Spotlight: Mental health treatment Option three

--Original published at Em

Background to major depressive disorder is Catatonia, delusions, destruction, disorder. Cognitive therapy which was established by cognitive behavioral therapy Beck et al. Antidepressants most commonly prescribe are ADMs.

Supports my perspective

I believe that the best treatment is a combination of antidepressants and cognitive therapy. While the patient is learning to cope mechanisms, and learning reframing techniques they still have the antidepressants to fall back on. There is a large amount of data that antidepressants treat moderate to severe depression. There is less data on cognitive therapy. The objective is to compare the efficacy is moderate to severe depression of antidepressant medications with cognitive therapy in a placebo controlled trial. The design is 16 weeks of cognitive therapy, 16 weeks of medication, and 8 weeks of pill placebo. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale provided continuous severity scores. At week 8 50% of the medication and 43% groups were superior to placebo. At the end of the study cognitive therapy was just as effective as medications. Some limitations are the quality of the therapists. The Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program Compared cognitive therapy and Antidepressants and no differenced were observed between cognitive therapy and antidepressant patients.

For Antidepressants

The National institute of mental health first recommends antidepressants as treatment for major depressive disorder.  Antidepressants alter the way the patient’s brain uses chemicals, so it is more efficient.  The national institute of health leans towards these methods because they have empirical evidence of neurotransmitters. The National institute for metal health also discusses cognitive therapy but as a second option to antidepressants.

The in the national revision of neuroscience 2008 by the National institute of health. Patients are advised to take ADM for at least six months to prevent relapse. In the patient does not experience symptoms then they are said to be cured if they do have symptoms then they are prescribed antidepressants indeterminately. These patients are deemed to have chronic depression. The efficiency of ADMs has been established in “thousands of placebos controlled clinical trials.” ADMs seem to be symptom suppressive instead of curative.  Lots of studies have shown that ADMs change the regulatory processes of the monoamine systems. Some negative effects are changes in sleeping, appetite sexual interest, and emotional response.


For cognitive therapy

In the United Kingdom’s National Health Service it is stated that cognitive therapy is as effective as antidepressants and therefore recommends cognitive therapy first. The antidepressants simply suppressed the side effects while the cognitive therapy got to the root of the problem and cure the problem. This study was carried out by the University of North Carolina International and Danube University. Then peer reviewed by the British medical journal.  Some limitations are this is only for moderate depression some doctors think that severe depression need to be treated with antidepressants first.

The Time magazine used a PET scan to see the brain function when researchers took scans. The participants who got well had increased insula this is a region that assesses or signals pain.  The pattern of insula levels predicted who would respond better to talk therapy or antidepressants. Those who responded best to talk therapy tended to have reduced insula compared to before.  Cognitive therapy teaches the patients what their thoughts mean and teaches them coping techniques therefore is advised.


@maiasz, M. S. (2013, June 17). Talk Therapy or Antidepressant? A Brain Scan Predicts Which Works Best for Your Depression. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from

Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2017, from

DeRubeis, R. J., Siegle, G. J., & Hollon, S. D. (2008, October). Cognitive therapy vs. medications for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms. Retrieved December 07, 2017, from

Http:// (2017). doi:10.18411/a-2017-023

Talking therapy ‘as effective as antidepressants’ study finds. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2017, from


Media production

--Original published at Em

The article about transience memory is about the idea of never forgetting as a memory superpower. Dr. Richards and Frankland challenge function of forgetting. Dr. Richards and Frankland suggest that the best model of memory could be one that forgets. This was published in the Neuron and was socking as it suggested that our brains purposely forget. In a case study by Russian Neuropsychologist Luria’s patient remembered every minute of every day. This hindered the patient in his every day life. No experience was ever new.  He had trouble separating events remembering what was normal and what was new.  Some memories constantly haunted the patient in vivid details while other important facts were mixed around among st every detail of the patient’s life. Overfitting or never forgetting can cause adverse impacts on the individuals life. Richards and Frankland’s study focuses on the importance of transience in decision making. Richards and Frankland propose that transience and persistence combined is the optimal decision-making model.

