Psychology, Technology

Studying Science

Sea Kelp at Windansea

Sea Kelp at Windansea

I am interested in a few things that are in my local micro-environment:

  1. uses for sea kelp washed ashore, and scientific research on enviro benefits for manipulation or recycling
  2. ditto for the brown stuff that is sort of like sea mulch (can I use it as mulch in my garden?)
  3. what to do with the sandbox sand on my patio, illegal to put on beach? affect? effect?
  4. the benefits of THC slow extraction from fat cells
  5. psychoactive/metaphysical space, disassociation, symbolic modeling and therapy
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Psychology, Religion

Wifely Subjection—Mental Health Issues in Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Women

Wifely Subjection: Mental Health Issues in Jehovah’s Witness Women

Kaynor J. Weishaupt, M.S., M.F.C.C.
San Rafael, California
Michael D. Stensland
Athens, Ohio

Abstract

The Watchtower Society, commonly referred to as Jehovah’s Witnesses, exerts a great deal of control over the everyday life of its members. Women, in particular, suffer from psychological stresses in this high-control environment, as it is also a culture where patriarchal attitudes limit women’s personal power and predominate in their relationships with men. A group of women responded to a questionnaire about their experiences during membership in the Watchtower Society and after leaving. The results indicate that while in the Watchtower Society, women experience a higher degree of mental health problems than they do after they leave the group. They also report experiencing more egalitarian attitudes in their relationships with men after exiting the group.

Little research has been done focusing on the experience of women in “high-control” or cultic groups, despite the fact that women make up a large proportion of the membership of such groups. The type of group referred to here as high-control is defined by the degree of control and restriction the group exercises over the everyday life of its membership. Such a group can be focused on religion, politics, militarism, psychotherapy, meditation, commercialism, or simply a “special” leader (Tobias & Lalich, 1994). A high-control group differs from other groups in that individual behavior is excessively limited by rules and regulations, access to information is restricted or managed (especially information critical of the group), pressure is high to conform in thought and behavior to group norms, and members must put the group’s interests before their own. The leadership in this type of group is absolute and considered infallible; outsiders are generally viewed as dangerous or evil; and members leaving the group are generally punished or shunned. While all members of such groups pay a psychological price (as well as reap certain psychological dividends, such as a sense of belonging and purpose), women often face particular difficulties in groups that are patriarchally based.

This article explores the relationship between women and the high-control social climate of the Watchtower Society (WTS), commonly referred to as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The article reviews literature bearing on the Watchtower Society’s control practices and patriarchal organizational structure, analyzes psychological implications of WTS’s social climate, and reports on the results of a survey of 20 female former members of the Watchtower Society. The survey explored three areas: (1) the degree of patriarchal versus egalitarian attitudes subjects felt existed while they were members of WTS compared to what they experienced after having left the group, (2) subjects’ perceived psychological distress while in the group and after exiting, and (3) subjects’ perceptions of the degree to which the group controlled everyday life and isolated members from outsiders. The latter area included a comparison group of women from other religious backgrounds.

The Watchtower Society as a High-Control Group
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Cannabis, Culture, Neuroscience

Teenage girl suffered strokes, brain damage after smoking synthetic marijuana

Real marijuana has never killed anyone.

Spice is a synthetic cannaboid that is legal in some U.S. states. It is commonly used as a replacement drug for marijuana.

A teenage girl from Texas suffered from multiple strokes after smoking synthetic marijuana – leaving her brain damaged, blind and paralyzed, the Independent reported. Continue reading

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Neuroscience

Molly on the Hyperthymic Temperament

The Hyperthymic Temperament

Posted on 18 December, 2011, Read more at Molly.com…

The Thymus Gland is located by the breastbone in the nook between our throat and shoulders. A small gland, at risk as our sensitive neck and spine adjust to the ever-shifting weight of our skulls.

The Thymus, throughout history, has been a bit mysterious. It is believed to be a part of human/primate immunity and behavioral posturing.

Imagine male Gorillas pounding their chests. It’s thought that gorillas don’t only posture, but stimulate a specific biological response – to excite or to calm – by pounding upon their prominent Thymus glands.

