As we age, a common human experience is losing faith in the institutions we grew up believing in (i.e. family, government, economy, education, and religion). Is the American medical industry an institution we should have faith in, or not? Could it be causing unnecessary harm by promoting the invention of diseases, utilizing erroneous mental health categories, and informing its practices on funding? What are the positives of the American medical industry when compared to other countries? How do we fix the errors of this American institution to purely reflect an apolitical agenda intent on servicing those in need?
Depression seems like an obvious flaw in the human condition. The symptoms of depression (everything from apathy, social isolation, and anhedonia to emptiness, sleeplessness, and ruminations) can make engaging in daily life absolutely impossible. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not.” Despite what seems like an obvious evolutionary handicap, research has shown depression has a variety of hidden benefits, such as encouraging attention to detail, creativity, empathy, and resiliency. By acknowledging depression’s hidden benefits, we can alter the way it impacts us individually and societally.
The controversial and well-known Lolita by Nabokov forces us to address taboo topics and confusing realities in a way that only art can do. How do relationships often represent unrealistic ideals? Despite the novel’s taboo subject matter, can it teach us something about the dynamics of normal relationships? How do different art forms allow us to address immoral behaviors, social faux-pas, or the negative features of our human condition productively?
There’s no question the United States — and the globe — has been experiencing crisis and turmoil. Crisis Theory emerged as a response to assist those who faced unimaginable horrors while serving in WWII — can it help us now? How can we apply Crisis Theory to the U.S.’s political climate, institutions, policies, and laws; personal therapy sessions and individual mental health; and response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in order to enact positive change?
If ‘good’ is what causes pleasure and ‘evil’ is what causes pain, is death evil? Or, do we live in a universe where what happens to is indifferent and only how we relate to it is good or bad? Is death a transformative experience or the cessation of life and consciousness?
Are we benefiting from mental health diagnoses, medications, and treatments? Or, is the current mental health industry causing more harm than healing? How do we accurately deal with psychological distress?
How has mate selection changed over time? How does assortative dating affect future populations?
How are we drawn to our romantic partners? What factors influence our connection and bond with those we love?
How does religious violence occur? How do different ideologies justify violence? What is it about religious violence that seems to make it more violent?
How is a person defined? Is there a construct that accurately addresses the complexity of personhood?