Can my fatigue really be caused by depression?

Q: Someone told me that depression could make me feel tired. Is that possible?

A: Absolutely. But let me just start out by saying that there are many medical conditions that can cause a person to feel tired all the time and even mimic the other symptoms of depression, so it is extremely important to see your health care provider if you are experiencing fatigue or other signs of depression.

Depression is one of the most common psychiatric conditions that doctors encounter, showing up in at least 20% of women and 12% of men during their lifetimes!  Fatigue or loss of energy is so common in depression that it is actually included in the diagnostic criteria. Other symptoms used to diagnose depression include:

  • loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • significant weight loss or gain
  • trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • inability to concentrate or focus
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

If you are having any of these symptoms, there are many resources available to you on campus!

The providers at Student Health Services manage many patients with anxiety and depression from a medical standpoint. While the exact cause of depression is not yet known, there are many medications that act on neurotransmitters in the brain that are effective in treating it. These medications typically take a few weeks to become effective in alleviating symptoms.

Counseling & Consultation Service (CCS) has social workers, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists to manage depression from a psychotherapy as well as a medical standpoint.  All enrolled students are eligible for 10 free counseling sessions per academic year.  If you have the Comprehensive Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), you may be eligible for additional counseling sessions with a $15 co-pay per session.  If you do not have SHIP and need additional counseling, CCS will assist you in finding services in Columbus.

Counseling is extremely important because it has been shown that medical therapy in combination with psychotherapy is much more effective in treating depression symptoms than either of these treatments alone.

Again, be sure to see a health care provider if you are experiencing fatigue or other signs of depression.

Angela Walker (recent Ohio State College of Medicine graduate)

Muhammad Khan, MD (Ohio State University Student Health Services alum)


Order-It-Yourself Testing

September 27th is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  As we move into our fourth decade dealing with the HIV virus and the resulting diseases, It is important to consider that HIV is still having a major impact on people’s lives every day.  Gay men and other MSM have played a critical role in educating their community (and subsequently, the rest of the world) about the risks of HIV, ways to prevent transmission, and ways to reach out and assist those living with HIV every day.   

Nationally, there is an ongoing focus on reaching out to everyone at risk, including some who have not had the opportunity to hear the message, including many young people and people of color.  Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS at CDC, wrote this post from the White House Office of AIDS policy, and he references many groups that are empowering men to get tested regularly, encourage their partners to get tested, and think about ways to prevent new HIV infections.

Here at OSU, there are ongoing efforts to educate students and assist them with testing options.  The Student Wellness Center recognizes sexual health as one of the critical dimensions of wellness, and offers many resources.  Gustavo Carlos, who serves as a sexpert for the SWC outreach, meets with students weekly to discuss safer sex and answer questions. 

However, there is work still to do right here on campus.  Martez Smith, OSU social work major and member of the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, works with many MSM of color, and is concerned that sexual health and STI prevention messages are not reaching these students.  He is involved in community programs that are reaching out to OSU student organizations to help spread the word. 

Have you ever been tested?  Even if your risk is small, the CDC recommends testing for HIV AT LEAST ONCE.  If you have ongoing risk, then annual testing is in order.  Student Health Services can assist you in many ways, including access to testing, education materials, and access to medical professionals who can counsel you and answer your questions.  Check out our past GYT (Get Yourself Tested) blogs for other pointers.

Get tested.  Know your status.

Roger Miller, MD  (OSU Student Health Services)



Will my buddy make me fail a drug test?


Q: While I was at a party a few weeks ago I was around a lot of people who were smoking pot. I have a urine drug test coming up and I’m wondering if I might test positive.

A: The urine marijuana test detects a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active drug in marijuana. THC is stored in body fat and excreted in the urine. For someone who smokes a single marijuana cigarette, THC metabolites are detectable for several days. For chronic marijuana smokers, the level of THC builds up in the body fat over time and is excreted for weeks after the last time they used the drug.  Urine drug tests are set with a high threshold to eliminate false positives (people that test positive but do not use the drug).

Traces of marijuana may be detectable in the urine for a day or two in someone who was around marijuana smoke, but if you didn’t personally smoke it, you likely have nothing to worry about.  Smelling marijuana smoke at an outside event is very unlikely to result in a positive test, but it’s probably a good idea to avoid enclosed areas where people are smoking, like cars and closed rooms.  

BTW, if you are getting drug tested, it is wise to bring along all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are currently taking.  Prescription drugs are increasing becoming popular drugs of abuse, and so, are being tested for in many drug screens.  If a drug is found in your pee, it avoids a lot of problems if you can prove that it should be there. 

