Saturday, March 14, 2020
Book Spine Poetry, Vol. 1 The Trouble withPoetry Inspired by Brain Pickings book spine poetrya recent tribute to National Poetry MonthI decided to draw from my own bookshelf and try my hand at the form: The trouble with poetry:The innocent wit,The edge of reason,The fact of a doorframe. The Trouble with Poetry: and other poems by Billy Collins The Innocent: A Novel by Ian McEwan Wit: A PlayÃ by Margaret Edson Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonÃ by Helen Fielding The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems 1950-2001 by Adrienne Rich For even more interesting results, disorganize your local library a la Nina KatchadouriansÃ Sorted BooksÃ project. The project follows the same process, but takes place in a different library for every entry. Katchadourian sums up its aims: The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collectionsÃ Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular librarys focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies - a cross-section of that librarys holdings. Look out for more volumes soon. In the meantime, feel free to post links to your own forays into book spine poetry below.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Political Kuwait before and after oil - Essay Example Prior to the discovery of oil in Kuwait, their political structure was that different political classes were indebted to one another. This included the pearl divers, the captains, the merchants, the international merchants, and the ruling family, including the Sheikh. The entire political and governance structure was supported by debt that could not be rapid due to its amount. This, however, changed with discovery of oil as the government began to distribute wealth deliberately among all its recognized citizens. Kuwait also became a welfare state, while money was also funneled into the private sector through land purchases from the government at inflated prices (Slot 106). This worked to wipe out almost all debts owed by citizens. Prior to the discovery of oil, the Sheikh in Kuwait carried out all the executive functions of government, including the arbitration of disputes, using customary rules. Those disputes that he felt were covered under Sharia law were sent to the judges, although this was only to allow him make an informed and just decision (Slot 102). For this reason, it was important that the ruler availed himself to the people through open Majlis that enabled them to present grievances and disputes directly to the ruler. However, with the discovery of oil, government work expanded rapidly to include numerous agencies as required. The machinery of government diversified to include the Supreme Council that was constituted by various heads of government agencies. The Supreme Council became almost like a Politburo in that it reflected sharing of power among individuals linked to the ruling family, while the AmirÃ¢â¬â¢s continued absence from its sittings gave it a level of independence despite his con tinued chairmanship. In a further change to political structure away from the centralized figure of the Amir, the Organizing Body was formed to reform government
Monday, February 10, 2020
The gravedigger scene may be taken as a key to the play Hamlet as a whole. Why - Essay Example Thus Hamlet says, "that skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone that did the first murder." This aspect of the scene also shows how Hamlet, whether he likes it or not, constantly returns to the same themes whatever situation he is in. The fact that the jawbone could be that of Cain, leads him to the subject of murder which in turn leads him to the fact that he believes his father was murdered by his Uncle and mother. Hamlet makes fun of all the titles, property and pride that make him a "Prince", but which will eventually disappear into that great equalizer. The fact that he has felt uneasy with the idea of being a royalty occurs through the play and is persistent in this scene as he looks at skull that might have been "a lawyer's" or a "great buyer of land". They are all equal now within death. The theme of death taking away the innocence of childhood appears as Hamlet says the famous line, "alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well". Death's bit is even more keen when it has occurred to someone that we fondly remember from out childhood. Again, Hamlet asks a series of questions that he knows the answer to before he has spoken them. These are perhaps the ultimate rhetorical questions: "where be your gibes now, Your gambols Your songs Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar Not one now, to mock your own grinning." The fact that Yorick, who apparently displayed all the vitality and zest for life that Hamlet sorely lacks, is dead, makes Hamlet's own attempts to both cheat death and to avenge it seem rather pathetic. The idea that there is no-one to "mock" the permanent "grin" that Yorick's skull is showing is perhaps the most telling fact of all. Hamlet suggests that death is mocking all mortals - so no mortal mocking is actually needed. The unfairness of death is a theme that resounds throughout the play. It is unfair that his father has been killed while his useless uncle lives. It was unfair that Polonius was killed needlessly (even though Hamlet cares little himself), and it is unfair that Ophelia has been driven to madness and hence to suicide. Death, it seems, takes those who are most innately suited to life. While those such as Hamlet himself, so thinks the Prince, are left to suffer within a tortured life. The fact that death makes all equal is expounded upon by making the dead seem to be part of death's joke on the prideful ambitions of life. Thus the stinking skull that Hamlet is handling (that of Yorick) brings him to consideration of the fact that the "imagination trace the novel dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung hole" Throughout Hamlet the title character is unable to stop his flights of imagination, and all of these turn into a kind of reduction ad absurdum in which the whole of life is rendered meaningless and somewhat laughable by the cold facts of death. Life is very short, mutable and transient in its importance while death is eternal and majestically terrible in its permanence and resonance. Alexander may be the dust bunging up one hole or another for much longer than he was ever a great ruler. This sense of futility is resoundingly summed up within the following rhyming couplets: Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay Introduction Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that presents in form of anxiety disorder, and it usually develops following exposure to an event or incident that is terrifying and mostly associated with an increased risk or actual occurrence of severe body harm. These events exceed the coping capabilities of the individual, resulting into psychological trauma. As a result of the trauma, the affected individual develops fear conditioning in their brain, possibly because of certain brain chemicals that are released. Some structures in the brain are also thought to undergo atrophy. The risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder is also influenced by genetics and personal characteristics, for example childhood experience, previous exposure and preexisting conditions such as depression, gender and degree of exposure to trauma (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Most people who develop this condition are those who have been exposed to traumatic incidents in their childhood or adulthood, like natural disasters, manmade disasters, accidents, military combat, and violent physical abuse, as individuals or witnessing someone else undergo the incidents. About two thirds of the population worldwide becomes exposed to significant traumatic situations in the course of their lifetime. The level of