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World of Psychology


Single and Not Fabulous

Since relationships are the fundamental building blocks to our lives, there is often a lot of stress associated with meeting new people and maintaining harmony in our already established bonds. Recently, AP ran a story detailing the increasing business for "dating coaches", who are individuals that aid single folks in their dating skills and help them find potential mates. It importantly notes that the American Psychological Association makes a clear distinction between dating coaches and psychologists (and other folks who are licensed to...

Group Dynamics and Moral Reasoning

LA Times has a nice piece on group dynamics, particularly related to situations in which group members commit evil deeds. Much of this falls under the Social Psychology umbrella, and the topic that seemed to receive the most time is how a group member can lose their moral compass. Phil Zimbardo, one of the most influential social psychologists ever (and quoted in the story) studies the this phenomenon. Through his work (which includes the Stanford Prison Experiment) he has concluded that people commiting...

Self-medicating Online

Not in opposition to psychiatry but rather bypassing it, the illicit online pharmaceutical trade is booming.

Used far more commonly than heroin and cocaine now, prescription drug abuse has mushroomed in the last decade. Vicodin ("vics"), oxycodone, and other analgesics, stimulants and benzodiazepines are increasing popular among teens as well as abused by older adults. Some are bought at no prescription web sites that often aren't even legit as illegitimate, frauds that never deliver the product ordered. But many meet the demand.

Increasingly...

Ecopsychology

This week I'll be highlighting some alternative movements, including those rejecting psychiatry and psychotherapy in ways as extreme as mad pride. Not to promote any one viewpoint or political agenda, but rather to shed light on a variety of experiences of mental illness proliferating...

Adult ADHD Treatments & The Media

The Los Angeles Times had a large piece on "Adult ADHD" recently that gives an overview of the phenomenon, although it sidesteps some of the controversey surrounding the diagnosis. In my experience, there are many mental health professionals that believe "adult adhd" is vastly over-diagnosed and is simply clinicalizing a collection of personality traits and habitual behaviors. The problem with doing this is the same as it is for many other conditions, that individual characteristics within the "normal range" of behavior are made...

Sleep and Light Therapy E-books

Brighten Your Life is an e-book for consumers (with lots of stats and links for professionals too) by Dr. Daniel Kripke. He's a pioneer in the research and use of light therapy for depression and sleep disorders and runs a top-notch sleep lab at the University of California, San Diego (where he is a Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus). Definitely an informed book.

It's available at or you can print a PDF. He's freely distributing it "so that people in need...

Psychological Treatments for Diabetes

"People with type 1 diabetes depend on regular insulin injections and on adhering to multiple self care tasks to achieve optimal glycaemic control. Suboptimal glycaemic control1 2 and complications of diabetes are associated with depression, eating problems, and fears specific to diabetes."

A recent major...

Genetic Counseling for Bipolar Disorders

The Foundation for Genetic Education and Counseling's web site (and brochures on PDF) offers info on genetics and bipolar disorder. There isn't a detailed look at current research, nor do they delve into the increasingly controversial topic of gene therapy (not available to the...

Are SSRIs Safe?

Over the past 2 years there has been a barrage of news stories about the safety of popular psychopharmaceuticals. SSRIs (antidepressants) have been the lead target particularly after there was some evidence that risk of suicide may increase for a small number of people...