Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at marybraun99

Mental Health Treatment:

According to, psychotherapy brings about lasting changes, and connects the emotion to the root of the problem. The site argues that many people do not realize that psychotherapy is targeting the roots of the problem to bring about a lasting change in emotion. The site argues that pharmaceuticals have an incentive to give patients medication because it makes their industry grow. Disorders such as major depressive disorder create problems for individuals not only in their personal life, but their social life as well. By targeting the root of the problem, there is a possibility of unwavering those problems from your social life and treat your personal life to create a better and healthier life. If you are just taking medication, there is no “fixing” the problem, rather just covering the problem up. Psychotherapy helps you to target your blind spots, and change the things that you never realized were affecting your life.

groupsinc describes the benefits of psychotherapy, and how it is not only a counseling service to help you understand your mental illness, but it also helps you to understand your full potential, and help you to reach it with small goals, and one big ultimate goal. Using psychotherapy is very effective if you are willing for it to be successful. If you are going because you don’t have a choice, and you do not open up to your therapist and let them help you, you will receive no benefits from psychotherapy. Using therapy to find coping skills is more effective than taking a medication, because being able to have life long skills to use when you are going through a depressive episode can help you more in the long run than when you stop taking medications and it fades out.

On the other hand, medications are seen as a better alternative to treating mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder.

According to depressionisreal, it is important to realize that if your symptoms are not severe, medications probably will not help you. If you are suffering from severe depression however, medications will probably be your best friend. If you are taking antidepressants for a shorter amount of time, and just until you can get back on track, that is when it will be most helpful. If you do not have immediate means to solve your depression, medications will help. Even if their effects can not be seen until about 8 weeks in, they are helpful for dealing with anxiety especially because they help to soothe your nerves and help you to better deal with everyday stressors if you do not already have a coping strategy.

On psychologytoday, there is a news article that talks about the benefits of taking medications. It is urgent that you listen to the directions given to you by doctors for the most effective outcome. Some people do not like to open up to other individuals and by taking medication it is giving them a way out, or they are more open and willing to talk to others. Medication can be an effective side to your therapy sessions as it can help you better express what is wrong, and help you get to the roots of your problems. Many people prefer medications because therapy can only provide educational information about their illness and can not provide an actual treatment other than advice and help. Most believe that medication is actually the treatment, or cure to their illness and depend on that more than therapy. Most people just have the stigma that medication works better than therapy does.

Overall, I believe that a combination of therapy and medication is the most effective way to treat a mental illness. A medication should be a helping hand, not the whole treatment. It is important to talk to someone and get the roots of your issues sorted out so that you can live a happy and healthy life later on and not live a horrible life. I think finding a perfect combination and continuing even when you are starting to feel better is the best way to get your mental illness under control and not end up relapsing.


Media Production Project

--Original published at marybraun99

Does Sunshine Affect Your Mood?

Researchers in Australia say that there is a correlation between the amount of sun that is shining and the levels of serotonin in your brain. The Bakers Heart Research Institute was approved for an study involving blood samples and sunlight.  During the summer months many people feel intense happiness, but as soon as the winter months start to kick in, and the cold starts to take over your body many people start to experience seasonal depression. Depression happens when serotonin levels in your body decrease, causing low chemical balances and a feeling of hopelessness.

The research in Australia took 100 volunteers, aged 18-79, that went through intense testing, and had no history of depression or mental illnesses. Once they were tested, their serotonin levels were measured from their jugular veins throughout the year. The blood samples were taken from the jugular vein because the researchers say they wanted blood as close to the brain as they could get.

Data from the research shows that serotonin levels vary from day to day and are lowest in the winter time. It shows that the previous days serotonin levels had no effect on the next days levels. Patients were not permitted to smoke, or have any caffeine 12 hours prior to being tested to get the best results.

Temperature, precipitation, air pressure, and sunlight were all tested, however only sunlight seemed to play a role in serotonin levels in the brain from day to day.

