Spotlight Blog 3

For this spotlight blog I chose to do the third option about psychotherapy versus medication for treatment of major depressive disorder. Finding different articles was quite easy since this is a very prominent topic in todays society. For the most part, the articles were debating back and forth about the pros and cons of each type of treatment. For the most part I found that there are more articles that lean more toward the use of psychotherapy as treatment. Most say that medication will help in short term but psychotherapy is more long lasting.

The first article in favor of psychotherapy treatment talks about how over the years psychology has become a more rigorously tested science which has led to the evidence behind the effectiveness of this treatment. According to this article, there was a study that cognitive therapy was just as effective as antidepressants when dealing with chronic depression. Doctors have seen people make bigger strides with just the use of therapy. Slowly, doctors are starting to realize that the first line of treatment recommended should be behavioral strategies and not medication. Theres no reason for people to have excuses to not go to therapy because insurance companies now cover it since it is the treatment for a mental condition.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/05/06/a-few-things-that-therapy-may-do-better-than-medication-according-to-science/#7bd6dd344243

The second article I found talks about other types of treatment but the little parts about psychotherapy and medication stand out. The article says that medication can be used but all it does is treat the chemical aspect of everything and it doesn’t do anything for the underlying causes of the depression. It also says how antidepressants come with side effects and safety concerns. In comparison, it says how psychotherapy helps you understand the underlying causes and how to deal with them. It can help you deal with your relationships with others as well as help you reduce stressors in you life or at work or school that will only serve to worsen your depression.

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-treatment.htm

The first article I found in favor of medication talked about all the symptoms that will be relieved with the help of different medications. This article says that medications can help get rid of symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, and suicidal thoughts and stop them from every coming back. Though they may not be as beneficial for mild cases of depression, they’re very effective for very severe cases and can help prevent relapses for many people.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0087089/

The second article for medication talked about how medication plays a crucial role in the treatment of depression. It said how medication is very important for people with chronic and long term symptoms. According to the article, a certain kind of antidepressant is proven to consistently reduce symptoms by 30-60%.

http://www.bhevolution.org/public/medications.page

I though that it was near impossible to find articles that were in favor of medication over psychotherapy. There are just too many side effects and dangerous aspects to it. I believe that psychotherapy is the way to go even though it may take sometime to get better. It confronts the underlying reasons for depression and how to deal them and I believe that’s the only way to improve. By handling that, I think that this in turn will improve the symptoms that medication is said to get rid of.

 


Week 15 First Impression

I thought it was challenging trying to think through each different type of therapy and rank them since they all have their fair share of pros and cons. But if I were in the position where I was in need of some type of therapy, my first choice would have to be cognitive therapy. Yes, there are many other things that contribute to one needing therapy but the biggest focus for me would be my mindset and attitude. Though it is very difficult and time consuming, I believe that changing someones mindset and how they perceive certain situations can have a big impact on their overall mental health. My second choice behind this would have to be psychodynamic therapy. It isn’t really beneficial to the current feelings that you’re feeling but it gives you a better understanding of where they’re coming from. The therapy that I think comes after this would have to be the humanistic therapy. This one actually is meant to deal with your current feelings but it doesn’t go any deeper than that. I think that this is just basically not dealing with the actual problem and it’s more about the moment and not longterm. This leaves the last spot to the behavioral therapy. Not that there’s anything specifically wrong with it but I personally just don’t think that it’s beneficial whatsoever. It is good that it deals with how you behave due to your mental condition but it doesn’t do anything to attempt to overcome the problem. It’s more like it’s skimming the surface so that you can at least hide what you’re feeling.


Media Production Project

Summary:

Scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have made a major breakthrough in understanding the specifics and biology of schizophrenia. Their breakthrough, which was published in the journal Nature, has pioneered a new age of understanding and research about this disease. The principal investigator, Dr. Daniel Geschwind, and his team used a brand new type of technology commonly referred to as chromosome conformation capture to further investigate their questions and claims.

Some background knowledge on this disease needs to be known ahead of time in order to understand the extent of their fabulous work. Prior to the team’s findings, not much was known about schizophrenia from a biological perspective and its origins. What was most well known by most was that this disease is highly genetic and until 2014, no one knew why. 2014 being the first major breakthrough with this kind of work. Scientists found a link between 100 different DNA variations located on several distinct locations on the human genome and schizophrenia. The details between exactly how they were link being a bit fuzzy.

