Friday, November 28, 2008

All You Need is Help

11/27/08. Author Malcolm Gladwell says, in his new book "Outliers: The Story of Success," geniuses are both born and made. Gladwell writes, "People don't rise from nothing ... hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies...allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot."

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/bc1126lv.html

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gray Skies are Going to Clear Up

11/27/08. Put on a happy face ---- report about the first conference on happiness.

Gratitude is a key component of happiness.

What are you grateful for?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/27/us/27happy.html

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Child Trap

11/25/08. Author Joan Acocella illuminates the rise of overparenting.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2008/11/17/081117crbo_books_acocella

Well, A New Face For ADHD

11/25/08. Now is the best time in human history to get effective help for psychiatric disorders, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

With the proper treatment, children growing up with ADHD can reach high levels of success and joy in their families, at work, and with friends and colleagues. They can even win gold metals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/25/health/25well.html?_r=1

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Quotations

11/24/08

There are four chief obstacles to grasping truth, which hinder every man, however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to knowledge; namely, submission to faulty and unworthy authority, influence of custom, popular prejudice, and concealment of our ignorance accompanied by the ostentatious display of our knowledge.

--- Roger Bacon (1214 - 1294)


To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

--- William Blake (1757 - 1827)


Those who have become eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.

--- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Curing Diversity

11/24/08. We are learning about individual differences in diseases and how we must tailor our treatments to these differences.

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_4_curing_diversity.html

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Destructive Delusions

11/20/08. Theodore Dalrymple reviews Paul McHugh's book: "Try to Remember. Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind."

This is the story of how some psychiatrists and psychologists lost their way --- treating "victims" who were seized by the return of repressed memories of sexual abuse in childhood, and leveled false charges against family members, wrecking their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

I have met with fathers in psychotherapy who were psychologically devastated after being falsely accused of child sexual abuse by their daughters.

Of course, child sexual abuse occurs. The sexually abused females who I have worked with in psychotherapy never forgot the soul murdering effects of their nightmares of sexual abuse.

McHugh carefully follows these psychiatric misdirections. He describes the limits and follies of our psychiatric diagnostic system, defines and discusses hysteria, and traces the seminal work of psychiatrist Jerome Frank on the components of effective psychotherapy. Frank wrote a classic book on psychotherapy called "Persuasion and Healing."

McHugh is a clear, concise thinker with years of clinical experience and teaching, and with a razor sharp mind laced with honest reflections on treating the mentally ill and addressing the follies and misadventures of psychology and psychiatry.

Have you known someone who was falsely accused of sexual abuse based on recovered memories discovered during psychotherapy?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122714489697843157.html

More on McHugh from the Jerusalem Post:

http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1225910048733&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Magic and the Brain: How Magicians "Trick" the Mind

11/18/08. In this article from Scientific American, the authors discuss how knowledge of magic tricks informs us about how the brain works.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=magic-and-the-brain&print=true

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Quotations

11/17/08.

Capitalism is in trouble because of its belief that everyone can take care of himself. It does not know how to help those who cannot help themselves. On the other hand, socialism is in trouble because it believes that no one can take care of himself.

--- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)


It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.

--- Adam Smith (1723 - 1790)


We are all strong enough to bear the misfortunes of others.

--- Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)

Love in the Time of Darwinism

11/17/08. Author Kay S. Hymowitz applies Darwin's theory to male - female relationships. We are all animals: men are tough, cool, and promiscuous; women are manipulative, calculating, and driven by self-interest.

True?

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_4_darwinist_dating.html

Friday, November 14, 2008

Its All in Your Head

11/14/08. Psychiatrist Sally Satel tells us that many doctors routinely prescribe placebos to their patients. To give or not to give placebos? --- Is that a fair question?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122662161651026511.html

Slouching Toward Fanaticism

11/14/08. Physician Theodore Dalrymple reviews "Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure."

False theories of causation abound in autism and other disorders of the mind - not to mention a myriad of murky theories associated with the etiology of some physical ailments. These false theories bring on a host of wacky, dangerous, and costly treatments in the hope of a cure.

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/bc1114td.html

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Novel Theory of Mental Disorders

11/10/08. Bernard Crespi, a biologist, and Christopher Badcock, a sociologist, have proposed an intriguing theory about how the contributions of parents' genetics may tilt their child's psychiatric disorder in one direction or another. A push, they say, to the father's genetics may predispose child disorders along the autistic spectrum. Genes from the mother may push the child's psychiatric disorder along the psychotic spectrum.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/health/research/11brain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Monday Quotations

11/10/08.

Life is short,
The art long,
The occasion instant,
Experiment perilous,
Decision difficult.

--- Hippocrates (460 BC - 370 BC)


Man, an animal that makes bargains.

--- Adam Smith (1723 - 1790)


Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.

--- Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

The Search for the Roots of Psychopathy

11/10/08. Many of us have come in contact with psychopaths: through business deals, through social contacts, through marriage, and by way of reading true crime books by such masters as Ann Rule.

In this article, John Seabrook traces the history of psychopathy and features the clinical observations and research of psychologists such as Robert Hare, who have devoted their lives to the study of these often dangerous and evil souls.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/10/081110fa_fact_seabrook

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton R.I.P.

11/6/08. Author Michael Crichton dies at age 66 years. A Harvard trained medical doctor, Crichton wrote thoughtful and entertaining books, often turned into movies such as Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/books/06crichton.html?pagewanted=all

Crichton's wisdom:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122611061820610563.html

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Quotations

11/3/08.

...hope takes work. No matter how negative the situation, you seek the positive elements and build on them...Hope is especially important when there is nothing you can do...In American culture, there is a powerful equation that says to lose control is to lose everything. But the most serious problems --- a terrible accident, a major disease --- are those in which we are objectively helpless. Then the best way to cope is to find out how to live with it. It's fine to keep fighting when you can change the situation. But when you can't change the facts, accept them. That's the key to health --- and to wisdom

--- Slomo Breznitz (1936 - )


I cannot give any scientist of any age better advice than this: the intensity of a conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing over whether it is true or not.

--- Sir Peter Medawar (1915 - 1987)


Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you.

--- Charlie Parker (1920 - 1955)