Since the participants were not chosen randomly, and went through intense testing to make sure there was no prior mental health issues were present, this study can not be generalized to all of the population. There was no studies done to see if the levels of serotonin varied as much between those who were already exposed to a mental illness or low serotonin levels. More research would be needed to evaluate those who have a current illness.




During the process of trying to create a new journal article, it was hard to look through the scholarly article and find information that was relevant to the survey. The scholarly article, and the pop news article were very different in the way that they expressed the survey. The pop culture article was very clear and got to the point of what the most important parts of the scholarly article conveyed. The scholarly article had a lot of information that did not make sense to the general public. If you did not have prior education on some of the facts, you would have to skim through it and find key points. (much like I had to do) Since this experiment took place in Australia, some of what was said would not be understood to Americans, and would not be able to get the same information as their codes of conduct and their informed consent vary from the United States. Many of the information that I chose to leave out was all of the information that 5-HIAA, because it does not go into detail, and does not describe what that means or what any of the information that they found while doing the experiment meant. I was not able to understand that information without going on google, and searching it. I chose to leave it out because I did not think it was significant and I thought that the stuff that was significant was most of what was mentioned in the pop culture article because it was basic and to the point. It could also be understood by the general public, which  is what is essentially wanted while writing a journal entry. Overall, I was confused on what to include and what not to include. I believe, however, that the pop culture article I chose was relatively close to what the scholarly article included and there was not much else that could have been said that you would still understand what was going on in the experiment.

Spotlight Blog #2

--Original published at marybraun99

I am choosing to do the controversy behind the DARE program, because this was something most others my age were exposed to this program, whereas the officer who was teaching the program at my school resigned at the end of the grade before mine, meaning I never got the program. Strictly from my experience, my grade, and the grades following mine have had higher drug usage rates than those grades who had the DARE program. My grade growing up was the highest grade that used drugs, whether it was just marijuana or things bigger such as heroin and cocaine.

Among other schools, however, they are reinventing the DARE program across the nation to make it a more positive perspective. According to the DARE website, they even state that many scientists have shown that it did not work. Even though it was the most popular substance abuse program, it did not stop anyone from refusing the drugs.

Most argue against DARE because they learned so much about the drugs, and were taught so much by the police officers that as they got older it ultimately made them more curious as to what that drug would be like, since they heard so much about it from actual cops. Any website that you visit, will most likely tell you that DARE was completely ineffective, because they were exposing children (especially at a very early age) about a ton of different drugs and the effects that they had, and while they might have been scared when they were learning, as they got older, they tended to be more curious.

DARE, while it was in place, taught over 75% of schools in the US, including all 50 states, and 48 countries. It was a huge program taught all over, and studies show that of those people, they had a 5% higher rate of drug use, compared to those who were never exposed to this program. Students involved in this program said that many times a problem with it was that they tried to overstate their message. They drilled it into your head, and made you repeat it so many times throughout school that it basically lost all significance in many peoples minds. The DARE program was also reported to take $1 billion annually to keep in tact.

Although there are many downfalls of the program, there are some things that can be looked at as positive. One website, for example states that the program enhanced the relationship between children and police officers, and helps them realize they are not “the bad guys.” This website also states that those exposed to the program had a 6% higher decision making status compared to those never exposed to the program, but the question remains, is 6% significant enough?

Personally, I believe especially after researching this information that the DARE program was completely useless. Since I never personally had it, I can’t say how effective it was, however, I am aware that since my grade, and below mine did not have DARE they definitely knew about drugs still, but just didn’t care. This program tended to just inform those who were young enough to have an impact on that there was so many types of drugs, making them more curious in the future.

I believe that there should be some type of sexual education class once you get into middle school (7th or 8th grade) since that it when most children are starting to learn about sex. You wouldn’t want to do it at an age that it too young, and not in a manner that was like DARE that would just make children MORE curious about sex. I think it would be more practical just to stress the importance of safe sex, and the consequences that it can have, rather than teaching them not to have sex at all. Many children, especially in this generation are sexualized from the time they are very young, and learn about things that they shouldn’t know about, so by teaching them the importance of safe sex I believe it would be more effective.

