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How Trauma Works

Mr. J. Peters
J Peters Author Interview

Wales High School shares your journey in high school and the events that led you to a psychiatric ward. What inspired you to write this autobiography?

I have spent so much time processing the challenging experience I had in college from my book University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy. I overlooked the importance of going back and revisiting what happened in High School. As a therapist, I appreciate how trauma works. Going back and getting a better understanding of the trauma I experienced before helped situate why the events, later on, manifested the way they did and gave me a better idea of the behavior patterns I kept repeating, which were so destructive. Also, I wanted to write a book that all people experiencing mental health struggles could relate. Not everyone goes to college and would appreciate University on Watch. Everyone goes to High School and struggles at some point. 

What is a common misconception you feel people have about mental health?

I think a common misconception about Mental Health is how it looks or appears/presents to others observing someone who is sick. Mental Health/illness looks very different depending on the diagnosis and how the person handles him or herself while sick. I have seen people of all dispositions and demeanors with various illnesses as a therapist. 

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The hardest part was truly capturing my desperation. I was a desperate teenager and in a desperate situation. It wasn’t easy to both find the correct language and read what I have written without cringing. 

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I have two other books available right now. One is a more petite ebook, Wales Middle School: the rise of J. Peters and Small Fingernails: Even Less love, both autobiographical. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

It’s the year 2003. Teenagers are messaging each other online, listening to punk music on MP3 players, and writing blogs on LiveJournal to fit in. One such teen is walking the halls of Wales High School with bright shirts, leather jackets, and blue hair: Jacques Peters. He’s determined to become best friends with one of the coolest guys in school, Davis Mavis. But he soon discovers that smoking, skipping class, and putting up a front aren’t as cool as they seem, particularly when mental health is involved. His friends gossip behind his back, push him out of their clique, and turn a blind eye to the cuts on his wrists. He’s dragged into a life that leads to a long stay in a psychiatric ward he hates, full of therapy, pills, and a strict routine.
That troubled teen is me.
When I was discharged, I was in a daze. Numbed by medication and left with few friends, I spent my days listening to music and giving my teachers lip. Eventually, on a cold winter night home alone, I posted a single word on my blog: “goodbye.” I took a cocktail of pills and hoped to slip into an endless sleep.

Wales High School: First Diagnosis

Wales High School: First Diagnosis (J Peters Autobiography) by [J. Peters]

The Wales High School: First Diagnosis, by J. Peters, is a memoir talking about the first diagnosis of his mental disease. Who could’ve guessed that the blue-haired, chain-smoking teen Jacques was once an academically bright kid straying far away from any social interaction, let alone drugs. The account starts with freshman year at Wales High School, where Jacques is any other academically bright but socially challenged teenager, trying to fit in with the cool kids. It follows his development through high school, and how he ultimately wins the recognition award for “Most Changed”.

The language of the book is crisp and engaging. It hooks the readers right from the first chapter. The book does a fantastic job of describing how mental illness is seemingly invisible to the patient, and how in their mind, their actions are perfectly rational. The book talks about life before the mental health issues arose and shows readers the events that led up to them and then explains what was going through the patient’s mind during treatment.

This is a true to the soul account of a mental health survivor, the book is free from all the glamorization and undertones of extreme morbidity that often are found in books on similar topics. Rather than catch the readers’ eye, the author simply states his story, a true account. This honesty hooks the reader and made me want to know more and dive deeper.

While this is a thought-provoking and authentic story, I felt that the book did not provide a deeper insight into the feelings of Jacques. Even though it does a brilliant job of talking about the thoughts and explaining what a mental health patient thinks, I wanted it to be more emotive. I felt that a deeper dive into the emotions and subconscious of Jacques would have added a greater depth to the entire account.

I really enjoyed Wales High School: First Diagnosis for its extreme candor and simple yet engaging language. With a relatable plot, and short and crisp chapters, the book is hard to put down. It resonates with teenagers going through a similar phase in life and to friends and family who struggle to understand their child, help them, and be there for them. This is by far the truest account that I have come across about mental health issues.

