Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'm Drowning in Psychology (But it's really good for writing)


Well hello there. If you haven't noticed, I haven't been very present on social media lately and that is simply because this semester is 100% kicking my butt! YAY COLLEGE!
Seriously though--I am drowning in psychology. And no, I am not a psych major. I am just incredibly fascinated by the subject and accidentally took three psych classes this semester. How did that happen, you ask?
...I don't really know. I've been wanting to take Abnormal Psychology since my first semester, but I kept having to push it off for scheduling reasons until this semester (which is my final semester, for those unaware). I'm also taking Lifespan and Development Psychology simply because I work/will work with kids and it's really great to have an education on development. I was originally signed up for a different class, but it ended up falling through so I last-minute swapped into a different class that I didn't even realize was a different psych class. So yeah, I accidentally took three psych classes and now I'm very overwhelmed with psychology while simultaneously preparing presentations for my speech class and working. Whoo!
But on the brighter side of things, my psych classes have been really, really useful for writing research! Two of my psych classes deal with the abnormal side of things and I've been studying a lot of the criteria needed to diagnose different mental disorders. So naturally, as a writer, I am diagnosing my characters as I go :D
For example, this past week I learned about PTSD and its symptoms, levels of severity, criteria for diagnosis, etc. By the end of my sci-fi book, Unperfected, most of my main character ends up with PTSD as a result of all the trauma she endured. So of course, learning all about it was extremely helpful!
I've also been studying anxiety disorders in my other psych class (Assessment of Co-Occurring Disorders) which has proven very, very useful as well! I have quite a few characters from multiple book ideas who have anxiety, and now I know the proper diagnosis for each!
So that's my little tidbit of advice for the week. If you're in school, listen to your lectures and study like a writer. How could what you're learning be applied to your books? Your characters? Could what you're learning spark any new book ideas? Who knows! Maybe looking at school through the eyes of a writer could help give you that boost you need to study or work to the best of your ability!

So what about you guys? Have you ever had a class or subject that helped you with your book or sparked a new idea?

3 comments:

  1. The reverse, actually! I wrote a short story about a girl with a split personality, and later was assigned to write a research paper about a disease. So I chose schizophrenia (which I now realize isn't a split-personality disorder, but it's still interesting).

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  2. Our high school has an elective for abnormal psychology, and I wanted to take it really bad, but I wasn't sure if it would help a lot for writing. But now that I know it will, I definitely want to take it next year!!

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  3. Last year I took two philosophy classes -- one general philosophy and one on the philosophy of science (which turned out to be a bad idea, as I was a freshman and it was a 300 level class centered around quantum mechanics. I survived. Somehow.) However, it did give me a cool idea for a time-travel story. I never actually wrote it, but I might get back to it someday.

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