Spotlight Blog 3- Option 3

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

There is a lot of controversy over whether medication or therapy is better when  seeking treatment for a mental health condition. Major depressive disorder is the most common mental health condition in the U.S. and can be treated with either medication or psychotherapy. There are many reasons why each of these treatments are better than the other. Psychotherapy is a talk therapy that allows the client to speak with a professional about how they feel, which is great for people with major depressive disorder because it makes them feel heard and they are able to be given coping mechanisms from the therapist based on what they tell the therapist. Psychotherapy is not categorized as one thing, there are many different kinds of psychotherapy that the therapist would be able to decide what technique they would use based on the client. All types of psychotherapy teach individuals about depression, help the client understand, express and control their feelings more effectively, and transform their negative feelings to be more positive and uplifting.

There are many traits that make up a good therapist;

sophisticated, builds trust, acceptable, influential, optimistic, reflective, and hopeful.

By having a therapist with these traits, the use of psychotherapy as treatment is better than medication because it is more cost effective and leads to less relapse. In a study performed by Boadie W. Dunlop, M.D., people with depression were more likely to refuse medication than to refuse psychotherapy, and those who were treated with medication were more likely to drop out of treatment earlier than those who were being treated with psychotherapy.

There are a lot of people who do believe that medication is a better alternative to treating major depressive disorder. Kathryn McHugh did an investigation of the McLean hospital where she discovered the majority of patients preferred medicinal treatment over psychological treatment.  It has been proven that medication will help relieve depression, but it is difficult to prove that psychotherapy can do the same thing. Although psychotherapy has been deemed evidence-based, people find it hard to believe that this is true and trusting the studies that prove this, which is why many people still prefer medication over psychotherapy.

It was very difficult to find articles about why medication is more effective than psychotherapy when used for mental illnesses and I think this is because many people are now looking for the healthiest and most effective way to get help. I think that many people are afraid of medication and are aware of all the harm it can do. Psychotherapy is a healthier and safer way to get help for mental illnesses because it doesn’t come with side effects or a list of dangers, it’s a client telling the therapist how they feel and being able to confide in someone they trust and getting support and coping strategies that are healthy and helpful specifically for them that can be changed according to the specific client at any time.


Psychotherapy is effective

Psychotherapy vs. depression

Medication vs. Psychotherapy


Media Production Project

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

Can Money Really Buy Happiness?


Across the world, people have been suffering from time scarcity, which can be linked to reduced happiness, increased anxiety, insomnia, and a lower well-being. An Experiment that consisted of large samples from the United States, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands would test if people who spend their money on services that save them time are happier than those who spend money on materialistic items. In the samples from different countries in the world, it was found that the higher the income, the greater the time scarcity, which leads to time stress. This study tested if buying free time (paying for a cleaning service, a cook, etc.) would reduce the negative effects that result from time stress.

The researchers hypothesized that buying time may provide an alternate way to cope with daily demands, such as time stress and reduced life satisfaction. The samples were asked the same two questions about if and how much they spend toward services that save time each month. The participants were also asked to rate their satisfaction with life and their annual household income, weekly work hours, age, marital status, and how many children they have. The research found that 28% of the participants spent money of time saving services and had greater life satisfaction ratings than those who did not indulge in time saving services.

Based on these results, the researchers conducted another two week within-subjects experiment on working adults in Vancouver, Canada to see which increased happiness and decreased stress; spending money on time saving services or material items. The participants were given eighty dollars each, and were given two weekends to spend it. The first weekend, the participants were to use forty dollars to buy a service such as meal delivery and cleaning services. The second weekend, the participants could spend the remaining forty dollars on an item like a polo shirt and “fancy” wine. The researchers found that the participants were more positive after the first weekend than the second.

The results of both experiments show that buying time had a greater life satisfaction rate and the participants felt less pressure and improved mood at the end of their day. The researchers encourage more research on this subject to see how much buying time effects the lives of people of different social and financial backgrounds.





