Advice Column 18-19: Week 7

Hello DV students!

Thank you for submitting to the Wildcat Tribune’s Rapid Response advice column! We’ve tried our best to answer your questions for this week.

This week, the team felt that two of the questions we received were particularly serious. Above all else, we urge the askers of those questions to seek out help from the school psychologists or counselors if they do not have the ability to see other medical professionals.

Topics discussed in this week’s column include depression and suicide. Please keep this in mind when reading if you are sensitive to these issues.

Want to ask some anonymous questions and get advice? Our form opens every Monday and closes on Friday at 11:59 pm. Responses are always posted on Sundays on this website. Week 8’s responses will be available on Sunday, November 11.

Week 8 form:

Q: I have been diagnosed with depression over a couple months ago. My parents took away my meds a long time ago and if I ask for it they hit me. After that I have been depressed out of my mind with many suicidal thoughts, and attempts. I tried to get help by talking to therapists but nothing is working. I want to be happy again so I started using drugs. They help. Should I stop, or should I want to kill myself?

– Robert Past

A: Dear Robert Past,

Before anything, we must urge you to visit our on-campus psychologist, if no one else. That’s the best we can do to help you with your depression. It seems like it would be difficult for you to consult your parents about your problems, but if you ever think that the opportunity presents itself, I would hope that you could at least discuss the problem with your parents taking a different approach. I must admit, there must be finer points to this dilemma than what I know now, so please don’t force yourself to heed my advice as they may not be applicable in every situation. Having said that, I must say that the best course of action that seems apparent to me is to talk to a professional, which we have on-campus and is, therefore, accessible. I do not know if they are available for drop-ins, but you could talk to your counselor about meeting with one of them, if not about the problem itself. For your sake, I sincerely hope that meeting the on-campus psychologist works out for you.

If you are having suicidal thoughts and have attempted suicide, we also strongly suggest that you utilize the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 (TALK)). The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, and the conversations between you and the crisis worker answering your call are confidential. They may be able to provide support whenever you are not at school and you cannot speak to school psychologists/other professionals. It is suggested that when you have suicidal thoughts, you should distance yourself from potentially destructive or dangerous materials/substances (including prescription and/or recreational drugs, weapons, etc.) and find a safe space.

With all that being said, we must again emphasize that the advice offered by the Advice Column team ultimately isn’t a substitute for professional support. We appreciate that you came to us with your question, and we hope that you will find a way to seek out and meet with a medical professional (either on or off campus).


The Advice Column Team

Other recommended resources to accompany professional support:



Q: I find myself spending 15 hours a day playing computer games and I cannot stop. The people I play with are toxic and I don’t think it’s healthy for me to continue like this. Playing video games is the only thing I’ve ever done in my life, though. What can I do that’s more productive with my time so that I don’t end up cramming homework into 1 hour every single day? My grades are constantly descending since I have no time to study. Additionally, my partner has recently left me for my younger sister and I really don’t know how to feel about it. I still see her at my house since she is now dating my little sister. How am I supposed to cope with this kind of situation?

– Iron4Yasuo

A: Hello Iron4Yasuo,

First, we urge you to consider sharing this with your school counselor or one of our two on-campus psychologists, who are likely to be considerably more helpful than us in regards to aiding you in your problem.

Having said that, here are some of our suggestions.

You noted that playing video games is your main hobby, which may be contributing to how you’re feeling lost when trying to find other hobbies/ways to spend your time. You also noted that it’s emotionally draining to interact with the people you play with – use this as your motivation to seek out new hobbies. We’re glad that you were able to identify these toxic friendships, and we encourage you to remove yourself from these relationships. If you discontinue these, your games will hopefully be naturally disconnected themselves.

