Saturday, September 22, 2012

"The Great Partnership." A Guide for the Perplexed

9/22/12. The Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Jonathan Sacks, examines the relationships between science, religion, and the search for meaning.

Why IQ Scores are Rising

How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us

9/22/12. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.

In Plain View. How Child Molesters Get Away With It.

9/22/12. Malcom Gladwell:

"A 2001 book, “Identifying Child Molesters,” the psychologist Carla van Dam tells the story of a young Canadian elementary-school teacher she calls Jeffrey Clay. Clay taught physical education. He was well liked by his students, and often he asked boys in his class to stay after school, to do homework and help him with chores. One day, just before winter break, three of the boys made a confession to their parents. Mr. Clay had touched them under their pants.

The parents went to the principal. He confronted Clay, who denied everything. The principal knew Clay and was convinced by him. In his mind, what it boiled down to, van Dam writes, “is some wild imaginations and the three boys being really close.”

The parents were at a loss. Mr. Clay was beloved. He had started a popular gym club at the school. He was married and was a role model to the boys. He would come to their after-school games. Could he really have abused them? Perhaps he was just overly physical in the way that young men often are. He had a habit, for example, of grabbing boys in the hallway and pulling them toward him, placing his arms over their shoulders and chest. At the gym club, he would pick boys up and turn them upside down, holding them by the legs. Lots of people—especially gym teachers—like to engage in a little horseplay with young boys. It wasn’t until the allegations about Clay emerged that it occurred to anyone to wonder whether he might have been trying to look down the boys’ shorts..."


Women with ADHD -- Gender Bias with Serious Psychiatric Consequences


Psychologist Stephen Hinshaw published a scientific study of woman growing with ADHD. The results may surprise you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Muslims, Mormons, and Liberals


Bret Stephens:

"...The "Book of Mormon"—a performance of which Hillary Clinton attended last year, without registering a complaint—comes to mind as the administration falls over itself denouncing "Innocence of Muslims." This is a film that may or may not exist; whose makers are likely not who they say they are; whose actors claim to have known neither the plot nor purpose of the film; and which has never been seen by any member of the public except as a video clip on the Internet.

No matter. The film, the administration says, is "hateful and offensive" (Susan Rice), "reprehensible and disgusting" (Jay Carney) and, in a twist, "disgusting and reprehensible" (Hillary Clinton). Mr. Carney, the White House spokesman, also lays sole blame on the film for inciting the riots that have swept the Muslim world and claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Libya..."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Psychiatrist Looks at Terrorism


Paul McHugh, M.D.:

"IN THE WAKE of September 11, what can a psychiatrist contribute to America's defense? Nothing, of course, to defend the nation from bombs, but something perhaps to defend it against confusion--and here America certainly needs help.

At the University of Pennsylvania, the provost called several neuroscientists together to consider whether the terrorists should be viewed as bad or mad: evildoers or sufferers from an exculpating mental disease. The group reached no conclusion, but one participant thought "brain images" might give the answer.

Editorialists argued about whether the atrocities should be considered acts of war or crimes. The blame-America-first group wanted the events called crimes and proposed prosecutions at the Hague. Some even opposed military retaliation, concerned that it would kill innocent people, produce martyrs, and generate recruits to the terrorist cause, along with endless war.

One distinguished Boston psychiatrist, speaking to anchorman Peter Jennings on ABC, explained the emotional distress of Americans as castration anxiety provoked by seeing the destruction of these two "phallic symbols" on the tip of Manhattan and suggested more psychoanalytic insight for us all.."

The Brass Standard


If President Obama is re-elected will he complain about the economic mess he was left with?

In this article Thomas Sowell recounts history of the economy many want to go back to ---- President Clinton's 1990's when there was a housing boom, banks were coerced to lower  qualifications to obtain a mortgage, and lots of people stopped making their house payments.

The Benefits of Psychotherapy


Sam Goldstein, Ph.D.:

"At some point in our cultural history, the relationship of one person helping another evolved to a point at which one person was officially designated as a helper. Helpers developed particular expertise, whether it be in fixing a broken wagon wheel, tracking game, healing illness, offering spiritual or emotional guidance. In the latter case the mental health helper was likely an individual particularly blessed or gifted in his or her ability to assist others through trying times. Reliable research demonstrates that psychotherapy, or the guidance offered by mental health professionals, is neither unproven nor a luxury, but in fact a viable, empirically supported intervention..."

Friday, September 14, 2012

How Childhood Neglect Stunts the Brain

9/14/12. While doing my dissertation on child abuse,  I witnessed the horrible affects of violence on infants and children, but I was startled to learn of the much more prevalent condition of childhood neglect.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dr. Thomas Szasz RIP

9/12/12. Anti-psychiatrist, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz was the author of the provocative "Myth of Mental Illness," a libertarian manifesto for the mentally ill.

Someone once said about Dr. Szasz, "If mental illness is a myth, then it is a myth with a genetic component."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Football's Head Games: The Concussion Question


Joseph Epstein:

"A snake has been let loose in the autumn Saturday and Sunday afternoon Edens of those couch potatoes among us who love to watch football.
I heard Charles Barkley, interviewed at Wimbledon, remark that now that the word is out about the frequency of concussions in football more young black athletes will begin playing tennis, golf, and other sports where the life-shortening element isn’t so serious. Is this, I wonder, true? I have no notion, though, contra Sir Charles, the number of African Americans currently playing major league baseball, last I had heard, had dropped from 33 percent to roughly 8 percent.
The concussion question reminds me that boxing—one of the great sports of my boyhood in the 1940s and early ’50s—is, if my interest in it is any measure, moribund. Every so often, channel surfing on HBO or on one of the ESPN channels, I come across a prize fight and pause. The spectacle on view is generally two Hispanic-surnamed guys, heavily tattooed, in garish shorts, flailing away at each other under sad and swollen faces. Truth is, I feel a little unclean watching it; it feels, more precisely, like viewing pornography, something one shouldn’t be doing..."

The Economics of Providing Psychotherapy


Susan G. Lazar, M.D.:
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"Mental illness is the leading cause of global disability, accounting for one-third of disability worldwide, according to 2008 data from the World Health Organization. In the United States, costs of mental illness are 7 percent of total health care expenditures, with the indirect costs substantially higher at 2 percent of U.S. GDP. Over a lifetime, 50 percent of the population will suffer from at least one psychiatric disorder, and each year, nearly 30 percent of adults have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Of patients treated, only 32.7 percent receive minimally adequate treatment, the greatest likelihood of receiving it being highest in the mental health service sector and lowest in the general medical sector, which treats the majority of psychiatric patients. Most U.S. psychiatric patients remain untreated or poorly treated..."