exposure to or experience of a traumatic event is consistently associated with the likelihood of developing PSTD. The development of post traumatic stress disorder also shows significant correlation with poor socioeconomic settings, age, race, ethnicity, and employment status. The affected people undergo continuous frightening thoughts as they recall the terrifying experiences, often having sleep problems and feeling detached and becoming withdrawn. The patients develop psychological problems such as neuroticism, guilt, difficulties in concentration, poor coping skills, and obsessive symptoms. The level of social support available for the people who have been exposed to traumatic events is the strongest determinant of the risk of post traumatic stress disorder (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Post traumatic stress disorder is classified as acute, chronic or delayed onset. Acute posttraumatic stress disorder presents with symptoms that do not persist beyond three months, while in the chronic form the symptoms last more than three months. Delayed onset post traumatic stress disorder is the one in which the symptoms start appearing about six months following exposure to the traumatic event. As compared to normal stress that is usually associated with acute reactions that rapidly return to the normal state, the biological and psychological mechanisms in post traumatic stress disorder are chronic and often become severe with time (Fullerto n Ursano, 2005). Current treatment of post traumatic stress disorder includes exposure therapies and anxiety management trainings as the first-line treatments. Pharmacological therapies such as the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have also been designed and shown to be effective, though intensive studies are in progress to develop other form of drugs. In spite of the possible efficacy of pharmaceutical interventions, psychological treatments still remain the preferred therapeutic approaches for this disorder (Keane, Marshall Taft, 2006). The outcome of the therapeutic interventions depends on the level of social support, and lack of symptoms such as avoidance, emotional numbing and hyperarousal. According to Keane, Marshall and Taft (2006), PSTD has been in existence for many centuries though it became recognized in the 1980. This condition was commonly linked to warfare, until studies demonstrated the occurrence of similar symptoms in the civilian population exposed to natural disasters, mass catastrophes and tragic accidents. Prior to this, post traumatic stress disorder was identified by different names such as, Ã¢â¬Å"shell shock, battle fatigue, accident neurosis, and post-rape syndromeÃ¢â¬ (Keane, Marshall Taft 2006, p.163). After the American Psychiatric Association classified post traumatic stress disorder, it was generally agreed that the condition resulted from traumatic events and not the previously perceived individual weakness. However, these traumatic events were taken to be stressors beyond the daily human experiences including war, natural calamities, manmade disasters, and rape among others. Symptoms of PSTD Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder frequently alter the patientÃ¢â¬â¢s personal life and can affect oneÃ¢â¬â¢s functional abilities. These symptoms mostly start immediately after the traumatic experience, but often they may appear several months or years since the exposure. These symptoms are classified into four types including reliving, avoidance, numbing and hyperarousal (Fletcher, 1996). Patients suffering from this disorder frequently relive memories of the traumatic incidents in form of flashback and nightmares. This reliving of traumatic events is often triggered by stimuli related to the event. Avoidance of scenes related to the traumatic event is also a common symptom presenting in individuals with post traumatic stress disorder. The patients show a tendency to avoid stimuli and triggers that are associated with the traumatic memories, and may engage in activities to keep them from thinking or discussing such events. Numbness may also manifest as a way of avoiding the traumatic memories. Hyperarousal is another common symptom in PSTD patients, whereby the victims become highly alert and lookout for threats. This makes the patients to become very irritable and have difficulties in concentrating. The patients may also develop sleeping disorders, exhibit violent behavior and startled responses (Rosen, 2004). Information processing in patients with PSTD Various models have been developed to explain the memory and concentration problems manifested by patients affected by post traumatic stress disorder. These models relate the cognitive problems with these patients with the changes in the brain structures that function in learning and memory. The first model is described as fear structure, whereby the brain of the affected individuals become programmed to process information associated with the threatening experience and subsequent physiological, physical and behavioral responses. Another information processing model is based on cognitive theory, with an assumption that the disorder progresses only if a person perceives the traumatic incident in a manner that makes the incident to become threatening after it has taken place. The perception of the trauma as being present results into intrusions and reliving symptoms, anxiety, and over alertness. Subsequently, the affected individual tries to decrease perceptions of the threat through behavioral and cognitive modifications, although these changes further perpetuate the symptoms (Rosen, 2004). Prevalence of PSTD Epidemiologic studies indicate that about 10 percent of the universal population experience PSTD at some point in their lifetime. Epidemiologic surveys also indicate that between a third and two-thirds of the world population experience or witness trauma at some point in life. The most common forms of traumatic events people get exposed to or experience in developed countries include grave harm or death, fire disasters, natural calamities, and life-threatening accidents. The most prevalent forms of trauma experienced by females are rape, sexual exploitation and abuse, physical assault, and neglect, while physical assault and military-related trauma are more prevalent in males (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Post traumatic stress disorder can occur at any age, and the period it takes to develop following exposure or experiencing of a traumatic event ranges from hours to years. The prevalence of PSTD in the general population is higher in females as compared to males, with an estimated prevalence of 10 percent and 5 percent respectively. Among individuals exposed to trauma, the prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder in males is 8 percent, while in females it is about 20 percent. The prevalence differences across gender lines are thought to be related to the specific form of trauma experienced. For instance, it has been shown that females who experience physical assault or are threatened with a weapon are at a high risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder as compared to men subjected to the same trauma. Similarly, males who experience sexual abuse are at a higher risk of developing PSTD as compared to the females who also experience the same stressor. Additionally, exposure to interpersonal violence among women is positively associated with later development of post traumatic stress disorder. In general, exposure to interpersonal violence is s trongly associated with the development of PSTD as compared to traumatic events that occur without a human perpetrator. Further studies show that of the entire population that experience or witness severe trauma at some point in their life, it is less than 20 percent who develop post traumatic stress disorder, thus suggesting the existence of many risk