Pages: 110 | ASIN:  B086381MYV

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How to Manage Food, Booze, Stress, Sex, Sleep, and Exercise on Campus

Jill Henry
Jill Henry Author Interview

The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed provides readers with health tips and information they’ll need to manage the obstacles they face in college. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Taking care of yourself in college can be difficult because there’s no training for it! Most students are better prepared to pick their major or talk to strangers than they are to put themselves on a sleep schedule or navigate the dining hall three times a day. We both struggled with our health in college because we had no idea what to expect, which meant we couldn’t be proactive and didn’t know what to do when things got hard. Furthermore, the bad habits we developed in the early years of college were difficult to break! After a group of my senior runners (I’m a HS XC coach) expressed concern about the survival of their current good habits in the campus setting, Dave and I felt compelled to help them prepare.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about their health?

The biggest health concern many college students have before they get to campus is the “Freshman 15.” While weight gain can be a byproduct of unhealthy habits, taking care of yourself is so much larger than a number on a scale. A variety of factors can negatively affect the way we feel – stress, stagnation, lack of sleep, toxic relationships, overconsumption of alcohol – and it’s too limiting to assess how you’re faring in the college (or any) setting based simply on whether or not you can still fit into the pants you packed when you left home. Rather than focusing on how to change a number on the scale, students should be focusing instead on figuring out what routines and practices make them feel good physically, mentally and emotionally.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

We wanted to make it clear that “being healthy” isn’t a level you reach in life. Feeling good is fluid. Sometimes you’ll be able to prioritize yourself and other times you won’t. At various points and for various reasons, your health will get put on the backburner. And that’s OK! It’s NORMAL. We argue that getting off track and feeling physically, mentally, or emotionally terrible at some point is to be expected, but that also it’s also completely possible to turn things around when you’re there. It’s even easier when you have the tools. We wanted to offer college students tips for getting back back on track while also communicating the idea that starting again is nothing to be disappointed about or surprised by. In fact, learning how to course correct can help build your self-esteem and will ultimately become easier over time.

What was the writing collaboration process like with author Dave Henry?

Writing this book together definitely added a new dynamic to our marriage. To start, we have very different work styles. Dave is a creative right-brained thinker who likes to see the big picture before proceeding. I’m an A-type left-brainer all the way, so I work best on a rigid schedule. We struggled at times because of those differences, but the final product benefited tremendously from our respective strengths. For instance, Dave’s ability to patiently finesse sections improved the writing in many areas, and I made sure that we stayed on schedule and covered all of our talking points as we went. While we are opposites in a lot of ways, we are similar in that we both tend to bring an enormous amount of passion and energy to everything that we do – we met coaching sports after all! When we’re fired up, it’s hard to stop the train. This project was fueled by our love for the material and for the students who inspired it. It’s been life-changing getting to work together. Every exciting new development is ours to celebrate, and every disappointment is an excuse to eat ice cream and get over it. And frankly, whatever happens from here is just a bonus. We both feel like we’ve already won – we’re so proud of this book and are thrilled to have finished this race together.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The coach’s guide to beating the Freshman Fifteen, Sophomore Slump, crippling anxiety, and your worst hangover! Learn to take care of yourself, and de-stress throughout your undergrad years and beyond.

Every fall, around eight million young adults crash into college fired up for the best four years of their lives, ready to experience campus life, take classes about things they’re interested in, and meet people from all over the world. Most students, however, are better prepared to pick their major or talk to strangers than they are to take care of themselves in the college setting. College students today are more depressed, anxious, and stressed than previous waves of students; they’re also more sedentary, not really exercising, and living in a meal-plan limbo supplemented with ramen and coffee.

In this comprehensive field guild, high school coaches Jill and Dave Henry break down the facts and deliver doable, no-BS strategies for managing physical and mental health on campus. In addition to helpful, interactive graphics, the coaches share their relatable true stories—ranging from the ridiculous to the serious—to discuss the five biggest health obstacles students face in college. On top of research-backed tips, The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed also features raw and personal advice from current students on college campuses across the country. 

