Spotlight Post 3 — Social

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

Dealing with peer pressure seems difficult in every situation. The idea of fitting in takes precedence in so many people’s mind they sometimes ignore their existing morals. My hardest times dealing with peer pressure came in high school, college, and the athletics I partake in. I never found a concrete way to handle peer pressure as the peers around me differ in every situation. This blog with dive into different sources that think they have figured out the best ways to handle peer pressure from the perspectives of high school students, college students, and athletes. posted an article that pinpoints specific tactics to dealing with peer pressure in college. Of the four suggestions provided, the one that seemed the most prolific to me was seek healthy relationships. It mentions the idea of surrounding yourself with a group that engages in positive activities. Dealing with peer pressure is almost unavoidable so this approach attempts to put a student in a situation that when peer pressure does arise, it is for positive things. Obviously this approach is easier said than done, but college does promote a fresh start for many incoming students that do not know anyone and are searching for friends.

High school differs from college a little as avoiding things proves a little harder. Students spend around eight hours per day in school where word spreads so fast about what other students did that made them “cool.” That remains the talk of the school for days or even weeks at a time. offers many solutions but the best comes about in one they call “get out of the situation.” When a group of people is planning to do immoral or even life threatening things, leave. When in the presence of a group it becomes easier to conform; so the longer the student remains with the group, the harder it will become to say no and conforming feels so much easier.

Athletes experience a lot of peer pressure that if one partakes in it. The obvious situations like engaging in drugs and alcohol, which can result in things like loss of scholarship or getting kicked off of the team, really stick out in this scenario. Even small events like succumbing to peer pressure to go out and stay out late the night before a game act as poor decisions for an athlete and provides steps to deal with this peer pressure. The most influential step states that the athlete should ask himself or herself before doing the act, “will this help me and will I look back and think this was a good idea.” When asking this the athlete can decide way before a group or peers become involved to say no and avoid the situation as a whole. Similar to the high school example above, this tip can alleviate the stress to conform when in front of groups because the question can allow the person to leave prior to group intervention in the peer pressure.

The ideas above will differ in effectiveness from person to person as many people adapt to groups in different ways. Some experience social interference where a group hinders the person and makes conformity easier. For some, however, groups aid the person and make the situation easier to navigate; that is called social facilitation.


Spotlight: Social

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

Peer pressure is such a prominent issue in today’s society, especially with children at school and in a social setting. Pop culture today idolizes doing drugs and drinking alcohol which ultimately increases the amount of peer pressure that people experience. Different groups all experience peer pressure. I chose to research children, college students, and athletes. Though college students and athletes experience similar peer pressures, dealing with being pressured to drink alcohol underaged as well as take/do illegal drugs the intensity of these peer pressures vary.

Peer pressure often works because it is hard to make the right decision without thinking about it in advance. In order to help a child to deal with peer pressure it is important to talk with them about peer pressure in general is important and can be helpful when dealing with it. This article discussed five things to teach your child to deal with peer pressure. The first step is to take a deep breath, this is important for your child to know because it is okay to take a minute before making a decision about the suggestion that was made. The second step is finding the right words to say to the person making the suggestion. This is important because it is directly saying “This is not safe” or “This is not right”, this is naming the action. The third step is thinking it through, it is important to ask the child to think the situation through fully and decide the repercussions for everyone involved in the decision they may make. The fourth step is asking what they could do instead. Listing reasons not to do it may be bad because this can be counteracted with reasons that they are not bad but suggesting another activity to do instead can be beneficial. The fifth and final step is learning to walk away. If the other methods of peer pressure do not work and the child’s friends still persists then they must learn to just walk away. This website provides examples that can be helpful when dealing with peer pressure as a child. Providing ways to deal with it in the case of the other ways do not work is very important because it is useful to have multiple strategies to stay away from peer pressure.

Peer pressure for college students begins focusing on drinking and drug usage more than anything else. Once you enter college it is an unspoken, but well-advertised expectation for college students to go out with their friends and party while drinking underage and partaking in illegal drug use. This means it is important for college students to learn ways to combat caving into peer pressure. It is also harder to avoid peer pressure because you are in college without parents or other adults there to remind you about correct decisions. A good way to avoid peer pressure in college is to find a group of friends who have similar interests and goals. It can also be beneficial to join a sports team or clubs; this group of people will assist in keeping a college student away from illegal activities and substances and peer pressure. If you find yourself in a situation whether it is being pressured to drink alcohol, do drugs, or complete sexual activities when you do not want to, it is important to learn to say no and walk away. This article was insightful but was not very extenuous. This article would be less likely to help cut down on peer pressure then the first article because it lacks alternative methods of denying peer pressure.

