Lyrical Essay

The first few months of California felt like an overdose. You’re drowning in this ocean but you love the ocean. The ocean of people, different people. Different ideas and beliefs. You feel full. Your lungs feel full when you breathe in the water. You wonder if you try hard enough, will the ocean consume you. You want to be one with this ocean of diversity. You know that you can fit in. To fit in you have to be different. You can’t be the girl from the all-white school who knows nothing of diversity. You need to be different to fit in.

You never want to return to land. The land of clones, where people have the same skin, the same beliefs. Out here in the ocean, you are as different as every other fish. Free to swim wherever you want. Free to love whomever your heart desires. Free to be male or female, somewhere in between, or perhaps different every day. After all, no two fish are the same.

You see, your mother followed her heart to the ocean and your father stayed behind. He prefered the safety and normality of land. He fit in with the all white schools and misogynistic stereotypes. But that’s not what you wanted.

One day you’ll have to tell them. You have to tell them what fish you swim with. This is you. This is who you are. This is you, right? You want this to be you but you’re not sure how to cope with your new found freedom. It’s almost too much to understand. They’ll never understand. You don’t understand. How could they understand if you don’t understand?

Your mother understands as much as you can. Your father doesn’t know how to react. You don’t expect him to understand.

Maybe you don’t really care so much. It’s who you are but you’re still figuring it out. You’re still figuring out who you are. This ocean is big and there’s a lot to explore. No one has explored it all even those who have lived in this ocean their whole life. That’s okay. There’s room to grow.

Social and Civic Responsibility Research Paper

Could non-drug treatments be better for depression? Many people who suffer from depression don’t know all of the treatment options that are available to them. This lack of information could lead to inadequate treatment. Most doctors skip right to prescribing medications without having their patient try alternative, non-drug treatments. This could arguably do more harm than good.

Approximately 40% of adults in the U.S. say that they use some kind of alternative medicine. Although, the term “alternative medicine” has a loose definition as many treatments that were once known as alternative are now being included into mainstream medicine. Alternative treatments include most non-drug substances or activities being used as a treatment for depression. This can include anything from herbal supplements to acupuncture to something as simple as exercise. Different natural treatments work in different ways and, therefore, are more specific to the type of depression one has. For example, one alternative treatment is taking Vitamin D supplements because some people with Vitamin D deficiency have symptoms including depression. Other herbal remedies are also used for many different ailments. While using yoga or other kinds of exercise as a treatment allows the brain to produce endorphins that combat the chemicals causing one to feel depressed. It has also been shown that human connection, specifically physical touch and intimacy with a loved one, can help manage depression for the same reasons.

More commonly, various types of therapy are used which allows one to go back to the source of depression which helps a patient learn how to manage symptoms. Acupuncture is a common alternative treatment that has proven effectiveness in situational depression caused by stress. Some people prefer the more spiritual path using Reiki, a form of treatment in which a healer channels positive energy into a patient by either holding their hands above their chest or lightly touching their skin. Using crystals to align chakras or pink Himalayan salt to absorb negative energy is also common amongst those who are more spiritual, although there is hardly any proven effectiveness for treating clinical depression with Reiki, crystals or salt. Guided imagery along with meditation, however, have been proven to be effective in lowering stress levels and helping to manage symptoms of depression. Reflexology and massage follow the same idea of attempting to realign your body and mind to treat many ailments including depression. Most alternative treatments are based on that same idea; that is to correct an imbalance in the mind and body.

Chemical treatments mostly consist of antidepressants and mood-stabilizers. Both antidepressants and mood-stabilizers alter the chemicals that the brain produces. The difference is how the two are used. For most kinds of depression, antidepressants are used. These cause someone who feels depressed all or most of the time to feel less depressed by increasing serotonin levels. Mood-stabilizers are used for bipolar depression and are sometimes paired with antidepressants depending on professional diagnosis. Using antidepressants and mood-stabilizers can be tricky because many times, a patient will become reliant on the drugs to make them feel better. A misdiagnosis is also destined to have very negative side effects. For example, if someone with bipolar depression was misdiagnosed with persistent depression and they were given a prescription for antidepressants, it would make manic moods more intense and potentially dangerous.

