Spotlight Blog 3 Mental Health Treatment

Psychotherapy can assist in treating Major Depressive Disorder by easing stress and giving the patient the chance to talk with a professional about their problems with depression on a deeper level. WebMD gives a great perspective on how Psychotherapy can assist someone struggling with depression cope and get better over time; especially when the depression is not very severe, but severe enough that therapy is found necessary. It discusses the ways therapy can give support and advice a person needs to benefit someone struggling with this common mental illness. Psychotherapy helps patients find ways to deal with medication symptoms, making it arguable compared to taking medication due to the fact that their is no side effects; it in fact helps cope with symptoms and help pull apart the deeper meaning of why a person might be struggling with depression.

The Cleveland Clinic also breaks down how Psychotherapy can assist those with depression by becoming more educated about problems in their lives as well as regaining control in their lives. It is hard for people with depression to feel like their life is in their hands. Lots of patients feel like they do not have the correct authority over what happens in life and the choices they make. It is important to have these skills that some can only gain by going to therapy and talking about their problems with trained professionals. This is especially necessary when the patient is unsure on how to go about solving these problems; as Psychotherapy can lead them down the right path mentally without medication that can also affect a person physically. The Cleveland Clinic also states that Psychotherapy attacks depression at the root of the problem and is not just a quick fix like medication is. It is also the treatment that has little relapse compared to medications, this way patients are less likely to relapse and fall back into their depression.

PSYCOM writer, Katie Hurley, breaks down how medication is used to treat depression through antidepressants. It is also initially stated that medication works best when used hand in hand with Psychotherapy to treat depression and is in fact most commonly used this way. There are several types of antidepressants that all come with different possible side effects and symptoms. Most antidepressants, especially for teens simply raise the amount of serotonin in the body, allowing a patient to feel in control and happy with their life again. Medications also give instant results that include mood and focus improvement as well as take away “depressive symptoms that cause suicidal thoughts” (Hurley 1). Although this statement is a bit confusing due to the fact that most risks of antidepressants are commonly suicide. There is also risks of sexual side effects, dizziness, and insomnia. These symptoms can last throughout the period of time the patient is taking the medication or could even last a possible lifetime. Although some of these risks are extreme, it is worth the uncertainty to patients with depression who need a quick and effective fix to get back to a normal life.

PubMed Health talks about how antidepressants make chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, which is believed to control nerve connections in the brain; ultimately causing Major Depressive Disorder. I loved the way this source explains the way one goes about taking an antidepressant after accepting the possible symptoms. PubMed Health has a great outlook on how these medications work, and how once a patient is prescribed them, they should be gradually weened off over time since the symptoms can be so negative. It also goes into how medications can relieve symptoms, and how well medications work while fighting against severe depression, but is not as effective while treating moderate to mild depression. Another part of taking medications is their a stereotype that a patient is more likely to relapse, where in reality, these are the people that have chronic depression or have had several relapses in the past. This article made it very clear that anti depression medications have serious side effects, but also help people with severe depression get back in control of their lives.


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It is important to gain a solid understanding of what Autism is and how it effects someone later in life. It is a developmental disorder that alters mainly behaviors as a child grows older. For high risk infants, MRI’s are done in order to see how efficient the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes are performing to give a proper diagnosis. But these tests are not always done in a timely fashion, so the diagnosis is prolonged and ultimately too late for some with severe symptoms at a young age.

But how early can Autism in children be detected? In a recent study at McGill University, 260 infants ranging in ages 6-12 months had MRI’s to test how efficient their brain regions were operating. This was tested in order to have an estimate of their overall network efficiency, or risk of Autism. The infants were a mix of high and low risk for developing Autism, even though it has not yet been proven that it is a completely inherited disorder. This supports the reasoning as to why studying the brain at a young age is necessary; to observe if Autism is inherited, or the environment plays into the development of Autism. In a previous study, children at two years old with Autism had a poor network efficiency, leading us to wonder how early these deficiencies can be detected.

The fact that the inefficiency in the brain gave us a better insight on the severity of the disorder makes it even more crucial to diagnose at an early age. Giving families a heads up on how the disorder may affect their future depending on the severity of it is positive information to have. It gives families more time to prepare and be proactive in raising a child with a disorder. The early diagnosis can further our knowledge into how infants are born with Autism, as well as what genetic and environmental factors play a role in this abnormality. The research that was done at McGill University holds up to the age at which Autism can be detected through how efficient the regions of the brain are connecting at six months.


I chose to leave out super scientific terms that were hard for me to understand while reading the article initially, this way my summary can be as concise as possible. It was also important that I left out information that was not relevant to the study, such as the lengths and strengths of the network connections in the brain and how these pathways work. This information was very anatomy based, and not necessary to know in order to grasp the goal of the study. My summary is different in the way I explain how the regions of the brain perform together as a unit in order to have levels of network efficiency. I break down how this network efficiency is a main deciding factor in how severe the Autism might be. It also clues scientists into how the disorder may progress over time, even from six months old. Overall, writing this summary held some challenges from the beginning, as I had to re-reads my sources in order to get a grip on the experiment again before writing. I also had a hard time making the summary condensed enough; I truly felt that every detail was important for the reader to know, even though this was not allowed in an abbreviated version of the article. It is hard to write about Psychology due to how one must use logical terms, but also scientific terms in order to successfully explain an experiment. This was another obstacle that I had to conquer while summarizing this article, but was something that the article critiques in the past have helped master. Writing about an experiment in Psychology is much harder than I originally thought, but has made me gain a greater appreciation for articles like this one.