Media production project

PTSD is one of the most talked about mental disorders today.  Unfortunately, it is a well-known disability to many of our service members.  However, a new study shows support of a possible vaccine.  The new study, conducted on lab mice, shows that ketamine (more well known for its use as a high strength tranquilizer) given at the right times before experiencing trauma may mitigate the onset of symptoms.

This study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center stated that since ketamine is so powerful general use would not be a viable option to the general public.  However, certain people that are a given to encounter psychological trauma, such as police officers or members of the armed forces, could benefit from being given ketamine at a certain time before the trauma occurs.

PTSD is a disorder that has shown very little in the way of treatment that would actually work and it is a disorder that is fairly common.  This new study that shows potential involved giving the mice doses of ketamine at different intervals.  The most effective interval is giving the mice ketamine one week before trauma.  If trauma can be somewhat predicted this could be a game changer for military members experiencing trauma.  Another promising finding was giving mice ketamine one hour after the trauma seemed to help also meaning onset of symptoms could be prevented if timed well.

Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 22 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.19









This assignment was highly enlightening for me.  Being a veteran, PTSD is one of the things I struggle with daily.  Due to this struggle I wanted to look into something that would possibly be useful information to help with my issues.  I wound up finding an article from the Deccan Chronicle showing that ketamine may help with the situation of combat veterans having PTSD.  I was absolutely fascinated by this and went to writing.  It was a struggle because I wanted to write so much but had to remain analytical for the purpose of the paper.  I struggled with the critique and must say I had some bias at this point because I was very hopeful that the article was completely accurate.  Once I began to read the scholarly article, my hopes were quickly confirmed and I was also left with more questions than answers.  I wanted to know how this would be ethical to test on humans.  I also wanted to know if there was any more they could have expanded with ketamine in regards to treatment because I wanted it to be an option not just for the future, but for the present as well.  Once I moved on to this final leg I once again found myself in the struggle of detaching myself from the work.  I found it highly difficult to look at the study as a journalist because I wanted to remain as unbiased as possible.  However, I was enlightened by this study despite all of my struggles during the process


For my choice I elected to take a few IAT tests.  Going into these I expected to know my answer before I took the test.  I had to either push a certain key associated with a specific topic or click a separate box for different topics.  I was highly surprised by my results to show a my have a slight preference for the opposite direction as what I thought.  I believe this test can be highly useful for college students because if they are trying to break a habit these tests may show automatic tendencies that one may need to keep an eye out for.  Also these can help explain automatic preferences so you know which biases to avoid whenever there is any type of an experiment.


I elected to go with Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk about making stress your friend.  I was highly surprised about the fact that stress if used the right way can actually help your heart.  How oxytocin works is something I new at least in part but I never knew it could work so effectively during stress even going so far as to help heal your heart from stress related damage  Kelly was highly competent in her explanations being a psychologist at Stanford University.  I can definitely use this information to help with my stress because I definitely have plenty of it.  It can help me focus whether I am stressed out at class.  It is also highly helpful when I am dealing with either my son’s or my medical issues.  So I look forward to applying this to everyday life in the hopes that it can potentially help my health versus stress always hurting it.


Austin College is definitely one of the more challenging experiences I have come across.  Motivation definitely has an ebb and flow throughout my time here as I have other things going on within my personal and family life to deal with at the same time being a single parent.  That being said being a single parent is one of the motivating factors I have towards graduating.  This ties into Maslow’s theory of needs as it is part of acceptance from family and achievement as well for my own personal self esteem.  By graduating I can make my family and especially my son proud of me and set a good example for him.  This ties into most theories of incentives because I can use the idea to push my self to have a better life for my son than I did as a child.  So with these why did I choose to come to Austin College?  I chose Austin College because of the location of the school to where I would have the incentive of being near my son at all times.  I am at the point where I need to start on a more straightforward path and remain focus as I have lost focus throughout the semester on what I need to accomplish so in order to create my intervention I am going to remind myself on a daily basis what my original motivation was to come to Austin College and why I want to graduate in the first place.

Study Habits

Study habits are arguably something that everyone needs to work on.  When it comes to studying I have always had issues with procrastinating.  This backfired on me during the first exam because I waited before the night before to restudy the powerpoint presentations and really overlooked everything else.  So my plan for the future is I am going to add a couple more days to my study process not only to spread out the ideas that I need to make sure to have a grasp on, but also to add the book and mini lectures to my studying so I make sure I leave no stone unturned.

The mind of a Serial Killer

I chose to go the route of studying how a serial killer tick.  Ever since I was younger I have always been fascinated by wondering why criminals do the things they do and my history in law enforcement made me interested in this topic.  James Fallon talks about how specific moments a key development time cause a serial killer to commit the acts that they do.  At first I was somewhat skeptical about this idea because there are plenty of people that have experienced severe trauma at a young age that are not serial killers.  However, upon looking up every one of the specific psycopathic killers mentioned during Dr. Fallon’s talk, I discovered there was the common theme of severe trauma at at a young age.  The way I would go about the research involved due to the danger involved is I would use case studies to figure this out and I would choose as many known serial killers as I could get information on and find a common theme that ties them together.

The Ideal parent

Many people have heard of the ways that parenting can backfire such as tiger moms and the helicopter parents.  These concepts can work however tend to backfire at least in my eyes.  As we grow we adapt and change and I believe due to this parents need to change as well because grounding a seventeen year old for doing something they shouldn’t do isn’t going to produce the same results if the actions are done to a two year old.  Being able to adapt to your child’s needs and age can be a huge help.  The best example I can put to this is I can’t really follow a traditional approach with my son due to medical issues he has encountered in his life.  So the best parent is the one that is always able to change because no parenting style really works for everyone by itself you have to be an adaptable parent to be the best parent you can.

Cell Phone’s vs Drunk driving

I chose to look at Mythbuster’s attempt to see if talking on a cell phone while driving was as dangerous as drunk driving.  How they chose to do this is have the participants answer questions on their cell phone while driving.  This was followed by both participants drinking and taking a sobriety test to confirm that they were in fact drunk then drove the same course.  The test itself followed the scientific method by presenting the hypothesis and using methods to test and eventually confirm their hypothesis.  I personally believe that the drunk side of the test was well done because they best way to test the danger of drunk driving is to have a drunk driver in a controlled environment.  In regards to the cellphone portion of the test, I do not believe that this was highly practical because in most cell phone conversations are not done in this manner.  I believe the best solution to a cell phone conversation is rather than asking someone to repeat exactly what was said or answer a question, actually carry on a normal conversation with someone to better simulate the experience of someone driving while talking on a cell phone.  I do believe overall that this was well done because the experiment shows there is a large difference between driving drunk and driving on a cell phone although I wonder; if the scenarios were in a more practical setting such as regular conversations, would there be as large of a gap between driving drunk and driving while on a cell phone?

The first post

Hey guys my name is Will and I am taking this class as a requirement for a social science course.  Truth be told I have absolutely no background in Psychology. When I first hear Psychology a couple thoughts come to my mind.  The first thing I think of is oh its the study of the mind.  The next thought is even more homework than I could imagine  The most interesting three classes I saw are development, treating mental illness and copint with stress.  I like the idea of development because I am a father to a developmentally delayed child.  I like treating mental illness because it may give me a greater understanding of some of the things several of my family members always have to deal with.  Coping with stress I like because the type of life I have outside of class is quite stressful.  The only topic I can see which isn’t catching my attention at all is theories of intelligence just the idea of it does not seem interesting to me.  One question I would love to answer about psychology is how I can put specific aspects of it to use in order to improve my family’s quality of life.