Spotlight Post #3: Option 3

Major Depressive Disorder is a disorder in which a person feels down during most of the day for two weeks or more. This disorder is often debilitating and is a constant struggle for many people around the world. The two main types of treatment are the use of medication and the use of psychotherapy. Both have positives and negatives. I will be focusing on the positives for both forms of treatment through this blog post.

 
The first form of treatment I am going to look at is the use of psychotherapy to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). In a study, it was found that after twelve weeks of psychotherapy the symptoms had significantly decreased (Dahl, pg. 43). It has also been found that after recovery from non-pharmacological treatment, there were normalized levels of different types of cytokines (Dahl, pg 40). Cytokines are major proteins that play a huge role in the immune system along with cell-cell signaling. They help to regulate homeostasis and maintain a sense of balance within the body. The medicated group also had a decrease in cytokine levels, however, these level reductions did not reach significance (Dahl, pg. 44). In a different study, it was found that in general, MDD patients showed significant improvement in the expected direction in mood (Eddington et al., pg. 274). The final point that shows that psychotherapy is the better form of treatment for patients with MDD is that after therapy, they “reported significant improvements in affect and cognition and social functioning and activities” (Eddington, pg. 273).

 
The second form of treatment for patients with MDD is the use of pharmacological treatment. It was found that second generation are supported with great strength evidence that they are highly effective (Gartlehner et al.). It also was stated that much of the non-pharmacological treatments were not scientifically supported with evidence. This ultimately makes the use of non-pharmacological treatments seem less effective and supported (Gartlehner et al.). It was found that there was a significant decrease in suicidal action with the use of pharmacological treatments (Kim, pg. 119).

 
In my opinion, I believe that therapy-based treatment is ultimately the better option with treating MDD. This is because I believe that there is ultimately more scientific evidence to support the benefits of therapeutic treatment. The treatment is also less physically invasive, yet it provides a larger physiological response compared to pharmacological treatments. Also, this has been shown to improve social interactions and things along those lines. This is while pharmacological treatment does not improve the social aspect of people’s lives. Several of the sources made the statement that their results could be skewed because they had a small sample size. This cut down on the accountability of the research because this means that the information cannot be applied to a large group of people. Also, it allows for a higher chance for an error to be made and to slip through the cracks. Overall, the sources were very open about the possibility of error or bias throughout the sources.

~Taylor

 

Sources

Dahl, J., et al. “Recovery from Major Depressive Disorder Episode after Non‐pharmacological Treatment Is Associated with Normalized Cytokine Levels.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, vol. 134, no. 1, July 2016, pp. 40–47. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/acps.12576.

 

Eddington, Kari M., et al. “The Effects of Psychotherapy for Major Depressive Disorder on Daily Mood and Functioning: A Longitudinal Experience Sampling Study.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 41, no. 2, Apr. 2017, pp. 266–277. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10608-016-9816-7.

 

Gartlehner, Gerald, et al. “Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Major Depressive Disorder: Review of Systematic Reviews.” BMJ Open, vol. 7, no. 6, June 2017, p. e014912. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014912.

 

Kim, Yong-Ku. Major Depressive Disorder : Risk Factors, Characteristics and Treatment Options. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2017. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.etown.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1586531&site=eds-live.

 

 

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Media Production Project Part III

A new study found that meditation has great benefits with decreasing physical responses to anger. Just one session of meditation has a great impact on the responses to anger. A little anger every now and then is normal, while anger everyday and constantly is not. Constant anger leads to raised heart rate, blood pressure, and faster breathing (Fennell et al. 2015).
In the study, it was found that as little as one session of meditation could decrease these physical responses to anger (Fennell et al. 2015). The study took 15 undergraduates from the University of Kansas’s psychology department who had not practiced meditation previously and 12 subjects from random yoga practices around the local area (Fennell et al. 2015). Both groups had their physiological responses recorded and measured by the same person.
Both groups were asked to recall a time in their life where they had experienced extreme anger. They were then asked to write down in extreme detail the event. After the event was recorded, their physiological responses were recorded and measured (Fennell et al. 2015). After the measurement, they were then given a survey asking about their level of anger (Fennell et al. 2015). Finally, the group that had not taken part in meditation was coached through a 20-minute session of meditation (Fennell et al. 2015). This same process was repeated then after the guided meditation.
It was found that after the 20-minute meditation session, there was a difference between the physiological response rates in the non-meditators (Fennell et al. 2015). Also, those who meditated before the study showed an overall lower change in physiological response to anger after the second exposure to anger (Fennell et al. 2015).
This study opens the door to the possible benefits of meditation on the affects to anger on the body but does not give all the answers. With this finding, more research can now be done to see the overall and complete benefit of meditation on the mind and body.
~Taylor

Bibliography
Fennell, Alexander B., et al. “A Single Session of Meditation Reduced Physiological Indices of
Anger in Both Experienced and Novice Meditators.” Consciousness and Cognition, 24
Nov. 2015.