Good Health!

John Vaughn, MD and Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

Shake Your Groove Thing

Public Health Image Library

Public Health Image Library

As we settle into the fall season, we would like to share a 2010 article from The NYTimes to anyone who spends most of their day sitting in chairs and staring at computers.  I’m talking to you, engineering and liberal arts students, artists, bench scientists, graduate students en masse; anybody writing papers, sitting in class, studying for tests, counting beans, watching a lot of TV or playing a lot of video games.

Turns out if your buns are being warmed by a chair for the majority of your day – at school, work, home, on planes, trains or automobiles-your heart is probably suffering.   Even if you exercise regularly.

Animal models suggest that as you withdraw the regular isometric contractions and active muscle activity from walking, bending, lifting, etc. on a daily basis, muscle cells experience deleterious microscopic changes like those associated with Type 2 Diabetes as well as insulin resistance and elevated levels of free fatty acids in the blood. 

Research has shown that males who are sedentary for 23 hours a week (that’s only a little more than 3 hours a day!) have a much greater chance of dying of heart disease (67%) than males who are sedentary less than 11 hours a week.   What is striking about this is that the risk is greater in the more sedentary group even when they exercised regularly.  So all those hours of studying, prepping, working, researching and vegging out in front of the boob tube can take their toll on your muscles even if you hit the gym afterwards.  And remember, your heart is the most important muscle you got.

I’m not suggesting you stop heading over to the RPAC to hit the elliptical machine and weight room – just make sure you’re moving around the rest of the day too.  Use the restroom on another floor; take the stairs instead of the elevator; walk out of your way at lunch; do a few push-ups or crunches in your cubicle if you can; deliver a message on foot, in person with a smiling face, rather than a bland email.  

And then go hit the gym.

Victoria Rentel, MD (OSU Student Health Services Alum)

For Your Safety – How to stay safe sharing the road

Jogging with tunes

In collaboration with the efforts being made by the Office of Student Life and the university as a whole, BuckMD wants to remind you about avoiding injuries on the streets and walkways here on campus. 

Did you know these TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS (2009)

  • 72% of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban settings
  • 76% occur at non-intersections
  • 90% occur in normal weather, compared to rainy, snowy or foggy conditions 

So how do you maximize your safety, when our campus is so big and growing so vibrantly?

Check out:

Student Health Services is here for your bumps and bruises, but we would MUCH rather you stay safe as you travel our campus and avoid get hurt in the first place!!!

Look both ways!

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

Vaccines are lifesavers….except when they’re not available?

Rabies Vaccine

Rabies vaccine may be one of those things you don’t really think about, until you need it.  There are two manufacturers of rabies vaccines in the US, and either can be used to prevent rabies, either before (pre-exposure) or after (post-exposure) a bite from an infected animal.  Unless you are a veterinarian or have some other type of close contact with animals, you don’t need the pre-exposure vaccines. 

Post-exposure vaccine is given whenever a person gets bitten or exposed to a animal potentially infected with rabies.  This can sometimes be a tough call, because rabies is not very common in Central Ohio, but there still is some risk.  In some cases, post-exposure rabies vaccine is recommended and administered to students here at Student Health Services. 

During this vaccine shortage, we will limiting our use of rabies vaccine to post-exposure situations only.  That means that some other students will be asked to wait a few weeks or more, but we do this for the good of the whole community, and to try to be sure that we have the vaccine when YOU really need it.

In the meantime:

  • if you are in a situation where a possible exposure has occured, ask your doctor to consult with local/state public health departments to ensure appropriate use of vaccine.
  • avoid wildlife contact
  • vaccinate pets/livestock
  • if possible, capture/observe/test exposing animal.

For more information, check out this CDC website – Rabies Vaccine: Current Situation, Posted: September 7, 2012, Updated: September 11, 2012

Be careful out there!

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health)



Welcome to campus, New Buckeyes Part II


Get your vaccination

Fall at the Shoe

Here are some more things you can learn about Student Health Services, so that we can be of service to YOU.

Medical Records

We are under strict rules to keep all of your medical information confidential and we take those rules very seriously.  You’ll need to sign an authorization form for us to release your health information to anyone, including your parents.  An authorization form can only be completed for health services that have already been rendered which means that we can’t honor any requests like, “you can just let my Mom have access to my records for as long as I’m at Ohio State.”


