Thursday, April 15, 2010

as part of my psychiatric nursing clinical experience, my class conducted a screening in the college for anxiety disorders. we set up in a large room in the student union, and put up signs for free pizza. that's the only way to attract the attention of the college students.

we had the participants fill out a questionnaire about stress levels and anxiety. then based on that we discussed the possibility of anxiety disorders, stress management skills, and if needed, introduced them to student counselor on campus, so they could make an appointment to speak with her. once they finished talking we gave them a ticket which was redeemable for a free slice of pizza. the counselor running the screening explained that she knows a lot of the students only come for the free pizza, but it's worth it if she gets at least five or ten students to talk about their anxiety.

i think some of the students thought they couldn't get the pizza if they didn't have anxiety issues. so they made some things up. which made it very hard to keep a straight face when talking to them:

me: so you checked off that sometimes you have spells or attacks when you get anxious or frightened?
student: yea. sometimes, I'll wake up in the middle of the night, and then i can't fall back asleep for a little bit
me: is there something that causes these attacks?
student: well if i think about something bad that happened to me, it makes me have trouble sleeping
me: did something happen to you?
student: ummm....well my friend was sick, like last year
me: and is she OK now?
student: oh yea she's fine...

(at this point the conversation kind of deteriorated, so i gave her the ticket for pizza)

or take another conversation that my classmate Stephanie had with a student:

student: sometimes i get really anxious, and then my heart starts beating fast and i sweat a lot
Stephanie: what happens to cause these attacks?
student: like when i see mice
Stephanie: well i think everyone gets a little anxious when they see mice

I'm not making fun of people with anxiety disorders. it just amazed at how stupid some of the stories seemed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I doubt the mouse girl was making it up. It's hard to understand how debilitating a fear can be when you just don't suffer from that fear. There really can be immediate and PHYSICAL reactions...

I'll sign this anonymous, but FCG, I think you know who it is....