There is a heightened amount of peer pressure in athletes, especially in men. There is a high expectation for athletes in the classroom, on the field, and at home and they must balance school work, at home responsibilities, as well as practice and games all while upholding a social life. With all of this stress it is easy for the child to become peer pressured to use alcohol and drugs as an outlet to escape this stress. It is common for sports teams to celebrate their success or deal with their loss using alcohol and drugs, so as a parent of an athlete it is important to talk to your child about these possible problems and make it very clear that as a child, you do have a choice on whether to say yes or no. It is also helpful to become as involved as possible so as a parent you are able to see first-hand whether or not there is negative peer pressure on the team. It is also important to look at the team’s coach, some look the other way, others promote the use of alcohol, and in rare cases they may supply it. If you are aware of this, it is important to contact the school so they can proceed accordingly. This article was helpful in addressing peer pressure among college students, but like the previous article it does not offer alternative methods of dealing with peer pressure.

Resisting peer pressure for children:

Resisting peer pressure for college students

Resisting peer pressure for athletes:


Spotlight 3 – Option 4

--Original published at AlyssaM

Single-Gender Education


Source 1: Link here

Source 2: Link here


Source 1:  Nathan, Rebekah. My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student. Penguin, 2006. pp. 90-106.

Source 2: Link here

Single-Gender Education has become a topic of the present for people to debate about. There are many pros and cons for both, which people use to strengthen their side of the debate.

People that are for it, find four key advantages at least in source one. First, they believe single-gendered environments creates a more relaxed area. Their reasons is that girls for instance will not feel pressure to impress the boys, which will make them more open to stating their opinions. Second, fewer cliques seem to be formed because of the third reason, the elimination of gender stereotypes. The fourth is the curriculum can be more focused on the strengths of boys and girls and their learning styles, as compared to accommodating both.

The second source list similar benefits for having single-gendered classrooms. One, girls get along better because they are not competing to get the best boy in the class. All dating is forced to happen cross-schools, which leaves the troubles behind and places the focus on academics. In an all girls school, it encourages independence and leadership for the girls. Also it is said girls talk less and participate less with males in the room and that boys lead most discussions.

On the flip side, the novel My Freshman Year disagrees. The author believes girls do speak less, but not because of the presence of boys. She feels it is the discussion that is wrong and it needs to be more open and not seem so closed, so the girls want to partake in it. She says classrooms need diversity so the students can learn to their fullest from the other gender’s perspective. If they cannot learn to work with the opposite gender in school, they will not be prepared for working or even life when it comes to dealing with the opposite.

Similarly, the last source declares it promotes bad social skills and that is true as noted above with no learning how to interact with the opposing gender. It also promotes sexism just like when in history they made the terrible mistake of separating whites and colored. That did not end well and surely this separation would be just as drastically bad for the individuals. The source also argues there are some laws his segregation would violate and so it is a matter far more than opinion. Having diversity also boosts experiences during school, notable because of the different learning styles between boys and girls. Boys and girls learn from each other and it is a part of growing.

I agree, diversity in the classroom is very important. Whether or not the students like having the opposite gender in the class, it does on the long run result in better. Being forced (basically) to interact with the other, the students learn how to manage social skills across genders, which will dramatically help them in life, especially in the work force and in marriage. With each having unique learning techniques, they learn how to blend their talents and strengths to work with others weak aspects. It gives them a better understanding of the world around them and how everything falls into place.

