Spotlight Blog Post #3

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

For this post I chose to do the second option of Hoarding. I have people who are close to me that are hoarders, thankfully not as extreme as the ones on the show, and I have seen the show a few times. It bewilders me to see how people can let their house get as bad as some people let it. Frankly, I am the kind of person who can’t stand messes. Recently I visited family and my uncles basement I stayed in had food crumbs all over the floor and the one room smelled awful do to the dogs sometimes using it as a bathroom. I felt so gross that I wouldn’t walk around the house without shoes and avoided the dog smelling room as much as possible. However, the people on this show can be so bad the one person was living in his backyard because his house was filled to the roof with trash.

No matter how extreme the one thing everyone has in common with each other on this show is the hoarding didn’t happen until after an extreme tragedy occurred in their life. Because their hoarding is a result of a tragedy it really raises a question as to if these shows are more harmful to these people rather than beneficial. Personally, I believe they are harmful because they are already feeling stressed and hurt from their family members forcing them to drastically change their ways. Showing their pain on t.v. for the world to see makes them feel even more stressed and vulnerable which can harm their mental health even more which seems highly unethical to me. If families are truly worried about their loved ones then they should help them in privacy rather than exploit them.

When preparing to do this post I did a lot of searching on sources to back up if these shows are beneficial or harmful. Frankly, I couldn’t find anyone who believed this show benefits the hoarders. Every source had reasons to believe the show is harmful to the people being shown. So instead of discussing two sources why this show is good and why it is bad, I am going to discuss three sources explaining why this show is harmful for the people on it. One of the sources does give a brief explanation as to why it can be good.

“Hoarding Reality Shows Might Do More Harm Than Good”

This article mostly discusses about how the shows are harmful but does also talk about how some people on the show say they have credited from it. Information from the British Psychology Society in the article discusses how reality shows should stop entertaining people with the mental illnesses of others. A researcher on the topic of hoarding also believes these shows promote pressuring people to get rid of all of their belongings (trash or not) which is not a healthy way of going about helping them because clearing the clutter isn’t going to help their mental well being. The people on this show would need long term cognitive behavior therapy in order to work on stopping the hoarding. Some people have claimed if it wasn’t for the show then they wouldn’t have come to terms with the fact that they have a problem which led them to seek the help they needed to clean their house and help their mental well being.

This source is credible because they found people who were affected by these shows and got first hand accounts and also included the links to where they found their sources of information.

“The Problem That Piles Up”

This article explains a lot as who what hoarding disorder is and what helps and doesn’t help people with the disorder. This source is credible because it references a lot to the source that they used for their information and also provides a link to that sources for people to use. In the article it references, Dr. David F. Tolin of Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, as saying people who have a hoarding disorder lost their ability to control their decision making. Because of this, when the people are forced to decide whether or not they should throw something out their brain overreacts leading them to believe everything is important even if it is a piece of trash. It seems the best way to try and get someone with a hoarding disorder to take care of themselves is by being gentle and having calm conversations with them. These show are more often than not the opposite of treating someone with a calm and gentle manner.

“Hoarding: why forced clean-outs are unsuccessful”

This article is credible because it has links to some of the information at the end of the article and it also credits a book that was used for research that was written by hoarding specialists.  This article points out what is mostly disturbing about these shows is they don’t educate the public on hoarding being a mental disorder but rather as people who are lazy and giving up on life. This article does a great job of transferring the information written by the specialists into the article. The specialists pointed out how it harms the hoarders to have a family member or the public (health departments) show up at their door ready to clean their house out without warning. In fact, they says it traumatizes them further because they see these things as their life and for someone to throw it away without them wanting to.  It also only changes the living conditions temporarily because the person isn’t getting the help for the disorder they need.

Chapter 15: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

Off the bat I believe this campaign is a good one because not a lot of people see mental health as important of physical health. Its rare you hear employers or teachers tell their employees or students they can take an absence if their mental health needs help. With this campaign working on showing that mental health is as important as physical health to keep our whole well being as one, I believe it will change a lot of people’s lives for the better.