I did not find it difficult to summarize the articles because they were both fairly short and got down to the point. The news article focused mainly on the experiment where the participants were given money to spend on the service while the scholarly article provided information from both experiments. The scholarly article was only 5 pages, so it wasn’t that difficult to condense it into the main points and write a summary. I tried to base my writing off of how the news article was written without including a lot of unnecessary filler sentences. I did not have to leave out any important information in my summary, however I find it interesting that the news article is slightly longer than my summary but does not include a lot of information about the first experiment.

I think that the journalists did a decent job on the news article. Looking at the scholarly article, it is easy to see what they could improve on and what they did well with. I think that they did a great job at convincing the readers that there was a significant difference between those who spent money on services and those who spent money on items. They did not do a good job at explaining the first experiment and how the researchers interpreted those results and they did not do a good job at specifying what sample was from which countries. When I first read the news article, I had no idea who was participating in the experiment, but when I read the scholarly article, the demographics were very clear. Overall, I believe that the news article gave a good summary of the scholarly article and both were very easy to understand and summarize.


Scholarly Article

News Article




Mental Illness

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

For this post, I watched a video of a day in the life of someone who suffers with schizophrenia. This video really frightened me and opened my eyes to a little bit of what someone with schizophrenia goes through. In the video, I saw things that weren’t actually there but were being seen by the person. I heard voices in the persons head. The newscasters on the TV were saying things to the person, which someone who doesn’t have schizophrenia wouldn’t have heard. I was frightened for a majority of the video, mostly because I had no idea what I would see or hear next. I couldn’t help but relate this to Donnie Darko, because it is the only movie I’ve seen from the three listed in the assignment. In the movie, Donnie sees and hears Frank the bunny, who isn’t actually there. I  do and don’t believe that Donnie Darko is an accurate depiction of someone with schizophrenia. It does a good job of showing someone seeing and hearing things that aren’t actually there, and shows what terrible things could happen when someone listens to the bad voices in their heads. I also think it’s not a good way of depicting someone with schizophrenia because we only see and hear one being that comes along with Donnie’s schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is such a terrifying disease and is something I believe should be shown accurately more often so others would be able to see what people diagnosed with schizophrenia deal with on a regular basis.


--Original published at Sarah's Insight

I originally chose to come to Elizabethtown College because of the Occupational Therapy program offered. Here, I will complete 5 years of education and obtain a master’s degree. This was a huge selling point for me because not many schools offer a 5 year program that does not require reapplying for the master’s degree program. Also, E-town offers what seems like thousands of different opportunities to get involved on campus. I also considered size when looking at schools. My graduating class in high school was 97 students, which means I had the opportunity to connect with all of the students in my cohort and all of my teachers. Here at E-town, I am able to form relationships with my professors and peers that will help me to succeed in my studies.

Recently, I have struggled with motivation in my school work and even though I tell myself that I need to study and do work, I always procrastinate and do poorly on the assignments. I realized that in order to pass I had to inspire myself to work even harder. I sat down with my textbooks and outlined every important detail in each chapter. It’s easy for me to remember things by color, so I used different highlighters to mean different things. I ended up having a lot of fun creating my notes and studying them. I ended up doing significantly better on my most recent exam. I had a small wake-up call when I met with my advisor who gave me the idea of my new note taking style. Since we can easily meet up with our professors one on one, I will continue to meet with my professors throughout my years at E-town and take their advice on how to be successful in studying and preparing myself for my future.

The Implicit Association Test

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

This week, I chose to take two Implicit Association Tests (IATs) and talk about my experience with them and how I feel about my results.

I chose to take the sexuality and Race IATs. At first, I was asked a bunch of demographic questions like my race, ethnicity, sexuality, birthday, and level of education. Once I answered all 13 questions (which were not required), the tests began. I started with the sexuality test. At first I was shown a list of good words, bad words, “straight people” (a man and a woman), and “gay people” (either two men or two girls). Then, I was required to go through 7 series of words and images and sort them into the correct category as fast as possible. The E button was pressed when i saw something good, the I button was pressed when I saw something bad. As the test went on, I had to sort specific things into specific categories. I did mess up a few times trying to go as fast as I could. The Race Test was the same procedure, except slightly harder when show photos of black and white people. The pictures where gray so it was difficult for me to decipher which race was which.