Spotlight #3

--Original published at jennacampanellipsych

I chose to research single sex education because I recently saw a presentation on this topic in my education class and both my brother and sister went to single sex schools. First, the advantages. One of the most predominate advantages is an environmental that isn’t focused around impressing others, making it more relaxed and focused on learning. This is due to girls and boys not worrying or focusing on impressing each other or not wanting to participate incase they got embarrassed in front of each other. With singe sex, they can have more open and honest conversations in class. Another advantage is no gender stereotypes. This pretty much means that boys and girls will be free to do what they are interested without worrying about being judged by the other sex, so they will be free to do activities or subjects that have a stereotype of the other gender doing it. In a single sex school anyone can do anything they are interested in with no worries about being embarrassed. Single sex schools have also been seen to specifically have great benefits for girls. According to one of the sources I found, CRC Health, almost 90% of girls in co-ed high schools are affected by some form of sexual harassment. Girls could feel safer in a single sex school during the important time of change in their life. A study was also done of 270,000 students that found when boys and girls were attending single sex schools they performed significantly higher on standardized tests. Now onto the disadvantages. On of the biggest disadvantages is that it does not prepare kids for the real world. Being at a single sex school may cause poor social skills with the other sex because they have had not had opportunities to work together or collaborate. This may make life after school harder when they have to talk and interact with the other sex every day in an office or higher education. Going along with this, by not having both genders in one classroom, students will not have another perspective while talking about issues and questions. Getting to see the perspective of others can help while learning things in class and they will have more experiences if there were both genders in class discussions. Single sex schools can also create gender stereotypes according to Care’s website. This could be due to the only time students are seeing the other sex could be at formal events, when genders are dressing up to impress each other. So in their minds, this could lead to stereotypes and unrealistic expectations. This one is a bit of a reach to me, but I could see how it would happen. In conclusion, I think single sex education could work for some and not work for others- it all depends how you learn and what makes you feel most comfortable. Students learn best when they feel safe, so it depends on each person individually to make that decision for themselves. For me, I originally wanted to go to a single sex high school but changed my mind, and looking back I am happy I went to a co-ed school. I think for some single sex works very well but I liked having friendships with both genders and that interaction everyday.


Spotlight 3: Year-Round Schooling

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

Isabella Panzica


Spotlight 3 Post

The Year Round Schooling Debate

During my childhood, the thought of year-round schooling was one of the worst things ever. I viewed summer break as the best thing ever. Though looking at four different sources which explore whether or not year-round schooling would be beneficial to the overall learning of the children in the schools made me question whether my past self was correct. In order to answer this question, four peer-reviewed sources were collected and evaluated. There were two sources supporting year-round schooling and two sources against year-round schooling.

Supporting Year-Round Schooling

The peer-reviewed article “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” by Cynthia Opheim and Kristine Mohajer had positive results on student learning. Data from this article were taken by sending 59 surveys to principles of year-round schools and 46 surveys to principles of traditional schools. In this article it had resulted from five hypotheses, only two of the hypothesis relate directly to student learning instead of general year-round school operations. The first hypothesis related to student learning was year-round schooling reduces student absenteeism, increase facility utilization, and reduces student discipline problems. This hypothesis was proven correct through answers on the survey which principles of different schools in Texas filled out. The second hypothesis concerning student learning was about how year-round schooling increases student achievement. Results were that the overall improvement was low but still statistically significant. Different components of student achievement were also specifically tested and had positive results. These parts of student achievement had positive results were fewer retention problems, special education children’s progress, bilingual student’s progress, enrichment learning program positive results, and an increase in standardized test scores. So overall the article “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” showed not only was year-round schooling better for academic reasons but to also be better for special needs student, bilingual students, and problem students (Opheim).

The article “The Influence of Extended-Year Schooling on Growth of Achievement and Perceived Competence in Early Elementary School” by Julie Frazier and Frederick Morrison also supported year-round schooling. All participants were kindergarten children, there were 90 students went to a traditional school and 91 students in the year-round school. Then later these participants were tested on eighteen various variables. Results from the study showed students in year-round schooling had higher scores in mathematics than students in traditional schools. Though this progress is only gained because year-round students are working in the summer while the students of traditional schools are on school break. Since despite distributing short breaks throughout the year, overall in year-round schooling students are in school one month more than traditional students. This extra month allow teachers to teach topic more in-depth and cover more material (Frazier).

Against Year-Round Schooling

The article “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-Round Schools” by Bradley McMillen was a comparison of year-round schooling students to traditional schooling students in North Carolina. There were 345,000 students in the study who were all in grades 3 through 8 at the time of the study. Data used in this study came from the North Carolina Testing Program, which tests 3-8 graders mathematics and reading skills. Then the results of the study were there was no overall significant change between the test scores of students in year-round schooling and students of traditional schooling (McMillen).

