Causal Rewrite—RowanRat

Communication is Key

Humans not only desire, but require communication. Close your eyes and imagine the following scenario. You have built up anger and you feel it weighing on your chest. Seconds…minutes…hours…days pass by, and your emotions continue to pile up. Until one moment your body can no longer take it and you snap. You let go of all of your bottled up feelings. All of a sudden those emotions leave your body. Did you feel light? Did you sigh of relief? Communicating your feelings results in improved mental health. Because of this, you are able to process and deal with those feelings without being so overwhelmed. 

Communication comes in many forms whether it be verbal or nonverbal. Take a look at musicians for example. The songwriter uses nonverbal communication to create the lyrics of their song. By doing so, they’re letting out their emotions and putting it into a musical piece. A singer will use verbal communication by singing. While the audience is listening to a song that may have some deep content, they are listening to the musicians’ work of personal therapy. By creating their music, they were communicating their feelings which improved their mental health in some type of way. 

What is mental health? According to mentalhealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.” Having good mental health will enable you to perform well in day-to-day life. I conducted an interview with a student at Rowan University who suffers from anxiety and depression. Because of her poor mental health, it affects her academic performance, sleep, and bodily health. Her anxiety causes her to procrastinate and because of this procrastination, her grades suffer. Further, my participant experiences issues regarding sleep. She states, “When I get anxious about grades, if I’m failing or something like that, my brain will just move a thousand miles per minute and it’s just bad…” Her mind is consumed with stress and anxiety about her classes which is keeping her up at night. Sleep is essential to mental and physical health. Due to her poor sleeping habits, she’s developed severe migraines. 

My patient has confessed that she doesn’t talk to anybody about her issues. She feels that she is a burden by talking to friends or family members so she deals with it on her own. This is a common reason why people choose not to get help. Using my patient as an example, she experiences a great amount of issues as a result of poor mental health and not communicating it. This interview was more of a therapeutic conversation for my patient. She spoke about a lot of her issues and what has been bothering her. Through this short 30 minute conversation we also put together a list of things she can do to help her deal with her anxiety and depression. She even stated at the end of the interview how it felt good to get it off her chest. This proves how communication is key, and by communicating, it can better one’s mental health. After this interview, she is going to reach out to one of our school’s psychologists and get the help that she needs.

The power of talking is immense when it comes to catharsis. According to Value Options, “Talking leads to a catharsis, which means a feeling of relief. The charged feelings within us become less charged. Nothing has changed that caused the suffering in our lives, but talking has drained off some of the pain and this brings relief.” If somebody is experiencing mental illness, they are already experiencing a great deal of negative emotion. By keeping those feelings inside, those emotions continue to get stronger and create more stress. As stated by Mental Health Research, “Chronic stress increases the risk of developing depression and anxiety in some people.” This can easily be treated through the use of communication. 

Further, you can take that communication and share with others. An excellent source is therapy. By going to therapy, you can let out all of your feelings and what has been bothering you. A therapist is there to listen and help you. Without communicating, you are unable to properly process what is going on in your mind. This will cause you to develop mental illness that could be detrimental. Good Therapy states, “Therapy can help improve symptoms of many mental health conditions. In therapy, people also learn to cope with symptoms that may not respond to treatment right away.” By using communication and speaking to a therapist, you are putting yourself on the right track for self improvement. It is essential to understand that you are not alone and you should not be dealing with all of your issues on your own. By letting these feelings remain in your mind, they will eat away at your brain and body and pull you under. 

Mental illness is a significant issue in today’s society. At Rowan University, 50% of all students felt severely depressed to the point that it had a negative impact on their ability to function. 15% of students at Rowan met the criteria for major depression. Moreover, 20% of all students have been diagnosed or treated with some form of mental illness. These students need to communicate and talk to somebody. Rowan University offers therapy and counseling, however, it is not well known. I myself suffer from anxiety and depression. I never used to talk to anybody and decided to keep it all inside until I exploded. I spoke with one of our school psychologists and from the first session, I felt instant relief. I also didn’t realize how bad it was until I said it aloud. Once I did, I not only felt the satisfaction of letting it all off my chest, but continuing to communicate with my psychologist enabled me to work on my issues. There is a direct cause and effect of communication on mental health, and it should be enforced for our wellbeing.

References

Armitage, D., & Doughty, B. (2020, November 03). Stress and our mental health – what is the

 impact & How can we tackle it? Retrieved April 03, 2021, from   https://www.mqmentalhealth.org/stress-and-mental-health/?lang=en_us#:~:text=This%20long%2Dterm%20stress%20can,conditions%20like%20anxiety%20or%20depression.

How talking helps. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2021, from

 http://www.valueoptions.com/solutions/2011/11-November/story5.htm

Raypole, C. (2020, February 17). Why should i go to therapy? 8 signs it’s time to see a therapist.

 Retrieved April 03, 2021, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-should-i-go-to-therapy-8-signs-its-time-to-see-a-therapist-0118197#:~:text=A%20therapist%20can%20help%20support,it%2C%20and%20how%20to%20cope.

What is mental health? (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2021, fromhttps://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

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3 Responses to Causal Rewrite—RowanRat

  1. davidbdale says:

    The time has come for me to grade this post, RR, so I’ve gone ahead and placed a 00/100 on Canvas, not to punish you, but as a reminder that this assignment is overdue. You’ve been good about staying in touch, so I’m not worried about your commitment to your work and to the course. I look forward to seeing this argument when you finish it. Please consider posting any draft, no matter how rough, just to get yourself into compliance. Feedback might help focus your attention and make the rewrite easier.