factors (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). The prevalence is significantly increased in countries where rates of violence, crimes and war are high, and also in parts of the world that are more prone to natural catastrophes. Younger age appears to be associated with a higher risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder (Keanne, Marshall, Taft, 2006). Meta analysis studies have also shown that children and teenagers who get exposed to traumatic events are 1.5 times likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder than adults exposed to the same trauma. These findings suggest that the developmental process of the disorder in young individuals varies from that of the adults. Lower education achievement is also associated with increased risk for this disorder. Other factors associated with high prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder include pre-existing psychiatric problems, juvenile delinquency, childhood adversity, personality disorders, genetic factors, severity of the trauma, and lack of social support (Schnurr, Friedman Bernardy, 2002). Though findings on race are not consistent, a strong correlation has been shown to exist between the race of a person and the development of post traumatic disorder. Some studies have indicated that whites have a lower risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder as compared to nonwhites, even when other risk factors like exposure to traumatic events are held constant (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Study findings have established that chronic PSTD is mostly associated with some psychiatric conditions and impaired psychosocial activities. Among these comorbid conditions include, Ã¢â¬Å"major depression, dysthemia, mania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, simple phobia, agoraphobia, alcohol abuse/dependence, drug abuse, social phobia, and conduct disorderÃ¢â¬ (Schnurr, Friedman Bernardy 2002, p. 880). Despite these psychiatric conditions being risk factors for post traumatic stress disorder, the disorder itself can also be a predisposing factor for the psychiatric conditions. Etiology of PSTD The major etiologic factor in PSTD is the trauma. However, various studies have shown that not all individuals who get exposed to same traumatic events develop the disorder, thus indicating the existence of certain predisposing conditions. Recognition that trauma alone may not be the sole cause of post traumatic stress disorder and the observations that not all people who get exposed to traumatic events develop the disorder have led to identification of various aspects where individual differences may determine vulnerability. These aspects include appraisal tendencies, genetic makeup, and certain risk factors (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Appraisal tendencies relate to the individual perceptions of situations or events, whereby some individuals are likely to consider situation or events as threatening or horrifying as compared to other individuals. Clinical studies have shown that many individuals who experience or witness traumatic events do not develop post traumatic stress disorder. This is attributed to the individual variations on the ability to cope with traumatic situations, thus different individuals possess differing psychological reactions to similar traumatic situations. It has, therefore, been recognized that exposure to traumatic events gets perceived through cognitive and emotional mechanisms involving appraisal (Vieweg et al., 2006). Whereas some individuals may perceive a situation or event as a huge threat, others may perceive the same situation as a challenge that demands them to evolve coping abilities. A number of risk factors that render some people more vulnerable to developing post traumatic stress disorder than others have been identified. These risk factors are classified as pre-traumatic, traumatic or post-traumatic (Vieweg et al., 2006). Pre-traumatic factors that may predict later development of post traumatic stress disorder as identified by various studies are childhood trauma, the existence of psychiatric problems, childhood maladaptive behaviors, poor family background, introversion, gender, and existence of physical health problems among others. Studies on early periods of development show an increasing relationship between early life trauma and a greater likelihood for the development of PSTD (Keanne, Marshall Taft, 2006; Edsall, Karnik Steiner, 2005). This hypothesis is, however, supported by few data obtained from small samples. But still, it is well established that childhood abuse and experience of other trauma early in life are partially responsible for the manifestation of post PSTD later in life in the general adult population. In a study carried out in the USA by MaCauley et al. (1997), it was shown that a significantly high number of women with a greater disposition to develop post traumatic stress disorder had undergone early life physical assault, sexual abuse or serious neglect. The study investigated about 2000 adult females drawn from different socioeconomic groups, and who were attending primary care internal medicine practices. McCauley and colleagues found that 22 percent of the study population experienced many physical symptoms with much higher levels of, Ã¢â¬Å"depression, anxiety, somatization and interpersonal sensitivity, a fivefold higher prevalence of drug abuse and a twofold higher level of alcohol abuseÃ¢â¬ (McCauley et al. 1997, p. 1367). In general, the data supports the established models of risk for the development of PSTD, whereby genetic predisposition, temperament and childhood or adulthood trauma are significant risks factors for PSTD development. Therefore, the recent trauma experienced by an individual also triggers the development of post traumatic stress disorder. This has been shown to arise from the effects of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), which is a hormone involved in regulating the autonomic, immune and behavioral reactions to any stress. Increased secretion of corticotropin releasing factor is associated with increased expression of psychiatric symptoms, including PSTD symptoms (Sapolsky, 1996). With regard to traumatic factors, many studies on post traumatic stress disorder have shown that there exists a direct relationship between severity of the trauma and subsequent development of the disorder. The severity of the trauma includes characteristics like the length of time the trauma took, the frequency of occurrence and the degree of harm or threat on life. Other aspects of the severity of trauma are the severity of the experience, whether somebody was harmed during the incident, whether the victim was involved directly or witnessed the trauma, and in case of sexual abuse, if the perpetrator of the atrocity was previously known to the victim. The severity of the trauma and PSTD are very consistent in the entire population, with high severity associated with increased risk for post traumatic stress disorder or severity of its symptoms (Edsall, Karnik Steiner, 2005). Studies have also shown that the post traumatic environment is also connected to later development of PSTD. Environments that are characterized by poor social support and disoriented social interaction patterns make people more vulnerable to develop post traumatic stress disorder (Ford, 2009). It has been shown that people who experience traumatic events such as rape victims and war veterans suffer from deleterious effects due to lack of post traumatic social support. Similarly, a number of studies have shown that post traumatic clinical interventions like debriefing are effective preventing later development of PSTD. Pathophysiology of PSTD Major psychobiologic processes that give human beings capabilities to effectively deal with stressful events have been shown to be impaired in individuals