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World of Psychology


Scholarship Available for Those Battling Severe Mental Illness

The Center for Reintegration, a nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of persons with mental illness, is accepting applications for the 2005-2006 Lilly Moving Lives Forward Reintegration Scholarship.

Sponsored by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, the program is designed to help persons with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or related schizophrenia-spectrum disorders acquire the educational and vocational skills necessary to move their lives forward and reintegrate into society. For the 2004-05 school year, fifty students were awarded scholarships.

An independent judging panel made up...
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Study shows inadequate psychiatric care in assisted living facilities

Study shows inadequate psychiatric care in assisted living facilities

Research conducted among elderly persons residing in assisted living (AL) facilities in Maryland reveal high prevalence of dementia and other psychiatric disorders, but a lack of recognition and treatment by caregivers.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, dementia is a mental disorder affecting an individual's ability to think, speak, reason, remember and move. Many types of this disorder exist, with the most common cause being Alzheimer's Disease. Of the 198 randomly selected...
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Regular family meals promote healthy eating habits

Regular family meals promote healthy eating habits

It's not only the routine of sitting down to dinner as a family, but the importance, structure, and atmosphere of family meals that may help steer adolescent girls from eating disorders. University of Minnesota researchers found that girls who ate regular family meals in a structured and positive environment were less likely to exhibit extreme weight control behaviors such as diet pill use, vomiting, and chronic dieting. Their research was published in the November issue of the...
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Counseling Can Prevent Depression Recurrence

Counseling Can Prevent Depression Recurrence

After being treated with standard medications, patients who undergo a type of counseling called cognitive behavior therapy have a much lower rate of relapse compared with those who receive standard follow-up care, new research shows.

Cognitive behavior therapy or CBT involves learning to recognize distorted thoughts that lead to emotional distress. Instead of attacking the emotion, the patient is taught to address the distorted thought that lead to the emotion. By treating the thought, the emotion often...
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Long After Kinsey, Only the Brave Study Sex

Long After Kinsey, Only the Brave Study Sex (NY Times link)

Decades after the sexual revolution, sex researchers in the United States still operate in a kind of scientific underground, fearing suppression or public censure. In a culture awash in sex talk and advice in magazines and movies and on daytime TV, the researchers present their findings in coded language, knowing that at any time they, like Dr. Kinsey, could be held up as a public threat.

Social scientists say that for all its diverse...
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Study pinpoints schizophrenia brain glitch

Study pinpoints schizophrenia brain glitch

Scientists for the first time have identified a fault in the brain waves of schizophrenics that may explain their hallucinations and disturbed thinking. The study, by a team at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School, appears in the Nov. 8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers studied the brain waves of normal and schizophrenic patients as they responded to images. Those with the disorder showed no electrical activity in a certain frequency-the...
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Computer therapy for panic attacks spurs ethics debate

Computer therapy for panic attacks spurs ethics debate

If you're not sure whether the electronic age is a technological breakthrough or a breakdown of all things human, analyze this: A Florida State University psychologist is trying to computerize therapy for panic disorders.

The appointments? Ten computer files with various instructions and exercises, intended to take about an hour a week. The therapist? A binary genie that dispenses advice and psychological homework based on how patients gauge their progress.


I'm not sure where the "ethics...
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Gambling Addiction or Greed?

An article in today's Boston Globe questions the link between the gambling industry and Harvard Medical School. Rightfully so. I read the article with a critical eye but kept my mind open. After all, pathological gambling (it is not recognized as an addiction, though) has been around as an official, recognized disorder diagnosis for over a decade.

Read my take on this Harvard Medical School ethical...
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Optimists Live Longer, Study Finds

Optimists Live Longer, Study Finds

Patients who described themselves as highly optimistic had lower risks of all-cause death, and lower rates of cardiovascular death than those with high levels of pessimism, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (Abstract here.)

According to the article, major depression is a known risk factor for cardiovascular death. However, the relationship between optimism and death has not received as much...
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Nicotine dependence & psychiatric disorders

Nicotine dependence & psychiatric disorders

Adults with nicotine dependence and/or psychiatric disorders consume 70 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the United States, according to results of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reported in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry (Volume 61). Based on the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), the article provides the first national estimates among adults of the prevalence and co-occurrence of nicotine dependence and a broad array of other...
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