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  2. davidbdale says:

    P1. That’s a lovely first sentence, RowanRat.

    We don’t use 2nd-person language in this course, RR. In fact, it’s banned by Fails For Grammar Rule 12: “The Banned 2nd Person.” That means you’ll need to work around your “direct address” technique. No talking to the audience. Your goal is to establish rapport and alliances. What is true for the reader is also true of the writer, so no preaching or instructions. You cannot tell them to close their eyes. But you can suggest an exercise in which we all close our eyes.

    “Just imagining the anger that builds up when we contemplate people and situations that anger us can lead us . . . .” Like that. Or something similar. You’ll find it very effective once you get the hang of it.

    Your title is too generic. I think your paragraph would be more effective if it followed something more provocative like: “Talking Ourselves Healthy”

    P2. As strong as your first sentence for P1 was, this first sentence is as weak. Nothing is less inspiring than: X comes in many flavors. It delays deeper into your essay the making of your substantial claims.

    Your claim that songwriters use “nonverbal communication to create the lyrics of their song[s]” sounds nonsensical. What’s nonverbal about lyrics?

    —I don’t want to be overly confrontational, but songwriters aren’t working through their own emotional states quite as often as you might think. It might be helpful to emphasize the two-way nature of this special form of verbal communication. Listeners get to work through their emotions reacting to the words of the songwriter. The therapy flows both ways and can do more for millions of music consumers than it ever does for the musician.

    P3. Drop the rhetorical question and don’t address your readers as “you.” Mentalhealth.gov gets it right: “our emotional well-being,” and “how we think.”

    Watch out for Lame “It” Phrasing.
    Not

    Because of her poor mental health, it affects her academic performance, sleep, and bodily health.

    But instead

    Her poor mental health affects her academic performance, sleep, and bodily health.

    Once you’ve done that, replace the lame verb “affects,” which, you have to admit, can just as easily mean “improves” her academic performance as “undermines her academic performance,” and “disturbs her sleep,” and “devastates her physical health.” NO LAME VERBS!

    —”suffer” is really good.
    —”experiences issues” is terribly lame.

    Can you dramatize the causal chain a little bit?
    1. Her mind is consumed with stress and anxiety about her classes.
    2. Stress keeps her up at night.
    1. Sleep is essential to mental and physical health.
    2. Due to her poor sleeping habits, she’s developed severe migraines.

    See how you step back from your first chain (1, 2) to set up a new chain (1, 2)?
    Try to turn that into a vigorous and devastating 1, 2, 3, 4.

    P4. Where’s the drama in your dramatic situation, Rat?
    —”Politeness is my patient’s worst enemy.”
    —”She suppresses her terrifying fears to spare her friends and family.”
    —”They would love to help her if given a chance.”
    —”Every year, silent suffering kills thousands of students.”

    Those sentences may not sound like “research paper diction,” but you’ve already made that choice by depending almost completely on reason and anecdote to carry your argument. There’s not a lot of research evident in what you’re offering here, so make the most of the choice you’ve made. Make us FEEL the desperation of the anxiety-ridden student too anxiety-ridden to seek help. Do a little songwriting. Right?

    LAME VERBS TO KILL:
    —”feels that she is”
    —”deals with it”
    —”this is a common reason”
    —”to deal with”

    OTHER LAMENESS TO KILL:
    —”a great amount of issues”
    —”a lot of her issues”
    —”what has been bothering her”
    —”things she can do”
    —”it felt good”
    —”it can better”
    —”get the help that she needs”

    Choose the more effective rhetorical strategy:

    What brought you to the office today, Professor Hodges?

    I’ve been dealing with a lot of issues, RowanRat. A great number of issues. I feel I need help to deal with them because they’ve been bothering me and I’m hoping it can get better if I find things I can do to get the help I need.

    How was your session today, Professor Hodges?

    I’ve been suffering free-floating anxiety that keeps me up at night worrying about poor grades, late papers, academic ruin, failing out, all the negative outcomes that could ruin my life. I don’t dare burden my friends and family with them. I want to appear strong and not so dependent. Just saying that out loud is such an emotional relief. Thank you for listening.

    LAMENESSES:
    —”when it comes to”
    —”if somebody is experiencing X, she’s already experiencing Y”
    —”a great deal of negative emotion”

    SECOND-PERSON LANGUAGE TO EXPUNGE. (With all due respect, RR, we are not coming to you for a diagnosis or treatment plan.)
    —”you can let out all of your feelings and what has been bothering you”
    —”there to listen and help you”
    —”you are unable to properly process what is going on in your mind”
    —”this will cause you to develop mental illness”
    —”you are putting yourself on the right track for self improvement”
    —”you are not alone and you should not be dealing with all of your issues on your own”
    —”By letting these feelings remain in your mind, they will eat away at your brain and body and pull you under”

    Every sensible reader by the end of that litany of advice is responding:

    Oh, yeah? What about YOUR self-improvement?!

    P7. Taking on the burden of confession here is a brilliant tactic, RowanRat. It recalls the example of songwriters expressing their own emotional states in the hope of relieving some of their own anxieties. You might consider playing that card again here. It’s the trump suit in this essay.

    I hope you found that helpful, RR. I admire your topic, your personal approach, your courage in sharing your own affliction. Vulnerability is a good strategy for this thesis.

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  3. davidbdale says:

    I have graded this draft at Canvas to reflect the grade it would earn in your Portfolio. Obviously, you will want to revise it to improve that grade. When you have made significant revisions, put this post into the Regrade Please category. You may also request additional feedback by asking specific questions as often as you like and putting the post back into the Feedback Please category.

    Like

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