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World of Psychology


New bills fill prescription for a turf war

Across the country, psychiatrists and psychologists are engaged in a bruising battle. Two professions normally focused on respecting emotions and listening are instead hurling barbs, accusing each other of caring more about money and turf than patients.

The issue: giving psychologists the authority to prescribe drugs.

I usually side on psychiatrists on this one. If you look at the history of this issue (which dates back to the late 1980's, it's as much about a turf war as it is about providing patients with...

Health lobby blocks mental health parity

Aided by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, insurance companies successfully have blocked legislation to make them provide equal coverage for mental and physical illnesses if their policies include both.

President Bush endorsed the concept two years ago. Today, supporters of the bill are willing to settle for a scaled-back version they hope Congress will pass in...

The funny odds of online dating

While the Internet has arguably increased the chances of meeting potential mates, it carries its own share of heartbreak and growing complaints about false profiles, bad behavior and ill-suited matches.

A number of online daters and Internet sites are taking matters into their own hands, critiquing these services and warning their peers of the pitfalls of Web...

ADHD remains overdiagnosed, overtreated

Since the advent of longer-acting ADHD drugs, the lines have decreased, but the number of children on medication continues to increase, says Haber, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at the Fort Worth Child Study Center. "As many as 15 percent of our children and...

Pregnancy more likely from single unprotected intercourse than believed

FYI: Nature's ambush: pregnancy more likely from single unprotected intercourse than believed. Doh!

The research team studied 68 sexually active women over three months (a total of 171 ovulatory cycles). The women kept diaries of days when intercourse occurred, and collected daily urine specimens. Researchers later used the samples to identify the fertile days in the cycles. Overall, intercourse was 24% more frequent during the fertile days than during the rest of the cycle.

Lead research Professor Allen Wilcox from the National Institute of...

Aching for the burn

Exercise addiction similar to drug and alcohol abuse

First came the bruises all over her legs, and the chronic "tired to the bone" feeling. Then her periods stopped coming. And she kept losing weight.

For two years, Katherine Kross's doctors puzzled over what could be wrong with this athletic, 39-year-old go-getter from Estes Park. Perhaps she had a tumor on her adrenal gland, they thought — until tests proved otherwise.

It was only when she was referred to a psychotherapist that Kross was...

Post-traumatic stress develops differently in kids

Parents advised to talk with their child about his or her thoughts and feelings

Doctors say better methods are needed to predict which children who experience a traumatic event such as a car accident will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a severe reaction to a traumatic event that involves re-experiencing the event through dreams, recollections or flashbacks. Sufferers also avoid reminders of the trauma and feel jumpy and emotionally numb.

Studies have shown a strong connection between experiencing these...