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Garrido 1 Holli Garrido Prof. Presnell English 1103 Honors 7 Nov.

2011 English Proposal What do you know about your subject already? Being a psychology major and having completed a general psychology course, I have at least some background knowledge of the field of abnormal psychology and how each disease is dealt with. While the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is an extensive list of all the diseases in existence and the symptoms for each, the treatments are not included, because not one set treatment exists. The shocking thing is that every year there is some new disease or theory of a mental problem, but that is all there is, a theory. Many diagnosis and treatment plans are not set in stone, and each psychologist has a different take on how to deal with the same disorder. So what I know about my subject is that there is nothing to be known, because so much of psychology and abnormal psychology in particular, is still a mystery. Why did you choose this subject over others? Why does it interest you? Mental disorders fascinate me, and so inside and outside of school I do everything I can to increase my understanding of these diseases. My dad and I share many Buddhist beliefs, and a central theme of Buddhism is to open your mind and become aware of your own existence and the existence of those around you. While even the normally functioning mind is difficult to

Garrido 2 understand and control, those whose mind is riddled with problems is even more of a mystery, one I want to explore. On a more personal level, my best friend is bi-polar, just like his father who committed suicide when my friend was just seven years old. I even deal with my fair share of general anxiety problems that have made what should have been the best of days less than satisfactory. My interest is not only for my own benefit but to help those around me and to help people I will be working with in my future career as a Clinical Psychologist. Write ten questions you want to find answers to. 1. Why isnt more time and effort put into better treatment for mental problems? 2. Do patients prefer drug based treatments or therapy? 3. Why do medications have such harmful side effects? 4. Are current drug treatment plans shaping the disorders themselves? 5. How has treatment progressed over the years? 6. Could patients provide insight into how they want to be treated? 7. How does the cost of therapy versus the cost of drugs affect their use? 8. Should more focus be placed on the exploration or the treatment of mental disorders? 9. Will treatment continue to change regardless of an increase in knowledge? 10. How can our knowledge of mental disorders successfully increase? From that list, choose three of the substantive questions that interest you most. 1. Should more focus be placed on the exploration of mental disorders or the treatment of them? 2. How has treatment of mental diseases progressed over the years? 3. Are current drug treatments shaping the disorders themselves?

Garrido 3 Where do you think you will find answers you seek? Having done a fair share or psychological research already, my first plan of action is to check the scientific databases online for any articles or theories from other professors looking for the same answers as I am. If anything these articles can give more detailed background information on mental disorders and their treatments, and especially on what research was conducted to conclude that the official treatment was the right one for the disorder. With more psychologists out there than there are disorders or treatments, using research articles will allow me to have several different theories on the same topic, allowing for helpful comparison. I would also look in a special issue of Time magazine that I have which has be re-published and dedicated completely to articles on brain research and new theories on everything related to how our mind functions. Using such a well-known and prestigious magazine like Time I know that the articles will include valid information and reliable sources, unlike a lot of other media magazines on the market. Even with a wide range of sources available to me I think the most difficult question to answer is question number four: Are current drug treatment plans shaping the disorders themselves? simply because there are countless other factors, both internal and external, that contribute to the diagnosis and severity of a mental disease, that even with research it will be hard to track and isolate the effects of medication. What is my primary research plan? My primary plan for information is to conduct an interview with one of the psychology professors at UNCC. These professionals have a lot more experience and gathered knowledge on the subject, and are also a lot older. Assuming that they began studying in the field when they were in college, it is possible that they have witnessed a change in psychological treatment or a

Garrido 4 gain in knowledge over their own lifetime. I change I have not been alive long enough to witness myself, so the opinions and insight I could gain from them will be incredibly beneficial. If needed, what can I narrow it to? It is difficult to narrow the subject any more than I already have, but if needed I could cut out some of the inquiry over specific treatment, and focus more on the lack of knowledge of mental disorders over the years, and why. What has caused this aversion, and if it is due to fear or concern why is more effort not put into exploring and ultimately understanding these disorders. This general lack of knowledge could become to focal point of my research. If needed, in what way can I broaden my subject? If needed I can broaden my subject to include all subfields of psychology, because even outside of the abnormal realm much of what we know about the brain and how it functions is simply theory. I could explore why this area of knowledge has been around for so long yet so little has been discovered and determined over the years, and how can this knowledge of the brain increase sufficiently.