I am excited to introduce to you our Lady of the Month, Evelyn Valdes. She is an inspiring, determined, and overall beautiful person inside and out! I was lucky enough to meet her and get some awesome advice from her. Let’s hear her story:
You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember this, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have never been a victim of bullying, however, as a psychology major and aspiring psychiatrist, I am highly aware of the horrible effects bullying has on the mind and body. When people are bullied, many tend to become severely depressed. In order to cope with this depression, victims sometimes turn to alcohol since alcohol seems to elevate moods. This alcohol dependency can later turn into substance abuse that in effect causes the development of psychological disorders such as: bi-polar disorder, psychosis, or conduct disorders. Victims of bullying tend to also perform acts of self-harm. They may cut themselves or engage in reckless behavior. They also may develop eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. People that are frequently bullied are also at risk of developing affective disorders, referred to as mood and anxiety disorders. As I mentioned before, depression is one of the most common signs of bullying. It makes a person completely disinterested in the activities they once enjoyed, it changes their self-esteem, and their sleeping patterns. At times this may all cause suicide ideation, which is mainly dependent on the severity of the bullying. Bullying victims also tend to suffer from anxiety disorders that stem from fear and inability to communicate their distress, which may also cause frequent debilitating panic attacks. If after reading all of this information you ask yourself “How can I help?” the answer is simple; be a friend. Never underestimate the power of your actions and the impact you can have in someones life. Many times people that are bullied feel that they are alone and they feel misunderstood. If you ever suspect that someone is being bullied, do not be afraid to reach out, be the voice for someone that temporarily has lost theirs and in return, you might be able to change someones life. For those of you out there that are reading this and have been bullied, my advice to you is to stay positive. For those of you who are thinking “Oh yes stay positive, easy for you to say,” yes it is easy for me to say and it should be easy for everyone else too. Humanity tends to overlook positivity and the chances to be happy because it is much easier to stay in the dark. When you are in a negative situation, being more pessimistic is never going to help you. Always remember that it is in times of darkness that we should be the most willing to seek out the light.
Name: Evelyn Valdes
Education: Florida International University
Major: Psychology/Pre-Med Track