The three goals of the campaign are definite strengths of the campaign. They are aiming to show mental health and physical health are equally as important, creating a way for people to understand the signs of poor mental health, and helping people understand personal mental health is equally as important as the mental health of others. There is also a list of five main signs of someone’s mental health changing for the worst. The one weakness I see in the plan is the timeline of five years. I see this as a weakness because the quicker it happens the better people can get help properly or so others can help those who are having trouble admitting they need help.

I believe this would be beneficial for colleges to incorporate this into their systems. College is the best but worst times of peoples lives. They have new experiences that help them create better and new memories but they also tear themselves apart focusing on school to work on creating a great life for themselves in the future. College students have a tendency to suffer from anxiety and depression going through school because of the great levels of stress they go through. Most of these students don’t understand what they are dealing with or are afraid to admit they need help because some people don’t believe skipping a day of class for a mental break is good for people. Teachers and employers need to be more willing to let someone skip a day of class or leave work a little bit early so people can go relax. If people don’t get some of the relaxing they need then they can have issues with their mental health which can be as harmful as poor physical health.

Hallucinatory states and REM Sleep

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

When we sleep we go through two main stages of sleep we go through; non-REM sleep and REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement and is determined to be where we experience our most vivid dream sleep.  In a study that presents a new Measure of Hallucinatory States (HMS) two independent variables were used: motor imagery and cognitive agency. The motor imagery is the interactions with the hallucinatory world while the cognitive agency is the thought processes that happen while reaching or in the hallucinatory world.

Lucid (hallucinatory) dreams have been described as being able to remember the dream or being able to control or change the content of the dream. Four factors that differ lucid from normal dreams are: understanding one is dreaming, thought level that is engaged, control of the content, and having an outside perspective of the dream. The cognitive agency can play a roll in being able to find a clearer distinction between the lucid and normal dreams by figuring out where the cognitive agency weakens and how we can learn to have a continuous engagement with it.

With this study, researchers are hoping to find a way to use the MHS to alter states of consciousness and understand the effects of manipulations done to the brain. However, the main goal of this study is to understand the levels of lucid REM dreaming.

The study has the two independent variables that will be compared on three levels of sleep; sleep onset, non-REM sleep, and REM sleep. There were 399 reports from 16 college students ranging from age 19-26 years old. There was a 14 day period when they were woken by a sleep-stage detection device. Once they were woken they had to orally record their experience.

To determine if it was motor agency or not, the researchers determined if the recording had a noun phrase in relationship with a verb phrase. Then the recordings of motor agency were separated into two categories, athletic and non-athletic. To determined if it was athletic or not they used the list of Olympic disciplines and World Games disciplines to made the decision. The cognitive agency was determined if there cognitive acts being done in the dream.

Of the 399 reports 150 were for sleep onset, 115 were for non-REM sleep, and 134 were from REM sleep. The cognitive agency showed to have more reports in the sleep onset stage and decreased as the stages reached REM sleep. The motor agencies, however, were the opposite in having the reports be lower in the sleep onset stage and increase while reaching the REM stage. It was found that the athletic motor agency tended to be absent in the sleep onset and more present in the REM sleep stage.

The hypothesis of the study suggested that the cognitive and motor agencies would differ across the board in the results. However, it was shown to not be the case, the motor agencies and the cognitive agencies didn’t differ too much across the board. When comparing the motor agencies the cognitive agencies, it was found they were reported to have been working together most of the time rather than one or the other.

Chapter 14: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

For this post, I chose to do the first option because I wanted to understand the struggles people with schizophrenia go through. When starting this video I was sort of weary about it because I didn’t know what to expect. At first it didn’t see anything that much out of the normal because there were just small flashes of every day normal things such as brushing teeth and reading the news paper. Then the voices start and that is when things started to get weird. The voices were harsh to the person you were simulated to be. Them telling the person they were worthless, there was poison in the food or drinks, and how people were on to the person. It make me feel scared and worried for the person. It is also interesting to see that people like this can experience things that aren’t actually there like the headline of the newspaper changing and the coffee in the mug bubbling. In this film, the person them-self seems to be more calm than I expected. In the media, people with schizophrenia seemed to more frantic about trying to calm the voices and the things they see. More so it seems to me it depends on the person as to how they react to their schizophrenia acting up. The media does tend to do an okay job and being able to express the person with this problem having voices and seeing things that can’t be heard or seen by others.