having PSTD. Among the affected processes include the fight and flight responses, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, the fear conditioning, appraisal and the acoustic startle reactions (Ford, 2009). The fight and flight responses are brought about by the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. In normal persons, the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system by a traumatic event results into a sequence of autonomic and muscular responses, which provide the person with capabilities to cope with the possible threat. However in people who have PSTD, it has been established that sympathetic nervous system responses and adrenergic dysregulation are excessively elevated. Even minor trauma related stimuli have been observed to trigger autonomic hyperresponsiveness. It has also been found that the amount of catecholamine in the urine of the victim is significantly increased. Other sympathetic nervous system abnormalities observed include, Ã¢â¬Å"down regulation of beta-2 and alpha-2 adrenergic receptors and increased reactivity to the alpha-2 antagonist yohimbineÃ¢â¬ (Ford 2009, p. 37). Increased reactivity of yohimbine is associated with triggering of panic attacks and trauma-related memories in people suffering from PSTD. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system also acts to enhance the ability of people to cope effectively with stress. In patients who are experiencing post traumatic stress disorder, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system is poorly modulated and the victims exhibit abnormal features like decreased amounts of cortisol in urine, increased amounts of lymphocyte glucocorticoid receptor and excessively inhibited dexamethasone (Sapolsky, 1996). Another psychobiologic process that has been shown to be impaired in patients with PSTD is the acoustic startle response. In normal individuals, the acoustic startle system helps in creating awareness of any possible threat. However, in patients affected by the disorder, they exhibit a reduced latency and elevated amplitude in acoustic-startle-eyeblink reflex. Besides, the patients also show marginally reduced normal dysregulation of the startle reflex (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Fear conditioning mechanisms have also been shown to be impaired in patients with PSTD. In normal individuals, fear conditioning mechanisms facilitate the storage of information relating to exposure or experience of aversive and threatening events, thus providing one with capabilities to cope with similar challenges in future (Fullerton Ursano, 2005). Studies have, however, shown that people who suffer from this disorder exhibit a characteristic progression of the fear conditioning, evoking excessive emotion al responses to perceived threats (Wisco, Marx Keanne, 2012). Appraisal process has also been shown to be diminished in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Appraisal is a psychological process through which people develop capabilities to determine the nature of an event or situation, whether it is pleasant, challenging or threatening. This in turn determines the coping, adapting and survival abilities of the individual. Patients with PSTD lack these abilities and often perceive the world as unsafe, leading to development of deleterious cognitive, emotional and behavioral effects. (Wisco, Marx Keanne, 2012) Another possible pathophysiologic mechanism involved in posttraumatic stress disorder relates to brain abnormalities in terms of structure and function (Ford, 2009). Various studies using magnetic resonance imaging techniques have demonstrated that the hippocampus volume in patients who suffer from PSTD who were previously exposed to traumatic events is significantly decreased (Fletcher, Creamer Forbes, 2010). These findings have been supported by animal studies, which have shown that continued stress causes hippocampus degeneration and loss of function of apical dendrite nerve cells. It has been hypothesized that this degeneration is as a result of secretion of neurotoxic amino acids by the increased quantities of glucocorticoids. Studies using positron emission tomography have also indicated some functional brain abnormalities in individuals who are affected by PSTD. These studies have suggested elevated regional cerebral circulatory around the limbic and paralimbic regions. These regions play a role in the recognition and processing of emotions and stimuli, thus signifying their possible functions in the regulation of fear conditioning and appraisal (Rosen, 2004). Neurobiological aspects of PSTD Traumatic events directly stimulate the catecholamine system, triggering fight and flight responses such as rates of cardiac activity, blood circulation, metabolism, and alertness. Subsequently, the hypothalamus is stimulated to release corticotropin-releasing hormone, thus activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis due to the resultant stimulation of the pituitary gland and subsequent release of adrenocorticotropin hormone (Fullerton Ursano, 2005) Furthermore, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, leading to increased stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. All these responses serve to provide a person with coping and survival abilities when faced with a threatening or dangerous situation. However when the trauma experienced or witnessed is chronic, these fight and flight responses often become counterproductive. Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis finally restores cortisol to normal levels through a negative feedback mechanism. In some instan ces, however, the catecholamine system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis may become poorly modulated, thus impeding normal trauma- and stress-related responses and leading to development of the deleterious effects of PSTD (Keanne, Marshall Taft, 2006). Various studies have shown that poor modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and increased amounts of catecholamine generated by trauma adversely impair neuronal development in the brain. This occurs through different mechanisms such as increased degeneration of the nerve cells, impairment of the myelination process, reduction of the quantity and size of dendritic processes, impairment in neural pruning, suppression of the synthesis of nerve cells, and a reduction in the synthesis of neutrophic factor by the brain cells (Schnurr, Friedman, Bernardy, 2002). Exposure to traumatic events has also been shown to cause certain structural changes in the nervous system, including Ã¢â¬Å"reduced corpus callosum size, attenuated development of the left neocortex, hippocampus and amygdala, enhanced electrical irritability in limbic structures, and reduced functional activity of the cerebellar vermisÃ¢â¬ (Edsall, Karnik Steiner 2005, p. 110). The parts of the brain that become impacted by traumatic events have been shown to exhibit postnatal development for long periods of time, possess increased levels of glucocorticoid receptors and some formation of the nerve cells in the postnatal period. The above damages to the regions of the brain may cause the affected person to develop socialization, attachment, bonding and cognitive problems. The Catecholamine system and Trauma Studies have shown that trauma may affect the catecholamine system, as demonstrated by the increased levels of noreadrenaline and dopamine excreted in urine in people with PSTD. It has also been shown that the concentration of the catecholamine in urine in the patients relates to the length of time one is exposed to the traumatic event, and also to the severity of the disorder cells (Schnurr, Friedman, Bernardy, 2002). The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Trauma Investigations on the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the development of post traumatic stress disorder have indicated that