My results were not shocking. When taking the tests it was easy to tell which way my results would go when I messed up. These tests could be useful for students my age who are confused and not sure how they feel, but I do not think that they are totally reliable because of how fast you have to select your choices and because they make it confusing by switching which button means what category.

The D.A.R.E. Program

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

The D.A.R.E. program was designed to “teach students decision making for safe and healthy lives”. This program is taught by police officers to students in kindergarten through 12th grade all across the United States and in 52 other countries. This program educates and enforces children to make good choices when it comes to drugs, violence, bullying, internet safety, and other issues that children may face. While this program was created to show children the right and wrong ways to deal with these situations, it received backlash for the ways it might not have had a positive influence on students.

The D.A.R.E. program has seen a decrease in drug and substance abuse in the children that it had reached, showing that 40% of students that consumed alcohol prior to the program had reduced their intake of alcohol after exposure to the program, while 32% of said students discontinued alcohol consumption altogether. The program showed that students were less likely to indulge in drug related activities, however the Government Accountability Office said that these results are not statistically significant and the program was ineffective.

In a 2007 survey, 95% of the students surveyed said that the program was helpful and it taught them to make good decisions in the future. 99% of the parents surveyed supported the program and said the program had a positive impact on their children. As the children grow older, however, they are exposed to other people who are making decisions that go against what D.A.R.E. had taught them, like drug and alcohol use, and are pressured into making the same bad decisions. As time goes by, the children forget what they had been taught in their D.A.R.E. program and give into peer pressure and societal norms.

The D.A.R.E. program focuses on keeping children from developing a drug addiction or dying of a drug overdose, which is something that should be funded and implemented even if it isn’t reaching all children. In a 2012 study, 60% of schools who had previously implemented the D.A.R.E. program had ended the use of the program. D.A.R.E.’s revenue has also plummeted from $9.7 million in 2000 to $3.7 million in 2011.

When I was in 5th grade, I participated in a D.A.R.E. program in my middle school. At 13 years old, drugs and alcohol were not on most of my classmates minds. Besides the awesome song and rap we learned (I still remember the whole thing) none of the information really stuck. Of course, we knew the difference between right and wrong in those situations, but it wasn’t anything we wouldn’t know in due time. Watching my classmates who had participated grow up, none of the information the program gave us stuck. Peer pressure settled in and everyone was drinking alcohol and smoking at some time. I think that if the program had been implemented at an older age, perhaps early high school years when you’re exposed to older, “cooler” kids who pressure you into doing things you’ve been taught are wrong, the information the D.A.R.E. program was trying to teach us would have been engraved in our minds a little better.

As for other programs, such as sexual education programs, I do believe that they should be used in high schools. Unfortunately, my class in high school did not have a sex ed program, and as a result, my class had a higher amount of teenage pregnancy’s than the classes that did have sex ed programs.

I do believe that it is important to educate children and students on what is right and wrong in these situations, but the programs should be implemented at an older age, or be taught at various stages of students lives.



D.A.R.E. America

D.A.R.E. Pros and Cons

Violent Video Games

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

I believe that violent video games can have very negative effects on children who do not receive enough supervision from their parents. Video Games have ratings for a reason, and that reason is so that children who could be susceptible to violence and destruction do not play and are not exposed to the video games, however, many parents ignore the ratings and allow their children to play violent video games without watching to see just how the games could effect their children. Parents should at least watch the video game in action before allowing children to play them so they can decide whether or not their child should play it or not.

Three of my younger cousins have disorders such as ADHD and anger management issues. The three of them have been playing violet video games since they were very young (around 6). Since they were already violent by nature, they felt the need to learn how to execute different moves in the video games, which I have observed other children to do as well. I believe that this is a disturbing practice because of how interested children are in correctly stab a teddy bear in the heart with a pencil just like their character in a video game did to another person.

Children who play video games will be less affected by violence in the future, they may even enjoy watching something violent or even doing something violent. Exposure to violent video games at a young age should not be something we are allowing to happen in our world, and I believe that if we were able to get rid of violence in video games altogether children will grow into more peaceful, less violent adults.