Forgetting is an implicit function of memory to weed out the important memories from the fluff.  Memory is important for humans to make informed decisions based on past mistakes. In order to understand the forgetting and memory there are a few important terms. Memory is defined as making information permanent information permanent or persistence (Richards & Frankland, 2017). Transience refers to forgetting the past or petty details (Richards & Frankland, 2017).   Remembering is reactivating the patterns of nerve activity that were present at the encoding stage . Long term potentiation can explain the increase in synaptic strength between neurons. On the other hand, a depression can also increase memory. Richards and Frankland researched the enzymes necessary for transience and persistence. Intelligence is a balance of memory and transience.

The key enzymes Blake and Frankland studied were in relation to persistence were CA2 and ZIP to help encode and ensure memory In. forgetting the key enzyme is GluA2.  To start with forgetting there was research previously that promoted GluA2-containing AMPA receptor endocytosis and could also promote forgetting. Protein kinase PKC maintains Long term potentiation.  Long term potentiation was then blocked first to stimulate GluA2. Richards and Frankland also found that neurons were generated from the stem cell.  When neuron cells assimilate into the hippocampus then a memory is made. When new neurons come into the hippocampus the circuits rewrite memories.

This was then studied in rats to support the findings.  The version studied in rats was Rho GTPase Rac1 which potentiated the spines through dendric targeting. The shocks caused shrinkage. The increase in shocks caused more transient memory. In natural forgetting actin dynamics decrease forgetting. In an enriched environment neurogenesis was more likely in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is where memory is processed. Then the paper focuses on decision making since the individual has only important memories left then the individual can make informed decisions. The error to trusting in memories as they are not always remembered with reliability. Memories may be flawed but they are changed based on experience to help the individual succeed in the future. For example, maybe a person hates beef because they got very sick after eating one once. Memory helps decision making even with reliability issue.

Article length 750

Summary length 530


I further respect journalist because while trying to summarize my research article it was very difficult to decide what is important. It was also difficult to compete with the pop news article because I felt it just catered to the exciting headline instead of the actual science behind the headline. I feel in journalism it is so easy to twist the truth and miscommunicate the facts. This is because when someone else is recounting an event there is always bias to what someone feels is important. I felt the science was more important to understanding how transience memory worked. On the other hand, someone else could easily feel the overall meaning is what they want to read in a news article. I did agree with national public radio that the case study of patient S was important to understanding the concept of never forgetting.

I feel national public radio conveyed transience as if we just forget the concept of neurons was nonexistent. The news article focuses on reader interaction instead of scientific findings. Funding on the other hand runs scientific findings so public interest runs innovation either way. I included key definitions for understanding. I then followed by outlining the enzymes that caused transience and persistence of memory. I found this process very difficult as I did grossly summarize the presses of encoding and memory formation. I felt I included the science but only to a limited degree. I included the combination of transience and persistence as these were the crucial themes.The five critical questions were not clearly included in the research article therefore I could not integrate them into the media production project. The five critical questions were not addressed in the scientific study or the pop media article therefore I could not address them.


Richards, B. A., & Frankland, P. W. (2017). The Persistence and Transience of Memory. Neuron, 94(6), 1071-1084. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2017.04.037

“Public Radio Finances.” NPR, NPR, 20 June 2013, Accessed 23 Sept. 2017.



Johari Window

--Original published at Em

This experience was quite interesting. I was surprised my friends and family thought similar things about me as I did. The characteristics I picked were adaptable
dependable, independent, reflective, and logical. I found it hard to select five to six characteristics.

I do agree with statements made in class that personality tests are mainly reductive. I felt I could relate to a lot of the other qualities but they did not define me. For example I am organized but that is not more important than dependable. I felt this test was subjective to whatever the person rating the other person felt was important. For example I have a friend who is very religious and rated me as religious. I do go to church but I would not say that is one of my top five Johari Windows. Obviously if they are filing out your Johari window they have ties to you in some way and appreciate some aspect of you. 

It was very interesting to see what everyone thought compared to what I thought. There were a lot of synonyms that described what I selected. 72% of people thought I was independent and intelligent.  No one agreed with me that I am logical. Some characteristics that surprised me were spontaneous and complex.