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Angela Glass SxSW 2009 (Photo Credit @JayZombie)
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

Hyperthymia != Bipolar

It was the use and consequential paradoxical effects of Clonazepam—suffering from drug induced episodes of hypomania—which lead to the discovery that I am what they call “a hyperthymic temperament”.

While it is true that patients who experience hypomania as a side effect of Clonazepam may prove to have a form of bipolar disorder that has previously gone unrecognized, drug-induced hypomania is not invariably indicative of bipolar affective disorders.

It’s frustrating because suddenly I’m facing the woes I wrote about in college regarding labeling mental illness, and the impact of the use of labels, such as “creative” or “over-achiever”.

Label it or Leave it?

Happy Hyperthymia and Hyper Hypomania

Hyper Hypomania vs. Happy Hyperthymia

Some people would include in the Bipolar Disorder category a consistently elevated mood called hyperthymia. Being constantly upbeat and always enthusiastic is not unheard of, but it is not the norm in the general population. It is more common to experience a fairly steady, neither-too-high-nor-too-low mood characterized by some contentment, some discontentment, some happiness, and some sadness — usually associated with external events such as receiving good news, problems with personal relationships, etc.

Does a long-lasting, exuberant mood that causes no problem need to be placed on the spectrum of mood disorders? In a clinical sense, no. If it poses no threat to anyone’s health, it is not a concern for psychiatrists. Cataloging and understanding a mental state like this, however, may help us better understand the full spectrum of emotional states related to mood disorders and provide clues about what can go wrong when moods become extreme.

Happy Hyperthymia

Some people always seem to be upbeat and energetic, trying new things and initiating new projects. This trait, which is sometimes called hyperthymia, is not unlike being on a “permanent high.” Some people argue that hyperthymia is a type of mood disorder that results in high activity and inflated sense of self-esteem — something like living with constant hypomania but with the crucial difference that it is not as clearly episodic. Instead, it seems to last and is without any associated depression.

While observations of many people indicate some of them have this mood trait, hyperthymic disorder is not recognized as a mood disorder by either of the two mainstream authorities, the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. It appears in neither of their diagnostic manuals, the DSM IV and the ICD-10.

On the surface, people with hyperthymia seem optimistic and full of energy. They radiate self-confidence and self-reliance; they seem to believe they can do whatever needs to be done. They thrive on new experiences that promise variety, intrigue, and novelty. Usually, they have a great many personal interests, as well as plans for the future. They also can be articulate and witty.

It might be most accurate to think of hyperthymia as a temperament or personality trait rather than as a marker of a mental disorder. Of course, if this trait causes problems, then it becomes a legitimate subject for psychological or psychiatric care.

In fact, criticism of mainstream psychiatry is often directed at its alleged predisposition to label people with problems that don’t exist. The inclusion of homosexuality in earlier editions of the DSM IV — an error since corrected — is a frequently cited example. The reality is if someone is not unhappy, suffering, or a threat to themselves or others, psychiatrists have no reason to intervene. They are busy enough treating people with serious mental problems. It is only when complaints or serious problems appear that the labels of the DSM IV are applied as part of the process for providing effective treatment. A hyperthymic personality can be satisfying, productive, and creative. But if for some individuals it is a manifestation of a part of a spectrum of mood disorders, it could be problematic. For example, some people later diagnosed with bipolar disorder first seek help with depression after they have experienced a set-back in their lives. A close look back over their lives may reveal that they have been hyperthymic. Rather than having easily recognizable mood swings, these people may have been experiencing years of constant emotional elevation and enthusiasm along with a long history of uncompleted endeavors.

Also, the lack of a healthy response to the full range of life experience might cause problems for some people who always seem to have elevated spirits. A full, healthy life for most people includes periods of elation and introspection, action and reflection. If only one pole of our emotional lives is present, we may miss the benefits of the counterbalancing half of our responses to events. Consequently, we may lack understanding and empathy in the way we interact with people and respond to events in our lives.

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Ancestry, Neuroscience

Born to Be Happy, Through a Twist of Human Hard Wire

“I know, you’re bi-polar.”

