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Does Chronically Administered Intermittent Restraint Stress (IRS) have Long-Lasting Effects on Fear Extinction and Depressive-Like Behavior?

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The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends and a post- stress rest period ensues for 6 weeks.

The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends and a post- stress rest period ensues for 6 weeks. Young adult, male Sprague Dawley rats underwent restraint stress using wire mesh (6hr/daily) for five days with two days off before restraint resumed for three weeks for a total of 23 restraint days. The groups consisted of control (CON) with no restraint other than food and water restriction yoked to the restrained groups, stress immediate (STR-IMM), which were restrained then fear conditioned soon after the end of the IRS paradigm, and stress given a rest for 6 weeks before fear conditioning commenced (STR-R6). Rats were fear conditioned by pairing a 20 second tone with a footshock, then given extinction training for two days (15 tone only on each day). On the first day of extinction, all groups discriminated well on the first trial, but then as trials progressed, STR-R6 discriminated between tone and context less than did CON. On the second day of extinction, STR- IMM froze more to context in the earlier trials than compared to STR-R6 and CON. As trials progressed STR-IMM and STR-R6 froze more to context than compared to CON. Together, CON discriminated between tone and context better than did STR-IMM and STR-R6. Sucrose preference, novelty suppressed feeding, and elevated plus maze was performed after fear extinction was completed. No statistical differences were observed among groups for sucrose preference or novelty suppressed feeding. For the elevated plus maze, STR-IMM entered the open arms and the sum of both open and closed arms fewer than did STR- R6 and CON. We interpret the findings to suggest that the stress groups displayed increased hypervigilance and anxiety with STR-R6 exhibiting a unique phenotype than that of STR-IMM and CON.

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2018-05

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Through It All: Toilets, Wrestling, and Anxiety

Description

Anxiety is currently the most prevalent mental disorder in America with over 4 million people struggling with it every day. I am one of those millions. This book explores the multitude of coping mechanisms that I have learned and developed

Anxiety is currently the most prevalent mental disorder in America with over 4 million people struggling with it every day. I am one of those millions. This book explores the multitude of coping mechanisms that I have learned and developed through my time with anxiety, covering everything from humor to finding the motivation to change. It is a creative non-fiction autobiography that depicts detailed moments from my own life that provide advice and tools for managing anxiety that are made accessible to people who may have completely different experiences from my own. While anxiety has always played a huge roll in my life, it wasn't until I got to college that I decided to finally begin taking the steps I needed to in order to see the changes that I wanted to see. I am a teacher, and every day I see many of my students battling with the exact pains and stresses that I always have. This book is for all of my future students as well as all the adolescents out there who feel like nobody really understands; the ones who all they need is a little direction and the confidence to know they're not alone.

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2018-05

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Parental Stress in Raising a Child with ADHD

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This paper investigates how stress in parents is affected by their child's Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this paper is to identify common stressors for parents of children with ADHD, as well as to determine what parents need from

This paper investigates how stress in parents is affected by their child's Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this paper is to identify common stressors for parents of children with ADHD, as well as to determine what parents need from healthcare providers to mediate this stress. A survey was developed to identify sources of stress, consequences of parental stress, parental coping methods, resources provided by their healthcare provider that have been helpful, along with what they feel that they need from their healthcare providers in order to better support themselves and their family. Participants were composed of members of Facebook support groups for parents of children with ADHD. Major findings of this study include: parents experience the most stress when dealing with their child's oppositional and aggressive behaviors; parents frequently experience disruption in their marital relationship; and parents perceive that they receive little health care resources that are helpful for themselves, their child, and their family overall.

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2018-05

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Stress, Depression, and Sleep Among College Students

Description

There has been a rise in the prevalence of mental health disorders among western industrialized populations.1 By 2020, depression will be second to heart disease in its contribution to the global burden of disease as measured by disability-adjusted life years.2

