Addictive internet games

The Washington Post online had an interesting piece today about teens addicted to onliine games and the havoc such an addiction or obsession can cause in a person’s life. There is, of course, a lot of research and concern about this issue.  The author, Caitlin Gibson, quotes psychologist Kimberly Young, founder of the Center for Internet Addiction. As saying the number of kids affected by such an addiction might (modestly) be estimated at “… 5 percent. But 5 percent of American kids is a lot.” The article points to some resources, such as sthe Center for Internet Addiction and a…

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Emotions are Like Dogs

Emotions are Like Dogs: On the Difference Between Emotional Regulation and Stuffing It When I think about emotions and emotional regulation, I often think about a dog who was my friend.  Her name was Tasha and she was half Siberian Husky and half German Shepherd.  She and I shared a living space for sixteen years and she was just about the best possible companion.  She loved to run outdoors and at the time we lived in the woods in a small town so she could range wherever she wanted.  She would always come home after a good play in the…

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American Horrible Health Care Act: The Mandate

What we hear from Republicans is that the Affordable Care Act is “a disaster” or “broken,” and that the new House version will provide more access to health care without that nasty mandate that everyone buy insurance, and that it will cost far, far less.  Pie in the sky.  That is NOT what the current bill passed by the House is about. We also hear people like Paul Ryan talking about the mandate that everyone buy health insurance: “We are not going to make an American do what they don’t want to do.”  (Quote from an interview on Face the…

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Cooking Slowly – A Tale of Ever-Changing Times

NOTE:  If you find this interesting, click on the link at the end to find an expanded version for which you may be able to obtain Continuing Education credit. There is an old adage that if you put a live frog in a pot of water and heated it gradually, that frog would just sit in the water and not jump away (even though it could) until the water boils and it is thoroughly cooked.  It may or may not be true (no one has really tried it since the late 1880s), but either way it is an excellent metaphor…

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My Brain Made Me Do It? And Other Questions About Neuroscience

REVIEW:   Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld,  NY: Basic Books, 2013. This book is short (156 pages of text) and easy to read while being well researched and documented (61 pages of interesting, helpful notes and citations – in a point size enough smaller than the text to make one believe that in the original draft there was as much space, time and effort devoted to this endeavor as there was to the writing of the text) The authors make it clear that they are nether opposed to or over-archingly critical of…

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Giving Guns to People with Mental Health Disabilities

There is news from Capitol Hill which underscores the notion that there is more to fear in Washington, DC than just the  the White House.  According to an article in the NY Times on February 15, 2017. Congress has acted to reverse and Obama administration rule requiring the Social Security Administration to add about 75,000 people, currently on disability support, to the national background check database and deny them gun purchases. These individuals suffer schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and other problems to such an extent that they are unable to manage their financial affairs and other basic tasks without help. An…

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Chronic Politics Stress Disorder (CPSD)

As I talk to colleagues I hear virtually all of them saying that they themselves have been highly stressed  by recent political events, and that their clients are all talking about the presidential election and politics in an unprecedented way.  People talk about old, terrible feelings being stirred up which relate to past experiences of being marginalized or hurt by bigotry and prejudice — or harassed, raped or abused.  People talk about anxiety, fear and anger — and a determination to “not let things go back to the way they were before.”  People talk about feeling more stressed than usual,…

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Review: Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease

Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease (2010) by Gary Greenberg. Published by Simon and Schuster. This book presents a combination of research and Dr. Greenberg’s personal experience with depression.  He takes a position critical of today’s prevailing view that depression is a brain disorder caused by a neurochemical imbalance and effectively treated by antidepressant medications.  He looks at the history of depression as a disorder, the history of antidepressant medication, and considers what we lose when we look at our sadness as a brain disease. Dr. Greenberg’s writing is fluid and unforced, making serious material an easy…

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Review: The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine.

The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine.  Shigehisa Kuriyama.  NY: Zone Books, 2002. (Winner of the 2001 Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine) First of all this is a beautiful book.  One does not often say that about academic paperbacks, but this book – from cover art to type face to book design – communicates that same care and effort that is evident also in the writing.  This is a scholarly work, well researched and documented, which presents a wealth of information and understanding in a succinct and distilled…

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Your New Robotic Doc

This holiday weekend I took some time to catch up on my reading and ended up in a place I often end up in.  That is the question of how to best configure and offer health care, including care in the area currently termed “mental health.”  I put it that way because, as a proponent of integrating mind and body and healing the centuries old Western split between mind and body, I think there really should be no distinction between mental and physical health.  Perhaps that is the first point to be made. One short article from the Atlantic Monthly…

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