Amery Wu and Jake Stone wrote the article “Does Year Round Schooling Affect the Outcome and Growth of California’s API Scores?”, which was about how year-round schooling affects students scoring on the California API in comparison of the scores of students at traditional schools. The Californian API is a type of standardized test taken by Californian students. API scores were collected for six years from 4,569 Californian schools. The results of the data analysis were students overall API performance did not change by going to year-round schooling instead of traditional schooling (Wu).


Looking at the sources for both pro and anti-year-round schooling the articles against year-round schooling were the most solid. This is because the sample sizes were at times over a hundred times larger and over more years then the sources arguing for year-round schools. Also the source “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” which was in favor of year-long schools had results showing only small improvements in students of year-round schooling when compared to traditional schooling (Opheim). The results of year-round schools compared to traditional schools only show slight improvements or no improvements at all, so in response, year-round schooling should not replace traditional schools entirely. Though year-round schooling does not need to be eliminated since it’s not negatively affecting the education of students of year-round schooling.


Work Cited

.Frazier, Julie A., and Frederick J. Morrison. “The Influence of Extended-Year Schooling on Growth of Achievement and Perceived Competence in Early Elementary School.” Child Development, vol. 69, no. 2, 1998, p. 495. JSTOR Journals, doi:10.2307/1132180.

Mcmillen, Bradley J. “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-Round Schools.” The Journal of Educational Research, vol. 95, no. 2, 2001, pp. 67–74. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/00220670109596574.

Opheim, Cynthia, and Kristine Hopkin Mohajer. “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas.” Education, vol. 116, no. 1, 1995, pp. 115–120. Academic Search Complete, 3ff0ad7be2@sessionmgr4007.

Wu, Amery D, and Jake E Stone. “Does Year Round Schooling Affect the Outcome and Growth of California’s API Scores?” Educational Research & Policy Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2010, pp. 79–97. ERIC, 7bb259a3f6@pdc-v-sessmgr02.

Spotlight 3-Prompt 2

--Original published at Bailey PSY 105 Blog

Mental illness is a controversial and often tabooed subject which has recently come to light in several popular TV shows such as Hoarding:Buried Alive. Though these shows can offer the general public an insight into how these mental illness effect the personal and professional relationships of the individuals dealing with them, I believe these shows are inherently disrespectful and unethical. In addition to this, the shows provoke unnecessary stereotypes and beliefs which exploit the people struggling with these mental illnesses and do not help them to get any better.

Regardless of whether or not the shows are ethical, there have been success stories of people who have gotten better and overcame their mental illness because of the show Hoarding: Buried Alive. Chris, a 46 year old Navy veteran was unable to have others enter his home, including his longtime girlfriend Annie. Chris felt he was unable to de-clutter his house or throw out anything he did not need because of the slight chance he may desperately need it in the future. Chris began meeting one-on-one with a cognitive-behavioral therapist in his home (funded by the show), in which the therapists worked with him to examine his thoughts and feelings about his possessions in order to help him distinguish whether he should save or discard them. By the end of the episode, Chris had made strides in decluttering his house and was able to begin to confront the idea of entertaining guests in his townhouse. Because of the attention and resources Chris received through the show, he was able to reform connections with those in his life he had lost touch with (such as his brother). In this sense, the show plays an imperative role in the future success of individuals suffering from mental disorders and compulsions leading to things such as hoarding. This source is credible because it is unbiased, and simply recounts one of the episodes of the show.

While the show does face much controversy, hoarding expert Marilyn Tomfohrde thinks the show gives, “an honest reputation of the condition.” Tomfohrde believes hoarders with less severe issues can view the show and be inspired to begin a de-cluttering project in their own home. She also believes the show gives an insight as to how frustrating a hoarding situation can be for all involved, and how desperate people become to solve it. She believes the TV show documents how desperate people are for help, and how the general public as a community need to realize how prevalent the issue of hoarding is for so many people. I believe this source is credible, but it does not explicitly state the TV show being either explicitly bad or explicitly good. It was difficult to find evidence of the show being ethical, so this website is more of a pro/con list which evaluates both sides of the argument.

Though some view the show in a positive light and it does help some people to overcome their emotional and psychological issues, there are far more who believe the show is exploitive and has a negative impact on the community as a whole. Licensed professional counselor Debbie Stanley believes the show over dramatizes the condition, and represents the victims of compulsive hoarding disorder as having little to no insight into their condition. She also believes it is a disservice to the condition and to those suffering from it to publicize it being cured simply by cleaning out the clutter. Stanley states stripping away a person’s coping mechanism (their clutter) before giving the appropriate therapeutic treatment is cruel and usually results in more severe degree of hoarding. I believe this source is accurate and reliable because it is written through testimonials given by licensed and highly educated psychologists and therapists, and they are able to give a professional insight into the show and the condition itself.