This would be the same with any other type of abstinence based program, if you are going to keep it, be sure not to oversell it, and teach them real life scenarios, and the importance of being safe, since most teenagers are going to experiment either way, at least they will know how to be safe while doing it, and know the consequences that can come about from doing anything.

Websites used:

Week 12 Blog Prompt

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During my senior year of high school, I was faced with what most people were going through – where will I choose to go to college?

Like most teenagers I was in the phase where I really didn’t want to go to college, and didn’t care enough about where I went. I had a few places in mind – big places, with over 15,000 students attending the college, ultimately I grew up in a small town, and I wanted to get out of the small college feel. I wanted someone where I didn’t know anybody, and there was tons of people to meet.

Filling out my common app, my mom saw that Elizabethtown had social work, the major  I am currently in college for. I told her it was stupid, and I wasn’t going to go to college there, because it was small. She pushed me and made me go to the accepted students day, and I immediately fell in love with the college. I thought it was a place I would be able to do well in, and focus well there.

During the summer I struggled with a lot of issues, and was a witness for a crime, and had to go to court over the summer, which got continued on through this year. I was stressed out thinking about having to talk in court, or be involved with people I was no longer friends with, so for a while during the fall of 2017 semester I lost motivation in my classes, but after a few weeks I knew I had to pick up the pace, and be able to pass my classes with high grades.

It was a struggle for me to stay motivated, and not eat all the time, and lay in bed. I got a lot of help from my (now) roommate, who saw my struggles, and helped, as well as my other best friends. I also set aside time every week to figure out all that I need to do, and when I need to do it to be sure that I get everything accomplished in a good timely manner, and with good grades.

It’s always hard to stay on track with learning, and studying, but I think one thing I need to work on is not watching to much TV when I get stressed out, and it makes me even more unmotivated, and then all I want to do is watch TV and not get any work done, which I know is super unhealthy. There is a lot I can work on, and I try new ways each day, but it isn’t always easy, especially when you are overwhelmed with work.

Bonus Post – Johari Window

--Original published at marybraun99

For the Johari Window assignment, I chose to pick 5 people I was extremely close with, and 5 people that I didn’t know very well, such as people that were in my class. I did this to see if the people who I didn’t know much had about the same idea as those I am very close with. I thought it would be interesting to see.

During this process, when I started to pick out the 5 words I thought described me it was hard because I thought I fit in the middle of most of the categories, rather than specifically fitting perfectly into a few.

After sending the link to those to pick out traits, I was surprised that almost all of the words that I picked were picked by others too, even though many other words I would never see myself as, is what others put.

It was interesting to see that even those I didn’t know extremely well, they still picked the same words as those that I knew well. I thought the answers were going to be drastically different, however, they weren’t.

There were many places that more than one person picked the same word, but when looking at them I was not sure if they even fit me. It was interesting to see how others would describe me, versus how I would describe myself.

A lot of times people wonder how they look from others point of view, and I think by doing this exercise it almost in a way is like looking in from others perspectives. You see how you look in a way that others see you, rather than just picking words out that you would use to describe yourself.

It almost makes you feel warm in a way, knowing that different people think the same thing about you, and that almost verifies that you are like that, because if it is two people you know, that have never met each other before, but still pick the same personality traits to describe you it feels like that must be a true personality trait of mine.

I think I learned that even when you are having a hard day, and think people see you as a bad person, by seeing how many people chose the same good traits, it makes you realize you see yourself completely different than others see you, which makes you feel more confident.

I really enjoyed this exercise, it helps you learn a lot about yourself, and how others perceive you.

This is the link to my Johari Window….


Week 11 First Impression Post

--Original published at marybraun99

Even before college I have dealt with crazy amounts of stress, especially coming into college, it was a whole new experience that I had to go through and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. Before coming to college, I was dealing with a lot of stress that followed me into college, that I am still dealing with. I have never been good at handling stress, because I get overwhelmed very easily, and most of the time can not figure out a healthy solution to coping with the everyday stress.

