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    Bloggin' the mental health Internet since 1999.
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 Wednesday, August 7, 2002

People with low self-esteem less motivated to break a negative mood
"People with low self-esteem are less motivated than people with high self-esteem to improve a negative mood, even when they are offered an activity that will change their frame of mind, a team of American and Canadian psychologists has found.

The finding is contrary to the common belief that all people are motivated to alleviate negative moods, according to Jonathon Brown, a University of Washington psychologist and co-author of the study." Interesting, but it makes sense. I never thought all people were motivated to alleviate or change a bad mood or depression. I naturally assumed a lot of people had little incentive to do so.

(Posted at 08:44:38 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

Risk and Resilience Conference
The folks over at Judge Baker Children's Center wanted me to let you know about this conference taking place October 25-27, 2002 called Risk and Resilience: Protective Mechanisms and School-Based Prevention Programs. The sponsors of the conference are the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Judge Baker Children's Center and Devereux. It will be held at The University Park Hotel @ MIT, Cambridge, MA. If you're interested in attending, please contact Paul LeBuffe at 610-542-3090 or e-mail [email protected]. The Web site is

(Posted at 08:20:14 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Monday, August 5, 2002 and Bidding For Travel = Good Combo
I have never had the need to use in the past, because the flexibility for airline dates and times I just haven't had. But a few months ago I ran across Bidding For Travel, a site that specializes in discussions about bidding. After reading through the site for an hour or so, I had all the information I needed to bid properly on Priceline for a hotel room for the upcoming annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

As you can see for yourself the cheapest convention rate for hotels in Chicago was $121/night. Through Priceline, I got a $147 convention-room rate for $55 at the exact same hotel! That's nearly one-third of the price!! Wow. If you don't mind waiting until a few weeks before you have to go somewhere (bid too early and you won't get a real super low rate; wait too late and you might not get a room at all!) and the little bit of risk which comes from this, you might consider it for your next travel trip (especially when you are picking up the bill!).

(Posted at 12:19:51 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Thursday, August 1, 2002

After Treatment for Mental Illness, Fight for Insurance Often Follows
"The social stigma surrounding mental illness may have eased, but many insurers are still reluctant to issue individual policies to people with a psychiatric history — be it depression, anxiety or more serious conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia."

This article from the NY Times (free registration required) this week describes the plight of individuals who are diagnosed with a mental disorder, and then try to obtain life insurance. Apparently, discrimination is alive and well in America today. Until the lawyers get a hold of this...!

(Posted at 11:52:11 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Exercise therapy improves fibromyalgia
"Prescribed graded aerobic exercise is a simple, cheap, and effective treatment for people with fibromyalgia (medically unexplained chronic muscular pain and joint tenderness), finds a study in last week's British Medical Journal." Simple but effective-- I like it.

(Posted at 12:21:55 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Sleep apnea linked to decreased libido
"Men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea -- the inability to breathe properly during sleep -- produce lower levels of testosterone, resulting in decreased libido and sexual activity, according to researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The study, in the July Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that nearly half the subjects secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone throughout the night. Earlier studies had tested subjects only once instead of throughout the night." Now you have something to blame other than your significant other! (The good news is that sleep apnea is eminently treatable.)

(Posted at 12:17:37 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Negative Stereotypes About Aging May Shorten Your Life By Affecting Will To Live
"Even if we are not aware of them, negative thoughts about aging that we pick up from society may be cutting years off our lives, according to Becca Levy, Ph.D., the lead researcher of a study conducted at Yale University's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. The study found that older people with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. The findings appear in the August issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA)."

Wow, that's food for thought. People need to be reminded that the way they think about their lives and themselves is just as important as the physical exercise and things we put into our bodies. We remember the latter but forget the former. Health is not just physical, but mental as well. This is just another research study that confirms it.

(Posted at 12:11:40 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Tuesday, July 16, 2002

What your doctor doesn't know could kill you
"A computer program that provides vast amounts of information for diagnosing and treating patients could revolutionize the practice of medicine. So why won't physicians use it?" This article appeared in Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine and describes the misadventures Dr. Lawrence Weed has had with marketing and selling his diagnostic software, Problem Knowledge Couplers (PKCs).

I've been following Weed's progress for years and this article nicely summarizes the uphill battle Weed (and anyone like him) faces. Doctors have egos that make the introduction of potentially helpful diagnostic tools such as this (which might disagree with the doctor's own diagnosis and judgment) difficult at best. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors.

Software that might help reduce that number? "Ludicrous!!" For more interesting reading on this subject, check out the thread on Slashdot, especially comments like these.

(Posted at 03:01:30 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Cigarette marketing can undermine good parenting
"Cigarette advertising and promotions are most likely to lure teens whose parents follow otherwise well-proven methods for discouraging risky behavior, according to a new study. Although teens with less authoritative parents are generally more likely to start smoking, they are not as swayed by cigarette advertising and promotions as are their peers raised by more authoritative parents, says the study in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine."

Does this surprise anyone?

(Posted at 02:48:12 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Suicide Risk High In 12-17 Age Group
"Close to 3 million Americans age 12 to 17 considered suicide in 2000 and more than a third of those tried to kill themselves, a government survey found. Girls were almost twice as likely as boys to have thought about or tried to commit suicide, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse report. The study, released Sunday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that only one in three of those who reported considering suicide or trying to kill themselves received counseling." The rest of the article is here.

Wow. That should make a person stop and think. 3 million youths are so depressed, the thought of suicide crosses their minds. 1 million tried. One of those successful was one of my childhood best friends, Robert Klotz. May he rest in peace. I still believe more needs to be done, can be done, to help folks who go down this road.

(Posted at 02:45:16 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Friday, July 12, 2002

Physicians Less Likely To Screen, But More Likely To Intervene, On Domestic Violence
"Only 19 percent of [of physicians surveyed] reported screening new patients for domestic violence compared with 98 percent for tobacco use, 90 percent for alcohol abuse, and 47 percent for HIV and sexually transmitted disease risks," says lead investigator Barbara Gerbert, Ph.D., from the University of California San Francisco.' Read the rest of the article here.

This finding is not surprising, given that physicians are used to dealing with medical and health problems, not social and psychological issues. Unfortunately, this number needs to increase significantly, since screening for domestic violence can help people before they need a physician's intervention (most often after much of the damage has been done).

(Posted at 09:44:38 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Sunday, July 7, 2002

Remember, it is summer, so please, take a moment and take it easy for a minute, a day, a week, or even longer!

(Posted at 08:32:41 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Lawsuit After Prozac Arrives In Mail
"Someone sent free boxes of once-a-week Prozac to south Florida depression patients -- people who don't take regular Prozac and hadn't even discussed trying the new version with their doctors.

It's not clear how many patients got the unsolicited Prozac, which came to light when one furious recipient filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit this week against her doctors, her pharmacy and Prozac maker Eli Lilly & Co." Read the rest of the article here.

And companies seriously wonder why most consumers have concerns about their privacy and how their information will be used by large corporation. Frankly, who ever is Eli Lilly's privacy officer should simply be fired. If this is the best they can do under their current leadership, then the current leadership should step down and make way for more assertive, proper, and ethical practices.

(Posted at 08:11:21 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2007
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