Wei, Marlynn. New Study Shows Brief Meditation Can Reduce Anger. 4 February 2016. 22 September 2018. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/201602/new-study-shows-brief-meditation-can-reduce-anger&gt;.

 

 
Reflection:
While writing this research summary, I found it challenging to make the information come across as being interesting while also providing detail. I believe that this is a skill that ultimately causes detail and information to be left out of writing. Because I did not attempt to be interesting or to draw people’s attention, I was ultimately able to include more detail than the journalists can while writing. Luckily, there was not very much information that was not included in the original article that was included in the scholarly article, therefore, I was able to include all of the information from the scholarly article. I found it challenging to determine what information I ultimately wanted to include in the article. My perspective of journalism has ultimately changed in two different ways. On one hand, I respect journalists for making not so interesting topics more interesting. On the other hand, I find this irritating because there is information that is vital to getting all the answers that is often left out of articles.
If journalists were not interesting in their writing, then no one would read information. Because of their ability to write and entertain through words, information that is boring can be interpreted and understood while being enjoyed. On the other hand, because journalists now write to please and entertain, they often leave vital information out of their writing. This lack of details then gives readers false information/not the whole truth. When the readers do not have all the information, they are unable to make wise decisions that are based off of supported scientific information.

First Impression Prompt: Thanksgiving Break

Option 2: I originally chose to come to Elizabethtown because of the people.  Everyone on this campus was warm and kind when I arrived and I ultimately felt like I fit in.  I also chose this school because it had a very good program for my major.  Being an Occupational Therapy major, there were not many colleges that offered a 5 year masters program.  On top of the fact that they offered a 5 year masters program, they are one the best in the state.  They have one of the highest board passage rates of the schools that I was looking at and that also helped me to decide on Elizabethtown.

 

Throughout my education, I have not had a hard time motivating myself to complete my work, however, being act college there has been a slight challenge now that I do not have anyone telling me to do my homework.  I have motivated myself to do my work by giving myself goals.  These goals include getting a paper done by a certain time during the day so the rest of the day I can relax.  Other ways I motivate myself is by saying once you get your work done, you can watch Netflix or go to a club meeting or hang out with friends.  These tactics seem to work the best for me because I overall enjoy spending time with others and that is a treat for me.  I also have been motivated by my roommate because when she knows I am not feeling motivated or I am stressed, she leaves me little sticky notes with words of encouragement and positivity.

 

These are the ways that I have motivated myself to stay on top of my work and why I have chosen to come to Elizabethtown to study.

~Taylor

First Impression Prompt: Chapter 12

I chose option one.  This was interesting because I took the IAP tests.  I took the gender-science test and the race test.  While taking these tests you are required to look at different words or pictures that flash rapidly on the screen.  You are assigned a topic for two keys on the keyboard and must click that key if the word or image that pops up fits into that category.  This was very challenging because you are told to do this as rapidly as you can.  Because I was trying to do it so rapidly, I often made slight mistakes when it came to remembering which key was for which category.

 

I expected to receive different results than what I did, however, the results that I did receive were not that far off of how I expected I would do.  For example, in the race test, it said I had a moderate automatic response to African American and good compared to European American and good.  I expected these two responses to be equal.  What this really means is that I associated good words and thoughts more often with African American images than with European American images.  This was surprising because I never thought I would favor one race over the other at any point in time.  The results I got for gender-science was that I had a moderate automatic association for males with science over females with science.  This was not that surprising because I generally associate males with science more that I would with liberal arts.  I usually view females as being more liberal arts based.

 

These tests are beneficial for colleges and employment because it gives a insight to how people might respond to certain genders or races, depending on the situation that they are in.  This also allows for the college and employment an opportunity to provide workshops and resources to cut back on these stigmas.

~Taylor

First Impression Post: Chapter 13

Before taking all four personality tests, I would describe myself as being an organized and outgoing person who overall enjoys the presence of others and strives to make an impacts on other’s lives.  After taking the first personality test, I received the score of ESFJ.  These letters represent extravert, sensing, feeling, and judging.  I agree with this test because I do classify myself as being an extrovert and outgoing.  I also agree with the idea of sensing because I often make decisions based off of how I feel, rather than based solely on intuition.  I am feeling also, because I feel many emotions in situations rather than thinking about the situation.  Finally, I am judging because I am not very go with the flow and I make decisions based off of knowledge and facts.  I found this test reliable because it was based off of a famous personality test that is used by many psychologists.

The second personality test that I took, I scored ESTJ.  I find this interesting be it was very similar to the same results as the first personality test that I took.  The only difference is that instead of feeling, I got the score for thinking.  I think that the results were different because the working of the questions in this personality test were worded in a less confusing manner.  I feel that this test was more reliable because the website was more professional and seemed more scientifically based in the format. There were not ads or banners that would pop up while I was taking the test, unlike all the other tests.