However, we understand that it’s not that easy to quit and suddenly become productive. The most ideal method is to decrease your game usage slowly and make small changes in your habits, as this will allow for a steady alteration of established behavior. If you always play games right after coming home from school and habitually sit down in front of your TV/go to your laptop/pull out your phone, try to not go straight to these devices. Spend 15 minutes relaxing on the couch, take a nap, or walk around outside your house for a few minutes. If you’ve been subconsciously conditioning yourself to expect to play games from the moment you get home, target those behaviors and actively try to change them. Do your homework away from potential distractions, and keep a running list of assignments that need to be completed. Seeing your workload on a physical piece of paper might help to increase the sense of urgency around your work and keep you focused. It may also help to visit at a coffee shop or library to complete your homework. This physically prevents you from playing games until you leave, and the change of environment might help you to stay focused.

On the other hand, we know that once you start something it can be difficult to stop at a certain point no matter what alarm, time limit, or incentive you put on yourself. So, if you’re willing to do anything to get yourself out of this nasty cycle of gaming, maybe even go for the whole nine yards and try to spend an entire (or single, depending on how you look at it) day just not doing it at all. If you feel up to it, maybe just delete your games entirely, once and for all. If that’s not an option, maybe change up your daily itinerary for once and spend an extra hour at school in the library to break yourself out of the daily routine before heading home. Again, as mentioned before, it may be beneficial to take a break whilst or before gaming and take a walk or something similar just to get yourself out of that mindset and degenerative cycle of continuous screen time.  It may be impossible to do these things, or, depending on your unique disposition, it may be just what you need. Consider these two courses of action, and depending on what you think you can do (or how far you’re willing to go), one or the other may be more suitable for you.

As for the dating issue, we want to offer our apologies. That’s a really terrible situation to be in, and we’re sorry that your sister and your partner haven’t been considerate of your feelings. When they visit your home, try to leave for a bit – you can take a walk, or drive to a friend’s house. It might help to create some physical distance from the two of them, since we’d imagine they have a negative impact on your emotional state. You can also consider talking to your sister, and ask if they can meet in places other than your home. Try not to direct blame even if you are upset when you have this conversation, as it may make her defensive and less likely to listen to you.


The Advice Column Team


Q: how do i survive honors physics/How do you study for a test in Mrs. Wu’s honors physics class?

– Messy Martha + Phailing Physics

A: Dear Messy Martha and Phailing Physics,

Firstly, we’d like to offer you our apologies for not being able to answer your question sooner. No one on the team has taken honors physics, so we have been trying to find others who could offer you advice. A friend of Taylor’s suggested that the best way to cope is to “Cry, then after crying eat a bucket of ice cream, then cry again,” but while that may be relatable, we acknowledge that it’s not exactly productive.

For this reason, we’ve linked some of our previous answers to academic questions to hopefully provide you with some study tips and other ways of pursuing success in your honors physics classes. Parts or all of the responses to the questions we’ve linked may help you.

We’d also like to encourage you to speak to your teachers for extra help or consider consulting a tutor from the Academic Leadership class (contact Ms. Decker) and/or CSF. These are free resources, and the tutors can help you understand concepts or help you to study.

Week 1, Part 1:

  • Q: How can I deal with the stress that high school causes? – Purple Princess

Week 1, Part 2:

  • Q: How would you study for a Mulhauser HAP test?
  • Q: Why is Honors Pre-calculus so hard. What can I do to make it easier on my grades and should I let younger friends know about the rigor of the course? – Spicy Boi

Week 4:

  • Q: I’m honestly having a very hard time keeping my grade. I’m a sophomore and my grades have never been lower than a A-, but this year I have a C and it’s about to go down to a C- later. And the rest of my grades are all B’s. How do I bring my grade up? Please don’t just say “Study hard” or “Get good sleep and eat good breakfast” Cause I’ve heard of these before and these don’t seem to help me. – Thanos

Week 6:

  • Q: hey! Basically, I have been super stressed about my math grade for the last couple of weeks. As the quarter goes on, it keeps dropping and dropping. Despite doing everything I can, I do not know if I can raise it back up in time for the end of the semester. That includes taking good notes, asking questions, and reading the textbook. But, it has never been enough. To be frank, working this hard and not seeing any improvement is so discouraging. Honestly, I might just drop the class because I have no idea what to do. Any tips? – struggling student
  • How can I boost my grade and keep calm before exams?? I’m always so nervous and I began to have long term fatigue – Tired tired DOUGHERTY student


The Advice Column Team