I feel this exercise could have gained validity if the people rating the characteristics identity was protected. I feel since the person knew their results would be apparent to all they only selected positive things and could have looked at previous ratings.

Spotlight 2: DARE

--Original published at Em

The DARE program was a government run program from sixth grade through high school aged children to prevent drug use. DARE stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (Cima). DARE was popular in the 1980s and 1990s (Cima).  Children who went through the DARE education program were no less likely to partake in drugs (Cima).  The DARE curriculum consisted of seventeen lessons starting at personal safety and leading to gang pressures. Science from DAREs start supported that DARE would not be successful. DARE was taught by police officers as they are more familiar with crimes.  Officers received 80 hours of training to teach techniques in classrooms (Cima). DARE focuses on building a child’s self-esteem and resisting peer pressure (Cima) First Lady Nancy Reagan helped boost the program with coining the term “just say no” (Cima).  The program was wildly popular among adults even with the multi million dollar price tag. In 1995 DARE had a cost at 200 million to 2 billion.  DARE was funded by government, state and local tax money. DARE supporters accused critics of being in cahoots with drug cartels (Cima). Politicians didn’t care about the adverse research because parents believed DARE was working and Parents vote.  DARE executives used evidence that the programs popularity equated to credibility.

DARE was also reviewed by the Government Accountability Office.  The office found that there was “no significant difference between the DARE group and the control group” (Cima) Ennett and colleagues ran a quasi-experimental research project in 1993 meaning there was no random assignment. The logistic regression with odd ratios adjusted had no significant effect on alcohol use, cigarette use, or heavy drinking (Rosenbaum). Rural students were half as likely to increase their cigarette use from pretest (Rosenbaum). Yet they were more likely to increase alcohol use upon post test (Rosenbaum).  There was no effect on urban or suburban students who received DARE training. This effect for rural students wore off after a year.  There were no long-term effects (Rosenbaum).

I feel the program was very costly. I feel like if any program costs 200 million to 2 billion dollars there should’ve been some more focus on results. I believe the program went as far as it did because of the popularity with parents and politicians. Of course, the idea of preventing drug use and building children’s self-esteem sounds like a fabulous idea. I also think the idea of police officers working in schools foster appositive impression of police in children’s mind. I feel DARE was idealistic and that is why it went so far. There was a decrease of drug use statistically in the 1990s but his wasn’t specifically focused in schools and I believe was misattributed.

As far as similar abstinence based programs I do not think they are effective I think as they are similar programs similar results were occurring. I think programs focusing on healthy decision making should be used.  I think these programs must expose children to what will happen if they partake in these activities and inform them of the risks. Then focus on the point that they can make the smart informed decision.


Cima, R. (n.d.). DARE: The Anti-Drug Program That Never Actually Worked. Retrieved November 04, 2017, from

Rosenbaum, D. (n.d.). Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). Retrieved November 04, 2017, from

Week 10 first impression post

--Original published at Em

Growing up, I felt the experience in  elementary school was very positive. I mean how negative can kindergarten to fifth grade be. I did believe that the foundations in a child’s education built their character. In elementary school I remember my teachers being positive overall. I do not remember being talked down to ever. I remember being positively reinforced a lot when I got good grades. The only interaction I remember being negative is this 100 problem times table multiplication test I could never finish them all in time.  Eventually I did and it was fine. Everyone else did and then they got a giant chocolate bar.

I also feel like in school sometimes everyone is so much in competition for grades they’re not focused on actually learning. For example they just cram information into short term memory but do not actually understand what is going on. I feel like sometimes other students make it  a negative experience and make other students feel dumb. For example a lot of students are afraid to ask questions to sound dumb or they are so confused they do not even know what to ask. There is a very competitive atmosphere and its difficult to not just come to a professor during office hours instead of when its actually happening. I do think if you ask a question and a teacher replies kinda snappy or judgmental then a child will not want to ask a question again.

I also think if a child is not succeeding in a class and they continue to see poor grades they are not encouraged to keep trying for better grades. I do not think we can eliminate grades but perhaps grade off of effort and comprehension combined. Of course this is hard to measure.