I am not very good at time management, and getting my assignments done when they should be done, because I am a huge procrastinator and try to finish all of my assignments right before they are do. This leads to massive amounts of stress, that I know would be solved if I was able to better manage my time, not only with work, but with family and friends as well. Even being in high school I was never good at managing my time with my friends, and my family leaving me always feeling bad about not spending enough time with my family.

Currently, I try to take a shower and set out a planner of things that are due every week on the Sunday before the week starts so I know what I have to accomplish for that week, and try to finish everything during Monday or Tuesday so that I am able to spend the rest of my week without worrying too much about all of my work. This is effective, especially for trying to manage my time, because when I get my work done, I can then be with my friends and not have to worry about procrastinating and worrying if my work will get done on time.

I also try to talk to my friends, and take long relaxing showers and do face masks often during the week when I am not doing anything else. I also try to give myself alone time during the week to focus on myself and not stress myself out more than I already was. I think this is also effective, especially after days when I just finish a lot of work, because it gives me something to look forward to, and help me get through the week,

I think something I could do more effectively would be to just manage my time a little bit better and not try to push things off until the last second so that I won’t be stressed out as often. Work is my #1 stress factor in college, so being able to handle my workload easier will benefit me greatly.

First Impression Post – Week 10

--Original published at marybraun99

I took the four personality tests, and each of them gave almost the same results. They all talked about how in certain situations I was known to be shy, but take on the role of a leader in other cases.

I was surprised that the colors test gave a little bit of an accurate result, because it was something that was so simple, but it gave off information that was true to what I was feeling.

All of the tests I found were mostly accurate, however, I was expecting at least one of them to be completely different from the others, and give off something that I thought did not reflect my personality at all. This did not happen and it showed that usually I like to understand situations even if I find trouble in finding the right answers.

I often think about the world and the way it works, and why it works in that way, which surprisingly said that in most of the results of the personality tests. One of the Personality tests I took, did say that I was not the type of person to take control, and I just agreed with people for the sake of agreeing with them, which I did not think was true, because I believe that I’m somebody that assumes responsibility and usually find myself doing most of the work in group projects.

Other than that, I think these quizzes are interesting and helpful if you don’t know what type of personality you are, because sometimes you believe you are stuck in between a few different personality traits, but by taking these quizzes you may understand more about the type of person you are!

Week 9 First Impression Post

--Original published at marybraun99

For most college students, especially as you move further along in your academic career, your sleep starts to take a back seat. Many people struggle with sleeping too little, or sleeping when they should be doing important work. It is usually said that it is important to maintain a healthy sleep cycle, and go to sleep around the same time every night. As most of us know that is almost completely unrealistic. It is hard to maintain a sleep cycle that is followed every night. We tend to stay up late catching up with friends we feel we haven’t seen because we have been doing work, or we stay up because we are doing work.

I think a realistic sleep schedule would be around 6-8 hours per night for a college student to remain healthy and not over do themselves.

I know, however, that I sleep whenever possible. I usually go to sleep around 11, to maintain a good sleep timer, but I will sleep until 12 or 1 the next day. When I have class at 9:30, I will take naps whenever I can. I think that being in college has made so many of us over tired. I know I always used to like to sleep in, but I would never nap for 2-3 hours a day after getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep that night. It makes me realize that when I try to stay up later I am getting extremely tired and feel like I can’t stay up. I know that this is extremely unhealthy and there should be ways to keep myself active so that this does not affect me in the long run.

I believe that if I can try to get 8 hours of sleep per night, and force myself to wake up and become active and do things throughout the day, such as a job, or doing something that will wake me up and keep me up it will be a huge help. Not just laying in bed all day, watching tv or doing something that will just make me tired is something that I believe I need to change.

I know it usually opposite for most college students, but my roommate, my friends and I all love to nap, so we just get together when we are not sleeping!

Week 7 First Impression Post

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For this first impression post, I am choosing to do option 1. Should medical, and recreational marijuana use be legalized?

