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Helen H.
Multilingual tutor for 5 years
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German
TutorMe
Question:

I need help with my German grammar skills, however, I do not know where to start. The textbook and my professor are kind of jumpy, and I would like some help to find a starting point.

Helen H.
Answer:

The key to most German grammar rules (beginner to advanced) is to identify sentence structures and the different parts of a sentence. For example, "Tim throws the ball to Heinz./ Tim wirft den Ball zu Heinz." "throws/wirft" is the verb, "Tim" is the subject, as he is 'exerting' the verb. "The ball/ den Ball" is the object, as it is the thing that is being thrown. "Heinz" is the indirect object, as this is the person to whom the ball is being thrown. The dreaded cases of the German language also seem to be complicated at first, but you will get the hang of it faster than you think once you feel comfortable defining the parts of a sentence.

Psychology
TutorMe
Question:

What could be some arguments for clinical psychologists to be given the right to prescription privileges?

Helen H.
Answer:

One of the main questions in psychotic disorder treatment is whether or not to take psychotropic medication. In today’s society, the latter plays a key role as it can reduce symptoms and prevent relapses of psychiatric disorders like depression or anxiety. Benefits and disadvantages of these drugs must be thoroughly outweighed before considering taking them. Antidepressant medications, such as the customary SSRIs, are commonly prescribed to treat depression, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Major depressant disorder, which is classified by pervasive sadness, fatigue, and inappetency that impairs daily life, is thought to affect the balance of the brain’s natural neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of pleasure. Antidepressant medications seek to restore this balance. Even in substance abuse disorders, it induces chemical changes in the brain’s reward pathways, and antidepressants are often used during recovery. Anxiety, which is a generalized state of concern or ominousness, is a maladaptive reaction that can cause significant emotional distress or impair the person’s ability to function; turning it into a psychological disorder. The drug treatment for this disorder is mostly done with benzodiazepines. These are considered to be very controversial as the risk of adherence and abuse of the drug are quite high among the general population. One of the main benefits, however, of taking either of these psychotropic medicines is that they have a positive effect on the individual and help them cope quickly with their disorder, facilitating their daily lives. Placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated that medications for mental health disorders reduce or eliminate symptoms. For example, antidepressants, such as the dual selective serotonin a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Duloxetine, consistently reduces symptoms of depression by 30 percent to 60 percent overall and leads to complete remission in a significant proportion of patients. Effective psychotherapies have also been developed and tested and can be utilized without medications for patients with mild or moderate disorders. However, medication is still an important mainstay of treatment for patients with more severe and/or long-standing mental illness symptoms. This is especially the case when results need to be obtained in a fast manner. For severe major depressive disorder, electro-convulsive therapy is still being applied, which is more controversial than certain high-dosed psychotropic medications. As anxiety and depression are frequently found to be highly co-morbid, either a polytherapy that incorporates two or multiple psychotropic medications, or a single medication such as an SSRI that can help overcome symptoms from both disorders, can be applied to treat them both at once. In severe cases, the polytherapy is most likely used. However, psychiatrists and therapists try to avoid this type of treatment as it makes it more complicated for the patient to come down from the drugs later on. Also, the general use of medication, pre-eminently of concentrated drugs, is almost considered immoral to treat anxiety and depression in children in contrast to that in young adults or older adults. Although short-term efficacy has been established, long-term efficacy remains controversial, as relevant data are tenuous and relapse, and dependence on withdrawal have not yet been clearly distinguished. Starting new medication can lead to incipient nausea, headaches, dizziness, and other less common side effects. Usually, after a week or two these side effects should subside and the patient would experience benefits and positive effects for a short-term period of one to six months. However, after exceeding this period, especially with benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety medication, the risk of becoming dependent will increase. The latter is more evidently the case when deviating from the original prescribed dosage. Other drug therapies e.g., with anti-depressants are available and have a superior risk benefit ratio in long-term use. Most patients are well informed ahead of time by their physicians or by reading the information leaflet that comes with the medicine on the possible side effects – which are included in most medication, both psychological and physical medication - as well as on the risks of withdrawal when using the product longer than prescribed or in larger dosages. Therefore, most of the negative and prolonged side effects are due to individual misuse. Starting to take psychotropic medication, especially benzodiazepines, taking it for the appropriate amount of time, and upholding dosages without abusing the substance, are on one’s own responsibility. The best way to treat psychological disorders like anxiety and depression in mild to severe levels is through drug therapy combined with another non-drug treatment, such as counseling, meditation (e.g., Mindfulness), and other relaxation therapies. The non-drug treatments can help the individual in a more natural way to cope with distress, as well as aiding the person after terminating the psychotropic drug use. Most, if not all, bad experiences with psychotropic medication are due to the lack of an individual’s tenacity of discontinuing the medicine and switching to therapeutic treatment.

Biology
TutorMe
Question:

Could you explain what the electrical and chemical transmission of neural signals in the nervous systems of animals generally looks like? Especially, when focusing on the function of IPIS’s and EPSP’s.

Helen H.
Answer:

Electrical transmission is a much faster process as some neurons are in very close proximity at gap junctions. This allows the action potential from one axon to pass directly to the next without regulation. Chemical transmission is slower as action potentials first reach axon hillocks and must ‘calculate’ all incoming IPSPs and EPSPs. If an action potential fires, there is a refractory period as well. EPSPs cause neurons to be more positively charged, allowing for an action potential to more likely happen as opposed to IPSPs, which hyper-polarize the cell body. Examples of excitatory neurotransmitters are norepinephrine and epinephrine. When epinephrine reaches the post-synaptic terminal, Ca2+ channels open, allowing the epinephrine to flow across the synaptic cleft and bind to receptors. These open ligand-gated ion channels and influx cause a behavioral response. For example, in crayfish, the extremely fast lateral giant movement is an example of an electrical transmission. The medial giant movement is an example of a chemical transmission.

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