Week 10 First impression

--Original published at Em

I believe that children are more violent when exposed to violence in media. I feel as if there is some knowledge that is innate and some is learned. I feel as if innate abilities are sleeping, emotions, eating. Social activities are not so innate. When I go to a new place for example central Pennsylvania 300 miles away from where I live I most definitely observed to see if there were blatant differences. Social interactions are learned. Nuances are specific to places but overall social interactions are learned. Bandura developed the social learning theory supported the claims that children learned through observation. The theory explains that children find models such as their parents, media, friends, or classmates. The social learning theory only works if the child is attentive, retains the information, can reproduce the behavior, and is motivated.

To  the best of my memory Bandura developed this theory from his experiment on the bobo doll. A bobo doll is a inflatable doll comparable to a punching bag.  First the child watched a model either express aggression by punching the bobo doll or by playing with other toys in the room. Another group had no model I do not recall their outcome.  After watching the model of their selected group (Aggression or playing with other toys) The child was left in the room. Children were aggressive towards the bobo after watching a model abuse a bobo doll. Therefore forming the social learning theory. I believe that child do learn from observation therefore increased influence of violence in any form will increase aggressive behavior. I think for the early early of my children’s childhood I would minimize video games with very graphic violence. I understand that children at a certain age understand it is a video game. I think the extent of violence could be minimized  to achieve the same climax  of the game.

Week 9 First impression post

--Original published at Em

I chose option two which is a reflection on Kelly McGonigal. McGonigal started off with a study on 30,000 Americans asking how much stress they experienced? They were also  asked if they believed stress was harmful. Then the researcher checked the death rates. People who believed stress is harmful for their health had a 43% higher chance of dying. People who did not believe stress was harmful were least likely to die. 20,000 people died from stress  according to McGonigal.  That would mean that changing what you think about stress would make you healthier. Then McGonigal explains the research that if you rethink your biological reaction to stress as this is my body preparing me for a situation. The heart pumping fast is to get more oxygen to your brain. Then she moves on to Oxycontin  explaining it is just as a stress response as your heart pumping. Oxycontin makes sure you tell people you and get that support in stressful situations. Oxycontin helps repair your heart in social situations. A person then releases more Oxycontin when people interact with people. Caring for others can counteract the stress.

I think the speaker is credible because scientifically that is sound. She is a Professor at Stanford so that also heightens her credibility.  I agree with her also because physiologically there are a lot of examples where a persons mindset changes the outcome of an event. For example if you believe you cannot do something you automatically shut down or or subconsciously do not try as hard. In my life I feel this way about Chemistry I must change my mindset about it. I do not hate chemistry it is not too hard and then i can focus. I could implement this into my life by simply believing that the Adrenalin response  at exam time is to help me preform at my prime. I can also manipulate Oxycontin to repair my heart as Mcgonigal suggested.

Week 8 First Impression- Emotion

--Original published at Em

Dan Gilbert suggests that the pre-frontal cortex is the justification for the advancements of the human mind. This is because humans can simulate situations. The impact bias suggests that different impacts are less severe or have less impact then they do. The fact that astonished me was that i it happened more that 3 months ago than it has no impact. Humans synthesize happiness. Synthesized happiness is what we get when we do not get what we wanted Natural happiness what we get when we get what we wanted. People do not know they synthesize happiness and this “can be a supreme disadvantage”. The irreversible term is not conducive to the synthesis of happiness. This is because happiness does not work when the student is killing themselves over the choice instead of just being content with what they have.  If someone is always worrying about their own mistakes then they are not content. They cannot learn. Gilbert claims we can manufacture happiness if we simply allow ourselves to be.

I believe this is very true. This perspective is very true. I always stress so much. I stress over things for example in chemistry if I do not have exactly the grade I want I am not happy. Where Gilbert is correct if I am trying my best this is not the end of the world. IN the long term being grateful for all the things you do have is much more important than focusing on the one thing you do not.


Week 7 First Impression- Sleep

--Original published at Em

I chose option one because I though it would be more interesting. Russell Foster’s three prominent arguments are restoration, energy conservation, brain possessing an memory conservation.

