World of Psychology

If Everyone Does It, Is It Abuse?

In a recent article on Internet addiction, I will give David Greenfield the benefit of the doubt when quoted in this article over the weekend where he states,

“It’s almost impossible to self-limit and monitor your Internet use,” says Greenfield. “Almost everybody abuses the Internet, even if they’re not addicted. Even I do.”

Honestly, if everyone is engaging in a behavior, it's neither addiction nor abuse, by very definition. It's "normal." Unless you're the morality police or something, when someone chooses to spend...

Lighting the Way

Reader Phil left this comment on my earlier post Light and Dark, in response to Hank Roberts who's been sharing valuable info, like a link to the Center for Environmental Therapeutics on light therapy and negative ions for depression. Phil's comment:

This DESPERATELY needs to be more widely talked about, and tried. I followed Hank’s directions- and for the first time in 15 years, I am able to sleep without medication. Do you understand how astonishing that is?

What happened 15 years...

The Infancy of Brain Studies

In a recent CNN article:
Are Humans Hard-Wired for Faith?

After noting that similar areas of the brain 'light up' during contemplative or prayer activity, the researcher goes (as is common with brain scan studies) a bit too far:

"Newberg calls religion the great equalizer and points out that similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation. Newberg suggests that these brain scans may provide proof that our brains are built to believe in God. He says there may be universal features of...


This New York Times article, entitled
Many Diagnoses of Depression May Be Misguided, Study Says

brings up a valid point about diagnosis. As I've said before, since we base "diagnosis" in the mental health field on self reports from clients, often checking off boxes on a form, the term "diagnosis" is misleading. In the medical field, the word generally has some physical, empirical basis. An observable bacteria, a lesion, specific physical symptoms. Of course we even misuse the term "empirical" in the field...

Is it okay to treat mental health patients like unruly cows?

Apparently aversive conditioning techniques are still used in some states, including Illinois, where a couple uses a cattle prod device to handle the violent outbursts of their 48-year-old Autistic son. In an article posted on , titled “Shock Treatment Sought for Autistic Man”, the man’s mother says the shock is no more painful then that of a bee sting and she uses it to stop her son from hurting himself. Apparently, the group home which housed the autistic man was...

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,...