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1 WOMEN AND DEPRESSION Health 195 Cathleen J. Gleeson, Ph.D. 24 Sunset Cliff Rd. Burlington, VT 05408 (802) 862-2626 TEXTS: An Unquiet Mind, a Memoir of Moods and Madness, Kay Redfield Jamison, Vintage, 1995. Reviving Ophelia, Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, Mary Pipher, Ballantine Books, 1994. The Mindful Way Through Depression, Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, Mark Williams, et al, Guilford Press, 2007. Women’s Moods: What Every Woman Must Know about Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health, Deborah Sichel and Jeanne Driscoll, Quill, 1999. COURSE OVERVIEW: Our course examines the medical, cultural and personal context of women and depression. Depression is a mood disorder with biological, sociological and psychological aspects which affects approximately one out of every four women at some point in her life, with twice the frequency as men. We explore the impact of gender socialization and issues related to development, identity, violence, self-esteem and body image on women’s mental health in our society and focus on important ways to overcome their adverse affects using Narrative Repair, and Mindfulness Training. We also address how students can develop a positive sense of self and well-being by developing resilience, and directed-learning through helping struggling women in our community. COURSE OBJECTIVES: To explore the physical, sociological and cultural context of women and depression To learn how to take care of one’s body and self in healthy and productive ways, using Positive Psychology techniques To experience personal growth by assisting women who are currently struggling in our community. To develop greater awareness and understanding about one’s personal journey and the impact of family and peers on development and sense of self2 COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Journal Students will be asked to keep a weekly journal during the semester to record her thoughts, reflections, questions and concerns during the course. Each class will begin with 5 minutes of journaling to prepare the students for the discussion to follow. Students are free to discuss any and all thoughts they have in their journal, while also including reflections on each of the readings, and class discussion. The journal will serve as a guide for the student to understand her personal and academic progress in synthesizing the readings, discussions and reflections. Journals will be graded for content and process, and reviewed for attention and care given to personal learning and exploration of the diverse topics. A minimum of three entries, several paragraphs long, each week are required.Journals will be handed in three times during the semester. Please use 3-ringed binder and paper for entries. 20 points Cultural Awareness Women learn much about themselves and their role and place in society through various sources of media: newspapers, internet, television, magazines, books and movies. Students will be asked to become observant about coverage and portrayals of women in many forms, and bring numerous note-worthy items of interest to share with the class on a regular basis. Picking one area of interest and using at least three examples of different forms of media, each student will write a 5 page paper exploring the topic in depth, using 5 sources, and make a 15 minute presentation to the class, telling why the topic is important, it’s cultural impact, how it relates to discussions in class, and what the student personally learned during analysis. 20 points Potential topics: Women’s mental healthiss ues Well-being Gays in the Military Breast Cancer Homophobia Well-Being Female Genital Mutilation Women World Leader Life Stories Each student will write three stories about her life, exploring key events which have challenged her, strengthened her, and helped her develop and grow. The student will include her emotional, psychosocial and spiritual development, family history and academic progress a narrative life story structure. One story will be written in the third person, as if the student is watching herself in a movie. Each student will be asked to present a 15 minute synopsis of one aspect of her life journey to the class. Students will hand in one life story at the end of September, October and November for feedback from the professor. 20 points3 Projects Because there is a direct connection between how we feel mentally and emotionally, and our subsequent actions and behaviors, each student will participate in a project in the UVM/Burlington area which will expose her to a community of people who are working hard to make a positive difference in their lives. Many of these women will currently be suffering from depression and anxiety. Each student will design a 20 hour project where she will directly work alongside people who are struggling and learning how to cope better with their life situations. Several students may team together to work on a project together. Projects will be presented to the class upon completion, along with a 5 page paper discussing lessons learned.Project outlines will be presented to Dr. Gleeson by 10/20 for review, and a one-page project update will be required after one-half (10 hours) work is completed. 30 points Potential project locations: Women’s Rape Crisis Center YWCA Lund Family Center– aid for pregnant young women Community Health Center Women Helping Battered Women Food Bank Outright Vermont– supports young lesbians/gays COTS Spectrum Youth and Family Services King Street Area Youth Program– supports youth UVM: Women’s Center Class Participation and Co-facilitation: The success of this course is based upon honest and full participation by all members. Each student will pre-sign up for a specific session andco-f acil itate (along with Dr. Gleeson) the class discussion relating to the assigned readings and also highlight interesting topics found in the readings. Several questions will be prepared for each reading assignment by the co-facilitating student and then handed into Dr. Gleeson after the class.Att endance andPar ticip ation are also evaluated.20 points GRADING Final grade will be determined on a point system. No late assignments will be accepted unless arranged ahead of time, and only due to an emergency. Students are asked to sign up for presentations by the end of the second week of class. All Cultural Observations and Project presentations must be given on the scheduled night. Students may arrange to switch presentation times with other students if mutually agreed upon prior to scheduled time, and Dr. Gleeson is notified. Journal 20 points Life Stories 20 points Cultural Observation 20 points Project 20 points Participation 20 points (includes co-facilitation, attendance and instructor evaluation) 100 points4 Date Topic Reading Assignment 9/1 Introduction Course overview “This is Your Life (and How You Tell It) 9/8 Depression as a Biopsychosocial Disorder Sichel, p 3-76 Williams, p 11-49 9/15 Adolescence Pipher, p 17-73 Cultural Observations 9/22 Family Dynamics Pipher, p 74-165 Cultural Observations 9/29 Gender Identity Handouts Cultural Observations Journals 10/6 Lesbian/Gay Issues Handouts Cultural Observations 10/13 Sexual Violence Pipher, p 203-231 Handouts Project Plans Life Stories 10/20 Body Image and Self-Esteem Pipher, p 166-185 Life Stories 10/27 Bi-Polar Depression Jamison, p 3-135 Life Stories 11/3 Suicide Handouts Journals 11/10 Alcohol and Drugs Pipher, p 186-202 Handouts Projects 11/17 Pregnancy and Depression Sichel, p 152-297 Projects 11/24 VACATION 12/1 Mindfulness Williams, p 53 - 208 Projects Journals 12/8 Well-Being Williams, p 211– 227 Pipher, p 260-293 Projects
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