“Old man, look at my life, I’m a lot like you were.”

Born to Be Happy, Through a Twist of Human Hard Wire

By RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D.

In the course of the last year, the woman lost her husband to cancer and then her job. But she did not come to my office as a patient; she sought advice about her teenage son who was having trouble dealing with his father’s death.

Despite crushing loss and stress, she was not at all depressed – sad, yes, but still upbeat. I found myself stunned by her resilience. What accounted for her ability to weather such sorrow with buoyant optimism? So I asked her directly.

“All my life,” she recalled recently, “I’ve been happy for no good reason. It’s just my nature, I guess.”

But it was more than that. She was a happy extrovert, full of energy and enthusiasm who was indefatigably sociable. And she could get by with five or six hours of sleep each night.

Like this woman, a journalist I know realized when she was a teenager that she was different from others. “It’s actually kind of embarrassing to be so cheerful and happy all the time,” she said. “When I was in high school I read the Robert Browning poem `My Last Duchess.’ In it, the narrator said he killed his wife, the duchess, because, `she had a heart – how shall I say, too soon made glad?’ And I thought, uh-oh, that’s me.”

These two women were lucky to be born with a joyous temperament, which in its most extreme forms is called hyperthymia. Cheerful despite life’s misfortunes, energetic and productive, they are often the envy of all who know them because they don’t even have to work at it.

In a sense, they are the psychiatric mirror image of people who suffer from a chronic, often lifelong, mild depression called dysthymia, which affects about 3 percent of American adults. Always down, dysthymics experience little pleasure and battle through life with a dreary pessimism. Despite whatever fortune comes their way, they remain glum.

But hyperthymia certainly doesn’t look like an illness; there appears to be no disadvantage to being a euphoric extrovert, except, perhaps, for inspiring an occasional homicidal impulse from jealous friends or peers. But little is actually known about people with hyperthymia for the simple reason that they don’t see psychiatrists complaining that they are happy.

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Neuroscience

My Momma: Arlene Jean Schaadt Baxley

I was talking with my momma this morning about orthomolecular medicine, and all the work she’s done to help people achieve better health over the years. Most often when I’m thinking about my momma in this regard, I think of how it is that she’s responsible for bringing life to families struggling to have children. What more beautiful work can there be as a humanitarian than to care for the quality of human life, and it’s propagation through it’s generations of families? Continue reading

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Neuroscience, Psychology

A First Rate Madness

Everyone Needs Therapy

Sometimes in this business you are called upon to treat a madman, or a madwoman, someone seemingly psychotic, talking way over your head, out there, but still oriented times three (person, place, time).   You sense genius. You feel that this person is smarter than you are, or at least as smart.

You recognize, right away, undeniable talent and intellect. He is a song-writer, a one-hit wonder. She is an artist. He is a poet; she directs a television show. He is a computer programmer; she is a doctor. And you’re humble. You go home and think, why in the world see me?

But you know why.  The patient needs your particular genius, because his madness is getting in the way. Others are complaining, complaining so loudly, you can hear them and they’re not in the room, not even in the building.  You suspect mental illness.

And it usually is.  Nassir Ghaemi, author of A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, is of the opinion that it isn’t always so bad.  Indeed, some creative people have a hyperthymic temperament.  They rarely need therapy, not unless no one else will listen to them.  It is not a disorder.

— therapydoc is at gmaildotcom
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Neuroscience, Psychology

Obama too Sane to be Kennedy

Sky Dancers: Obama too Sane to be Kennedy

“Many people who experience traumas [like terrorism or war] don’t develop PTSD or other illnesses. So the question is, what keeps those people from getting sick? What creates resilience?

The psychological research suggests that personality is a major factor.

Resilience seems to be associated with mild manic symptoms, but you can’t develop resilience unless you’ve already experienced trauma.

Many of these leaders faced adversity in their childhood and adulthood, and that seemed to make them better able to handle crises. It’s like a vaccine.

You get exposed to a little bit of a bacteria then you can handle major infections and I think trauma and resilience and hyperthymic personality seem to follow a similar path.”

