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Children living with chronic illness are faced with everyday challenges that frequently force them to cope in different ways. According to Midence (1994), ten to twenty percent o all children in the United States suffer from a chronic illness. The most common chronic childhood diseases are asthma, congenital heart disease, chronic kidney disease and sickle cell disease. Children are often quite vulnerable and lack education and experience about coping, especially coping with such difficult life issues.

Learning how children cope and where they derive their coping skills and education will allow others to understand how they handle the stress of living with a chronic illness. Coping is the way one adapts to stress and includes both the positive and negative responses to stressful situations. Coping can either be in the form of direct action, where one physically attempts to change the environment, or cognitive modes, where one manipulates thoughts or feeling to contend with a problem (Olsen, Johansen, Powers, Pope & Klein, 1993).

For the purpose of this paper, the previous definition of coping will help the reader understand that children’s coping strategies can occur in either of these two forms. A cross-sectional study by Olsen et al. (1993) investigated whether children with a chronic illness used cognitive strategies as frequently as healthy children. They also examined whether children living with chronic illness utilized cognitive responses different than those used by healthy children coping with other common stressful events in daily life.

Olson et al. studied 175 children between the ages of 8-18 years old who attended special summer camps for their chronic Illness. They derived three different illness groups consisting of children with asthma, diabetes, juvenile arthritis. A control group consisted of 145 children from the public school population that were rated healthy children by the investigators. The results of Olson’s study suggested that children with chronic illness spontaneously utilize cognitive coping strategies as often as healthy children.

Coping strategies tended to increase with age while catastrophizing often decreased. The most common coping strategy was positive self-talk with the most common decatastrophizing strategy being focusing on negative effects or fear. The results also suggested variations in coping for different events. For example, children with chronic illness demonstrated greater use of cognitive coping strategies than healthy children for one type of painful event but not for another.

Older chonrically ill children utilized more complex coping strategies than healthy children and were especially more advanced in the group with Juvile Arthritis. Overall, for all groups of chronically ill children, the presence of more severe illness did not indicate change in their main or overall cognitive coping strategy. Gender effects coping strategies in children with chronic illness but had little impact on children with common problems.

Boys with chronic illness reported using cognitive restructuring and self-blame more often than girls were as girls reported using more emotional regulation and social support. In dealing with common problem, both boys and girls used strategies equally. These findings seem to indicate that gender effects coping only with regard to illness-related problems. Also, that coping is a process that differs between individuals and across situations but that also has some stable components.

The Clinical Competency of Psilocybin Containing Mushrooms in the Treatment of Addiction

The Clinical Competency of Psilocybin Containing Mushrooms in the Treatment of Addiction.

(Psychology) Psychopharmacology

3rd Year Psychology Undergraduate Dissertation (100% contribution to the module). Essentially a literature review with the aim to assess the competency of magic mushrooms in an addiction treatment setting. Leads up to a conclusion of whether it’s good or not, and whether further research is needed.

Title: something like “The Clinical Competency of Psilocybin Containing Mushrooms in the Treatment of Addiction” -Part 1: background. This paper should address the background surrounding research into psychedelics in a treatment setting along with how related factors influenced changes in legislation (e.g. treatment of other disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Different psychedelics investigated in such research. How political climate, along with unethical research practices, may have contributed to changes in law enforcement surrounding the drug. Worth mentioning demonisation in the media, based on truth and lies, and how it’s thwarted further potentially beneficial research into something with possibly great potential for healthcare). Finally, why is research important despite fears of psychedelic abuse? Possibly worth eluding towards an assessment of pros and cons of further research. -Part 2: Mechanism of psilocybin Talk about the physiological mechanisms explaining how and why the chemical (psilocybin) does what it does. Hopefully, this will lead into some form of explanation for why this is relevant to the neurological mechanisms behind addiction. Think about differences between chemical addiction and habitual addiction (addiction vs drug dependence?). Think about mechanisms surrounding the development of addiction, maintenance of addiction, and withdrawal making breaking addictions difficult. –Psilocybin as a serotonergic agonist, role of serotonin, etc –mindfulness aspect? Link to mindfulness research in addiction treatment –Improved learning via neurogenesis/plasticity, reference cognitive strategies like CBT and how coupled with this neural plasticity may improve rate and ease of cognitive adoption of positive thought strategies, stuff like that (maybe more relevant in another section?) Research into BOLD responses, etc. -Part 3: Mechanisms of addiction Talk about mechanisms of addiction here maybe, then link back to insights on the mechanisms of psilocybin and how they interact beneficially? Not sure but sounds like a good idea maybe. Good to talk about biological stuff in the brain, but referencing more abstract behavioural findings like mindfulness and stuff like that probably an important thing to consider (say, if magic mushrooms are only beneficial to people because they feel as if the situation they’re in is a lot more important because of the astonishing and spiritual feeling headspace, can talk about the benefits of spirituality in treating addiction based less on a biological action but more of a thinking about the problem and feeling as if they have power over it angle, maybe reference self-efficacy and stuff like that. Alcoholics anonymous 12 step program is a good starting point for talking about spirituality). -Part 4: Trials of psilocybin Now we’ve talked about why it might work, let’s look at research into whether or not it does actually work. Which types of addiction is it best for, who responds best, why is that? Is the understanding of biological underpinnings consistent with findings? If not, why not? Should evaluate methodologies of literature without bias or searching for positive evidence if possible, but at the same time don’t try to demonise the treatment any more than is rational. -Part 5: Compare to alternatives So if psilocybin coupled treatments seem good, why is it better or worse than alternatives? In cases where addiction therapies aren’t helpful, does psilocybin fill the gap? Is it just straight up more effective than alternative strategies, and do the cons of psilocybin treatment appear minor when compared to cons of other treatments? End with a conclusion, and provide future directives for policy and research based on what’s been discussed.

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