Chapter 12: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

I chose option one and chose to do the mental health test and the featured task test. The first one I took was the mental health test. This test was interesting to go through because I though the test was going to be about a rate this on a scale test. However it was way different than I expected. The first part was a test to quickly hit E or I if it relates to self or other and calm or anxious. Words would pop up on the screen and there are five minutes to finish 6 rounds of hitting E or I. Because there were so many it had to be done fast. This is a problem for me because half the time my eyes registered the word but my brain didn’t register what the word is making me hit the wrong button even though I knew which one to hit.

The other problem I have with this test is was asking me if I am currently dealing with some mental issues like depression and anxiety. These can show different and everyone. For some people depression involves them working their but off to make others happy and for others it is wanting to lay around in bed all day ignoring the world. For me this part of the test is slightly ridiculous because I can be suffering from depression and not realize it because I am mistaking it for stress mixed with anxiety. This part should have been a survey that involves a few phrases and rating a scale as to how much that relates to me.

At the end of it all, the results were slightly surprising. The results tell someone if they seem more calm than anxious or vice versa. My results were shocking because it told me I am more of the way I haven’t been feeling lately. I do believe if I took it during the school year they results my have reversed because I am calmer during the summer and more stressed during the school year. I don’t think this test can necessarily be good for college students because I don’t believe the questions used to measure our mental health were good. If anything they seemed to be far from questions that can measure if my mental health is in good shape.

For the featured task test this was interesting for me because it asked a lot about my views of males being breadwinners and the females being stay at home moms. For me, an ideal situation is one of the parents being able to stay home with the kids for the first few years while the other works then both go back to work when they have the chance. However due to the way the economy is and how much trouble there is trying to have both parents be able to make enough for a comfortable living, the ideal situation is to have both parents work but have leeway to be able to spend as much time with the children as possible.

At first I didn’t mind because there were questions like if i agree or disagree. But then there were the E or I questions like there were in the mental heath one. I had problems with trying to chose those the write questions again. When looking at my result it said there are too many errors to get results. This disturbs me because that means most of the results are based on the part where I have to hit E or I fast. This is the part that messes me up because my brain doesn’t register everything as fast as my eyes do. I also don’t believe this is a good test either because it didn’t have good questions that can measure my opinions. I especially don’t think think it is a good test if it tells me it can’t give me results because I messed up the E or I questions too many times because my brain doesn’t register it as fast as it wants me to.

Chapter 13: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

When going through each test, it was interesting to see how I think about myself. The one I didn’t like to take was the color test. I don’t understand the purpose of the color test because how much can people understand about themselves from color? However the results for all of them were interesting. I got two different results from the tests that gave answers of ISFJ and ISTJ. It is interesting to see how I still test as introverted, sensing, and Judging but the feelings and thinking differed. I believe this is due to the nature of the questions. The questions on the two tests were worded differently which made me think about them differently than I probably normally would. After reading the results from the Big Five Personality and the Color Quiz, I am not entirely sure what to make of them. The big five personality results give very tiny descriptions and didn’t give me much room as to what I should think about myself based on them. The color quiz, as stated before, didn’t seem to have a purpose. As I was taking the quiz I didn’t feel indifferently about each color except for one and that’s because it was my favorite color. The results also feel like they don’t reflect me as a person either. For the most part they feel as though they are the opposite of who I am and they were slightly insult as to what the results had to say.

Spotlight Blog #2

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

For this post, I chose to do option one on memory.