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Neuroscience, Psychology

Being Sane in Insane Places

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”—J. Krishnamurti

In July 2011, I spent a total of nine days in the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital. Being sane in an insane place is much harder than you might think, but then again maybe you don’t think I’m sane.*

I know how the caged bird sings, she sings with resonation found only on the super slick floors that only an insane asylum can afford where she sings “Crazy“.

“How do we know precisely what constitutes “normality” or mental illness? Conventional wisdom suggests that specially trained professionals have the ability to make reasonably accurate diagnoses. What is—or is not—“normal” may have much to do with the labels that are applied to people in particular settings.”

The Rosenhan Experiment

The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan in 1973. It was published in the journal Science under the title “On Being Sane in Insane Places.” Rosenhan DL (January 1973). The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis. Lauren Slater later revisits the experiment and publishes her findings in Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century (2004).

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Neuroscience, Technology

If we ask the right questions, maybe we can come up with the right answers.

Hagop Akiskal MD of UCSD, favors the term, “hyperthymic,” a temperament opposite to “depressive.” Dr Akiskal views temperament as coexisting on the same spectrum with illness, ranging from advantageous to pathological.

The DSM views hypomania as an “episode” that is part of bipolar disorder, but, unlike depression, it is not considered an illness in its own right. People may act a bit strange when hypomanic, but they tend to be able to hold onto their jobs and personal relationships. Indeed, when hypomanic our productivity and creativity and sociability tend to make us the envy of the rest of the world.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

my family: persistently more happy and optimistic than normal.

Hyperthymic Personality Disorder – General Practice Notebook

Individuals with a hyperthymic personality disorders are persistently more happy and optimistic than normal.

They have marked enthusiasm for life but on the other hand tend to be rash and show poor judgement.

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link, Neuroscience

Hyperthymic Personality

Link: Hyperthymic Personality

Now, the better question would be, what if there is no depression? Can people just have mild mania? And the answer to that is at one level it appears that God or nature or Darwin or whoever evolved our brains or created our brains did it in such a way that it doesn’t seem that episodic, mild mania can happen by itself. It has not really been described that people can have intermittent hypomania and nothing else, no depression. It can happen, but it’s probably rare. Just having manic episodes without depressive episodes is reported in maybe 5 to 10 percent of bipolar patients, and we don’t really know if just having hypomanic episodes can happen.

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Neuroscience

How to Become A Great Finisher — Psychology Today

Link: How to Become A Great Finisher | Psychology Today

When we focus on progress made, we’re also more likely to try to achieve a sense of “balance” by making progress on other important goals.   This is classic Good Starter behavior – lots of pots on the stove, but nothing is ever ready to eat.

If, instead, we focus on how far we have left to go (to-go thinking), motivation is not only sustained, it’s heightened.   Fundamentally, this has to do with the way our brains are wired.  We are tuned in (below our awareness) to the presence of a discrepancy  between where we are now and where we want to be.   When your brain detects a discrepancy, it reacts by throwing resources at it:  attention, effort, deeper processing of information, and willpower.

In fact, it’s the discrepancy that signals that an action is needed – to-date thinking masks that signal.   You might feel good about the ground you’ve covered, but you probably won’t cover much more.

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Health

Clonazepam

Benzodiazepines such as Clonazepam have a fast onset of action and high effectiveness rate and low toxicity in overdose but have drawbacks due to adverse reactions including paradoxical effects, drowsiness, and cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairments can persist for at least 6 months after withdrawal of clonazepam; it is unclear whether full recovery of memory functions occurs.

Clonazepam is primarily prescribed for epilepsy, but is also prescribed for panic and anxiety, which are indication of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

How it Works

In general, Clonazepam produces mild sedation by depressing activity in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). In particular, clonazepam appears to enhance the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a natural chemical that inhibits the firing of neurons and dampens the transmission of nerve signals, thus decreasing nervous excitation.

