Bloggin' the mental health Internet since 1999.
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May is Almost Over
Wow. This month has been, excuse my French, hellishly long. I've been waiting for spring to get here, only to find out it's summer before you knew it. I think we pretty much skipped over spring.
My Memorial Day weekend (+ one day) was very nice, visited Delaware to hang out with my family and friends. I sometimes miss living closer to them, being able to just go out and hang out and totally be yourself without having to worry about what anyone thinks of you. That's something you can do with family and old, close friends that's much harder to do with nearly anyone else. We're always wearing those masks.
I wish I could say this trip, or my trip out to Oklahoma City earlier in the month, had me coming back feeling renewed and refreshed. I always get these great ideas while out there, which often get washed away when I get back by the reality of life (versus the fantasy of life that I know oh so many of you live in!). I'm going to focus and concentrate more on the house renovations, though, to keep something going forward. I often feel like I should say "stumbling forward." That's what 2002 has been like so far!
(Posted at 03:34:31 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend
I'm going home to visit my family and some friends in Delaware this long weekend. I wish you peace, wellness, and safety during the next few days! And please take a moment to remember our honored dead, who helped protect the freedoms we enjoy today.
(Posted at 09:26:12 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Psychology of Weblogs: 2002
Yesterday I sat down and wrote an update to my 1998 article about the Psychology of Weblogs (which, after re-reading it, I realized was quite harsh!). Basically, the blogging phenomenon has quickly become mainstreamed, which means it is now no different or more unique than anything else in the online world.
(Posted at 09:22:45 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
American Psychiatric Association's Convention of Convenience
Vicki Fox Smith from MadNation passes along a new essay that should be of interest to every one: "In conjunction with the 2002 American Psychiatric Association (APA) convention in Philadelphia several high visibility press releases were issued designed to become the source of news articles in the mainstream press. Given the overwhelming drug company sponsorship, both of the convention and the 'research' that has been highlighted, it should be no great surprise that they purport to demonstrate that more people than ever before have mental illnesses that benefit from drug treatment and that diagnosis can be expedited so that the diagnostic process fits well into the all too typical seven minute office visit." Well worth the read.
(Posted at 09:10:26 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
New CDC Report Looks at Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
"According to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.6 million elementary school-aged children have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a condition also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In a national survey, the parents of 7 percent of children 6-11 years of age reported ever being told by a doctor or health professional that their child had ADHD.
The report, Prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Disability, based on 1997-98 data from CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, shows that about one-half of children diagnosed with ADHD have also been identified as having a learning disability."
(Posted at 12:40:25 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
New Editorial is Online
Finally, after months of waiting for something new (albeit, perhaps not new to some of you), I've posted a new editorial about my recent troubles and peering over the edge into that familiar abyss many of you know. I've closed the book on this chapter in my life, and am now ready to start writing a new one.
(Posted at 12:36:57 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Ex-Scientologist Collects $8.7 Million In 22-Year-Old Case
"Nearly 22 years ago, Lawrence Wollersheim, a disaffected member of the Church of Scientology, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles accusing the church of mental abuse that pushed him to the brink of suicide. Teams of lawyers and various rulings came and went, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judgments against the church hit $30 million, then dropped to $2.5 million. But the Church of Scientology never paid -- until yesterday, when officials wrote a check for more than $8.6 million to end the case, one of the longest-running in California history." Finally, somebody wins a huge judgment against Scientology!
(Posted at 12:18:51 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Dial-up Users are Here to Stay
The results from an interesting survey (which has a decidedly pro-broadband spin on the data) was released on April 23, 2002 and has garnered little notice since then. It states that 76% of dial-up users are content with their current Internet access speed and wouldn't change to broadband even if the option was available. This is as I have been saying for years -- broadband is not for everyone and not everyone is going to want it or pay for it. One more data point -- most people I know don't have it and don't want to get it.
(Posted at 05:06:42 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Placebo and Antidepressant May Lift Depression Via Common Mechanism
"Whether it's a widely prescribed medication or a placebo, a successful treatment for depression must trigger a common pattern of brain activity changes, suggests a team of researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. [...] In the randomized, double blind trial, 17 middle-aged men, hospitalized for unipolar depression, received either fluoxetine or placebo for 6 weeks. Rating scales revealed that 4 of the men responded to placebo and another 4 showed comparable improvement with the active medication. Nine patients failed to get better." Very interesting stuff...
(Posted at 07:44:32 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
More on the Mental Health Parity Debate
This article in the Washington Post gives a more in-depth look at this coming debate, and how it will likely focus on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the descriptive system used by mental health professionals to help properly diagnose disorders. The debate is whether such parity should include all disorders listed therein, or just the most "serious" disorders.
Frankly, I think a good argument can be made to include all disorders, because where do you draw the line? Include schizophrenia but not schizophreniform disorder? Anorexia but not Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)? That would not be a line I'd like to try drawing!
(Posted at 08:49:11 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Bush May Back Full Mental Health Coverage
"The White House is in serious discussions over legislation long opposed by many Republicans to guarantee that insurance for mental health disorders is as comprehensive as that offered for other illnesses." Hey, this is great news if he can follow through on it!
(Posted at 08:44:47 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Something's Wrong with Yahoo
I tell ya, there's something wrong with any company that doesn't have the decency to ensure their advertising doesn't intentionally or unintentionally conflict with their content. A search for anorexia on their homepage brings up an advertisement for a person to lose 10 lbs.
(Link courtesy of MetaFilter.)
(Posted at 08:43:04 AM EDT.) Discuss this...