Restoration means that when we are asleep everything we use during the day we need to recover. This theory goes in and out of “style” and is in style right now.  The energy conservation Idea is not very good because the difference between calories is 10  between being awake and asleep. This is not a very valid theory. Memory processing is that when you are asleep the mind needs to sort the memories and process the days memories. The mind is three fold more effective after sleeping. Again there is not one proven reason just evidence that sleep deprivation reduces creativity and concentration. I was also particularly surprised by the fact that Ghrelin is produced if you have 5 hours of sleep of less a night. Ghrelin increases appetite.

I think the restoration and the memory conservation theories make sense. The restoration theory is logical because the brain uses a lot of energy. Recovery and rest are necessary for any muscle.

The memory processing approach argues that during the day your mind takes in so much that it needs time to sort whats important. It seems logical to me that during the night your brain would have all its energy to commit to sort through the vast amount of information. Some memories go to long term memory. The encoding process allows for later retrieval. In conclusion there is no one theory.

Divorce’s impact on Children

--Original published at Em

Divorce in the US is very prevalent currently with the rates at 46.37% (National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends) with data gathered by census. With this high of divorce rates  in America there have been rumors of wrecked children but what actually is the long-term effect of Divorce. One of the major factors during a divorce is the impact on the children. Parents fret over long term damage to their children such as fearing long term relationships and marriage.

In the first argument stating divorce is not harmful for children was found in an article titled “Is Divorce Bad for Children the Scientific American.” This article argued that divorce is not negative for children long term (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz).   In 2002 psychologist Hetherington at the University of Virginia concluded that most children experience temporarily negative effects from divorce (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz). These feelings usually stop after a year. Only a minority of kids suffer longer. Overall most children are not affected in the long term and thrive (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz). In 2001 Amato from Pennsylvania State University, studied the possible effects on children several years after a divorce (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz). He studied this by comparing a control of children with married parents and children from divorced parents (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz). This study compared their academic achievement, emotional and behavior problems, delinquency, and relationships (Lilienfeld, Arkowitz). There was little to no significant difference in results supporting the claim Divorce does not negatively impact children in the long term.

In Berlins’s Article supporting divorce doesn’t negatively impact children. The study found that there were many different factors such as impact, violence, employment and support (Berlin). The Study suggested that in average middle class white family divorce doesn’t impact the children negatively in the long term. This is because they have enough support and economic wellbeing.

The argument that divorce negatively impacts children focuses on the short-term effect mainly (Gross). This article specifically was published by the Huffington post focuses on the impacts by age. Younger children are confused and older children are still egocentric and cannot imagine the idea of their parents living apart (Gross).  The article doesn’t focus on after the separation. Anyone no matter the age feels uprooted moving. The change in routine is difficult for children.

The next article is about the impact of family structure on health of children by the National Center of Biotechnology. This article argues by three decades of research that children “married, biological parents consistently have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being” (Anderson).   The only exception to this rule was when violence was involved. The study showed that the average age of women getting married increased and the rate of marriages decreased (Anderson). The implications of the study suggest that the emotional instability.  The long-term argument argued that the emotional implications are worse because of relationship with parents (Anderson).

In my experience, I believe divorce is in the long term is not negative. In the short term I do believe it is very stressful even as an adult.  Currently my family is moving and my fifteen-year-old sister is moving schools. I agree with Berlins perspective that each family is different and has different factors such as economics and emotional support. I also agree with Gross’s stance that the age of children changes their interpretation. In conclusion there are many factors and in short term it is negative because of change of routine. In the long term the majority of children adjust.


Anderson, Jane. “The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce.” The Linacre Quarterly, Maney Publishing, Nov. 2014,

Berlin, Gordon Anonymous. “The Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Families and Children.” Mdrc, 24 Apr. 2017,

Gross, Dr. Gail. “The Impact of Divorce on Children of Different Ages.” The Huffington Post,, 12 Mar. 2015,

Lilienfeld, Hal Arkowitz Scott O. “Is Divorce Bad for Children?” Scientific American,

“National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Nov. 2015,