[blockquote align=”right”]Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) is designed to improve neurocognitive abilities such as attention, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning, and executive functioning which leads to improved social functioning. (See Clonazepam long term side effects on cognition.)[/blockquote]

Side Effects

Serious

Difficulty concentrating, outbursts of anger, other behavior problems, depression, hallucinations, low blood pressure (causing faintness or confusion), memory impairment, muscle weakness, skin rash or itching, sore throat, fever and chills, sores or ulcers in throat or mouth, unusual bruising or bleeding, extreme fatigue, yellowish tinge to eyes or skin.

Common

Drowsiness, loss of coordination, unsteady gait, dizziness, lightheadedness, slurred speech.

Less Common

Change in sexual desire or ability, constipation, false sense of well-being, nausea and vomiting, urinary problems, unusual fatigue.

Possible Interactions

Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals

Hawthorn may react antagonistically to clonazepam. Valerian and Kava Kava may interact additively (drowsiness): may exacerbate central nervous system depression (avoid this combination). Kola nut, Siberian ginseng, mate, and ma huang may blunt the benefits of this medicine. While St. John’s Wort is indicated for anxiety, it is also thought to increase (induce) cytochrome P450 enzymes and will tend to blunt clonazepam effectiveness.

Alcohol

Alcohol may increase the depressant effects of this medicament on the brain. It is advisable to avoid alcohol completely throughout the day and night-if it is necessary to drive or to engage in any hazardous activity.

Marijuana

Increased sedation and significant impairment of intellectual and physical performance.

Discontinuation

Do not stop clonazepam suddenly if it was controlling any type of seizure, or if it was taken for more than 4 weeks. Dosing should be slowly decreased (tapered) to prevent a withdrawal syndrome.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Health

Clonazepam

We were launching Microsoft Expression, and it was my job to bring together a group of people to be known as Microsoft User Experience Evangelists. I also worked with my friends to connect influencers with the right people inside Microsoft to get all kinds of good gooey goodness flowing in the community. I was so proud to work with Dave Shea, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, Tantek Çelik, Andy Clarke, Jeremy Keith, and Lynda Weinman (whom I’d met previously, and adored)—and then there’s Joe Clark—people who I had “grown up with” on the Internet: they were my idols, soon they were my friends… And then there were the legendary technology & design focused agencies AvenueA/RazorFish, Adaptive Path, Blue Flavor, IDEO, FrogDesign, Zaaz, Y&R (the rest of my Mad Men era I’d already taken care with Creative Services at the Bank)… I’m sure I’m forgetting people (and companies), it was a whirlwind and my memory has never been all that great,—wow—just talking about that year exhausts me.

San Francisco January 18, 2007

January 18, 2007

San Francisco. Snowing trying to catch a cab outside the Dogpatch Studios. Destination: The Clift Hotel to meet @t and @meyerweb.

I was kind of tired of not being tired, I was a little tired of not sleeping. I just wanted to chill out, I’d felt like I’d been running on adrenaline non-stop for the good portion of a year. I watched Tantek nod off, sitting next to me, while Eric and I caught up. Yes, I was working full time learning a new job as a product manager (I wanted to apply design to a different role, I’d been doing design for 10 years and just finished the user experience strategy for another entire Microsoft product lifecycle… time for a change!) going to school carrying more than a full course load  by cutting out of work early. Maybe doing it all wasn’t all I wanted to do right now. Little did I know I’d soon be the one falling asleep, only for me it was at the Playboy party as SxSW tucked away in a corner of the VIP room, a true disco nap, if I’ve ever had one!

January 25, 2007

Chicago. I don’t really remember anything about being here besides dinner. But I don’t remember eating, not even sure I was there. I just remember that steak house I wanted to go to. I think I showed up after everyone was done. Oh! and there was some fantastic pizza. Who ever’s is the most legendary deep dish Chicago style pizza—we ordered from there. I remember that was yummy!

From 2006 to 2007, there was Mix ’06, Microsoft Expression Sessions, designertopia, ReMix, Web Directions North, SxSW, along with the various ones I can’t quite remember, like dropping in on BarCamp—was it? with Tantek—and meeting Chris Messina, and Jina Bolton for the time—the conversations we all had.

These were the women who really got it done—Miwa and Tiffany, the dyna-duo behind Microsoft Expression.