Using this knowledge as their baseline, the team started digging into the depths of the unknown. Before starting, they obtained human fetal cortical tissues from several different individuals who were at different gestation periods. The intricate and elaborate system they used chemically marks and maps where looped chromosomal DNA meet. By doing this, they could find the schizophrenia linked sites that contact gene’s known for brain development. There were several genes found that were found in previous studies but the new ones discovered made the study take an interesting turn. These new genes were found to connect to cell receptors that were triggered by neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It was theorized that increases in this neurotransmitter worsen the schizophrenia symptoms but it wasn’t actually confirmed until this study.

These scientists have found several hundred genes that were previously unknown. Though no solid facts and evidence came from this study, they took a big step in the right different. Dealing with the brain can be a tricky concept but thanks to these scientists, we’ve taken a step in the right direction to further understand the workings of our brains.

 

Reflection:

Before I even started rewriting this article I knew it was going to be very difficult to write. Overall, the original article was simple and relatively easy to understand but I had gotten very confused once I read the actual journal from the research study. The content was difficult to comprehend and most of it didn’t make sense to me. Honestly this made it hard to figure out where to start. So I tried to use the same technique that was used in the article and I gave background information. Personally, that helped me better understand the information. The only piece of information that I added that wasn’t in the article was a sentence or two about the sample size that was being used. I thought it was very hard to figure this out since I could barely understand anything in the journal. Mainly though, I took out a bunch information that I thought was needed so my summary was relatively shorter than the first article. It’s hard to choose which one I like better but I guess it would have to be the first article. I thought that the author did a very good job with their article and putting all of the essential information into simple terms that made everything easy to understand. They did make theirs somewhat long but I think that it really worked out since there was so much information to cover. I think that journalists who write about psychology deserve more credit because they have to write about some difficult topics and I think that they do great jobs of making it easily understandable.

 

Won, Hyejung, et al. “Chromosome Conformation Elucidates Regulatory Relationships in Developing Human Brain.” Nature, vol. 538, no. 7626, 2016, pp. 523–527., doi:10.1038/nature19847.

News Article


Week 12 First Impression

I’ve always been a very outspoken an opinionated person and I enjoyed taking these tests about things that are controversial. I tried to pick topics that I felt strongly about just to see what my stance actually was according to someone else. I chose to take one on sexuality and one on race. I wasn’t a fan of the sections where you had to use the ‘i’ and ‘e’ keys and match them to the corresponding letters and pictures that would flash on the screen. On top of that, they told you to do it as fast as you could and I thought it was more of a “remember the keys and just click through as fast as you can” test rather than one about my opinion. I am an anxious and jumpy person so when I tried to go fast like they said, I would accidentally click the wrong one. I don’t think they could base my opinion on what keys I clicked and I don’t really see how that contributed to my overall opinion. But I did like the other questions that they asked since they were very straight forward. The results that I got were in the general ball park of my opinion but they weren’t entirely accurate. I think that these tests are both good and bad. A person can take these and get exposed to the content and the different controversial issues but I don’t think that these are very reliable and that people should use these to base all of their beliefs off of.


Spotlight Blog 2

There are numerous arguments revolving around school and the best way for kids to learn. It’s no secret that kids will struggle to some extent no matter what but looking into ways to make it less stressful and difficult is what people have been looking into. I found several articles stating many different pros and cons to one idea: year-round schooling. It was difficult to find an article that was just about all the bad things or just about the good things. It seemed as though there were an equal amount of pros as there were cons.

As far as cons go, I found an article that only had 3 reasons as to why year- round schooling is a bad thing. The first one being fairly simple and practical in that schools would end up having to pay more money than they already do to keep the air conditioning running. The second being that children’s schedules would be messed up and it wouldn’t allow them to have any down time. The article says that some experts believe that summer months allow for greater and healthier development for children. The last one building off the fact that the schedules would be messed up. It would cause extra stress to parents trying to find babysitters who would work three weeks at a time. On top of that, if they have kids at different ages and in different levels of education, then they have to deal with trying to get each one to school at different times.

The second article I found about the cons is very short yet concise. The points made in this one are similar to the previous but there’s one section in this article about kids and summer jobs. Older kids who have jobs over the summer will basically be unemployed since places will not want to hire them for only a few weeks at a time. And this author simply believes that students work hard enough as it is for eight months straight and that they deserve to have a few months rest.