affected children have elevated basal amounts of cortisal, while the affected adults have reduced amounts. The reduced cortisol levels in adults who are suffering from chronic PSTD is thought to be caused by the down-regulation of the anterior pituitary corticotropin-releasing hormone binding sites following the increase in corticotropin-releasing hormone levels, in addition to the increased negative feedback suppression of cortisol amounts by the pituitary gland. The down regulation process is considered as an adaptation response against the chronically increased amounts of cortisol, which may cause neurotoxicity cells (Schnurr, Friedman, Bernardy, 2002). Other studies have hypothesized the decreased baseline cortisal amounts in adults to result from adrenal insufficiency and chronically reduced secretion of cortisal from the adrenal glands. This hypothesis is supported by findings that adults with post traumatic stress disorder show increased adrenocorticotropin hormonal response to corticotropin releasing factor than normal persons (Keanne, Marshall Taft, 2006). The observations that the baseline cortisal amounts are increased in children who have been exposed to traumatic situations have post traumatic disorder indicates different physiological impacts compared to adults, though similar studies have yielded contrasting results indicating the cortisal levels to be increased. The variations in baseline cortisol amounts among children may be related to factors such as developmental stage of the child during the trauma experience and the period of time that has passed since the trauma occurred (Wolfgang et al., 2012). It is generally suggested that corticotropin releasing hormone and cortisol amounts are increased acutely after exposure to trauma, while developmental effects of the traumatic experience result into reduced amounts of cortisol because of the consistently increased corticotropin releasing hormone and the raised hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis negative feedback mechanism (Keanne, Marshall Taft, 2006). Functional and structural changes in the brain due to traumatic stress A number of literatures continue to indicate that glucocorticoids have some effects on the hippocampus in individuals who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Most of these studies have demonstrated a reduction of the hippocampus in adult individuals with PSTD. The atrophy of the hippocampus is also reported in various conditions characterized by excessive secretion of glucocorticoid, such as the Cushing syndrome and recurrent major depressive disorder. Further, it has also been demonstrated that the neurotoxic effects of glucocorticoid may be due to chronically increased levels of excitatory amino acids like glutamate (Sapolsky, 1996). Studies using magnetic resonance imaging have shown that adults previously exposed to trauma and who have developed post traumatic stress disorder have significantly decreased hippocampus volumes. Hippocampal atrophy has, however, not been observed in children suffering from this disorder. Instead, these children have, Ã¢â¬Å"smaller intracranial, cerebral, and prefrontal cortex, prefrontal cortical white matter, right temporal lobe volumes, and smaller areas of the corpus callosumÃ¢â¬ (Edsall, Karnik Steiner 2005, p. 114). These neurobiological observations are possibly caused by reduced cortical hemispheres communication because of memory impairment and dissociative disorders associated with PSTD (Sapolsky, 1996). The differences in brain structure between adults and children suffering from PSTD has been hypothesized to arise from co-occurrence of other disorders such as those associated with drug and alcohol abuse in adults. It is also suggested that stress response tend to gradual, thus the neurobiological changes develop over time. Many brain structures, including the hippocampus are known to continue developing after birth. Studies have established that the hippocampus depicts increased formation of axons, dendrites, synapses and receptors, which become pruned after puberty (Vieweg et al., 2006). Generally, these studies indicate that traumatic experiences during the early years of life cause progressive developmental impacts on the brain, hence implying that the development of post traumatic stress disorder, to some extent, is determined by the stage of neural development of a person (Sapolsky, 1996). It is also suggested that hippocampus atrophy may be a risk factor for the development of PSTD. This is based on comparison studies of twins who have post traumatic stress disorder exposed and those who did not have the disorder with other normal individuals. The study demonstrated that both the twins exposed to trauma and those not exposed had reduced hippocampi volumes as compared to the control group (Sapolsky, 1996). As regards to metabolic alterations in the brain of people with PSTD, various studies using positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques have been carried mostly in adults. These studies have indicated higher activities in the amygdale and anterior paralimbic areas, and reduced activity around the anterior cingulated and orbitofrontal sections in patients with PSTD (Havard WomenÃ¢â¬â¢s Health Watch, 2005). Assessment of Trauma and PSTD Assessment of trauma is the initial phase in the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder. It involves assessing if a person has experienced a traumatic situation, and identifying the situations that the person has had exposure to. The event or situation has to be evaluated whether it is life threatening. This is a significant step since symptoms of the disorder like re-experiencing, avoidance, numbing, arousal, and concentration difficulties need to be examined against particular events. PSTD is assessed through a cluster of three symptoms including re-experiencing, avoidance and arousal. Appearance of the symptoms should be determined, whether they started immediately following exposure to the trauma and whether the symptoms are progressively increasing (Robertson, Humphreys Ray, 2004). Diagnosis of PSTD Diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder is based on certain set of criteria, which are six in number. The first criterion is the demonstration of the existence of a stressor. An individual must have been exposed to, experienced or threatened with a situation where death or physical harm was eminent or real. The second criterion is the existence of re-experiencing symptoms, whereby the affected individual persistently perceives imaginary threats witnessed or experienced before. This mostly occurs as flashbacks and the affected individual feels and behaves as if the trauma is repeating. Re-experiencing may also come in form of distressing memories and nightmares, particularly when the person faced with situations related to the trauma. In some cases, the patients may present with physiological or psychological stress reactions such as full-blown panic attacks. The third criterion for diagnosis is the existence of avoidance and numbing symptoms (Robertson, Humphreys Ray, 2004). Individuals presenting with this disorder often try to escape trauma-related thoughts and actions and regularly present with reduced capabilities to engage in pleasure activities, difficulty in recalling some dimensions of the trauma, withdrawal from social activities, and detachment. The forth criterion includes observation of symptoms related to hyperarousal and hypervigilance. In this criterion, persons affected by post traumatic stress disorder may exhibit features such as lack of concentration, irritability, and disturbed sleep patterns. The fifth criterion is the demonstration that re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance of actions and thoughts related to trauma, withdrawal, and irritability, and lack of concentration, disturbed sleep patterns, and irritability symptoms