Archives for September, 2011
C.R. writes: Good news for women who love their daily grind—coffee is linked to a lower rate of depression. According to a Harvard study, women who drank four cups of coffee a day were 20 percent less likely to develop depression than women who rarely drank coffee. I think many of us intuitively knew that, although it's nice to hear it confirmed. The study was quite extensive—50,000 women had their coffee consumption recorded and tracked for a ten year period (taking into account the previous ten years or more of their coffee usage). I remember reading years ago that women in South America had lower incidences of depression and that it might be linked to their high coffee consumption. (But what if it was linked to all that sunshine, or the beaches, or other lifestyle factors?). And a small (too small to carry much weight, apparently) Finnish study from a few years back showed that men who drank coffee regularly had a lower rate of suicide.
A wife sued after she found that the Stanley Medical Research Institute purchased the brain of her husband who had passed away from a brain aneurism. Anne Mozingo, of York, Maine learned that the research institute not only removed his brain, but also his spleen, liver and pituitary gland. Ms. Mozingo says that she suffered severe emotional and mental distress and had terrible nightmares about her husband's body being mutilated. She said she gave permission for them to take some brain-tissue samples, but that's it. She is one of several people who sued the institute, which is run by the famous E. Fuller Torrey, MD, whose views about mental illness are considered controversial by some and who is a hero to others. The institute researches bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and often does brain research.
According to a new study, over 70 percent of Americans agree with this statement: God has a plan for me. An article by Huffington Post reporter Jaweed Kaleem, shares some of the results of a recent study about the religious practices, attitudes, beliefs and values of the American public. Baylor University, a Baptist school in Texas, chose 1714 American adults at random and asked them over 200 questions related to health and religiosity, the relationship between entrepreneurship/work and religion, religion and the American ethos, and religion and cultural issues, such as politics and same-sex marriage, and so on. There's a lot of interesting findings. To us, the most interesting revelations are about how the majority of American adults view the strength of God's interest and intervention in both the life of the individual and the nation. Frankly, we were a bit surprised. We wrongly assumed that a majority of Americans believed in God, but believed in a Descartian view of God. (We know there are American atheists, too, who don't believe at all).
We first got in touch with Harry Henshaw, a mental health and addiction counselor and musician, because C.R. is making some guided visualization MP3s and needed some relaxing background music. After searching quite a few weeks for music that was pleasant to listen to and effective but subtle enough not to dominate the spoken word, she found Enhanced Healing, Harry Henshaw’s web site. Originally, Harry was a philosophy student. After a part time job working in a half-way house for people with mental illness, his life plans underwent a dramatic change. He decided to commit to helping others. After he received his doctorate in Human Development and Counseling, he began working in a rehab program. As he began learning about drug and alcohol addiction, he developed his own insights into treatment and began to incorporate tools such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), hypnosis, and music in his work with clients.
Parental Alienation Syndrome is real. It devastates and destroys. And more and more children, grown-up children, and targeted parents are coming forward to speak about their pain. Parental Alienation Syndrome may be caused by one of the more damaging forms of child abuse you never heard of. And because PAS often involves the abuse of the legal system too, the courts are beginning sit up and take notice.
Studies like the recent one on SpongeBob SquarePants illustrate that TV definitely has an impact on the behavior and development of children. However, though most experts agree that content has an effect on children, others say the amount of time spent watching TV (and using other electronic media like computers and video games) also has an effect, no matter what the content is. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that parents should limit viewing/use to 2 hours a day. That still seems like an awful lot of time to us (14 hours a week), time that could be spent playing with friends, reading, and interacting with family members. What do you think?
Dear Therapy Soup Reader, A woman in recovery from PTSD found that learning about her mother's belated diagnosis of Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorders freed her from much of her life-long guilt and shame. We're sharing some of her thoughts she wrote down for you (with a bit of our editing). Have you had a bizarre history of an on-again, off-again relationship with your mother who makes it truly impossible for you to maintain any self-respect because she uses and maybe abuses you? Even if you're the kind of person who believes that both people in relationships need to take responsibility, it really may not be your fault. See if any of my questions resonate with you.
A study just published by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology and led by Hans Ulrich Wittchen, director of the institute of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at Germany's Dresden University, shows that 165 million Europeans have a mental illness! Can this number be correct? The comprehensive study took three years to complete—researchers looked at over 500 million people in 30 countries. The researches checked for 100 mental illnesses, such as anxiety, bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia and major neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. In this Reuters' article, Dr. Wittchen lamented the "treatment gap." He and other experts point out that a substantial number of Europeans with mental illness will simply not be getting state-of-the-art treatment and/or not receiving treatment until the problem has progressed.