Miwa & Tiffany, the dyna-duo behind Microsoft Expression

January 30th Corrina & Angela NYC

January 30th

New York. Corrina came to meet me in New York City, or maybe she was there for the Vista / Office launch? I can’t recall. I remember being up all night, coming back to grab my bag and catching a cab straight to the airport in the dark, leaving both her—and my running shoes!—behind in the dark. The hotel was lovely and mailed my shoes home for me, where they would be waiting for me on return. Truth be told, I wasn’t using them anyway.

February 1st

073

London. I was there for my European conference for the Microsoft Expression Launch : designertopia.

Angela & Pete at Web Directions North

February 8th

Vancouver, Canada. Web Directions North.

I remember I was only “home” for a few hours in Seattle for right around the middle of the Super Bowl, but even that was actually spent over at Flores’ Super Bowl party…

DSC_1929

So I gave up my hippy-natural-Momma ideals, and went in to see my doctor (who I came to adore) and she prescribed me Clonazepam for my jet lag/insomnia, and said that it would also calm me down. She warned me that they were highly addictive and were more for “symptom” use, but if it worked then we’d see what she could do long term. I also told her about the blue light therapy device, as all the travel had caught up with me—Zürich, London, Reading, Vancouver, Whistler, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York… did I forget any?—and the light seemed to work; it’d put me back on schedule, no matter what time zone I was in.

275

…to be continued.

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Health

Hypomanic Episode

296.40 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Hypomanic

When an individual experiences a discrete episode of persistent and pervasive emotional hypomania, this term may be applied.
  1. A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the usual non depressed mood.
  2. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:
    1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
    3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
    4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
    5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
    6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
    7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)
  3. The episode is associated with an unequivocal change in functioning that is uncharacteristic of the person when not symptomatic.
  4. The disturbance in mood and the change in functioning are observable by others.
  5. The episode is not severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning, or to necessitate hospitalization, and there are no psychotic features.
  6. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

Note: Hypomanic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapyshould not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder.

Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition. Copyright 1994 American Psychiatric Association

 

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Psychology

Truth or Psychology?

I’ve always wondered, “Am I really first, or is this just using psychology to make me push the button”?

Alfred App features this fabulous button…

…and I have to tell you, the risk was worth the reward! Hells yeah, I pushed it!

Then there is arguably the world’s button foremost “is it for real, or is it just psychology” button, the LOST countdown button.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP1pzm9GGQo&NR=1;rel=0

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Culture, Religion

Feminism: Accessible and Actionable

“Feminism is anti-sexism.” — bell hooks

Feminism is a dirty word, or at least that’s what you’d believe from the reactions you get from people if you mention it. It conjures up images of radical women or lesbians with unshaved legs and armpits rallying outside abortion clinics, fighting domestic violence and rape, or gender equality. It is an image of a woman who you can’t relate to, she is one that you don’t know what to do with, and she is one whom you shy away from. Continue reading

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Culture

Seductive Habits: Building Reality

“White privilege is best understood as a constellation of psychical and somatic habits formed through transaction with a racist world. As such, it often functions as unconscious: seemingly invisible, even nonexistent, and actively resisting conscious efforts to know this.” In Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege, Sullivan is trying to get us to think about and understand how white privilege can be unconscious when it is transactional because of the means by which that unconsciousness is formed through seduction by transference of enigmatic (meaning unknown to or hidden from both sender and receiver) messages from parent to child. Continue reading

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Culture

Sociology of Family: Toys R Us—Engendering Children Are Us.