In the Huffington Post article on the ethical merits of the show, Anna Almendrala states her opinion of the show doing more harm than good. She provides a quote from author Randy Frost who says, “The shows promote the idea of arriving at a house with a cleaning crew and pressuring people to discard possessions is the way to solve the problem.” As stated previously by Debbie Stanley, this forced clean-out without the supplemental therapy can be detrimental to the psychological health of the parties involved. Because people who suffer from a hoarding disorder are likely to have experienced a traumatic event in their past, many critics of the show also believe it discourages seeking the root of the problem, and instead provides a temporary fix or a band aid to cover it from the view of the public. This means the individual suffering from the condition is still struggling from the consequences of their disorder and is not given help or resources for the underlying trauma they experienced. I believe this source is accurate because it provides testimony from both the positive and negative views of the show in an attempt to eliminate bias.




Spotlight Post #3: Option 3

--Original published at Taylor'sEtownCollegeBlog

Major Depressive Disorder is a disorder in which a person feels down during most of the day for two weeks or more. This disorder is often debilitating and is a constant struggle for many people around the world. The two main types of treatment are the use of medication and the use of psychotherapy. Both have positives and negatives. I will be focusing on the positives for both forms of treatment through this blog post.

The first form of treatment I am going to look at is the use of psychotherapy to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). In a study, it was found that after twelve weeks of psychotherapy the symptoms had significantly decreased (Dahl, pg. 43). It has also been found that after recovery from non-pharmacological treatment, there were normalized levels of different types of cytokines (Dahl, pg 40). Cytokines are major proteins that play a huge role in the immune system along with cell-cell signaling. They help to regulate homeostasis and maintain a sense of balance within the body. The medicated group also had a decrease in cytokine levels, however, these level reductions did not reach significance (Dahl, pg. 44). In a different study, it was found that in general, MDD patients showed significant improvement in the expected direction in mood (Eddington et al., pg. 274). The final point that shows that psychotherapy is the better form of treatment for patients with MDD is that after therapy, they “reported significant improvements in affect and cognition and social functioning and activities” (Eddington, pg. 273).

The second form of treatment for patients with MDD is the use of pharmacological treatment. It was found that second generation are supported with great strength evidence that they are highly effective (Gartlehner et al.). It also was stated that much of the non-pharmacological treatments were not scientifically supported with evidence. This ultimately makes the use of non-pharmacological treatments seem less effective and supported (Gartlehner et al.). It was found that there was a significant decrease in suicidal action with the use of pharmacological treatments (Kim, pg. 119).

In my opinion, I believe that therapy-based treatment is ultimately the better option with treating MDD. This is because I believe that there is ultimately more scientific evidence to support the benefits of therapeutic treatment. The treatment is also less physically invasive, yet it provides a larger physiological response compared to pharmacological treatments. Also, this has been shown to improve social interactions and things along those lines. This is while pharmacological treatment does not improve the social aspect of people’s lives. Several of the sources made the statement that their results could be skewed because they had a small sample size. This cut down on the accountability of the research because this means that the information cannot be applied to a large group of people. Also, it allows for a higher chance for an error to be made and to slip through the cracks. Overall, the sources were very open about the possibility of error or bias throughout the sources.




Dahl, J., et al. “Recovery from Major Depressive Disorder Episode after Non‐pharmacological Treatment Is Associated with Normalized Cytokine Levels.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, vol. 134, no. 1, July 2016, pp. 40–47. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/acps.12576.


Eddington, Kari M., et al. “The Effects of Psychotherapy for Major Depressive Disorder on Daily Mood and Functioning: A Longitudinal Experience Sampling Study.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 41, no. 2, Apr. 2017, pp. 266–277. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10608-016-9816-7.


Gartlehner, Gerald, et al. “Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder: Review of Systematic Reviews.” BMJ Open, vol. 7, no. 6, June 2017, p. e014912. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014912.


Kim, Yong-Ku. Major Depressive Disorder : Risk Factors, Characteristics and Treatment Options. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2017. EBSCOhost,



Spotlight Blog: Peer Pressure

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Peer pressure is something that people of all ages have to deal with almost every day, whether it be in the classroom, workplace, or everyday life. Sometimes, the easiest way to avoid peer pressure is to remain neutral and do what you believe is the best decision, but this can become very difficult and almost impossible.

