Bloggin' the mental health Internet since 1999.
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E-Mail Therapy Can Ease Eating Disorder Blues
This article from Reuters (NY Times version, may require free registration in order to read) reports that, "Binge eaters and bulimics who are too embarrassed to see a doctor about their problem can now get help discreetly through e-mail therapy, a British doctor said on Friday. Dr. Paul Robinson, the head of the Eating Disorders Service at London's Royal Free Hospital, has developed a three-month e-mail therapy program for people who can't control their eating and those with bulimia nervosa, the binge and purge illness."
(Posted at 01:49:51 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Divorce is written in the DNA
A new study of twins suggests that genetic make-up has a strong influence on whether or not your marriage will last -- though not whether you'll get married in the first place.
(Posted at 12:18:51 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
APA Keynote Speech On Psychology in the US
This speech by Russ Newman, head of the APA's Practice Directorate, is a great read for anyone who wants a "State of the Nation" update about psychology and mental healthcare in America today. Presented at the 2001 State Leadership Conference in May, it was mainly written for policy wonks, but if you can stay with it, it has a lot of useful, well-spoken information. (The slides are, unfortunately, very large and take quite awhile to download.)
(Posted at 09:02:10 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
If you didn't know, the reason I mention eYada is that they hosted a live psychology call-in show called Psychology Today. Their site is still running, apparently on autopilot.
(Posted at 03:01:15 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
eYada is eGone
eYada, the live Internet radio site, calls it quits, after running out of cash. Webvan is also gone this week, after blowing through only $1 billion in cash. Do you know what you could do with $1 billion? Fund a small country for a few years, for one. Provide mental health services for millions of Americans for a few years. But none of that is profitable stuff, nor exactly what businesses are made of. So bye-bye, eYada... I don't think the world is yet ready for Internet (or satellite) radio.
(Posted at 02:57:00 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Eli Lilly releases patients' e-mail addresses
Because of the American July 4th holiday, many people missed this important news. "Drugmaker Eli Lilly last week inadvertently divulged the e-mail addresses of some patients with depression, bulimia or obsessive-compulsive disorder, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, quoting company executives." They apologize for the error, but c'mon, how hard is it to have to have the equivalent of proof-reading checks in place before you send out any mass mailings like that?? We've always used such checks everywhere I've worked, and that's been for small companies. You'd think big companies would be keenly sensitive to such issues.
"Computer programming error" my ass. Why wouldn't they use the same procedure and software they had been using for the past 2 years? Sounds more like human error, but they don't want to blame an actual human. At least they owned up to it, and we should give credit for a company any time it admits a mistake rather than trying to cover it up.
(Posted at 03:11:19 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
New Home Sweet Home
Well, finally, after a short delay, and much stress and hassle, Monday I became the proud owner of my new home in a small community north of Boston! As a first-time home buyer, it was both scary and exhilirating at the same time. Don't want to do it again any time soon, though. I move in this weekend, although there are a lot of renovations to be done.
(Posted at 03:07:01 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Usenet Co-Creator Dies
"Jim Ellis, who helped create the information-sharing electronic bulletin boards (commonly known as Usenet) that predated the World Wide Web, has died. He was 45." Read the rest of the article on MSNBC.
(Posted at 12:49:35 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Here's the abstract of the AACAP journal article which describes the Experience Journal.
(Posted at 03:47:37 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
The Experience Journal
Just saw a presentation today on The Experience Journal, an interesting site filled with personal stories from families and patients at Children's Hospital in Boston. Very cool. Check it out.
(Posted at 03:30:11 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Wow. Buying a home for the first time can be a nightmare. I am going through that process right now. Closing was supposed to be tomorrow, but lo and behold, something came up just yesterday that will take a day to get stuff to the financial people. Ugh. So that pushes our closing back to Monday at least... I do not recommend this process for the faint of heart.
(Posted at 03:29:25 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Time's Series on Protecting Your Privacy Online
Time magazine has a new series of articles describing how you can protect your privacy online. Offers the usual dumbed-down explanations of online technologies and scary situations which could happen, but usually don't. The tips will be helpful to most people, though. A generally solid series of articles on this issue.
(Posted at 04:25:46 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis
Scientific American has a great article (from the July, 2001 issue) about hypnosis. If you ever wanted to know more about this practice, but were afraid to ask, this is the article to read.
(Posted at 12:26:42 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Phones and Cars
Noah Adams of NPR's All Things Considered talks with David Strayer, who teaches psychology at the University of Utah, about his research on driving while using cell phones. Strayer's study, to be published this fall, shows drivers using the phone are more likely to be distracted, and that hands-free systems don't seem to help. (Listen to the RealAudio interview, 4:30)
(Posted at 11:41:52 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
New evidence debunks benefits of breast self-examination
Many studies have examined the effectiveness of various screening tools for breast cancer, which accounts for 30% of diagnosed cancer in Canadian women. In 1994 the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination (now the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care) concluded there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening using breast self-examination (BSE). After reviewing relevant articles published since then, the task force states there is fair evidence to recommend that BSE not be taught routinely to women aged 40-69 years because it provides no benefit. This finding, coupled with good evidence that it led to net harm by increasing the rate of biopsy for benign breast lesions, led the task force to conclude that BSE should not be taught to women in the 40-69 year age group. There's also an important commentary article questioning the study's conclusions. This would represent a big change over what women are typically taught regarding BSE.
