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World of Psychology


The Ongoing Child Bipolar Diagnosis Controversy

As we and others reported last month, a very early diagnosis of bipolar disorder was one of the probable factors that led to a young child's death. I'm sorry, but unless it's an extreme exception, adult diagnoses such as bipolar disorder are not recognized in children at 2 or even 3 years old. Children at such young ages are under active, constantly-changing development. There are no widely-accepted, legitimate diagnostic criteria for children generally under 12 for bipolar disorder.

So we were happy...

Is There a Better Way to Diagnose?

Stephen Schlein, a psychoanalytic psychologist from Lexington Mass., wrote a thougthful op-ed piece for today's Boston Globe. In it, he discussed the trend amongst health and mental health professionals to diagnose a disorder based solely upon behavioral symptoms (and sometimes, not doing even that):


Children and adults are diagnosed with mental disorders based on their behavior in a fast-paced world, and not on their personal internal world. One much-discussed scenario occurs when a child acts up in school, and the teacher or other school...

Bipolar Recovery Guides

Two freely available publications on bipolar disorder are chock full of wellness info for people affected, and both are super for passing along to family members for reading and discussion.

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide to Recovery from the Organization for Bipolar Affective Disorders (OBAD) was written for those who want to better understand essentials of their illness and live with it more effectively. Though there is no cure for bipolar disorders, recovery is possible in the sense of learning to prevent and minimize symptoms,...

Live Blogging is the New Camcorder

Do you remember a few years ago how everybody and their father had a videocamera and would relentlessly videotape every family moment as though it were a piece of important family history? From birthday celebrations to new births, you could relive the glory (or...

Trouble in jPod

"Presenteeism" (the cost of lost productivity from working while ill) is attracting growing attention. A recent BC Human Rights Tribunal ruling illustrated the problem when it upheld the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibition on discrimination based on mental disability.

Games giant Electronic Arts was forced to pay a large settlement to a woman fired for depression-related presenteeism. Janie Toivanen was a long time employee with a track record of superior performance reviews. She developed clinical depression and...

Throwing Stones at the House of Research

The rising tide keeps rising against the House of Research.

As reported by numerous news outlets today, another study has come down the pike, this time in the respected journal Cancer. "Breast cancer treatment trials that are funded by drug companies are more likely to show positive results than studies sponsored by other sources, new research suggests. There are also major differences in trial design when the pharmaceutical industry foots the bill, the researchers added," according to the article.

Some would this as another...

How can you help your alcoholic parent?

A while back I wrote a post on Addiction Transfer to which where posted several comments. Recently, I received comments from one reader, Mary, who requested additional information about where to go for help for her alcoholic mother. Mary, this entry is for you.

First of all, let me start off by saying; I am not a therapist or a doctor. I am simply a resourceful, empathetic and persevering individual. My work in the field of mental health...

Tobacco Marketing to the Homeless and Mentally Ill

You thought Big Pharma marketing was unethical? Then read the shocking research paper Marketing to the marginalised: tobacco industry targeting of the homeless and mentally ill, Apollonio and Malone, Tobacco Control 2005;14:409-415; [free full text online]. Zoloft ads seem downright friendly in comparison.

After I wrote about stigma and high smoking rates with mental illness, a reader passed along this link. The article provides analysis of 400 relevant documents culled from 40 million pages of tobacco industry internal...

The UK’s Lisa Blakemore-Brown Case

A part of the mental health blogosphere (especially folks in the UK) appear to be up in arms that the British Psychological Society (BPS) is secretly trying to railroad Lisa Blakemore-Brown, a psychologist in the UK who's caused some upset by making claims about vaccines and other topics that are controversial. In reaction to these claims, the BPS has launched a "fitness to practice" investigation. (An edited transcript of her BPS hearing may be found here. It should be noted that because...