One source from Monmouth University’s “The Outlook” discusses the idea of peer pressure from the perspective of a college student. This perspective is very interesting as it relates to the lives of people who are also struggling through the intensity of college. The article relates peer pressure back to the movie Mean Girlsand how it demonstrates that giving into peer pressure would not be beneficial for anyone. It mentions that as a college student, you should establish a strong supportive friend group that does not guilt you into doing things you are uncomfortable with. It also discusses not needing to seek approval from others to be satisfied with yourself. I do believe that these plans would be very beneficial for the college student. Seeking approval will do nothing but make you more nervous about yourself and your personality, so staying true to yourself will be very beneficial.

Another source focuses on handling the peer pressure of children from the perspective of a parent. The article from gives parents five steps to share with their children who are dealing with pressure from friends. This website explains that parents should tell their children to take a breath first, find the words, think it through, ask, “what could we do instead?”, and to walk away. This process allows children to process the situation, stay calm, think about the right and wrong thing to do, question alternative options, and to stand strong and walk away rather than be intimidated. The only issue that I see arising from this process of handling peer pressure is not confronting the source of the peer pressure and telling them that this is not right or helpful for their situation.

Finally, this last source focuses on the teenager’s perspective, and the website, discusses twenty ways that their target audience, readers of Teen Magazine, can avoid peer pressure. A couple of ideas that stood out to me were avoiding stressful situations in the first place, consider what would happen if you gave in to the situation, and evaluate your friendships. Although the last tip sounds helpful, the other two do not seem as if they would lead to positive results. Avoidance does and will not resolve any issues, instead it would build upon them until they explode and cause more issues. Considering giving into the situation would make you the weaker or lesser person. For a person who is already vulnerable simply for being a teenager, avoiding situations or making the wrong decision and giving into peer pressure will not allow you to have a smooth ride throughout the bumpy road that is high school. Peer pressure is a dangerous thing, and staying true to yourself and making the right decision will help you immensely in the long run.



Spotlight 3 Post

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

A common mental illness expressed in the United States is major depressive disorder. This disease can be treated in many ways; however, the two most common treatments are psychotherapy and prescribed medication. Psychotherapy is also commonly referred to as cognitive therapy and does not use any sorts of drugs. People who struggle with depression, tend to be back and forth on what is the best option for their situation. Some do not like to be dependent on a pill to make them feel better, and others do not like talking to other people about their personal life problems. The question becomes, which of these two methods is the most effective when treating major depressive disorder. Both treatment options have evidence that they are effective in some ways.

 In some cases, the studies that were conducted to compare these two treatments used older medications instead of newer medications that are used today, which could unfairly favor psychotherapy, being as the older medications might have more severe side effects and be less effective (Spielmans, 2014). In long term cases, studies have shown that psychotherapy has greater effects than medications do, if the therapy is performed by suitably trained specialists. Looking at the short-term effects, these two approaches to treatments are similar (Spielmans, 2014). An investigation completed by Kathryn McHugh and her colleagues, concluded that people who need treatment for depression prefer medications over psychological therapies by 3 to 1. Also, according to McHugh, there is a decrease of patients who choose to receive psychotherapy treatments (Whitbourne, 2015). Medication is easily accessible and does not take up anyone’s time. They also do not require the individual taking them to change anything about their life. All they must do is take the medication once or twice a day and let it do its job and move on with their life (Derksen, n.d). If someone with depressions chooses to seek help, they can either see their doctor or see a psychiatrist. If they see a doctor, the doctor will most likely prescribe them with a medication that will suppress how they are feeling. If they see a psychiatrist to receive psychotherapy, they will develop skills to shape new ways of thinking about the situation that is making them depressed. The psychiatrist and the individual will work together to talk things out and discuss possible solutions to the problem at hand (Benefits of Psychotherapy, 2018).

In my opinion, after reading articles from doctors and credible websites, seeking psychotherapy as a form of treatment for depression is better than medication because you are trying to solve the problem, so you don’t feel depressed anymore. When you take medications, they might take away the depressed feeling, however they don’t solve the problem and make the feeling go away, you just do not notice it. Also, the amount of side effects medications can have can sometimes be detrimental to one’s body and cause other issues on top of the depression. After doing some research, that is what seems to be a common argument about medications. There is an option to use both treatments together if one decides to do so. Either treatment is an effective way to treat one’s depression.