have occurred persistently for more than one month. The last criterion is the demonstration that the combined symptoms impairs with the functional and social abilities of the affected individual, coupled with significant distress. Under this criterion, the existence of PSTD is ruled out if the patient presents with mild symptoms or when the person exhibits competent functional abilities (Wolfgang et al., 2012). Treatment of PSTD The major treatment intervention measures for patients who have post traumatic stress disorder are, Ã¢â¬Å"cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy and individual and group dynamic therapyÃ¢â¬ (Wolfgang et al. 2012, p. 72). Cognitive-behavioral Therapy This is the most effective form of treatment currently available for PSTD. The main approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy involve exposure therapy and anxiety management interventions. Exposure therapies mostly focus on the elimination of the strong effects caused by fear conditioning in people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. These therapeutic approaches are based on the recognition that consistent exposure to perceived threats helps in decreasing the victimÃ¢â¬â¢s fear response to stimuli associated with trauma. Further, exposure therapy also helps in lessening the victimÃ¢â¬â¢s sympathetic nervous system and adrenergic hyperactivity triggered by trauma related stimuli (Wolfgang et al., 2012). Anxiety management interventions are usually geared towards equipping the patient with skills that can help in decreasing anxiety. These strategies, therefore, involve training the patient on areas like relaxation, social skills, stress management, and cognitive restructuring among others. Cognitive restructuring is the most preferred training since it helps patients to be able to correct the impaired appraisal mechanisms, thus lessening their tendency to perceive threats from unwarranted situations. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be provided on individual basis or in a group. In group psychotherapy, the patients are given trainings through psychoeducation, exposure and cognitive processing (Vieweg et al., 2006). Pharmacotherapy Based on the identified neurobiological abnormalities that accompany post traumatic stress disorder, pharmacotherapeutic interventions can help in the treatment of many associated symptoms such as anxiety, depression and insomnia. Pharmacotherapy is often essential before induction of the patient to other therapeutic approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy (Gibson, 2012). Many studies on the efficacy of antidepressants such as imipramine and fluoxetine have generated mixed results, often indicating that patients having severe and chronic PSTD show refractory responses towards these medications. Clinical trials on the effectiveness of anti-adrenergic drugs like propranolol and clonidine also yield promising results, indicating the possible benefits in treating this disorder (Wisco, Marx Keanne, 2012). Dynamic psychotherapy This form of therapy involves encouraging the patient to make free association of ideas and feelings, while allowing the psychotherapist to make interpretations of the implications of the associations. The psychotherapist also provides recommendations depending on the comprehension of the situations and the perceived causes of the symptoms. The main objective of this form of therapy is to unravel the exact nature of the patientÃ¢â¬â¢s psyche so as to help in managing the psychic tension (Wisco, Marx Keanne, 2012).This therapy approach, therefore, relies on the establishment of an interpersonal relationship between the patient and the psychotherapist. It can be applied in various contexts such as in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and family therapy among other areas. In dealing with PSTD patients, the dynamic psychotherapy approach mostly targets the creation of a trustworthy and safe environment so as to enable the patient reveal the hidden traumatic experiences. Once the traumatic content has been obtained, focus shifts to analysis of the trauma in detail and examinations of the re-experiences together with the avoidance symptoms. Patients are finally guided to disengage from the perceived threat and make appropriate reconnections in their social life (Wisco, Marx Keanne, 2012). Recommendations Because of the increased rates of traumatic experiences in the world nowadays, prevalence of PSTD is anticipated to increase with time. It is imperative that more research be carried out to develop appropriate prevention and early intervention measures to curb the disorder (Keanne, Marshall Taft, 2006). These measures should be based on the already established risk factors for the disorder and should mainly target individuals exhibiting acute stress symptoms so that early cognitive-behavioral interventions are given. It is also important that further research be carried out on the neurobiological aspect of posttraumatic stress disorder, particularly in children (Rosen, 2004). These studies will provide more information regarding functional and structural alterations in the brain associated with this disorder to enable designing of appropriate diagnosis tools. Conclusion Post traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder presumed to be caused by traumatic experiences. However, many individuals exposed to traumatic events do not develop the disorder. In addition, the prevalence of the disorder in people who have been traumatized is low, thus indicating the existence of other certain risk factors that predispose some individuals to develop the disorder. Intensive studies have helped in creating more understanding of the function of the risk factors in the development of the disorder, and subsequent development of treatment approaches. Despite various interventions such as CBT and pharmacotherapy aiding in management of PSTD, there is need to conduct more studies to establish measures that can be used as early interventions and proper diagnostic tools for PSTD. References Edsall, S., Karnik, N. Steiner, H. (2005). Ã¢â¬Å"Childhood trauma.Ã¢â¬ In, Clinical child psychiatry, 2nd ed, Eds. Klykylo, W. and Kay, J. London: John Wiley sons. Fletcher, K. (1996). Childhood posttraumatic stress disorder. New York, NY: Guildford Publications Inc. Fletcher, S., Creamer, M. Forbes, D. (2010). Preventing post traumatic stress disorder: Are drugs the answer? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 1064-1071. Ford, J. D. (2009). Post traumatic stress disorder: Science and practice. New York, NY: Academic Press. Fullerton, C. S. Ursano, R. J. (2005). Posttraumatic stress disorder: Acute and long-term responses to trauma and disaster. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press. Gibson, C. (2012). Review of posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain: The path to integrated care. JRRD, 49(5), 753-776. Harvard WomenÃ¢â¬â¢s Health Watch. (2005). Not getting over it: Post-traumatic stress disorder. Keanne, T. M., Marshall, A. D. Taft, C. T. (2006) . Posttraumatic stress disorder: Etiology, epidemiology, and treatment outcome. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 2, 161-197. McCauley, J., Kern, D. E., Kolodner, K., Dill, L., Schroeder, A. F., DeChant, H. K., rydden, J., Derogatis, L. R. Bass, E. B. (1997). Clinical characteristics of women with a history of childhood abuse: Unhealed wounds. JAMA, 277, 1362-1368. Robertson, M., Humphreys, L. Ray, R. (2004). Psychological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: Recommendations for the clinician based on a review of literature. J Psychiatr Pract, 10(2): 106-18. Rosen, G. (2004). Posttraumatic stress disorder: Issues and controversies. West Sussex: John Wiley Sons. Sapolsky, R. M. (1996). Stress, glucocorticoids, and damage to the nervous system: The current state of confusion. Stress, 1(1), 1-19. Schnurr, P. P., Friedman, M. J. Bernardy, N. C. (2002). Research on posttraumatic stress disorder: Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and assessment. Journal of Clinical Psycholog y, 58(8), 877-889. Vieweg, W. V., Julius, D. A., Fernandez, A., Beatty-Brooks, M., Hettema, J. M. Pandurangi, A. K. (2006). Posttraumatic stress disorder: Clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment. Am J Med, 119(5), 383-390. Wisco, B. E., Marx, B. P. Keane, T. M. (2012). Screening, diagnosis, and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Military Medicine, 177(8), 7-13. Wolfgang, W., Falk, L., Frank, L. Johannes, K. (2012). