GUEST ROOM | Demystifying Derailment

We all know someone who claims that they are a new person after some life change. Whether it’s a breakup, weight loss, switching majors or graduation, this person insists they are not who they used to be. Recently, psychologists have coined a new term to describe this trait: Derailment. Emerging research has demonstrated a close relationship between derailment and symptoms of depression, anxiety and more.

Derailment is defined as one’s “perceived changes in identity and self-direction.” It’s commonly viewed as a temporal discordance of the self, meaning that individuals high in derailment may have a hard time making meaningful connections between who they saw themselves as in the past and who they see themselves as now.

WISE-ROJAS | Hello From Outside Residential: What is Residential? What Now?

It’s not anyone’s fault that treatment paths are not well-known. To be honest, I used to have the same questions about myself. Cornell students should be educated on the varying paths of mental health treatment in today’s world. Previously, I discussed what happens when you disclose wanting to end your life to a counselor and how being inpatient at a hospital works. I also talked about taking a health leave to get additional help — specifically, going to residential. However, I didn’t explicitly describe what residential was nor the path to treatment as a whole. When the Cornell community is educated on these topics, it can work to destigmatize mental health and teach others that healing is a process, not instantaneous.

WISE-ROJAS | Hello From Residential: When Health Leaves Are Needed

Trigger warning: this piece contains discussion of suicidal ideation, depression and other mental health conditions.

I’m not writing this column in my Ithaca dorm room, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, I’m not even enrolled in Spring classes at the moment. I’m writing this column in a time crunch because I have limited computer access where 90 percent of what’s on Google is blocked and my usual computer time is consumed by endless health appointments. I’m in California, a one hour car-drive away from my hometown of San Ramon, on a completely different coast. I’m in a psychiatric residential care facility, on a health leave from Cornell. A lot has happened since I’ve last published a column.