I’m off to Dayton, Ohio this weekend to help a friend celebrate getting older (isn’t it amazing the things we humans celebrate?), so I leave you with this flashback for today.

10 Years Ago on Psych Central

  • Fee-for-service Self-Help Sites
    Ten years ago this summer, I wrote about a questionable new trend at the time of a growing number of mental health self-help websites which began appearing that charged users access to their services. Keep in mind, this was during the heydays of the dot.com boom, meaning that all you needed was an idea and a website and investors would hand over fistfuls of cash. This was a horrible business idea in 1998, and remains so today. People generally don’t pay for subscription services online, with a few notable exceptions (online dating and dieting/weight loss).

    Even today, I still see new services who are trying to get people to fork over their cash for services of questionable value. I tried out a “virtual robot shrink” the other day and despite the low price point, I got absolutely nothing of value from the service (except some amusement at how rudimentary the AI was). Could there be value to such services someday? Perhaps, but I have yet to see convincing evidence.

5 Years Ago on Psych Central

  • July 2003 Blog Entry
    Only five years ago, we received what I believe was our first mention in The New York Times, in a column by Maureen Dowd on whether all of America might not have adult ADHD. It’s a tongue-in-cheek jab at America’s Republican political party’s numerous foreign policy gaffs. While I have no comment on the political commentary, I appreciated the mention of our ADHD quiz (taken now by 1.7 million people!).

1 Year Ago on Psych Central

  • Does EMDR Work for PTSD in Just 5 Sessions?
    Last year, I posted an entry noting some research that supports the effectiveness of EMDR for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While not a cure-all, the data suggested that many people were significantly helped by EMDR techniques in just 5 psychotherapy sessions. If you’re struggling with PTSD and making headway with it, it’s a technique worth giving a try.
  • Closed Psychiatric Hospitals Reused, But Current Patients’ Rights Restricted
    An entry about the re-use of old psychiatric buildings and campuses caught more than one person’s eye when I also noted that current patients in private psychiatric hospitals often have to fight for their right to something the rest of us take for granted — breathing in some fresh air. Heck, even prisoners not in solitary confinement have the right and access to fresh air. Not so in many psychiatric hospitals. I recently received an update from the Coalition for Fresh Air Rights here in Massachusetts and discovered that, not surprisingly, the right to fresh air is still not available to psychiatric patients. The proposed bill here is watered down to be meaningless and largely unenforceable. Opponents continue to argue that providing the right to take a walk outside or such would present risks — financial (gosh, we’d have to provide some space for that!), safety (what happens if someone breathes in a bug?!), and mitigating general risk (can’t have patients just walking away from the hospital, now can we?). Ironically, many hospitals that deny patients access to fresh air provide a place for smokers to inhale away.