Prior to Fall Semester 2015 there were no immunization requirements for most students entering Ohio State.  However, beginning Fall Semester 2015 all new Ohio State University students are required to meet a Vaccination Requirement.  Information on the requirement can be found at:

  • All of these immunizations are available at the Student Health Center if you aren’t able to get them before you start school.  If you can get a copy of your Immunization records, that would be really helpful and keep you from getting immunizations you don’t need.

Allergy Injections

You can get your allergy shots at the Student Health Center while you’re here for school.

  • You need to submit the required paperwork prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • You can bring the allergen vials to the health center yourself or have them mailed to our facility.
  • We will store them for you and we can release them back to you as needed for injections during times away from the university.

These are just a few of the ways Student Health Services can be of service to you.  Come check us out!



Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

Updated by Tina Comston, M.Ed.


Our flu vaccine has arrived!!

Don't get lost in the crowd!

Fall Colors

Hey Buckeye students!  Our stock of flu vaccine has arrived and we are all ready to get this vaccine to you conveniently and efficiently.

Remember, Flu shots are very important to prepare you for a Buckeye Winter!  WHY? 

  • Flu season in Ohio usually is from December to April
  • Getting vaccinated any time this fall will help protect you throughout the flu season
  • CDC now recommends EVERYONE over the age of 6 months get a flu shot yearly
  • Have asthma, other lung diseases, or any other chronic illness? Then you have DOUBLE the reason to get this done!

Flu vaccines are designed to match as closely as possible to the strains of flu expected each winter, so the vaccine usually arrives in the community in the late summer/early flu. 

Walk-in (no appointment needed) programs will be held from 2-5:30 PM on our Ground Floor on:

  • October 1, 11, 18, 25, 30
  • November 7, 15

SHS Pharmacy also gives walk-in flu shots from 8:30 – 4:30 Monday through Friday.  No appointment needed!

Scheduled appointments for flu shots are also available by calling 614-292-4321 or online through My BuckMD (requires enrollment at the Health Center).

Our EVENTS Calendar also gives you access to forms that you can review and complete prior to your Health Center visit.

Our Flu Shot program price has been steady at $25 for over 5 years in a row, and have been covered in full by the Comprehensive Student Health Insurance Plan.  This year, other insurance plans may cover this vaccine in full as well. 


Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)


Welcome to campus, New Buckeyes Part I

wikimedia commons

Don't get lost in the crowd!

The Student Health Center

We know you’re bombarded with a lot of information in a small amount of time during orientation and Welcome Week and it’s hard to retain it all.  So we thought we’d put the highlights here on the blog so that you can refer to them when you’re not so swamped. 

Health Care Services

Ok, you have made it to our web site.  Our most popular features:

  • Our BuckMD blog offers a wide range of advice on many topics.  You can like us on Facebook and see the latest updates, or follow us in Twitter. 
  • Our Events Calendar shows special programs for students and schedule variations including our Saturday Clinic dates.
  • Our Services link takes you to pages for each of our service area, and detailed information on what we offer, our location and contact information
  • Our Forms page links you to a variety of documents, including fill-in downloadable forms that you can complete prior to your visit.

My BuckMD

My BuckMD is our secured portal giving you access to:

  • encrypted messaging
  • printable immunization and medication history
  • online appointment scheduling
  • access to forms that you can submit online in advance.

To sign up, you need to come in to the Health Center with a photo ID.


We offer a full-service pharmacy here at the Student Health Center.

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Walk-in vaccine services
  • Pharmacist counseling
  • Prescription transfers from your home to our pharmacy. (All you need is the prescription number and the name/phone number of the original pharmacy – all of which are on the package label.)  

Our pharmacy is contracted with many insurance companies but not all.  You can stop by or call 614-292-0125 to find out if we can bill your specific insurance.


We understand that you may just be learning how to use health insurance, whether it is your student insurance, or other coverage you carry. 

  • We are the primary provider for the OSU Student Health Insurance Plans
  • We are also in-network with most Medical Mutual and Anthem/BlueCrossBlueShield health insurance plans and a few others.  Contact Patient Accounts or Patient Registration if you have a question about this. 
  • You should learn the basics of your coverage – in-network vs. out-of-network, how co-pays work, etc.
  • If you are on non-OSU insurance, be sure to bring your insurance ID card with you to school

If you are not on the Student Health Insurance Plan or with an in-network plan, you should definitely consider purchasing the WilceCare Supplement

  • Routine x-rays, laboratory tests, physical therapy, minor office procedures, prescribed medical supplies, office visits for illness and injury and prescriptions are all covered.


Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services