There has been a rise in the prevalence of mental health disorders among western industrialized populations.1 By 2020, depression will be second to heart disease in its contribution to the global burden of disease as measured by disability-adjusted life years.2 Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older, or 18.1% of the U.S population every year.3
Mental disorders are prevalent in young adults and frequently present between 12-24 years of age.4 The top five sources of stress reported by college students were changes in sleeping routines, changes in eating habits, increased amount of work, new responsibilities, and breaks/vacations.5 Overall, a total of 73% of college students report occasional difficulties sleeping, and 48% of students suffer from sleep deprivation, as self-reported.6,7
Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise and sleep may influence symptoms related to stress and depression.8 Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to, persistent anxious or sad moods, feeling guilty or helpless, loss of interest in hobbies, irritability, and other behaviors that may interrupt daily living.9 Inadequate intake of folic acid from fruits and vegetables, and essential fatty acids in fish, may increase symptoms of depression.10 Unhealthy eating habits may be associated with increases in depression-like symptoms in women, supporting the notion that healthier eating habits may decrease major depression.11 Diet is only one component of how lifestyle may influence depression and stress in adults. Exercise may be another important component in decreasing depression-related symptoms due to the release of endorphins.12 It has been found that participating in regular physical activity may decrease tension levels, increase and stabilize mood, improve self-esteem, and lead to better sleeping patterns.13 It has been concluded that individuals who consume a healthy diet are less likely to experience depression whereas people eating unhealthy and processed diets are more likely to be depressed.14
Poor sleep quality as well as unstable sleeping patterns may lead to poor psychological and physical health.15 Poor sleep includes longer duration of sleep onset latency, which is defined as the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, waking up multiple times throughout the night, and not getting a restful sleep because of tossing and turning.16 In healthy adults, the short-term consequences of sleep disruption consist of somatic pain, emotional destress and mood disorders, reduced quality of life, and increased stress responsivity.17 Irregular sleep-wake patterns, defined as taking numerous naps within a 24 hour span and not having a main nighttime sleep experience, are present at alarming levels (more than a quarter) among college students.18 A study done with 2,000 college students concluded that more than a quarter of the students were at risk of a sleeping disorder.19 Therefore, college students who were classified as poor-quality sleepers, reported experiencing more psychological and physical health problems compared to their healthy counterparts. Perceived stress was also found to be a factor in lower sleep quality of young adults.20
The link between depression-like symptoms and sleep remains poorly understood. It is mentioned that there are risk factors of poor sleep, depression and anxiety among college students but this topic has not yet been heavily studied within this population.

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2019-05

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The Effects of Mental Health and Familial Support on Childhood Cancer Patients

Description

Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as

Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as the role of familial support. It was found that children with cancer may suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and socio-emotional problems as a result of the trauma of being diagnosed and treated for a pervasive, life-threatening disease. Late effects may also worsen co-morbid mental health disorders. Childhood cancer patients who experience co-morbid mental health problems of depression and anxiety end up having a longer duration of recovery, as well as a worsened outcome than others with a single disorder (Massie, 2004). It was also shown that family members are affected emotionally and mentally from dealing with childhood cancer. Not only is the cancer patient at risk for PTSD during or after treatment, but also family members (National Cancer Institute, 2015). Siblings of the child with cancer may experience feelings of loneliness, fear, and anxiety, as the parent’s attention is focused on the child suffering with cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (2015), familial problems can affect the child’s ability to adjust to the diagnosis and treatment in a positive way. However, children with strong familial and social support adjust easier to living with cancer. A common theme found in literature is that regular mental health checkups during and after cancer treatment is important for quality of life. Therefore, it is important for all childhood cancer patients and their families to receive information about mental health awareness, as well as therapeutic interventions that are developed for families caring for a child with cancer.

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2019-05

Dark Souls and Depression: A Case Study in Video Games

Description

This creative project was designed to highlight the good that can come from playing video games using From Software's "Dark Souls" as a case study.In this project, I analyse "Dark Souls" as an allegory for depression, examining how the story,

This creative project was designed to highlight the good that can come from playing video games using From Software's "Dark Souls" as a case study.In this project, I analyse "Dark Souls" as an allegory for depression, examining how the story, game play and level design all create a mindset in the game's players similar to that of those experiencing depression. I then discuss how certain aspects of the game, including level design, the game mechanics used to handle in-game death, and the passive multiplayer systems, all combine in order to encourage the player to stay engaged with the game and believing in the possibility of success. Via these systems, I believe that in creating "Dark Souls" From Software made an experience in which those grappling with depression can practice the techniques most useful in combating depression in a safe environment. Finally, I discuss the ways that "Dark Souls" designers emotionally affect those playing their game using techniques that are unavailable to other media. I highlight these storytelling devices, and explain why they are either best utilized by or only viable in video games as an example of what unique abilities gaming has as a cultural storytelling medium. I also explore solutions for discussing video game mechanics and game play with a non-gaming audience, utilizing game play recordings to provide examples of the discussed game play mechanics. These techniques can be viewed in the attached video.