10 Study Methods for College-Bound Teens:

This article is an interesting read. As a college student myself, I found myself agreeing to a lot of the tips it the article provides. This article included ten tips; ask for help, study outside of class, use your peers, get organized, sleep, eliminate distractions, maintain health, track habits, stop procrastinating, and work on soft skills. All of these tips are highly important to follow. For the sleep and health, if someone isn’t maintain a good sleep schedule or isn’t in good health it can make the brain seem foggy and hard to focus because the body is going into a chemical imbalance and is trying to correct itself. During this time your brain is more focused on healing yourself rather than being able to store the information you are learning making it more difficult to remember later. Asking questions and using your peers is a good way to understand what you don’t know. When we are learning new things our brain goes through a process of encoding. If we learn something that seems confusing and we don’t ask questions, instead of encoding and storing the correct information for later use our mind will process the wrong information. If questions are asked to a teacher or a peer gives a better explanation, then we can correct the information being encoded before it is too late. Getting organized, not procrastinating, and eliminating distractions are important because they can help with recall, retrieval, and storage. Being organized with a planner is a good way to help keep track of what needs to be done because college has a lot of assignments and a planner is a good way to help someone recall what those assignments are and for what class. Stopping procrastination and eliminating distractions is extremely helpful because procrastination can hinder your brains ability to store the information. The longer you wait to study the less likely you will have time to process what you just learn causing problems to recall that information. Distractions can also affect the storage and recall in the same way because they just create their own form of procrastination by tearing your mind away from your current situation.

Top 10 High School Study Tips

The ten tips are: be engaged, stay up to date with homework, organize, have a routine, have objectives, have a study station, stay away from electronics if possible, manage stress, take advantage of technology. In all honesty, I feel this is a better article for college students than for high school students but it can work for high school students too. Being engaged and staying up is great because if you aren’t then your mind can learn the wrong information and not properly encode it. Plus, if you are confused it can be easier to ask the teacher questions. Being organized and having a routine is very important for any student. A routine and being organized is important because your mind can use chunking to encode the information you are learning rather than taking time out of your day and disrupting your memory process by having to recall what you need to do for the day. Staying away from electronics and taking advantage of technology seems to be redundant, but if you put your phone on silent and use your laptop to take notes or research the topics being learned then your brain will have less of a distraction making it easier to encode the new information for later.

10 Good Study Habits to Help Your Child Succeed in the New School Year

These ten study habits for parents to help their children are: get organized, know the expectations, develop a study plan, think positively, create a study group, practice active listening, review test-taking strategies, read actively, and look into the future. It is great for parents to help their children out because the more stress a student as then the harder can get for their brain to focus on processing the information and storing it because it is more focused on trying to come up with ways on how to fix the other situations. Developing a study plan is great because the student and the parent can come up with different ways that it makes it easier for the student to learn the new information. Getting organized and knowing the expectations are good to help keep the student on track of what they need to do rather than forcing them to remember it all themselves and delaying the process of them encoding and storing the new information. Practice active listening, review test-taking strategies, and read actively are all good because it falls under the testing effect. The testing effect is being able to retrieve information in different forms rather than memorizing it by rereading.

Chapter 9: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

When it comes to thinking about school, it is weird to believe I have been in school for about 15 years. Over the years, I have encountered many educators. Some left me with pleasant experiences and some left me with not so pleasant experiences. A couple left me with a love hate relationship, like a certain band director I know.

Up until I graduated, the public school system I went to for elementary, middle, and high school didn’t seem to have any thing wrong with the system itself. They gave every student the same treatment as whole. However, the individual teachers would treat students different. The best examples come from high school. There is a band director who has a tendency to show who his favorites are in front of other students whether he realized it or not. Luckily, he never tells a student he didn’t like them but he talks about them behind their backs to other students. Unprofessional? Absolutely, but he is also a great teacher in the sense he has developed different ways that has made even a person who was awful at playing an instrument could become one of the best musicians in class.

Since starting college, my view has changed. I feel as though its more than just the teachers now. Its the politics involved in running the school that has become an issue.  In the recent years, schools have become more concerned in raising money than with the quality education they are giving the students. Colleges in particular are notorious for this kind of behavior.

