Friday, March 24, 2000

A Critique of the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health
Richard Shulman, Ph.D. wanted to let us know that he wrote a critique of the 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health. Good reading? You bet. It's well worth your time to read through this critique which helps to highlight some of the findings in the research that both the report and the press glossed over or missed altogether.

(Posted at 08:56:47 PM EST.)

Mothers' depression may induce earlier puberty in daughters
"A mother's depression may cause her daughter to hit puberty earlier, suggest the results of a small study. The study expands on previous research that found a connection between stressful family relationships and early puberty. Mood disorders like depression can be one cause of stress within families, resulting in disharmony between wives and husbands and dysfunctional relationships with children, according to the study." That could explain a few things.

(Posted at 12:31:13 PM EST.)

Guidelines for Medical and Health Information Sites on the Internet
The American Medical Association has published Guidelines for Medical and Health Information Sites on the Internet. Wow, they're long. Who will be able to either abide by these or ensure someone is abiding by these in a few seconds? I mean, most people aren't going to sit around and spend a half hour or hour evaluating a health site based upon these criteria. Not realistically anyway. Oh well, it was worth a try.

(Posted at 11:45:10 AM EST.)

 Thursday, March 23, 2000

Depression and anxiety linked to hypertension
"People who experience symptoms of depression or anxiety are at increased risk of developing hypertension, suggest the results of a two-decade study. The increase in risk associated with depression or anxiety is similar among white women and all men but is substantially higher among black women, according to Bruce S. Jonas, ScM, PhD, and James F. Lando, MD, MPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

(Posted at 03:04:40 PM EST.)

 Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Study: Physicians' Empathy Can Ease Caregivers' Depression
"Without doctors' intervention, caregivers to patients with a lot of physical needs were significantly more likely to be depressed, forced to take out loans to pay for health costs and deal with patients considering euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. In the study in this week's issue of the Philadelphia-based Annals of Internal Medicine, 42 percent of caregivers with non-empathetic doctors reported depressive symptoms, compared to 27 percent of those with an empathetic doctor, the study showed." If only more doctors knew the power they had to heal emotionally, as much as physically...

(Posted at 09:27:13 PM EST.)

Autistic boy dies while being restained by attendants
"A 14-year-old autistic boy died in a San Antonio mental hospital March 4 after being restrained by hospital workers, the city’s second death in a month in which a child patient died while being restrained" according to Nurse Week|Health Week. That makes me both angry and sad.

(Posted at 09:22:21 PM EST.)

 Tuesday, March 21, 2000

Ritalin Is No Stranger To Controversy
"The use and possible abuse of Ritali n to calm school-age children has long been a point of contention among doctors and parents. Ritalin is most commonly prescribed for young children to treat a condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Children with this disorder often are disruptive in school, have trouble sitting still and act on inappropriate impulses. The precise biological effect of Ritalin is poorly understood, but it is believed to calm ADHD behavior by boosting levels of a brain chemical, the neurotransmitter serotonin." If something is poorly understood, should we really be prescribing this medication left and right to our children?? Seems sort of contra-indicated, until our knowledge catches up with our beliefs. Read the rest of the article on InteliHealth.

(Posted at 03:08:57 PM EST.)

Melissa's Therapy FAQ is Back!
Gone far too long off of the Net, it's good to see this great resource about psychotherapy back online. Have a question about starting therapy? This is a good file to read first.

(Posted at 02:41:26 PM EST.)

Tuesdays are Good
In case you were wondering, yes, Tuesdays are good. You might even say, "Yummy!"

(Posted at 02:38:36 PM EST.)

 Monday, March 20, 2000

How to Make Sure Your Budding Relationship is Based on Equality
"There are lots of unequal relationships in life -- student and teacher, citizen and judge, parent and child -- but when it comes to romance, the strongest relationships are based on equality. A good equality-based relationship encourages both people in a couple to maintain separate identities and respect each other's individual interests in addition to working to make the relationship strong. For a relationship like this to work, both partners need to make their own decisions, be assertive, and be willing to make some compromises as well." Read the rest of this article on thriveonline.

(Posted at 11:35:29 AM EST.)

Parenting classes improve toddlers' behavior
"Parents who attended a 12-week training program on effective parenting techniques improved their children's behavior as well as their own, according to results of a new study." You take a course to learn how to drive a car, why not mandate taking a course to learn how to raise a child? The values our society places on certain things seem a bit out of whack.

(Posted at 11:24:56 AM EST.)

U.S. Worried About Psychiatric Drugs for Kids
"The White House planned to announce on Monday a push to reverse a sharp rise in U.S. preschool children using Ritalin, Prozac and other psychiatric drugs, the New York Times reported. Citing Clinton administration officials, the Times reported in Monday's editions that the federal government planned to inform parents and teachers about the risks of using the drugs on preschoolers." About freakin' time that somebody is taking some action on this matter. Way too many children are taking these types of medications.

(Posted at 11:22:36 AM EST.)

Caregiving impacts emotional health of the giver
"Caring for an ill or disabled family member at home takes its toll on the caregiver's emotional health, and on his or her physical health to a lesser extent, according to researchers. In their study of nearly 3,000 women between the ages of 50 and 65, Eliza K. Pavalko, PhD, and Shari Woodbury, MA, of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana found that women providing care were more likely to suffer from emotional distress as well as physical limitations." Not surprising, as there's been a host of research in this area showing the same thing. We need greater assistance to people in this area, and to recognize that this is a growing and serious problem.

