One part of being a mental health advocate that I pride myself on is being a walking pamphlet of resources for people struggling with mental health and being able to help them help themselves. As a student on Binghamton University’s campus, I am well known among my friends, acquaintances, and maybe even strangers as a source of knowledge on this topic since I am an intern with the campus’s counseling center and the Vice President of the campus’s Active Minds chapter.
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My father didn’t believe our neighbor when he told us that our dog Ace was “taking care of a cat” in his insulated dog house outside, which was located a short distance from an almost five-foot tall woodpile in our back yard. One cold, April morning in 2003, Dad went out to get some wood for a fire and found 5 newborn kittens huddled together tightly under the tarp, and Ace stared from his dog house, on guard, protecting those kittens with the glare he gave my father and the mother cat at his side.
Most people can say that they’ve been emotional eaters before, whether it’s crying over Chinese food after a breakup or eating too much cake on your 20th birthday. Even I can’t lie and say that my hand was not in a box of Cheez-Its just before I started writing this. Emotions, whether they be excitement, restlessness, anxiety, sadness, happiness or even boredom, can cause us to eat more than we want to, or even cause us to skip a meal.
Lauryn Maleski is a full-time student studying Human Development at Binghamton University with the hopes of someday obtaining her Master's of Social Work. She lives happily in Binghamton, NY with her emotional support cat, Pabu, during the school year and in Scranton, Pennsylvania during the summer. In December 2014, she was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, and in 2016 was diagnosed with binge eating disorder.