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    Bloggin' the mental health Internet since 1999.
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 Thursday, September 12, 2002

A Reply to Two Studies Raise Doubts on Trauma Counseling’s Value
A Washington Post article written by Shankar Vedantam and published on September 6, 2002 entitled “Two Studies Raise Doubts on Trauma Counseling’s Value” grossly misrepresents the outcome of the National Institute of Mental Health’s report on Mental Health and Mass Violence, and squarely slaps the face of thousands of professional men and women dedicated to the delivery of trauma counseling services through Employee Assistance Programs and organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Disaster Response Network, the Federal Emergency Management Association, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, the National Organization for Victims Assistance, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

(Posted at 05:52:13 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Sunday, September 8, 2002

Two Studies Raise Doubts on Trauma Counseling's Value
This article in the Washington Post finds that "counseling sessions frequently given to survivors immediately after disasters, such as the debriefings given to people traumatized by the Sept. 11 attacks, do nothing to prevent psychiatric disorders and may even be harmful, according to two comprehensive analyses released yesterday." [...] "The debriefers were well-intentioned, but NIMH experts said the blanket intervention was inappropriate because most people who received counseling would have recovered on their own."

(Posted at 04:34:17 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Friday, September 6, 2002

They Held a Funeral Online
This story over at Slashdot discusses how an online gamer died and the participants of the gaming environment where they played got together and held an online funeral for their lost member. If this picture of a heart doesn't touch you, I don't know what will. Just more proof that online relationships can be just as real as real-life ones.

(Posted at 11:50:33 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Friday, August 30, 2002

Mentally Ill No More Violent Than Anyone Else
"People with severe mental illnesses are highly unlikely to become violent toward others unless they have additional risk factors combined with their psychiatric disorder, according to a new study led by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Among people with severe mental illness, a combination of three risk factors -- having been a victim of violence during childhood, living in a neighborhood where violence is common, and having a substance abuse problem -- can increase the likelihood of violent behavior more than tenfold, the researchers found. Without any of these risk factors, those with severe mental illness were no more likely to engage in violent behaviors than people in the general population without a psychiatric disorder."

Mental health researchers have long known this, but it's finally getting to others through research like this.

(Posted at 01:53:53 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Thursday, August 29, 2002

More Crappy "Net addiction" Research
Websense, purveyors of Internet monitoring and censorship software, paid for the latest survey that -- surprise!! -- shows some employees goof off on their company's dime. This supposed "research" only confirms one thing -- people still know how to rig any survey to show practically anything they want it to show. In this case, the publishers of the software show how readily employers can cut supposed employee abuse of the Internet by... buying their software! taadaa!! (No links, because I surely don't want to add to this stupid hype, or give them a free sale. Unfortunately, I see the mainstream news media in the form of the same sucker reporter who fell for the "Segway-is-not-Ginger" story a few weeks ago is republishing Websense's press release as "news.")

(Posted at 04:01:31 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Like Drugs, Talk Therapy Can Change Brain Chemistry
"In a study by Dr. Lewis Baxter at the UCLA School of Medicine, patients with the disorder who responded to either a reuptake inhibitor like Prozac or cognitive behavior therapy over 10 weeks showed virtually the same changes in their brains, decreases in the activities of the caudate nuclei and, thus, changes toward normal function."

I've been saying this for years, and this isn't the first research to show this. Of course, this isn't the only reason people get and feel better in therapy, but it is not surprising it's one of the reasons.

(Posted at 01:00:52 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

New Antidepressant Awaited, But Little Proof It's Much Better
"Starting next week, U.S. psychiatrists will be able to prescribe an eagerly awaited new antidepressant called Lexapro. It's being promoted as more potent and possibly safer than older competitors - but there's little evidence that it's much better." Sound familiar?

(Posted at 12:44:06 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Physician-assisted Suicide About Choice
"Hospice patients who request physician-assisted suicide under a landmark Oregon law want control over their death and generally don't show signs of depression or worry that they could become a burden to their families, according to a survey of nurses and social workers. [...] Control over the timing and manner of death was repeatedly the most important reason that dying patients cited for their request, while depression was rated the least important by hospice workers, said Dr. Linda Ganzini, an Oregon Health & Science University psychiatry professor who led the study."

This is definitely one of the things which makes a lot of sense to me and I can't understand why it isn't legal (although it is done) in every state in the U.S. Dying when you want, under the conditions you want -- when faced with a terminal illness -- just seems sensible. It's all about quality, not quantity. Americans often don't seem to get that.

(Posted at 10:50:47 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Sunday, August 25, 2002

The Value of Online Self-Help Support Groups
A copy of my presentation at the American Psychological Association in Chicago entitled The Value of Online Self-Help Support Groups is available.

(Posted at 09:34:29 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Low-income mothers' mental health may soften the impact of growing up in poverty
"Growing up in poverty can cause depression and low self-esteem in adolescents, but having a caring mother who feels in control of her life can reduce this effect, says a Penn State researcher. "Maternal mental health and warmth were found to reduce the direct impact of poverty on adolescents, illustrating the importance of maternal emotional resources in impeding the effects of poverty," says Bridget Goosby, a graduate student in sociology and demography at Penn State."

Wow. It's amazing to me to see stuff like this, showing scientifically that even if you grow up in bad circumstances, you're still very much influenced by the environment around you.

(Posted at 04:38:34 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

This Just In: Fat People are Not More Jolly
"Looking at eight different indicators of mental health problems, the researchers examined whether the stereotype of the "jolly fat" is accurate. It's not, says researcher Robert E. Roberts, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "There was either no observed association between obesity and psychological dysfunction or the obese were worse off," he and his colleagues write. "[...] In no case did we observe better mental health among the obese. In sum, the obese were not more jolly."' I'm not sure this needed to be studied scientifically, given that it was just a dumb stereotype to begin with. Now you know.

(Posted at 04:33:52 PM EDT.) Discuss this... will be at APA, in the form of yours truly, will once again be attending and presenting at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association this weekend (August 23-25, 2002).

(Posted at 04:27:40 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Sunday, August 18, 2002

Lexapro Approved by FDA for Treatment of Depression
This, from the makers of Lexapro, they just wanted you to know... And heck, why not? Not everyday a new antidepressant is approved by the FDA!

Lexapro advantages over Celexa
  • Lexapro is the first new antidepressant to be approved in four years. The last approved antidepressant was Celexa.
  • Although Forest has 2+ years left on Celexa's patent, the company has chosen to market Lexapro because it believes Lexapro is better than Celexa.
  • Lexapro has shown to be twice as potent as Celexa.
  • In fact, in clinical trials Lexapro 10 mg/day demonstrates comparable efficacy to Celexa 40 mg/day

(Posted at 10:16:41 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Friday, August 9, 2002

New Ferguson Report Online
Dr. Tom Ferguson has just published Issue #9 of his popular Definitely worth a read!

(Posted at 04:47:06 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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