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2017-12

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Mental Health in India

Description

In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the

In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the situation is in India, contributing factors, experiences and stigma unique to depression among students in India, what the government is doing, and possible solutions or steps that can be taken to help students struggling with mental health problems. I also went to mainstream and special schools to meet special educators who work with differently abled children, occupational therapists, parents of differently abled children, and a student with Asperger’s in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to find out about the stigma surrounding differently abled children and their education path.
My efforts have culminated in the creation of the website mentalhealthinindia.com that can be used as a resource both by people in India as well as those abroad who are curious to learn about the stigma surrounding depression and differently abled children in India.

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Date Created
2019-05

Emotion Regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Neural Mechanisms and Mood Symptoms

Description

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is highly comorbid with mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Previous research suggests difficulties in emotion regulation to be concordant with experiencing these comorbid symptoms. Understanding the neural correlates of emotion regulation in ASD and

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is highly comorbid with mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Previous research suggests difficulties in emotion regulation to be concordant with experiencing these comorbid symptoms. Understanding the neural correlates of emotion regulation in ASD and relationships with mood symptoms could provide insights for effective treatments. We employed an existing functional MRI paradigm to assess neural activation during an emotional regulation task in adults with ASD, and correlate activated regions with self-reported measures of depression and anxiety. We found the following regions to be significantly associated with emotion regulation (family-wise error corrected p<0.05): the bilateral insula, anterior cingulate, middle cingulate, precentral gyrus, angular gyrus, left dorsolateral PFC, right caudate/putamen, and left medial PFC. We found anxiety, but not depression, symptoms were negatively correlated with activation in the anterior cingulate, left insula, and left putamen, and showed a moderate relationship to the amygdala. These results expand current understanding of ASD and emotion regulation and suggest targets for future clinical intervention.

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2019-05

In Memory of an Emily

Description

In Memory of an Emily is a piece of creative nonfiction and a short film that together detail the author’s experience with mental illness in the collegiate environment. In its 45 pages, Jackman begins to detail the realities of living

In Memory of an Emily is a piece of creative nonfiction and a short film that together detail the author’s experience with mental illness in the collegiate environment. In its 45 pages, Jackman begins to detail the realities of living with depression, anxiety, and anorexia nervosa. The piece includes five sections of writing, including a preface and four portions describing freshman to senior year. Each section endeavors to explore simplistic and purposefully cliché events common in young adult/collegiate life and juxtapose the banal nature of these events with the experience of the mentally ill. Her story endeavors to explore the emotional truths of pain and suffering, revealing that beneath her tender façade lies a very different existence, one tangled in eating disorders, panic attacks, and overwhelming sadness. While maintaining a story-like quality traditional to creative non-fiction, Jackman ventures to warn with a cautionary tale of pathologizing abnormality and exploring the long lasting effects of childhood trauma. Weaving careful storytelling into an exploration of the mentally ill mind, Jackman keeps the reader both terrifyingly close and far away, whispering painful secrets and then desperately running away with the truth. She speaks frankly of all aspects of life, ranging from far more mundane events, such as break ups and college rejection letters, to complicated issues, such as the suicide of her grandfather and her admission into an eating disorder facility. The author attempts to establish a balanced rapport with the reader, recognizing the need to maintain distance and elicit emotion simultaneously. Jackman writes In Memory of an Emily as a heartbreaking but authentic tale, playing with stream of consciousness and paralyzing emotional description. She opens the door and invites the reader into her mind so as to share in the physical and emotional discomfort of the storyteller, but then promptly slams the door once inside.

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2018-05

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Yoga as an Effective Intervention for Adolescent Depression: A Systematic Review

Description

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a yoga intervention for adolescents suffering from depression. Secondary results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention for increasing self-esteem and decreasing anxiety were also explored.

Methods:

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a yoga intervention for adolescents suffering from depression. Secondary results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention for increasing self-esteem and decreasing anxiety were also explored.

Methods: Using PubMed, Medline, and CINAHL the search terms adolescents, depression, and yoga were searched for related articles. Articles were then excluded or included based on certain criteria. Focus was placed on articles written within the last 10 years as well as studies done on children within 10-19 years of age. Final articles underwent extraction for relevant information and comparisons were drawn between the studies.

Results: Final exclusion lead to a total of 5 suitable studies. Studies varied in styles of yoga performed and measurement scales used to assess depression. Populations of adolescents varied significantly as well. The majority of these studies showed significant improvement in depression symptoms when measuring from pre to post intervention. Similar improvements were also noted in anxiety symptoms and low self-esteem.

Conclusion: Data gathered indicated that yoga serves a suitable intervention for decreasing depression symptoms in adolescents. Additionally, there seems to be promising results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention for decreasing symptoms of anxiety and increasing self-esteem. Despite, current promising results, there is need for more research to affirm the findings found in these articles to determine the long term effects of yoga interventions.

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2018-05