Some people have success with chemical drug treatments. Rachel, 17, was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, the most common type of depression, when she was a young teenager. She has been on fluoxetine, more commonly known as Prozac, an antidepressant, for most of the time she’s been diagnosed. She noted that the biggest problem she had with it was that it takes about four weeks to take effect when taken consistently and she would forget to take the pill often. “I would experience dramatic mood swings and I would snap at everyone,.” she said. She goes to a therapist once or twice a year as a regular checkup to make sure her medication is working well. Being a part of a younger generation, she’s been exposed to various forms of alternative medicine and she has considered trying meditation but she hasn’t made an effort to making any lifestyle changes. James, 82, experienced situational depression after he was diagnosed with cancer. “The doctors never mentioned any kind of alternative treatment options. “I didn’t think about any either.” I just wanted something to make me feel like getting up in the morning,.” he explained. He was prescribed Sertraline, a very effective but addictive antidepressant known for its side effects. He said, “It was better than nothing but I never want to take a medicine like that again. It was horrible.” He experienced lethargy and malaise all of the time. “It didn’t make me feel better, it just made me worry less.” But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst was the remission after he appeared to be cancer-free. He had to decrease the doses every few weeks and that would cause nausea, fluctuations in appetite, and lethargy like he’d never felt before. When asked about alternative treatments, he said that he didn’t want to be on a medication but he didn’t really want to do anything else, afterall, he was on chemo and was mostly immobilized.

Some people argue that alternative medicine is a waste of money. Ben Kavoussi, a licenced acupuncturist who has a master’s degree in oriental medicine, believes that people have a misconception about what acupuncture can do. His research goes into depth about the origins of acupuncture and ultimately, how that means UCLA is wasting resources on acupuncture in pursuit of funding. However, he did not have a strong argument against the benefits of acupuncture. Andrea Cipriani from NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre led a recent study on the effectiveness of antidepressants. The purpose of her study was to find out if antidepressants really work or if it is all just a placebo effect and to eliminate the stigma around people taking medication for a mental disorder. She concluded through her research that antidepressants do work, some better than others, but that the best choice of antidepressant depends on the individual person. Prozac, the most commonly prescribed, came in fairly low on the effectiveness scale when compared with Amitriptyline and other drugs that are used to treat severe depression. But it was also one of the more tolerable of the drugs in the study. Cipriani argues that antidepressants are the best treatment for depression on the market and that considering the number of people who suffer from the mental disorder, the drugs should be more accessible.

Alternative medicine isn’t always the best remedy to all maladies. Many diseases require chemical based drugs, prescribed by a professional doctor. Examples include Steve Jobs and Bob Marley, who both of whom were diagnosed with cancer that could have been treated; however,but they chose to try alternative medicine and refuse chemotherapy, ultimately leading to their deaths and they both ended up dying. Jobs had a type of pancreatic cancer which was slow growing, and the doctors caught it early. He was advised to have the tumor removed but he chose to try a special diet in hopes of curing himself. Marley was diagnosed with a fast growing type of melanoma which was discovered after he went to the doctor complaining of pain in his toe. The doctors said that it would be best to amputate the toe but he opted for a less invasive treatment which allowed the cancer to spread to his brain. and Marleyhe diedyed when he was just 36 years old.

But because depression is typically caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, it can be treated with the right kind of alternative treatment. Non-drug treatments can be used for anyone and can even be beneficial for people who don’t have depression. There are hardly any negative side effects for alternative treatments. The only downside to alternative treatments is that most of them involve putting some time and effort into them. But if you really want to feel better, it is an important investment to make for your mental health. Chemical treatments are highly effective if used properly. But they can have serious, negative side effects if not used correctly.

At the end of the day, there’s still no answer as to which one is better. They both work and they work in different ways, depending on theso it depends on every individual. It would be beneficial to raise more awareness to the benefits and affordability of alternative medicine. It would also be advisable to try alternative treatments before resorting to prescription drugs because there is no downside;, it’s usually cheaper, and patientsyou’ll never feel like theyyou have to rely on a pill to feel normal. The best thing to know is that it’s not an either or question; it is actually most effective to use both alternative treatments and chemical treatments together. Alternative treatments allow you to feel like you’re still in control of your own mind and chemical treatments ensure that if you miss a therapy session or a yoga class, you’ll still feel like yourself.