I believe for many reasons that both recreational and medical marijuana use should be legal. In many states, medical marijuana, in at least some form, is legalized. However, most states that have legalized medical marijuana use, smoking marijuana is still not legal. The only legal forms are usually cannabis oil. This can benefit so many people, for so many different cases. There are some forms of treatments that do not work for some diseases, or chronic issues, such as sciatica, or seizures… by legalizing medical marijuana those who were once constantly suffering can now live fairly normal, getting the treatment that they need.

Marijuana is only a plant, it is not a crazy chemically active drug that was created in a lab, which we know is not poisonous. This is a huge benefit to those who also would only like an organic form of treatment for their diagnosis. However, some people may disagree that it should be legal. Some people believe that it is only a temporary treatment for seizures, or other injuries, and can have “long lasting cognitive effects on your body” such as depression and anxiety, and therefore it should not be legalized, anywhere.

As far as recreational use of marijuana goes, in states that have legalized it such as in Colorado, they have regulated it, and are actually making huge profits off of marijuana. When it is legalized recreationally that does not mean that the 14 year old kids that are trying to be cool will be able to smoke it anywhere they want, it is just like alcohol. You have to be 21 to be able to get a hold of marijuana. However, I believe that it should be legalized, or at least completely decriminalized, because so many jails and prisons are filled with those who are in for a marijuana related offense, meanwhile, in our present day, heroin, and meth are the main causes of death, but there is hardly anybody in jail over this issue. Whether it is legal or not, people are still going to be doing it, or growing it, or selling it, so if the government can find a way to tax it correctly, and make it affordable to those who want it, they can be looking at a huge profit. Many people are turning to marijuana instead of antidepressants or anti anxiety medications because it is not something that has to be consistently taken for it to have effects.

On the other hand, many people believe that marijuana is still a drug, and no drugs should be legalized, especially not just for fun. They also believe that it will be easier for children to get their hands on marijuana if it were sold in a shop, just like minors seem to always find a way to get underage alcohol. They also believe that those who are currently using it are already abusing it, and there can be no good outcome for the legalization of marijuana.

Overall, I believe, not only for the people, but for the government as well that both medical and recreational use of marijuana should be legalized in the United States.

Spotlight Blog Post #1

--Original published at marybraun99

About 1.5 million children suffer each year from parents getting a divorce. Every year that number seems to  become higher and higher. For many parents they just seem to give up on their relationship, and it results in a divorce. In my family it is extremely controversial as they are so old school, so when my aunt cheated on my uncle and they got a divorce, leaving a stranded 9 year old behind, it felt like his world was crashing, and we all questioned whether this would be better or worse for the child growing up.

Does getting a divorce harm the child or have virtually no effect on the child growing up, and their psyche as they are maturing, and have to go back and fourth between houses? Some people argue that divorce can not result in a happy, healthy child, while others argue that the child can grow up with no psychological issues.

The first article is written recently in 2013 by Scientific American states that children usually feel as though their world is falling apart after a divorce occurs, children tend to adjust fairly well in the years following the divorce. A study followed children of divorce from childhood, to adolescence. It looked over their habits, emotional and behavioral problems, along with social relationships. On average there was almost no difference between children of divorce and children who’s parents stay together. Later in the article it states that many children don’t face divorce-related problems, especially if they lived in a high conflict household before they were told about the divorce. However, if the couple seemed happy, and the child was told about divorce, they were often terrified and surprised, leading to a more difficult time adjusting. Overall, it states that many children adjust well after divorce and lead a happy, healthy life and relationships.

The second article I found that supports that children of divorce can adjust well is a post from thehuffingtonpost, written by Brette Sember, lists a few of the reasons in bold, and explains the reasons why children of divorce do better than children who are constantly exposed to an extremely unhappy marriage. The first example on this list explains two homes that are not constantly filled with arguments. This can benefit a child because they do not have to constantly be exposed to the negativity, and emotional drain that being stuck in the middle of your family constantly arguing brings about. There is a calmer emotional baseline, as well as happy parents, and being exposed to parents co-parenting them, and working together effectively can help the child to learn that compromise is a valuable skill to have in life.  It also states that parents who choose personal happiness are teaching their children to do the same, and to never settle for less than they are truly happy with. This is important, however, I do not think that most children view it this way, as many children see it as nobody, not even their own parents, could be happy together, and it makes them believe less and less in love.