On the other side of things, I found an article that contained 10 reasons why this type of schooling would be very beneficial. To sum up the most important ones of the article, this system would solve overcrowding, it would most benefit low-income families, and it would cut down on “brain drain.” As far as overcrowding goes, the article claims that schools will use something called the “multi-track system.” This will split the kids up into different groups and they will all rotate between being on vacation and being in school. For low-income families, it will keep the kids who are more likely to get into trouble in a safe environment as well as help them keep up with their learning and work. Finally, the brain drain aspect has to do with how children’s brains aren’t learning new things in the summer and when they come  back to school they essentially have lost everything they learned and have to be retaught.

The second positive article I found had three simple reasons to support the change to year-round schooling. The first one being that kids would actually remember what they learned and wouldn’t have to go through the “brain drain” that was talked about in the first article. The second being that it would bridge the achievement gap between minorities and white, economically advantaged students. Dropout rates would decrease and these minorities would be able to learn English much more quickly and easily. The last reason is that students will simply just like school more. Having periodic long breaks will stop them from getting as stressed out with all the work.

After reading these different articles and getting different perspectives, I believe that year-round schooling would be much more beneficial than the school system in place now. It’s all about the students and their learning and if this would make things easier for them, then I think it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.

Sources:

21803, et al. “3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 16 Apr. 2017, http://www.theedadvocate.org/3-reasons-not-to-adopt-year-round-schooling/.

Sines, Julia. “ From Our Archives: Year-Round School Bad Idea for Students.” The Pantagraph, 17 Oct. 2009, http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/mailbag/from-our-archives-year-round-school-bad-idea-for-students/article_356f1b3a-baa2-11de-ade3-001cc4c03286.html.

“Reasons Why Year Round School Is A Good Idea.” Screenflex Portable Room Dividers, 21 Apr. 2017, http://www.screenflex.com/reasons-why-year-round-school-is-a-good-idea/.

21803, et al. “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 13 Aug. 2016, http://www.theedadvocate.org/top-3-reasons-the-us-should-switch-to-year-round-schooling/.


Week 10 First Impression

Intelligence isn’t really something you can obtain through genetics. Though my parents are very smart people, my intelligence has not come from them but from school. I have had my fair share of teachers who just didn’t really care about everyone personally and how well they were doing in their class. But I’ve also had those teachers who want to see people succeed and will help them accomplish that goal. Each of these teachers have had different teaching styles and some just weren’t the most beneficial for me. For instance I had a very strict and scary English teacher my freshman year of high school. She would always call me and others out in the middle of class and when we didn’t know the answer to something she would wait and keep asking us questions until we got the right answer and basically embarrass us in front of the entire class. Ever since then I have absolutely hated English classes and I don’t try very hard in them. It goes the same way  if you have a great teacher, you’ll look forward to their class and try your hardest because you don’t want to let them down.

Going off of my experience with the English teacher, I think an improvement for all teachers would be not to put students on the spot when they don’t know the answers. Especially if they’re one of the more shy kids in the class like I was. Being comfortable in the classroom is one of the key things that contributes to learning and if the student isn’t comfortable and are on edge that they’re going to be called out, then they won’t learn anything. I think this goes along with the teacher recognizing that every student has a different way of learning and they have to adapt to what will be the most beneficial to everyone.


Week 9 First Impression

I find it very challenging to balance school with playing a sport which leads to me being very stressed on occasion. I’ve tried to figure out different stress management strategies and I’ve only found a few that actually help me. Often times when I’m very stressed out, I will step back and take a deep breath and then take some time to just sit and listen to music. It doesn’t really matter the genre, any type will help me get my mind off of things. I’ve also found that taking time to do simple things like read and watch movies or hang out with friends helps too. Sometimes even exercising and going on a run will help me clear my head and make me feel better. Though these strategies work for me I want to be able to prevent me from having to use them as much. I tend to procrastinate with my school work which is something I need to improve with. Something I want to start doing though is managing my time and being organized. I think that if I sit down and prioritize what work I need to get done or what tests I need to study for then I won’t have to stress about getting things done at the last minute. Having something like a checklist would help motivate me to keep up with my work. I also have heard that yoga is a very calming and relaxing thing so I’m interested in trying that to see how it helps with my stress.


Spotlight Blog 1

Unfortunately it is very common for couples in the US to get divorced and leave their children stuck in the crossfire. There is some controversy over the effects of divorce on children and there are numerous articles expressing the negative impacts and well as ones that support the idea that children can escape these divorces unscathed.

