Thursday, November 20, 2014

Please Stop Helping Us

11/20/14. Economist Thomas Sowell reminds us that facts are stubborn things. You are entitled to your opinions but not your facts.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/11/18/a_legacy_of_liberalism_124691.html

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Gay Gene?

Jonathan Gruber

11/17/14. Now we know what this high paid consultant to ObamaCare, M.I.T. economist thinks about the American people. Can the insulation get any thicker around academics?




http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-thanks-to-jonathan-gruber-for-revealing-obamacare-deception/2014/11/17/356514b2-6e72-11e4-893f-86bd390a3340_story.html

How to Fix New York's Mental Health System

11/17/14. When psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey writes, politicians should read, talk to each other, and do things to improve our mental health system.




http://www.city-journal.org/2014/24_4_new-york-mental-health-system.html

Building Resilience

11/17/14. Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman traces the roots of learned helplessness, to resilience to optimism. All of us face failures and disappointments --- to learn how to triumph over trauma is essential.


https://hbr.org/2011/04/building-resilience

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D.

11/4/14.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/opinion/sunday/a-natural-fix-for-adhd.html?ref=opinion&_r=0




Dr. Richard A. Friedman offers interesting ideas about ADHD, but none of these ideas are new or hold-up to close examination.

Dr. Friedman tells us that "people with ADHD are actually hard-wired for novelty - seeking --- a trait that had, until relatively recently, a distinct evolutionary advantage."  This makes sense as far as it goes.

And it doesn't go that far.  That people with extremes on personality traits are hard-wired is not a new finding. In fact, all personality traits are hard-wired - that is, have about a 50%  contribution from genetics.

That we should put children, adolescents, and adults in environments that recognize their need for novelty-seeking makes sense --- a utopian sense, given the normal demands on adults in a civilized society. Those people diagnosed with ADHD who benefit from seeking out more stimulating settings should be helped to so --- but seeking these settings has limits. Those who recognize these limits make the best adjustments.

No doubt some adults have more freedom to seek out these more stimulating settings than do children and adolescents. And, yes, longitudinal studies have long found that some people outgrow ADHD.

Yet the search for novelty is one way to construe the symptoms of ADHD. Many people who fit this diagnosis have chronic and pervasive problems with distractibility, restlessness, and self-control which significantly disrupts their everyday life --- sometimes leading to depression, harshly negative self-esteem and self-doubts, anxieties, multiples marriages, loss of jobs, substance abuse, and suicide. These people benefit from medication and the healing of psychological therapy. To call this a search for novelty is a stretch of a sometimes useful concept.

Dr. Friedman's article reminds me of the last sentence of Somerset Maugham's book, "The Summing Up," that he wrote at age 69 years, telling us about his wide-range of life experiences and the many philosophies he has studied.

Maugham writes, "The beauty of life is nothing but this, that each should act in conformity with his nature  and his business." True for those with ADHD ---- and everybody else.

For those lucky enough to match their nature and business --- they many not need medication for ADHD. But for the rest --- they need all the help they can get.


Steven J. Ceresnie, Ph.D.






Psychologist
Plymouth, MI