(Posted at 09:56:19 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Next Week's Newsweek
Next week, Newsweek is planning on running an article entitled, "Next Frontiers: How We'll Live Next." It discusses how the Internet has changed healthcare and the doctor/patient relationship, enabling consumers to diagnose themselves and plan their own treatment. It's a good general article describing the broad range of health (and mental health) information online, with illustrative case studies. Our friend, John McManamy who is the depression editor over at Suite101 is also nicely quoted. Congratulations John!
(Posted at 11:05:03 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Teenage Life Online
The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life project has released a new report yesterday entitled, "Teenage Life Online: The rise of the instant-message generation and the Internet's impact on friendships and family relationships." Just some of the random findings from the report:
- 73% of American teens 12 through 17 use the Internet
- 48% say their use of the Internet improves their relationship with friends; 32% say Internet tools help them make new friends
- 74% of online teens use instant messaging (IM). In comparison, 44% of online adults have used IM. Most of those teens use it at least once a week.
- 56% of online teens have more than one email address or screen name
- 24% of teens who have used IMs and email or been to chat rooms have pretended to be a different person when they were communicating online.
(Posted at 10:54:07 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Your IM Conversations May Be Recorded
This is old news for some tech-heads, but not for most people who use certain instant messaging (IM) services, such as ICQ or Yahoo Messenger. Either party in an IM chat can record the conversation or make it available later on the Web. This article on CNET details this issue, which does not affect one of the largest IM clients, AOL's IM.
(Posted at 04:21:22 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Why women have more reason than men to fear the gossip's tongue
"Most women may be physically weaker than men, but they have a formidable weapon at their disposal: gossip. Nattering to each other in this way could be why women form such strong social bonds, says anthropologist Nicole Hess from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She thinks gossip could be the key. By chatting to each other, women have a powerful weapon that could be used to outcompete their rivals for precious resources." Interesting idea.
(Posted at 04:13:15 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
Dr. Hsiung apparently just found my original mention of his article and tactics in online research of his own support group. Notice how he turns the issue around into questioning my "unprofessional behavior," as though my conduct (for calling into question the way he conducted his research) is inappropriate. Interesting dynamics, that! (And, as usual, on the membership list of ISMHO, he suggests that people go onto one of his forums to discuss the issue further, knowing full well that I will not participate in such a forum because of his "unrestricted use" clause on any participant's words and ideas.)
(Posted at 12:39:39 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
One in Five Kids is Solicited on the Internet
Now I'm not the kind of person that buys into media hype about the dangers of the Internet, but I do believe it is important for parents to realize what is going to happen when their kids go online. "One in five children between 10 and 17 years of age have reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation while online, a new JAMA study finds (press release on study)." Read coverage of this issue at ABCNews.com, USA Today, or the Washington Post.
(Posted at 11:23:28 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
Few physicians share prognosis with dying cancer patients
"A study of terminally ill cancer patients and their physicians found that in only 37 percent of cases was the doctor willing to give the patient his or her best estimate of how long the patient could expect to live. Without such knowledge, patients cannot make informed choices about how to spend their remaining time or prepare themselves or their families for the kind of death they would have chosen, given the opportunity." Wow, this is both very sad and surprising. I would think that if the doctor were in the same position, he or she would very much like to know the truth. I hope bringing attention to this issue will begin to change doctors' behaviors.
(Posted at 09:40:22 AM EDT.) Discuss this...
On Home Buying
Buying a house changes your perspective on lots of things. Suddenly you care about the community you live in a way that you never did before. You have a very real stake in how it functions and whether it works. You take root. When you rent, when you're single, you have very little connection to the community you live in. When the lease is up, you can move or you can stay on, but you're not rooted to the community. You have no vested interest, no stake. These are two different ways of being, and I've spent 32 years being the one way. Now it's time to own up to my stake, and the responsibilities that come with such a decision. It's not one I made lightly (although I do know some people treat real estate just like any other property or possession one might own in this temporary life).
(Posted at 07:53:05 PM EDT.) Discuss this...
From the Contradictory Results Department: Sad workers may make better workers
In the past few decades, the popular belief in the area of organizational behaviour and organizational psychology has been that happy workers are better workers. However, new research at the University of Alberta shows that sad workers are more productive. Psychologist Dr. Robert Sinclair and his former PhD student Carrie Lavis recently conducted a series of four studies addressing the effects of experimentally induced happiness versus sadness on work productivity by asking the participants to build circuit boards. In the first study, sad people committed significantly fewer errors than did happy people (approximately half the number of errors) but there was no difference in the number of boards completed. Thus, sad people were more productive.
Hmmmm.... I don't feel at all productive when I'm sad. I feel very non-productive, errors and all. But as the release says, sad people may be more contemplative, and hence, more attentive to what they're working on.
(Posted at 11:21:08 AM EDT.)
Drkoop.com Falls Out Of Media Metrix Top 500
I just noticed this, but drkoop.com isn't even on Media Metrix's Top 500 Internet properties list any longer. At one time in its history, it was in the top 50, according to PC Data. Ouch.
(Posted at 11:16:42 AM EDT.)