Harvard University Bomb Hoax Stress Related?


Was the Harvard University bomb hoax an expression of a student feeling they were under too much stress? The American Psychological Association found that many college counseling center directors attest to encountering students with substantial amounts of psychological issues. The majority of the directors feel a growing concern over this finding, especially since the numbers appear to have increased significantly since last year.

The top concerns revealed from the survey are: (41.6 percent) anxiety, followed by (36.4 percent) depression and (35.8 percent) relationships. Regarding medication, a student average of 24.5 percent take psychotropic medication. The director’s survey also stated psychiatric assistance is inadequate on most campuses. The directors reported 21 percent of their clients (students) display severe mental health concerns with 40 percent of the issue representing mild mental health concerns. This study may reflect the Harvard University bomb hoax was stress related. Stress, according to psychologist Norman Anderson, Washington D.C.’s American Psychological Association, (APA) CEO, can lead to anxiety and depression.

USA Today reports an online survey by Harris Interactive for the APA found, for many Americans, stress levels appear to be decreasing to some extent. Young adults, unfortunately, are not having the same experience; their stress levels are rising. Of the Millennial generation (ages 18-33) 39 percent feel their level of stress has increased since last year, and 52 percent of them have experienced inadequate sleep. Mental health care providers have told more of the millennial group than any other that they are depressed, or have diagnosed them with anxiety disorder. This study showed the top concerns of the Millennial surveyed are (73 percent) money, (59 percent) relationships, (56 percent) family and responsibilities and (55 percent) the economy.

A different perspective of the study of the effects of stress on college students exists. State News, writer Darcie Moran wrote to assistant professor of psychology, Jason Moser, and said students could optimize stress to have a positive impact on their lives. He said “…the brain is plastic, there’s always a chance to rewire and reboot.” Moser also said taking an optimistic approach can open the door to changing experiences of stress into a motivator as opposed to an inhibitor. Consciously focusing is a strong attribute that can assist with altering one’s mindset.

As with most things in life the effects of stress come down to the power of choice. For some, stress is a feeling that brings them down. Feeling depressed and drained, along with having difficulty coping with daily activities are signs of the negative effects of stress. Alternatively, feeling driven, challenged, and motivated are examples of how some people are able to cope with stress. It can be a matter of deciding whether one’s life experience is one of pushing forward or letting circumstances feel overwhelming.  If it is a week before a test and a student walks into his or her surprise earth day party, the response can be one of happiness from having such a thoughtful circle of support. On the other end of the scale, the response can be frustration because surely they know this is not the time to party. Choices, once again, occur every day, all the time. Taking a moment to decide before proceeding can save potentially detrimental circumstances from arising. A test waits; a prank does not prevent the inevitable.  The Harvard University hoax may be an example of making an extremely bad decision based on the negative effects of stress.

An Editorial By Dada Ra



State News

USA Today


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