How Divorce Affects Children

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

Divorce is becoming more and more relevant today than it has been in recent years, and more studies have been performed to see how the children from these so called “broken homes” differ from children that come from families that are still together. A study published by The Huffington Post entitled Does Divorce Inevitably Damage Children? suggests that children from divorced families are much like children from two-parent homes, after about three years. This basically means that divorce does not, if at all, lead to social, psychological, or academic problems. Because there are differences between development of children of different ages, the divorce affects children that are younger, say a toddler for example, than someone that is older or an adolescent. The Huffington Post is as credible as its authors. The author of this specific article is a man named Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D. Doctor Nowinski is a clinical psychologist and author, who has written about divorce and its affects on a family.

A second article, published by The Scientific American entitled Is Divorce Bad for Children? states that researchers have found that children typically do not experience problems with the divorce while its happening, nor when they’re adults. Of course, divorce will affect a child in the moment, bout the research suggests that the affects more or less vanish and leave the children almost if not totally back to normal. The Scientific American is a credible source because it is the longest continuously published magazine in America and has had articles contributed by many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein.

The opposing argument has been easier to find articles about. An article published by Psychology Today entitled Divorce Hurts Children, Even Grown Ones provides information suggesting that divorce is detrimental to children of all ages, including adults. The author of the article provides personal experiences growing up in a divorced home and explains how she believed the divorce was her fault, how she lost motivation and did not care what would happen to herself. Her and her brother’s social life suffered and her familial connections were destroyed.

One final source that says divorce has negative affects on children is from The Week entitled 9 Negative Effects Divorce Reportedly Has on Children. This article combines 9 different studies that all show that divorce can negatively affect children in ways that include smoking, poor social habits, increased likelihood of dropping out of school, and even, early death. The Week is a British news magazine, but also publishes an American edition. Although they are biased towards the left wing, they always source credible information.

While I believe that divorce and its affects on children varies from person to person, I would agree with the first source provided in the article. I agree that the affects of divorce can and will affect a child when the divorce is still new, but as time goes by and the child adjusts to the changes of their life, they will have a new “normal” where they function normally.


Does Divorce Inevitably Damage Children?

Is Divorce Bad for Children?

Divorce Hurts Children, Even Grown Ones

9 Negative Effects Divorce Reportedly Has on Children

Psychoactive Drugs

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

Many states in our country have legalized the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana, and many more are considering if they should too. While this topic has seen many arguments as to whether or not marijuana should be legal, and in what context it would be legal in, I would like to give my opinion on the matter. I believe that marijuana should be legal in every state for medicinal purposes. Marijuana has been tested and has given positive results that it can aid in the treatment of illnesses like epilepsy, and can decrease nausea, muscle pains, and inflammation. There was a study done on a young boy whose epilepsy caused him to have nearly 100 seizures every day.  This boy was given a dosage of CBD (cannabidiol), which would ensure he wouldn’t get high off of the drug. After a lot of trial and error, the family finally found the right dosage for the boy and got him down to zero to three seizures a day. This is only one of the many ways medical marijuana have helped people of all different walks of life overcome health obstacles.  Click here to read more about this study.

As far as my opinion on recreational use of marijuana, I think that the states should be in charge of whether they want to legalize it or not. I think that sooner or later (sooner rather than later) marijuana will be legalized in all 50 states both legally and recreationally.

Memory & Study Habits

--Original published at Sarah's Insight

Memory and study habits go hand in hand at this stage of my life. My study habits are very strict and organized. I set aside specific times throughout my day for creating cheat sheets, notecards, reading materials, etc. I enjoy planning for study time which excites me and makes me want to study. I am a hands-on and visual learner, so I like to have set instructions and be doing something related in the process. Our in class activity of synaptic communication was a fantastic learning tool for me because it allowed me to become a part of what I was learning. Memory is a very important skill at this time in my life because there is so much I have to memorize in the occupational therapy major as well as in my other classes. My short term memory is very great, I can store information and retain it at ease for a test or exam, but because it is short term, it flies out of my brain and I never think of it again. My long term memory needs expanding. I have tried several different techniques for my long term memory but nothing has seemed to work. No matter how often I study, I never seem to be able to recall information easily, if at all. If anyone has any ideas as to how to expand your long term memory, leave it in the comments so I can try it out!