The third personality test that I took, I do not agree completely with the score I received.  This is because I received a higher score for intellect than I did for extroversion.  I always have thought that I am more of a people person rather than an intellectual person. I did not find this test very reliable because there were lots of ads on the screen and it was not very scientific when presenting the results.

The final personality test that I took, I found highly unreliable. When the results were presented, there was improper grammar used and the sentences were not capitalized. I did not agree with these results what-so-ever.  The results that I received were the total opposite of all the results I received from the other tests.

Taking these tests were very interesting and identifying the reliability of these tests was entertaining.

~Taylor

Spotlight Post 2: Option 3

D.A.R.E., a program that was used to make kids aware of the negative impact drugs have on people’s lives. When the D.A.R.E. program came about, many people were highly supportive of the program because of its main goal. The tactics that D.A.R.E. used to inform the kids about the negative effects of drugs were through the “Just say no!” program. This was where students would meet weekly with a police officer who would inform the students about all the negatives of drugs and alcohol. It was a zero-tolerance based program that made all drugs and alcohol seem equally as bad. With the idea that all drugs and alcohol were equally as bad, students were made out to believe that marijuana and meth were at the same level of badness. This goes the same for alcohol. Many people criticized this program because of this theory.

 

D.A.R.E. is often questioned for its affectability. There have been many studies done to test the overall effectiveness of the program D.A.R.E. and others like it. Many of these studies are very challenging to find trust worthy because of the small sample sizes along with the lack of random assignment. Despite the challenge of a valid study, there are several studies that analyze the validity and effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program. In a study by…, it was found that D.A.R.E. had a less than small effect on the use of drugs (Pan). D.A.R.E. was found to have little effect on the significance of children using drugs and alcohol. Many people are bothered by this idea because of the amount of money and time that was invested into making this program grow. I separate study found the same results and stated that the money and time should be focused on other methods or reducing the usage of drugs and alcohol (West). These studies showed that D.A.R.E. ultimately caused an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs in children in their adolescent years. Through this abstinence training, it has been found to not be highly beneficial.

 

Alcohol and drug abstinence are not the only programs that are taught through out schools. Often sex abstinence programs are often taught in schools. These programs are often used to scare kids out of having sex, yet, there is not scientific evidence to support this method as being the most effective. These programs are often very similar to the D.A.R.E. program. Since the D.A.R.E. program has been proven to not be very effective, I find it highly unbeneficial to be teaching students the abstinence method when regarding sex safety and education. Personally, I believe that threatening kids and scaring them out of having sex is not the best method when it comes to educating them about the dangers. Instead, I believe that schools should have a very open discussion about how to have safe sex, instead of only preaching to students to not have sex at all. If the school educates the students on how to have safe sex instead of how dangerous it is to have unprotected sex, it will educate the students in a productive manner.

 
In review, the program D.A.R.E. has an overall intention of improving the safety and health of students across the world, however, it has been found not to be very productive at all. Therefore, with this information, I would recommend that instead of teaching abstinence-based sex education to transition to a newer method of teaching this sensitive topic. Overall, D.A.R.E. is not nearly as beneficial or effective as originally expected.
~Taylor

Works Cited
Pan, Wei, and Haiyan Bai. “A Multivariate Approach to a Meta-Analytic Review of the
Effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. Program.” International Journal Of Environmental
Research And Public Health, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 267–277. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3390/ijerph6010267.

West, Steven L., and Keri K. O’Neal. “Project D.A.R.E. Outcome Effectiveness Revisited.”
American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 6, June 2004, pp. 1027–1029.
EBSCOhost, ezproxy.etown.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct
=true&db=bth&AN=13270535&site=eds-live.

First Impression Post: Chapter 9

Option 1:  Through out high school, I experienced the lot of good teachers along with the awful ones.  One on the things that has made a huge impact on my education was one teacher who said everything was so easy.  Everything that we learned, no matter the difficulty, he always said this is so easy.  I found this extremely discouraging especially when I was struggling with the topic.  Teachers often down play the level of difficulty in a subject and this is often very discouraging to students who are struggling with the material.

One of the best teachers that I have ever had was open to all questions and was constructive in his comments.  When you would ask a question, he would not make a face complaining about the fact that you asked a question.  He would answer the question to the best of his ability and would make sure that you genuinely understood what was happening.  This is what teachers need to change to.  They need to not seem like they are being bothered by the fact that students have questions about the material.  Their job is to teach these students to the best of their ability and in order for students to understand material, they must ask questions.

One benefit that I have gained from my high school experience that lots of other students might not have experienced is the pressure to succeed and to be the best student that you can be before the best athlete or club member.  My school put a large emphasis on the importance of education and good grades.  In my school we were considered student athletes with an emphasis on student being first.  School and academics always came first.  More schools I believe should focus on this idea more because many times it seems like the school is more interested in being the best in football or soccer or basketball and not what is truly important, academics.

This is my view point on how the academic system should change based off of my own personal experiences.

~Taylor