WWU Students Learn Tips to Manage Emotional Health

April is National Stress Awareness
Month, and William Woods University’s Active Minds organization observed the
month with informational events for students.
 
Two programs featured Dr. Joe Wegmann
P.D., LCSW, who discussed some of the biggest mental health issues faced in
America today. Wegmann is a licensed pharmacist and clinical social worker with
more than 30 years of experience in psychotropic medication.
 
His first presentation uncovered some
common myths of depression. Wegmann explained the differences between clinical
depression and being “in a rut.”  He also
described the four “demons” that frequently lead to depression or a rut: social
isolation, poor attitude, fear and lack of self-mastery. 
                 
Wegmann also debunked some expectations
of antidepressants. He pointed out that the medication’s purpose is to increase
one’s energy and improve mood over time. However, he emphasized that it is up
to the individual whether to fix the behavior or take away whatever is causing
the depression.
 
His second presentation focused on
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder
(GAD).  GAD is characterized by constant
worry and feelings of “doom and gloom,” according to Wegmann. 
 
Though sufferers may
mean well when they worry, it often gets out of hand.  Medication can be prescribed to manage GAD,
but many victims of the disorder see improvement with counseling.
 
OCD, as Wegmann described it, is a
“full-time companion.”  Those who suffer
from it are frequently incapacitated by the excessive care they take in
everyday activities, from walking to brushing teeth.
 
Wegmann pointed out that all humans
are a little OCD about certain things, and that is completely normal.  Sufferers from OCD, however, need to seek
treatment to live a normal life.  One of
the most common forms of treatment is “expose and prevent” to reduce compulsive
behaviors.
 
Wegmann wrapped up his presentation
with 10 tips to manage emotional health:
 
  1. Run away from people who create
    a toxic environment for you.
  2. Forgive yourself.
  3. Stop making comparisons.
  4. Get rid of negativity in your
    life.
  5. Don’t set expectations too high.
  6. Try new things.
  7. Stop trying to please everyone.
  8. Live in the present.
  9. Don’t isolate yourself from the
    world.
  10. Don’t let yourself be controlled
    by the world.
 
The William Woods Active Minds
organization focuses on educating the campus about mental health issues.  For more information on the organization,
contact Rebecca Seitz, university counselor, at 573-592-4222 or Rebecca.seitz@williamwoods.edu.