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood abuse- principles for a treatment manual. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 76(1), 69-93.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Anti-Consumerism in the Works of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Roth Ã After World War II, Americans became very concerned with "keeping up with the Joneses." Everyday people were not only interested in fulfilling the American Dream because of the optimistic post-war environment, but also because of the economic emphasis on advertising that found a new outlet daily in highway billboards, radio programs, and that popular new device, the television. With television advertising becoming the new way to show Americans what they did not (and should) have came a wide-eyed and fascinated interest in owning all kinds of things, products, and devices suddenly necessary in every home. One could not only hear about new necessary items, but see them as well. Meanwhile, marketplaces and small shops were being dismantled to create the supermarket, a temple of consumerism where any passerby may walk in and purchase almost anything he or she desires without a thought of their neighbor, who runs the suffering little fruit stand around the corner. The literary rebellion o f the 1960's was concerned, in part, with the desire to break down this growing consumer culture. Not everyone was so easily lulled by the singsong mottoes and jingles of television advertising and the call of the national supermarket. Poets like Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jack Kerouac began struggling, in writing, against the oppression of having. As Buddhists, these writers saw the growing desire to fill whims and wants with items easily purchased as harmful to the ability to transcend suffering (instead of eliminating it). Combining the strategies of Asian Buddhist monks with American transcendentalist theory provided by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emer... ...e when the rest of the nation was blindly enjoying their television programs and the convenience of the supermarket, these writers made strong statements warning against the love of things. During the 50's and 60's, many middle- and upper-class Americans had worked hard to afford conveniences, but Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Roth would say that it is not enough to "deserve" your participation in the consumerist culture. Rather, they would say the consumerist culture, by nature, is mentally and culturally enslaving and to be avoided when possible for the sake of the integrity of the individual spirit. Works Cited: Allen, Donald (ed.). The New American Poetry 1945-1960. Berkeley, CA: U. of California P. 1960. Kerouac, Jack. The Dharma Bums. New York: Penguin Books. 1958. Roth, Philip. Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories. New York: Modern Library. 1959.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution Introduction Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two major documents that changed the history of the United States of America, from that of a colonized nation to that of an impendent nation that would have its government. The Declaration of Independence was a document that was written specifically to the government of Great Britainin 1176, July 4th as a notification to the monarchy that America was a free state and no longer a colony of the British. The United States became a country on its own and had its government. The Declaration of Independence provided several reasons that had made the USA to reach a decision of not having a relationship with Britain and its rule. On the other hand, the constitution which was signed in the year 1878 provided an outline the laws, the rights as well as creation of a government that was centralized in the United States. The approval of the constitution by the states led to the formation of feder al governments, which provided the right for each state to practice its own rule under the US Constitution. The existing government of the United States was established as a result of the US constitution. The grievances as raised in the Declaration of Independence were fully addressed by the US Constitution through Bill of Rights, The US Government structure and Laws on trade in the United States. Therefore,without the constitution, the present United States would have not been in existence and the strength of the US government would have been without effect. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The Declaration of Independence outlined several grievances which the United States people had concerning the rule of the British during colonial time. From the Declaration of Independence, some of the grievances which were noted include: The British had cut out any trade relations between the United States and the outside world, something that affected the economy of the United State. Upon the enactment of the constitution, free trade was allowed whereby the Americans could trade with any country or states that they preferred without interference from the British, Ã¢â¬Å"For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). The British did not allow the Americans to trade beyond their borders and most of the trade was for the benefit of the British. The Constitution solved this issue of trade by opening up the borders of the United States to the outside world for trade and movement of people. Therefore, without the constitution, the present United States would have still remained economically undermined and unstable as a result of the restrictions on trade. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The other grievances which were raised on the Declaration of Independence include the imposing of taxes on the people of America without gaining their consent, Ã¢â¬Å"For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). Under the British colonial rule, the citizens of the United States were required to pay taxes without their consent at a rate that was decided by the British. The enactment of the constitution however resolved this issue of taxes by enacting the right of people to pay taxes while at the same time enjoy the benefits of the taxes which they pay. The constitution gives the people the right to question why they pay taxes and how much they are supposed to pay, something that did not happen during the colonial time of the British in the United States of America. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Furthermore, from the Declaration of Independence, the grievance raised by the Americans includes the deprivation of many cases such as the right to a trial by jury, Ã¢â¬Å"For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). The British colonial masters in the United States never allowed the citizen of the United States to face trial under a jury, hence promoted injustices and lack of equity within the judicial system. The enactment of the constitution resolved this injustice of being tried without a jury by making a provision in the constitution. It is provided in the constitution that every individual has the right to a trial by jury as stipulated under the constitution (Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). The constitution declared that all Americans were to be accorded fair and just trial involving the ju ry and that no one should be subjected to a trial without a jury. