s boyfriend (not confusing, right?) was in a very bad accident last night due to underage drinking. He and some friends had decided to steal some alcohol, then take that alcohol to the roof of their high school to drink it. One bad idea after another lead the young man to decide to sit on a skylight on the roof, which didn’t support his weight. He fell through it and landed on the hard tile floor below. He is currently in the hospital, in the ICU, on oxygen. He has been responding to questions by moving his fingers, because he isn’t really able to do much else.

I’m writing this because if there are any young readers out there that see this, I want them to think twice about illegally drinking. I also want everyone out there to think twice about how much they are drinking, who they are with, and what they are doing. Alcohol is an incredibly dangerous substance. It can cause one with depression to feel more depressed, it can cause poisoning, and it can cause incredibly bad decision making.

I also want to ask anyone that reads this to please pray for the young man in the hospital and his family and for my boyfriend’s younger sister. This is a very hard time for everyone. Thank you, and please share this story with anyone you believe needs to hear it.

Depression, Anxiety Disorders, OCD… where’s ICD?

Today in my health class we had a guest speaker come talk to us about mental health. He mostly talked about relieving stress and anxiety, but he also talked a bit about common mental disorders. I’ve also taken a few psychology classes in my time. Never, ever, have I learned about, or even heard about, Impulse Control Disorders. It’s like they don’t even exist. I suffered with trich for several years before learning a name for it, before learning I wasn’t alone, that I’m not a complete and total freak.

Why is this? Why is there such a lack of awareness? There are almost no studies on trichotillomania, as far as I know. Sure, there have been a couple of documentaries, but how are we supposed to improve people’s quality of life if we know nothing about what they are suffering from?

The only people that can change this are people who know about it, namely, people suffering from Impulse Control Disorders and those around them, watching them suffer. Maybe some day more will be known and these disorders will be taught in psychology classes, next to their close relative, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.