Spielmans, G. (2014, January 01). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Medications for Depression: How Do They Compare? Retrieved from

Whitbourne, S. (2015, July 21). Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In. Retrieved from

Benefits of Psychotherapy. (2018, January 9). Retrieved from

Derksen, S. (n.d.). Medication versus Therapy. Retrieved from

Spotlight Blog 3 (Option 2)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

Some people do not know they have a mental illness until they seek help, but what if they do not have the opportunity to find the help? Several television shows portray what people with mental illnesses go through on a normal day. I personally think that most of the television shows like “Hoarders” for example provide an opportunity for people to get the help they need. There are many reasons as to why displaying a person with a mental illness on TV for millions of people to see can be beneficial. I think that showing people dealing with a mental illness on public television is ethical because they are agreeing to be a part of the television program. They are also getting the help they need to overcome their mental illness, as well as possibly help viewers who may be struggling with the same mental illness.

Online sources are somewhat indecisive. There are reasons supporting how television shows about people dealing with a mental illness can be both helpful and harmful towards the people in the shows and the viewers.

One reason why turning some mental illnesses into entertainment on public television is beneficial is for the viewers sake. Some viewers watching may find that they are suffering from a similar mental illness, and through the television program they can see they are not alone (Meyers, Seth). There are several examples of people who after watching “Hoarders” realized they too may have a mental illness. One person states, “It was only when the programs were on television that I thought it’s actually a mental health problem” (Almendrala, Anna). Some people may be scared to ask if they have a mental illness, but seeing others who are going through the same thoughts is helpful. A variety of popular programs are real life and help contestants willing to publicized their mental illnesses. Well-known people like Phil Donahue and Oprah take time to help and develop different solutions to help people with mental illnesses (The British Psychology Society). Similar to Phil and Oprah, a woman named Dorothy helps hoarders realize they need to change their ways and helps organize random objects and trash in order to clean the house (Dehnart, Andy). A majority of these reality mental illness television shows are unscripted and reveal raw life of people living with a mental illness (Almendrala, Anna). Many people watching the show may not have known there was actually help available for certain mental illnesses (Almendrala, Anna). Watching television is very popular and when discovering that there are options out there for viewers who may need help, family members or the people with the mental illness may contact the show. Television shows displaying help can be a resource for viewers who need help.

On the other hand there are negative sides to having television shows pertaining to mental illnesses, which can harm both viewers and/or people taking part in the show dealing with the mental illness. According to experts, the television series “Hoarders” featured on the channel A&E, mainly wants to show how crazy some people are. Directors also look for a good story by incorporating emotion and drama into the episodes. There are also thoughts that the television show is only looking to entertain and shock the public eye (The British Psychology Society). A guy named Reddit, whose father is a hoarder mentions how there is no long-term improvement from being on the show “Hoarders” (Bussel, K. Rachel). If there is not a long-term effect from being on the show, the hoarder may feel like they wasted their time and may feel embarrassed for exposing their mental illness for no reason. Viewers may not know that the results are short-term and get their hopes up. There are other options available for people suffering from mental illnesses such as cognitive behavior therapy, and the results are usually long-term (Amandrala, Anna). There are other systems accessible for people who need assistance in treating their mental illness, and television is not the only option.

Overall, television shows about mental illnesses can be harmful and helpful to people shown in the show with a mental illness and to the viewers who may also be dealing with the same mental illness. I believe displaying television shows about the reality of mental illnesses is mainly helpful because the people in the show most likely overcome their mental illness thanks to professional help. Viewers watching the show may be dealing with similar mental illnesses and find that they are not alone.

Almendrala, Anna. “Hoarding Reality Shows Might Do More Harm Than Good”. Huffpost Healthy Living, Oath Inc, 12 June 2015,

Bussel, K. Rachel. “Stop Watching “Hoarders”: Our Lurid Reality TV Obsession with Mental Illness Has Crossed the Line”. Salon, Associated Press, 23 January 2016,

Dehnart, Andy. “Why Dorothy Breininger Brings Dignity to Hoarders’ Trash”. Realityblurred, 16 July 2015,

Meyers, Seth. “Mental Illness on Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?”. Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 12 April 2015,

The British Psychology Society.