The first edition of "The Least You Need To Know with Kate Marlette", and featuring a discussion of the basics of the gun show loophole.
Okay, You caught me!
I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.
As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.
Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.
I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.
If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:
1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.
Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.
2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."
In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.
3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.
In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?
4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.
Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.
The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.
The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.
We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.
Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.
Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.
Immigration: the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country. As simple as that sounds there is a lot to read in the fine print. Legal immigration isn't something that can be done in a short period of time, even if you are living miserably in another country and are immigrating to better your life.
That's where illegal immigration comes in.
Illegal immigration is when a person comes into another country without the required documentation, so essentially they just live under the radar.
Although it seems as if this isn't much of a problem as long as the undocumented immigrants follow the laws, it still puts the government in a predicament. More specifically, it creates a dilemma for the United States government.
There are a few ways to become a U.S. citizen, but they are all pretty timely. The first way to obtain citizenship is by having a Permanent Resident Green Card for at least five years, or for at least three years if you're filing as a spouse to a U.S. citizen. You must meet eligibility requirements such as 18 years of age, be able to read, write, and speak English, and you have to be a person of good moral character. The last option is to go through the 10-step naturalization process.
Everything listed above is part of a long procedure, so that is why some people avoid it and come to the country illegally. Even though that doesn't seem so bad, people also come into the country for reasons other than seeking a better life.
It's one thing to come into the United States illegally while obeying laws and seeking citizenship as well as the American Dream, but it's another to come here and disobey the law while bringing harm to citizens in any way.
Tessa Tranchant, 16, was killed on March 30, 2007 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Tessa and her friend, Ali Kunhardt, were sitting at a stoplight when Alfredo Ramos, an illegal alien from Mexico who was intoxicated and speeding, rear-ended their car. Ramos had a history of prior convictions, but due to Virginia Beach's sanctuary policies, he was never detained. He was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Apolinar Altamirano, an illegal alien from Mexico, murdered Grant Ronnebeck on January 22, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona. Ronnebeck was shot over a pack of cigarettes while he was working his shift at a convenience store. Altamirano was out on bond from a previous conviction while ICE determined whether he should be deported when he killed Ronnebeck.
These are just two out of the hundreds of cases that take place every year. Not only are innocent Americans murdered, but drugs are also trafficked over to the States and that is only fueling the drug epidemic that we are fighting as a country. A gang that goes by MS-13 is known for trafficking drugs over Mexicos border, killing American citizens, and raping young girls and women. There are multiple other groups that are known for this as well.
Brutal murdering, trafficking of drugs, and raping citizens is only a small issue of what a portion of the illegal immigrants are doing, but what about money of our fellow Americans? The policies that SNAP (welfare) has set in place, leaves wiggle room for undocumented immigrants to get support from them; this means that our tax dollars are going towards supporting them even though a majority of them are not paying taxes.
Illegal immigrants aren't supposed to get healthcare benefits, but if they are seriously hurt or injured then hospitals do not have a choice other than to treat them. Our tax dollars also pay for the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Legal immigration and immigrants that are truly trying to do it right are one thing... but do you want to take that chance, or would you rather keep your sons, daughters, wives and other family members safe? There are currently approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, but how many of them are "good," and not a threat to you and your family? Where do we, as American citizens, draw the line?