ByFenna Semken, Clare Rolinger, Sophia Schillinger, Mina Takahashi, Taylor Shelfo and Stephen J. Berry |
Facing intense academic demands and ever-present peer comparisons through social media, an increasing number of Iowa high school students grapple with mental health issues and enduring problems previous generations seldom confronted, an IowaWatch High School Journalism Project has found.
At first, Leslie Carpenter thought her son Patrick was on drugs. She was at home in Iowa City with her husband and about to go to bed when the phone rang. It was Patrick. “Mom, I died. I’ve been reborn,” the 19-year-old told her. “I’m God. We need to go, and I need you to take me to see Obama and Oprah because I need to save the world.”
ByThomas Nelson and Brittany Robb, with Jeff Stein |
In-depth reporting on health and government topics requires a large investment of resources and time by journalists. We talk with three Iowa journalists about work they did behind the scenes for important stories.
IowaWatch summer intern Makayla Tendall and executive director-editor Lyle Muller were guests of the Tuesday, July 21, 2015, “Your Town” segment of Jay Capron’s morning show on KXIC radio, AM 800, in Iowa City. Listen here.
At times, Alyson Brown can’t eat or sleep. Some days, she sleeps for hours during the day. Other days, she has panic attacks that feel like heart attacks. This has happened in cycles throughout her life, she says. She suffers from depression.
IowaWatch reporters Linh Ta and Rana Moustafa spoke with Iowa college students diagnosed with depression who said it impacted their performance in the classroom, but they often feared to reveal their struggles because of the stigma associated with the disease. Read and hear their stories in this comprehensive report.
Anxiety, depression and stress are reality for Jordon Deutmeyer, a 23-year-old University of Northern Iowa student who has dropped out of two schools, attempted suicide, and failed a multitude of classes. “I just remember trying really hard in all of my classes,” Deutmeyer said. “I never skipped, I never did anything, I tried really hard. I would just get C’s back or fail. “And the more times I did that, the more it was pounding into me that I was an inferior student and I don’t belong here.”
He got a lesson that any college students dealing with depression learn – that while earning a bachelor’s degree in college requires anyone to overcome obstacles, students with depression can find themselves overcoming even darker challenges.