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Teen’s Suicide Hard to Understand

There are few things sadder and more troubling in this world than seeing a young person's life cut short, not by an accident or illness, but by their own hand.

And this article in the St. Petersbury Times just brings this all home, reporting on the untimely death of a local teen who decided he had enough with life and hung himself in a local park. The story is a heart-breaking account of a seemingly happy life marred by the specter of depression...
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What’s a Blog? Most Americans Know

Well, of course we don't have to tell you what a blog is, since you're already reading one. But most Americans have also read a blog, and 8 out 10 claim to know what a blog is, according to a survey by research firm Synovate.

The research firm has a panel of 1,000 Americans it claims is representative of the general demographics of the American population. Given that the survey was conducted online, however, it does seem to suggest an online bias inherent...
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Irritating Support

Support groups are supposed to be helpful, so how can I go into group feeling neutral and leave totally irritated? And what do I do about it?

I didn't really have a problem to discuss in my group tonight. I've been hypomanic and that's upset...
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Facing Us Contest

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, a great peer support organization in America, has just announced the Facing Us contest. They're looking for people to create videos and artwork related to their experiences for a public awareness campaign. The intent:

DBSA is launching the Facing Us campaign to highlight the ‘face’ of bipolar disorder and depression and to supply tools to those ‘facing’ the challenges of living with these illnesses. There is an intentional, multi-layered meaning to the program’s title: bringing...
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Va. Tech Shooter Cho Had Social Anxiety Disorder

The Washington Post reported today that Virginia Tech shooter Cho had an anxiety disorder -- selective mutism. Selective mutism is a rare and extreme form of social anxiety. Basically, the person can't speak in specific situations where speaking is necessary.

It should be noted, however, that this may not have been the cause (or directly related to the cause) of Cho's violent behavior. There is no research link between social anxiety and violence.

But even more disturbing in reading this article is that...
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Bullying & Adult Mental Health

A study out of Finland has shown that people on both sides of bullying (the bully and his target) are at increased risk for anxiety disorders and antisocial personal disorder later in life. The common belief about bullies among mental health professionals is that people who are bullying are likely to also be bullied at home by parents or siblings, which would also be a common precursor to antisocial personality disorder.

The overall message sent by the researchers is that all people involved...
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Non-Medical ADHD Intervention

A really simple study is showing that good psychology can help reduce symptoms associated with ADHD, which challenges the idea that ADHD is essentially a biologically programmed disorder that can only be helped with medication. The study demonstrated that support and reinforcement of good behaviors can reduce the characteristics associated with ADHD, such as academic, and social problems.

Some of these interventions are the most basic behavioral intervention techniques and things that most other people would identify as "good parenting." In the current era,...
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Internet Addiction (Here We Go Again)

Several news services have carried a report on an Israeli psychiatrist that says "internet addiction disorder" (IAD) needs to be classified with disorders like compulsive gambling and kleptomania. I have written about this before and will continue the debate on terminology for these types of problems: none of these things should be called an "addiction", they are impulse control disorders and behavioral problems.

In the current culture an "addiction" is thought of as a "disease" that is genetically based and uncontrollable, which is...
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What Are You So Depressed About?

"What are you so depressed about?"

Anyone who's ever suffered from depression has probably heard this question at least once in their lives. It's often spoken not by a mean-spirited stranger, but an honestly caring friend or family member who simply doesn't understand your continued blue mood. Which makes it all the more harder a question to answer.

If someone who's suffering from depression knew the answer to the question, the question might be moot. But the hardship with depression, like with any mental disorder,...
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The Banyan

The combo of severe mental illness and homelessness is a disturbing problem in Western cultures and there's much outcry over service shortages. In India, however, mental illness is still largely seen as a problem caused by evil spirits to be cured with magic, beatings...
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