The first article is called “The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents.” This article talks about the negative impacts on both young children as well as adolescents and how they deal with divorce in different ways. After a divorce, young children become more dependent on their parents due to their fear of being left behind and forgotten about. Often times, the belief of the child is that “by reverting to a former way of functioning, more parental caretaking may be forthcoming” (Pickhardt). In comparison, the adolescent believes that they need to become more independent and look out for themselves since their parents won’t. They “tend to deal more aggressively to divorce, often reacting in a mad, rebellious way” (Pickhardt). According to this article it doesn’t matter the age, there are negative effects that appear in different ways no matter what.

Similarly, the article “How Divorce Affects Children” speaks of the negative impacts of a divorce on a child. According to Emery, children who are involved with a divorce are at an increased risk for psychological and behavioral problems. Though there are those children who are resilient, and do not suffer from such problems, they still claim to experience painful memories. The main point in this article though is that there is a lot of stress put on a child and this stress tends to strain the relationships between them and their parents.

On the other side of things, the article “Is Divorce Bad for Children” says that though a child will experience pain in the moment, there won’t be any long term effects. There was a longitudinal study done by sociologist Paul R. Amato where his team followed children of divorce as they grew up into teenagers. It was found that there was a very small difference between these children and those who grew up with parents that remained married. The idea of the article was that children of divorce struggle but there are no lifelong effects on them and that they can live normal happy lives.

The second article I found was “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids.” In this article, it is brought up that if a couple who didn’t want to be together anymore stayed together for their children, then that child would be subjected to daily arguments and tension in the household. In the long run, these children will experience more psychological harm than they would if their parents initially got a divorce. They will experience better home lives that are calm as well as better parenting since the parents are separated and don’t argue over everything anymore.

After looking into it, it seems as if divorces impacts on children are initially negative and might take some time to recover from but if handled properly, the child can live a happy life without any future consequences.

Sources:

Pickhardt, Carl. “The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 19 Dec. 2011, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201112/the-impact-divorce-young-children-and-adolescents.

Emery, Robert. “How Divorce Affects Children.” Emery about Children and Divorce, emeryondivorce.com/how_divorce_affects_children.php.

Lilienfeld, Hal Arkowitz Scott O. “Is Divorce Bad for Children?” Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2013, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/

Sember, Brette. “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 24 Mar. 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brette-sember/why-a-good-divorce-is-better-than-a-bad-marriage-for-kids_b_6925236.html.


Week 6 First Impression

I always find it very entertaining to talk about this topic because there’s so many different opinions and reasoning’s behind them. I believe that there’s no question about it when it comes to medical use of marijuana. It benefits so many people who are ill when no other medicine can help them. Its understandable that people believe that the concept of people getting high to make themselves feel better is against moral standards. Making medical use of marijuana illegal is basically denying people treatment and medicine that they need. There’s still the negative effects that it has on your body but I feel like if it’s helping someone with a larger problem than it’s worth it. When it comes to recreational use though, it’s a little tougher to pick a side. People claim that marijuana is a drug that negatively affects your body and impairs your judgement and that if you were to get behind the wheel while under the influence, you put others people at risk. These people are not wrong but if we’re looking at it from this perspective, then alcohol could be classified as a drug as well. They both have the same effects so it doesn’t make sense to have one legal and one illegal. So because of all of this I believe that recreational marijuana should be made legal but there still has to be rules against it like they have for alcohol such as an age limit and laws against being publicly under the influence of it. Quite honestly, there are harder drugs that people could be getting into making marijuana the safest to consume and if it’s easier to get then people might not attempt to try the more dangerous drugs.


Week 5 First Impression

My study habits quite honestly are all over the place and I have yet to find a method that works best for me. I usually spend the day before the exam cramming which I know is not something I should do. But for the last exam I actually starting studying a week or so in advance and I did little sections at a time. Once I remembered and understood something I would move on and try something else. Every so often I would go back to the other topics and quiz myself and the more I got right the more confident I became with the information. For the things I had more difficulty remembering, I would try writing them out a few times or talking out loud and walking myself through everything. I consider these my strengths because I can do different methods and just make the best of it. I think the thing that really helped the most was getting together with someone the day before the test and running over all the content and helping each other through whatever we didn’t understand. When the person I studied with didn’t understand something and I did, I would walk through it which in turn helped me remember it better. As far as my weaknesses go, I have a tendency to get distracted extremely easily when I’m trying to study so next time I think I need to make sure I find a quit space with no technology or people talking. Besides that, I think that if I keep mostly everything the same from studying the first time, I should be able to get good grades on the next exam.