Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Java Minute?

        Happy National Coffee Day! I love coffee shops - this love was started by my dad, who always took me to coffee shops. If my dad and I were hanging out together, we were either at Caribou Coffee, Dunn Bros or in an ice rink. Of course, he never let me get actual coffee until I was a much older, but I grew to love the smell of coffee and the atmosphere that coffee shops provided to converse with loved ones, get work done, and chill out.

Fun fact: I work at a coffee shop. I've probably heard every comment and joke about how much a person needs their coffee - and don't even get me started on the endless coffee puns my coworkers come up with. Actually if Java minute, I'll tell you latte (haha, get it?). Coffee has many magical, wonderful effects. Obviously, people drink coffee to wake up - it stops a person from feeling tired. Also, caffeine helps open up the lungs making it easier to breathe and the adrenaline released after drinking coffee can actually make your vision sharper than normal. There are, unfortunately, unpleasant effects of drinking coffee. Such as the "crash" - after the energy burst that the caffeine will give you, you'll come down from that, which is never fun. Also, coffee can really mess up your sleep habits, mainly if you drink it in the afternoon/evening. You can learn more fun facts about coffee here!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is Happiness a Choice?

The Huffington Post has an interesting article about if happiness is a choice and how you can increase your own happiness (check it out here!). Their argument is that happiness is, in fact, a choice that you can make for yourself. The article even goes on to giving the reader eight ways to "control your own happiness." I agree with this theory to a point - I feel a person definitely has control over whether or not he or she will let little things ruin your day. For example, if your sibling eats the last piece of cake and you let that little thing ruin your whole day, then you're choosing to be unhappy when you could easily suck it up and forget about the annoyance. However, bad things happen to good people, so this is the point in the argument where I will have to disagree - I believe that sometimes it can be really hard to be happy, even if you are actively trying to make your life better. This connects to another idea that there are a lot of things in life that are completely out of your control, so the theory that you can be completely in control of your happiness seems off to me.

Overall, there are a lot of things to be happy about in life. Of course there are unpleasant things that every person has to go through, but overall I believe that there are more positives than negatives.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Categorial Vs. Consequential Thinking

In the book The Round House by Louise Erdrich, a vengeful Joe decides that revenge had to be taken on a Linden Lark - the man who raped his mother. In Joe's eyes, after the attack his mother is a completely different person and his "before" mother was essentially killed by Lark along with the family's peace of mind. Joe decided that Lark needed to be dead in order for justice to be served, and Joe saw to it that Lark was killed. Joe's friend, Cappy, was implicated in the murder by firing the final shot at Lark that ultimately killed him. At the end of the novel, Cappy ends up dying. One could argue that Cappy dying is justice for Cappy killing another man and for Joe getting him implicated in the first place. I identify myself as a categorical thinker when it comes to situations of rights and wrongs. I wouldn't say that I believe in karma, but I do believe that if a person intentionally and repetitively does bad things, then something bad will happen on day to that person. My issue with consequential thinking is that could potentially cause you to do something morally wrong when you, under normal circumstances, would not do something morally wrong.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents

According to the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Health Report, 17.1 million adolescents have or have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. The most common psychiatric disorders in teens are anxiety, ADHD/behavioral disorders, and depression/bipolar disorders. Even though only about 23% of adolescents have a "diagnosable" psychiatric disorder, I can attest that 100% of teens have been or are stressed out, sad, etc. Unfortunately, over time depression has somehow acquired a very negative connotation and anxiety has almost lost it's status as mental illness. The irony about the word "depression" is that it's thrown around like it does not carry much meaning, but then if someone states "I have depression," it's the equivalent to saying "there's something wrong with me." Anxiety on the other hand, I feel has not gotten as much recognition of being a legitimate mental illness as depression as. This is odd to me because depression and anxiety tend to go hand in hand. I believe that there is a huge problem with people telling teens who have depression that they are "just sad" and people telling teens who have serious anxiety disorders that they are "just high strung." This is a relevant topic because the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Health Report states that 60% of adolescents who have diagnosable depression are not being treated, and 80% of adolescents who have an anxiety disorder are not being treated.

For information about anxiety and depression, check out this link!