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Furthermore, still on matters of justice and trial of people in the United States, under the Declaration of Independence, another grievance that was raised was the issue of being tried in another territory away from where one had committed an alleged offense, Ã¢â¬Å"For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). The British Colonial masters never bothered to seek for evidence or make investigations before subjecting an individual to trial in their courts way from the place where one was alleged to have committed an offense. However, this was resolved by the constitution through the enactment of law that says no one should be put to trial without sufficient investigations and evidence gathered on the matter of concern(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). Therefore, it can be observed that without the con stitution of the United States, injustices and unfairness would have continued in the current United States. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In addition to the above mentioned grievances, the other grievance raised as per the Declaration of Independence was that on suspension of the American Legislature an instead taking of all power by the British and becoming the sole legislature, Ã¢â¬Å"For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). This action by the British meant that no laws would be passed without the British having been the bones to do it. In other words, all laws in America were to be formulated and enacted according to the system of the British rule and by the British(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). To address and resolve this issue, the constitution of the United States outlined the various arms of government and ensured that every arm of government, including the leg islature had its role clearly outlined. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Last but not least, the other grievances that were raised in the Declaration of Independence by the United States to the Crown of Britain included the talking away of the charters of the United States as well as the abolishment of the valuable laws of the US, Ã¢â¬Å"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.Ã¢â¬ (Archives.gov, n.p). Furthermore, the alteration of the form of government of the United States was also part of the grievances raised in the Declaration of Independence(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). Under the US Constitution, these grievances were addressed through the provisions in the constitution which outline how the US government structure should look like and the way all arms of government should operate. Furthermore, the constitution bestowed the r ight to elect leaders on the citizens hence addressing the issue of charters that were taken away by the British. References Archives.gov, The Declaration of Independence: A Transcriptionviewed from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html on 15th October 2014 Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments. S.l.: Filiquarian Pub, 2007. Print. P.2-10 Source document
Monday, January 6, 2020
People who live on top of the hill dont need flood insurance. Not true, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and just one of the many myths surrounding the agencys National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). When it comes to flood insurance, not having the facts can literally cost you your lifes savings. While floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, flood damage is rarely covered under homeowners or renters insurance policies.Ã Owners of both homes and businesses, as well as renters, need to know the flood insurance myths and facts. Myth: You cant buy flood insurance if youre in a high-flood-risk area.Fact: If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can buy National Flood Insurance no matter where you live. To find out if your community participates in the NFIP, visit FEMAs Community Status page. More communities qualify for the NFIP everyday. Myth: You cant buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood.Fact: You can buy National Flood Insurance anytime - but the policy isnt effective until a 30-day waiting period after the first premium payment. However, this 30-day waiting period can be waived if the policy was purchased within 13 months of a flood map revision. If the initial flood insurance purchase was made during this 13-month period, then there is only a one-day waiting period. This one-day provision only applies when the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is revised to show the building is now in a high-flood-risk area. Myth: Homeowners insurance policies cover flooding.Fact: Most home and business multi-peril policies do not cover flooding. Homeowners can include personal property coverage in their NFIP policy, and residential and commercial renters can purchase flood coverage for their contents. Business owners can buy flood insurance coverage for their buildings, inventory and contents. Myth: You cant buy flood insurance if your property has been flooded.Fact: As long as your community is in the NFIP, you are eligible to purchase flood insurance even after your home, apartment, or business has been flooded. Myth: If you do not live in a high-flood-risk area, you do not need flood insurance.Fact: All areas are susceptible to flooding. Nearly 25 percent of the NFIP claims come from outside high-flood-risk areas. Myth: National Flood Insurance can only be purchased through the NFIP directly.Fact: NFIP flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and agents. The federal government backs it. Myth: The NFIP does not offer any type of basement coverage.Fact: Yes, it does. A basement, as defined by NFIP, is any building area with a floor below ground level on all sides. Basement improvements - finished walls, floors or ceilings - are not covered by flood insurance; nor are personal belongings, like furniture and other contents. But flood insurance does cover structural elements and essential equipment, provided it is connected to a power source (if required) and installed in its functioning location. According to a recent FEMA press release, items protected under building coverage include the following: sump pumps, well-water tanks and pumps, cisterns and the water inside, oil tanks and the oil inside, natural gas tanks and the gas inside, pumps or tanks used with solar energy, furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, heat pumps, electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes (and their utility connections), foundation elements, stairways, staircases, elevators, dumbwaiters, unpainted drywall walls and ceilings (including fiberglass insulation), and cleanup expenses. Protected under content coverage are: clothes washers and dryers, as well as food freezers and the food inside them. The NFIP recommends both building and content coverage be purchased for the most comprehensive protection. National Flood Insurance Program Basics The goal of the federal National Flood Insurance Program is to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public buildings. It does this by applying measures to make flood insurance as affordable as possible for property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances regulating the building of structures in flood-prone areas. These efforts on the federal level, combined with the cooperation and expertise of local officials, help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures, including dwellings and non-occupied accessory buildings. As administered by FEMA, the National Flood Insurance Program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, as well as flood insurance, specifically.