Therapy Dogs Are a Blessing, Not A Curse

Therapy Dogs Are a Blessing, Not A Curse

Therapy dogs help individuals who mentally and physically need them.

Emotional Support Animals are a huge controversy that occurs on college campuses around the United States, it has some students believing that therapy dogs are unnecessary and that people only have them, so they can live with their dogs on campus.

However, they are not what people make them out to be and to help the individuals who truly need them. I, personally, have an Emotional Support Animal and all I can say is that she is the best thing to ever happen to me.

My whole life, I have struggled with anxiety and depression, but when college arrived my symptoms began worsening. Before I got my therapy dog, I had constant anxiety that was through the roof and on a daily basis experienced panic attacks. My therapist then suggested that my best option would be to get an emotional support animal to keep me company and hopefully overtime better my symptoms. Last spring, at the end of my freshmen year, I received a 7-week-old all black German Shepherd named Ava and let me just tell you, even as a young puppy she made such a huge impact on my life right off the bat. She gave me a reason to get out of bed every morning and pushed me to continue living.

At the time, my depression and anxiety were very severe and I couldn't thank her enough for helping me get through that rough patch. She physically helped, what I was going through, by getting me out of my dorm room just to walk her and then always greeting me with so much excitement every time that I would get home from class. She has been there to comfort me in times of despair and to dance with me in times of bliss. Who would have thought that one animal could not only save a life but exceedingly give pure happiness where there used to not be any.

The individuals who think that these therapy dogs are pointless, clearly do not have a mental illness nor see the results of how they actually DO help us that who do. I believe that instead of society looking down on mental patients for owning these therapeutic animals, should preferably encourage and try to apprehend them. They are truly today's future for those psychological individuals that need that extra push to not only feel better physically but emotionally too. If it weren't for Ava, I have no clue where I would be at this point in my life and I sincerely thank god day by day for allowing me to have this beautiful soul.

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.

BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers,, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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There's A Monster That Lives Inside Me, But That Doesn't Define Me

Anxiety doesn't define you, you define anxiety.

When people see me, they don't think anxiety, only my close family and friends know about my anxiety and even they don't really know.

I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It started off as a simple fear of something sticking to me but then turned into a fear of blood which escalated into a fear of hospitals/doctors that is now anything and everything.

Something as simple as eye contact or something as extreme as a doctor's appointment can cause my anxiety to flair.

My anxiety can lead to several different things, passing out which is by far the worst (usually I smack the floor and stay unconscious for around 30 seconds) or it can be as mild as a simple anxiety attack.

I say simple but in reality, there is nothing simple about having to leave a restaurant in the middle of dinner or having to get up and walk out of a 200+ student lecture hall because you can't breathe.

I can't control what happens. I lose all control of my own body, this is a monster.

The monster takes over and I can't do anything to save myself.

This has to be the single most depressing thing I've ever had to deal with, to feel helpless to the point of not knowing what your body is going to do is terrible.

Explaining something you don't understand yourself is hard. I have never met another human that understands my anxiety, I don't ever expect to. All anxiety is bad and not all anxiety is the same, someone doesn't just have “good" anxiety.

There comes a time where you have to make a decision: do you let it completely take over? Do you let your anxiety dictate everything you do in life?

This is where I draw the line. I will not live my everyday life worried about my anxiety and I sure won't let my anxiety get in the way of the things I want in life.

Do not let your anxiety define you. You are in charge, it's your body. Every day is going to be a battle. It's hard, and some days you will want to give up, believe me.

But take this negativity and turn it into something positive. Learn from it, let it make you stronger. It can only define you if you let it. Don't give your anxiety that power.

Stop thinking something is terribly wrong with you and you're not normal, you have anxiety, it's something that you have to take control of and learn to live with.

It's terrible, but you can't keep convincing yourself that you're not normal, because you are.

Stop letting it define who you are as a person, you define it. You are better than the panic attacks in the middle of the night, you are stronger than that voice telling you to be afraid.

Be strong, that is the hardest thing to do but, in the end, it's all that will be able to get you through the darkness.

Everyone copes differently, but however you cope, make sure it's healthy. The more damage you bring to your body the worse the anxiety will get.

When I think of something living inside me, I think of Will from "Stranger Things" when he has part of the Demogorgon living inside him. Honestly, that wouldn't be as bad as what does lives inside me.

But I will conquer my inner demons and become better. I will not let anxiety define me, and neither should you.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash (Nicole Mason)

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