While simply figuring out what to eat and how to exercise can be completely overwhelming, this guide goes beyond a basic crash course on how to be healthy. Jill and Dave cover everything from crucial time-management skills to the complex sensitivity of self-doubt, sexual assault, and depression with humor, humility, and heart. The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed is a complete road map for how to take care of your mind and body that will not only set students up to crush the next four years, but will also provide a foundation they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. 

The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed

The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed: How to Manage Food, Booze, Stress, Sex, Sleep, and Exercise on Campus by [Jill Henry, Dave Henry]

The Greatest College Health Guide by authors Jill and Dave Henry is a resourceful health guide that will help readers maintain their physical and mental health during their college years. When students enter college life it becomes easy to lose yourself in your studies, and the parties, and forget about your health. With a crazy study schedule, long nights, early morning, fraternities, parties, and a poor lifestyle how can you make health a priority? This book breaks through all those barriers by providing simple but effective information and tips to help you stay happy and healthy. This guide to health will provide readers with healthy habits that will help them in college, and as adults.

Authors Jill and Dave Henry wrote this book to build health-awareness that students lose after awhile. A lot of the bad habits that are mentioned in this book are some that I myself have grown accustomed to during my time in college. These tips are helpful because they can eliminate a lot of stress that you have or will experience in college. The tone of this book is casual but is still perfect for someone to easily understand and take seriously.

I dove deep into the chapter about stress because I didn’t nurture my mental health until later on in my life. If I read a book like this during my time in school, I’m sure I would’ve saved myself from numerous panic attacks. Using healthy mental health practices is extremely important no matter what stage you are in your life. This chapter featured candid personal stories as well as handy stress management tips. These tips are useful because they’re simple and effective, perfect for the on-the-go student.

This health guide also touches on the effect that relationships have on a student’s mental health. From friendships to sexual relationships, this chapter explains why evaluating relationships are important. A lot of relationships that we’ve treasured in the past become meaningless in the future because we can only see people for who they are when we are no longer in a relationship with them. The authors write about relationships in a way that feels insightful yet conversational.

The Greatest College Health Guide delivers sagely advice with a bit of humor and lots of facts. This is a very handy guide that will ensure you live a happier and healthier life. Download it on your Kindle, keep it handy, and reference it often.

Pages: 264 | ASIN: B08BZWBRBR

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University on Watch

University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy (J Peters Autobiography) by [J Peters]

University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy by J Peters is a unique reading experience. It is the author’s true story of what he endured going through the world of academia and how he was forced to overcome his disabilities AND the biases and ignorance of those at the university to achieve his education goals.

It is a stunning examination of those dark things that should not be tolerated or accepted on any level, but ones we all know occur when backs are turned or no one is looking. More than that, it is the story of hope. Of how we can achieve our dreams no matter the obstacles thrown in our way. Despite the almost horrific exposure of academia’s underbelly people choose to ignore, this tell all confession is a message of inspiration for those with disabilities and mental health issues. Author J Peters wrote University On Watch after enduring a major crisis at New London University. It took ten long years for him to come to terms with what happened there. No, I won’t spoil that for you with this review. During that time he took a closer look at who he was and who he wanted to be. J Peters has since gone on to become a rhetoric scholar and, in his own words, a person living with schizophrenia.

This book is written in a straightforward manner, both open and easy to follow. J Peters pulls no punches in his recounting of his time at the university. His book is a journey of self-discovery that will engage your emotions on a deep level. If you don’t walk away questioning the how and why of this scenario you may need to go back and reread it. University on Watch is unlike anything you will read. Do yourself a favor- walk a mile in J. Peters’ shoes.

Pages: 150 | ASIN: B07NP2891M

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University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy – Book Trailer

University on Watch is a story about youthful hope, yearning for more, and triumph over failures and mistakes beyond our own control and doing. The book is a native story to New York state, but couldn’t be more otherworldly, at times supernatural and grippingly suspenseful as the book unfolds. The crisis in the academy, or New London University, is one that goes to the very epicenter of higher learning and education. This crisis is also conjectured, created by the mind of Jacques Peters, a student rejected from the graduate school in English at New London University.