A post written in Psychology today by Jann Gumbiner states that she is a child of divorce and it hurts children no matter what. Children of divorce, especially those of low conflict (about half of those who get divorced) think that it is their fault. No matter what they do, it is their fault. She states that most children lose their motivation in school, and their grades start to suffer, especially right after the divorce. Eventually they can learn to deal with the suffrage, but for a while they are extremely unmotivated. She states that during her teenage years she become very promiscuous because she did not have the constant love and affection from her dad, which is often the case with divorced parents. Often, no matter how qualified the father is, the mother gains primary custody of the child, and the child begins to rarely see their father, leading to a lack of love. She also states that it has affects on child from being in and out of court so many times, and that many children who have dealt with their parents being divorced are more likely to get divorced in the future, because they were already exposed to “giving up” and not working through their problems. Also, she states that fathers are more likely to take in their future wife’s children more so than their own children, which leaves the biological child very much so out of the loop, which is devastating to the child. Overall, she states that it has a long term effect on children, no matter the circumstances.

The last article that I’ve looked into is from a website FocusOnTheFamily, and the article was written by Amy Desai. She states that research before hand was “Happy parents, happy child” that divorce had virtually no affect on the children, however more recent research states that the children suffer from divorce, more so than parents are willing to admit. Children believe that parents should be able to work through anything, no matter the issue, so when they are told their parents are splitting up, they do not understand, and they blame themselves. Many stats say that they will suffer academically, and behaviorally, which is in contrast to the first article that states that there is no consequence from divorced/ parents who are together. They are less likely to graduate high school ( as divorce is becoming more common, it is more appropriate to say they will graduate, but with lower than average scores). Teens from divorced parents are more likely to engage in drugs and alcohol, and sex at a younger age. She states that the the emotional scars from divorce will leave psychological scars, along with emotional issues that will follow them into adulthood. Parents also tend to focus more on their own happiness, rather than their child’s needs, which hurts the child in the long run, because they will not understand that they are important. They are more likely to be in competition for their parents love, especially if the parents start to date, or the father is not in the picture anymore. The time is no longer focused on the children and making them happy, but rather just making themselves happy. Many fathers do ‘adopt’ a new family, creating the child of divorce to be seen as no longer good enough, as they no longer have their fathers love. She also states that it is not an easy out, and is often more complicated than salvaging the marriage.

Overall, I would have to agree that divorce is a hard time for children that often times leads to horrible emotional scars, and trust issues. Especially if the family did not constantly argue, but they were just giving up on their marriage. It is true in a lot of cases that the parents tend to focus on themselves and their own happiness rather than their child’s. My aunt and uncle who have just gotten a divorce are focusing on themselves and often times don’t even see their child for days or weeks at a time because they are too focused with their new life. My aunt, who remarried, now leaves her child in the custody of her new neighbors, or at a daycare, to go on dates and vacations with her new husband. Children of divorce often do a have a harder time coping without both parents than we are willing to admit. Many people that are getting divorced, it is because they do not think they love each other anymore, however, they are just not focusing on their own needs, but their child, if they split the time between themselves and their child, they could salvage their marriage and lead a happy, loving, stable household. It is much like when they divorce they seem happier because they are spending the time on themselves, rather than their children.

Now, sometimes divorce is inevitable and it still leaves scars for the children, but sometimes it is in the best interest of both parties and the child if the parents separate, however, I personally believe that parents should stay together and work through their issues. My parents constantly argued and fought horribly as I was growing up, and my sister got the same anger and fought with my parents to let out her anger. She is a junior in college now, and I am a freshman in college, and our household gets kind of hostile when we go home for breaks, however, my parents together have had the time to bond, and work out their issues since they now have the time to focus on themselves rather than constantly focusing on us being home, and they are a lot happier when they are alone and do not have the constant arguing and tension like they used to have, the tension that used to always make me believe I would wake up one morning to my dad gone (once again) and he just wouldn’t come back this time.