The business department is currently getting hit with a problem I believe to be an issue for ridiculous reasons. A marketing teacher retired this past semester which left us with only one marketing professor to handle all the marketing students for advising and classes. When it came time to discussing hiring someone to take over the empty marketing we were told there was no money to replace him. This to me seems like an ironic situation because I keep getting hit with more expenses. So if I have to pay more than I did last year in tuition and other expenses, where is all the money going if we can’t afford one new teacher? This is the problem I have with the college system.

The people, teachers and more, have done nothing other than treat the students like they truly care about their future, which is how they should treat the students. I have year to have a teacher treat me any way other than with the care of my future I deserve. Certain teachers, like my tax teacher, show it more than others, like a poetry teacher, but that happens. I don’t expect a poetry teacher to want to put in as much effort on an accounting major that they do an English major. Some students do have their own issues with certain teachers but it seems to be more of a personality clash than the teachers genuinely treating them bad.

The fact that the school can’t afford to give a department a new teacher they deserve while making the students pay more than ever before is an issue that needs to be fixed. Many students like myself believe the new gym is an excuse for the school to spend more money than it is bringing in. The school should be coming up with ideas to change the school then get the student’s input so they can spend the money in places that would benefit the students in places they want rather than where the school things the students will be benefited.

Chapter 11: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

Ironically, I felt the first prompt is the best one for me to do after one of the most stressful days of my life. Today is one of those days where everything that can go wrong did even thought it shouldn’t have happened in a million years. I messed up majorly at work. I should have gotten screamed at by my boss but I am extremely lucky she is a very understanding and can tell how annoyed at myself I am for what I did.

I am the kind of person who can cry over everything but also doesn’t. You may hear about people who will cry even at the simplest thing that make them happy like seeing a dog or how a simple mistake like writing 2017 instead of 2018 will make them burst into tears. I am luckily not that bad. I am less extreme than that. Do I still tear up over a test I bombed even though I know I am an awful test take even when the answers are right in front of me? Absolutely. Do I cry when I what two people I barely know get married? You would be wrong for saying no.

When I am stressed, the tears are a thousand times worse. It is my number one defense mechanism for stress. There have been times where I only wanted to scream and throw stuff, but that is very very rare for me. Its mostly just letting the waterworks flow from my eyes. I have gotten better at being able to handle it and try not to let the tears flow by doing slow breathing and trying to think of songs that make me happy, funny stories, or other happy things that put me in my happy place. Even though crying it our usually helps the most it can be pretty embarrassing which makes me more stressed so I try to stick to the happy thoughts and the breathing the most. If it happens to be school work stressing me out, I will set it aside and work on other school work or do a stress free activity until my mind is clear of the work stressing me out. Then I would return to it.

Even though I feel my stress management works pretty well I do believe I can do better. The number one thing I have problems with is remembering not everything is the end of  the world. If I get a C or D in a class not related to my major its not the biggest deal because that class has no affect on my future employment (or it shouldn’t). If I accidentally closed a word document without saving it, I know plenty of people who can recover it for me, so I just need to remind myself that it can be handled and it isn’t the end of the world so I remain calm and not have a mental breakdown. As long as I remember things can be worse than the situation I am in and do my breathing techniques I should be good to handle my stressful situations.

Chapter 10: First Impression

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

I feel as thought my ability to read facial expressions is way better than my ability to read a tone in voice. I thought I would get only one or two wrong during the test. The test results actually showed I can identify 15 of the 20 faces. This isn’t as good as I thought I was going to do but I was surprised at the end the results were that high. There were a few times I had gotten the contempt, happiness, and love mixed up. I had also gotten confused about the anger or pain faces mixed up because they were so similar. I was able to find the surprised and excited faces easier to tell apart because they were a little more exaggerated than the simpler emotions. I would definitely try and use this in everyday life to know how to understand a person is feeling. By having a sense of how a person feels I can turn a conversation one way so the other person wouldn’t get hurt or mad.