Jacques Peters will do everything in his power to uncover the reason for his rejection from graduate school. Meta-power, a word Jacques Peters believes is behind the root of power in the English department and the reason for his rejection becomes the point of departure for a quest into the very root of power in New London. During this quest, Jacques stops at nothing to hold university officials, department offices, and the community accountable for terminating his education prematurely.

Mr. Peters will travel across New York State, visiting friends, loved ones, and old schoolmates from his High School days at Wales. Through his journey, Jacques will undergo another transformation while contesting the admission decision to the very end, putting his health and life at risk forever.

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The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook

As a new college student straight out of high school, alone for the first time, it can be scary to become sick. Many kids are used to their parents taking care of them and giving them advice. However, once you are in college you must take care of yourself. The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook provides the essential tips and tricks a student would need to prevent an illness or take care of themselves when they fall ill. This exceptional guide will help you determine whether you just need a warm tea and some sleep or a doctor visit.

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook is the perfect book for parents to slip into their kids luggage when they go off to college. Written by a doctor, it is filled with reliable and factual information presented in easy and understandable terms. It prepares young adults and enables them to be self reliant. Nothing tests your capability like being sick with no one around to care for you as your mother would. You are vulnerable and weak. You have to make important decisions like how high a fever is too high.

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook has a laid back style with a pinch of humor. It covers a wide range of topics from hangovers to real health issues. Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, has tailored the content to a specific demographic, but it is also accessible to everyone else. While you could just Google ‘hangover cure’, the results you get are not always accurate and could lead you down a rabbit hole of bizarre stories. This informative and engaging guide comes from a medical professional. Jill Grimes has created a book that is perfect as a quick reference for common issues. It’s easy to flip to a section, learn about symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What I liked most about this book was how it distills issues down into easily understood pieces of information. While it could be easy to spend a whole page or two explaining why things occurred, Jill Grimes is able to sum up issues in a small paragraph followed by bulleted points. The accompanying illustrations are simple, cute, and effective.

I know this book is aimed at college kids, but I really think that this book is a great medical reference guide for everyone. Again, you could go to the internet, but then you have to dig through ads, comments from non-professionals, and misleading information to find what you need. If you are a parent with a child about to depart for college, give yourself peace of mind by gifting this book to them. I found it immensely helpful.

Pages: 333 | ASIN: B084G9BF3P

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RISKING FOREVER

RISKING FOREVER: Vol 1 (The Forever Series): New adult college romance by [GALLINA, TARA]

Ainsley Belle is the 21-year old college student who provides the first person narrative in this story. She’s a funny, sweet and innocent girl in the prime of her life. She and her best friend, Harper Gentry, are students at Ryland. Unlike most of her classmates, Ainsley wasn’t born into a wealthy family and works hard to afford her education. She is desperately seeking independence from her controlling mother. When she loses her employment and an enticing job opportunity presents itself she is more passionate than intrigued. The fact that the job comes from a handsome older classmate makes it all the more intriguing. The reader joins Ainsley as she enters in to a world much bigger than the one she’s known.

The flirtatious build-up between Sebastian and Ainsley is enticing. It’s almost a little irritating how Ainsley doesn’t realize Sebastian is coming on to her or why he might be interested. She’s clearly an attractive girl and playful. She’s written as a virgin which is a little cliche but because we experience it through her eyes it helps define it a bit more.

I love that this book is a serial novel. I haven’t read many serial novels but the idea that’s it made for people who don’t have time to sit through a full length book is very desirable to me.

This was easy to digest and flirtatious throughout. It had a youthful sexy vibe that made me feel young and flirty. I enjoyed the time the author took to organically grow the relationship between Sebastian and Ainsley, although sometimes I wanted it to move faster. I also loved the friendship between Harper and Ainsley. It was very believable and playful.

I think the author could have given us a little more grit outside of the innocent flirting between the two main characters. Maybe this will come out more in the next books in the series. I also look forward to more levels as far as the romance! In all this book was entertaining with endearing characters and an intriguing plot line. I’m definitely interested in reading more about these characters and seeing where the story goes. Serial novels have a way of drawing you in! There are some adult themes so this is better for the older set. Smooth writing helps with a somewhat slow story. Enjoyable book

Pages: 149 | ASIN: B07NQ99MGF

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