(Posted at 11:19:26 AM EST.)

 Sunday, March 19, 2000

A Long Beautiful Week
This past week has been long but beautiful. My brother and mom came into town for this weekend and we did the whole touristy thing for them, which was a lot of fun. Saw the Alamo and Riverwalk in San Antonio and ate dinner last night at the Oasis, overlooking Lake Travis. What a super day! Just thought I'd share...

(Posted at 05:26:56 PM EST.)

 Thursday, March 16, 2000

Dreaming of a Life
I get so many questions regarding dreams in my chats and in email. People want to know what their dreams mean. I wish I could tell them, but dreams are very personal things. To fully understand their meaning, you need to understand the person's life, background, and history. It's not a simple matter of saying that X means Y. It doesn't always, and for some people, it might mean the opposite of Y. That's why it's so frustrating, not only for me, but also for everyone else who asks the question.

(Posted at 10:23:10 PM EST.)

Smoking linked to physical injuries
"Smokers were 1.5 times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer fractures, sprains, and other physical injuries during an eight-week basic training program, a study of Army recruits revealed. "Soldiers or others do not have to wait 10 to 30 years for heart disease or cancer in order to experience the detrimental effects of smoking," said study co-author John W. Gardner, MD, DrPH, of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. "These data show that at least some of the detrimental effects of cigarette smoking may occur at an early age and have immediate consequences." Hmm.

(Posted at 07:34:16 PM EST.)

New treatment might reverse memory loss in those with schizophrenia, Parkinson's, and other disorders
"A short-term drug regimen offers long-lasting reversal of a certain form of memory loss in monkeys given antipsychotic medications, researchers report March 17 in the journal, Science. Known as "working" memory, this function is critical because it allows individuals to briefly hold information in mind during thinking and comprehension tasks. Working memory can become disturbed in people with many conditions, including schizophrenia." Good news for everyone, and who knows where this may lead? Somewhere fast, I hope.

(Posted at 07:29:55 PM EST.)

 Wednesday, March 15, 2000

It's Coming...
The new Website is coming along and I'm hoping we can get it launched by the end of the month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Some things I'm not sure will be done by then, and without them, we can't launch the site. But stay tuned to my homepage for more info when it's live.

(Posted at 09:40:03 PM EST.)

Psychologists Say Cubicles May Not Square With Workers' Needs
"If American bosses want more employees to think outside the box, they may have to give them a different box - or maybe no box at all. The drab cubicle, according to new research, is stifling the creativity and memory of workers. In what perhaps is a no-brainer to the Dilberts of today, psychologists and designers say the solution is new work spaces that will spark people's mental wiring." Another no-brainer from the world of science. Duh.

(Posted at 12:32:18 PM EST.)

Divorce and separation double risk of suicide in men
"Divorced and separated men are twice as likely to commit suicide as married or partnered men, shows research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. [...] The analysis showed that 50 per cent more white than black men killed themselves during the nine years of follow-up and living on America's West coast carried the highest risk of suicide. But the most significant findings concerned marital status..." Another reason not to get divorced right away? Try and work it out?? I don't know, maybe. Depends on the situation. If both people are unsure, there's no abuse, and they want to work it out, it may help to try and work it out with all possible avenues.

Effectiveness of breast cancer support groups mediated by spousal support
"Not all women with breast cancer benefit from participation in discussion groups with other breast cancer patients, according to a new study. For women whose spouses are not supportive, participation in peer- support groups can help improve women's ability to cope and function with their illness on a daily basis. However, for those who have adequate support at home, participation in these groups may actually make things worse." Hmm, this was unexpected.

 Sunday, March 12, 2000

Welcome to the real deal buddy
From now on, on a daily basis, I will be editing to this journal to show you what is taking some Websites by storm, and others by trickle. It's the idea of putting one's ideas and links to the world down, in an ongoing fashion, into an online journal or Weblog. What's the difference? I don't have time to explain it here, but this will be a combination of the two -- links to what's going on today in the world of psychology and mental health, as well as biting commentary and sarcastic observations about my own little piece of the world. Some of it will be relevant, most of it not, but all of it will be Grohol. Enjoy!

 Sunday, March 5, 2000

Mini Mardi Gras
Did you know Austin, TX also holds its own mini Mardi Gras every year at the same time, and with much of the same feeling, as the real Mardi Gras in New Orleans? I didn't either, until this year (since I'm living here). I always thought that 6th St. looked and felt a lot like Bourbon St. in New Orleans, so it seems only appropriate. What is with the fascinations of the beads, though? I just don't get it. I'm sure there's some historical reason there, but I've never read it.

 Saturday, March 4, 2000

Here Comes Netscape 5.0
Well, hells bells, if you didn't already know that Netscape 5.0 was coming down the road, then maybe you should bookmark Mozillazine and the Mozilla project pages.

Welcome to the World of Open Journal
Welcome to the world of Open Journal This is a sample weblog, also known as an online journal or diary. It's hard to put into words, but that link does it pretty well. Just another tiny contribution to the online world. Hope you like it!

A great resource
If you haven't ever stumbled across The CGI Resource Index, you should check it out. Chock full of yummy CGIs in all programming languages. Can get you started with a project.++



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