When you walk into a Toys R Us store you can quickly see how toy stores teach gender through messages sent as an agent of socialization for children. The boy’s section of toys is separate and distinctive from that of the girl’s toys. Model cars, trucks, trains, building blocks, sporting goods and action figures stock the rows of boy’s toys and are brilliant and bold in their highly saturated colors of blue, red, and green. Meanwhile, Barbie’s, dress up dolls, house play sets, hair salon setups, stuffed animals and art & crafts supplies are flirty in pink, purple and passive pastel hues that cleanly segregate out the girl’s section. Continue reading

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Health

The DSMIV: Labeling Mental Illness

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMIV) is not used to categorize or label people, but rather conditions or disorders that people have. If I said my friend Barbara is breast cancer, you would laugh at me, right? No, silly, you would say, Barbara has breast cancer. Well the same is for another friend. She isn’t a manic-depressive, she has manic depression. While it maybe true that labels may burden a patient with the stigma surrounding it, finally having something concrete to learn about, to understand, to fight against and to conquer can be such a relief. Labels provide patients with a means of communicating about what is going on with their body or psyche with others. It helps them identify and to find support. Continue reading

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Culture

Spanking Children

I believe spanking should be a last resort in disciplining a child, but not out of the question. I agree with Dr. John Rosemond, To Spank or Not to Spank: A Parents’ Handbook, that are more effective means of disciplining a child, but that when done properly spanking is a viable option that can benefit an errant child. Dr. Larzelere (Combining Love and Limits in Authoritative Parenting: A Conditional Sequence Model of Disciplinary Responses; 1998) contended that “optimal disciplinary responses begin with less severe tactics, such as reasoning, but proceed to firmer disciplinary tactics when the initial tactic achieves neither compliance nor an acceptable compromise.” Continue reading

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Psychology

A Beginners Cheat Sheet to Psychology

Psychology

  • The scientific study of mind and behavior
  • Social/Behavioral sciences
  • Principles are based on research
  • Psychology has its foundations in philosophy and biology
  • For tips on how to study and other information about the field of psychology, visit http://www.psychwww.com
  • Psychology is a behavioral science
  • Because it is a science, all of the principles of psychology are supported by someone’s (or several people’s) research. Continue reading
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Things to do in an elevator when you’re bored

  1. When there’s only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn’t you.
  2. Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.
  3. Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.
  4. Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you’re on.
  5. Hold the doors open and say you’re waiting for your friend. After awhile, let the doors close and say, "Hi Greg. How’s your day been?"
  6. Drop a pen and wait until someone reaches to help pick it up, then scream, "That’s mine!"
  7. Bring a camera and take pictures of everyone in the elevator.
  8. Move your desk in to the elevator and whenever someone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.
  9. Lay down a Twister mat and ask people if they’d like to play.
  10. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on ask them if they hear something ticking.
  11. Pretend you are a flight attendant and revue emergency procedures and exits with the passengers.
  12. Ask, "Did you feel that?"
  13. Stand really close to someone, sniffing them occasionally.
  14. When the doors close, announce to the others, "It’s okay. Don’t panic, they open up again."
  15. Swat at flies that don’t exist.
  16. Tell people that you can see their aura.
  17. Call out, "group hug!", then enforce it.
  18. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering "Shut up, all of you, just shut up!"
  19. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask,"Got enough air in there?"
  20. Stand silently and motionless in the corner facing the wall, without getting off.
  21. Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
  22. Wear a puppet on your hand and use it to talk to the other passengers.
  23. Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.
  24. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  25. Stare, grinning at another passenger for a while, and then announce,"I have new socks on."
  26. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers, "This is my personal space!"
  27. As you are walking out, push as many buttons as you can.
  28. Tell a stupid OJ knock, knock joke & laugh at it.
  29. Stare at your thumb and say "I think it’s getting larger."
  30. Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
  31. Announce in a horror-movie voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
  32. Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
  33. Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
  34. Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
  35. Bring a chair along.
  36. Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna see wha in muh mouf?"
  37. Blow spit bubbles.
  38. Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
  39. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You’re one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.
  40. Burp, and then say "Mmmm…tasty!"
  41. Leave a box between the doors.
  42. Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
  43. Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
  44. Start a sing-along.
  45. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
  46. Play the harmonica.
  47. Shadow box.
  48. Say "Ding!" at each floor.
  49. Lean against the button panel.
  50. Whistle the first seven notes of "It’s a Small World" incessantly.
  51. Sell Girl Scout cookies.
  52. On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
  53. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  54. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  55. Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"
  56. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
  57. On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.
  58. Do Tai Chi exercises.
  59. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, darn motion sickness!"
  60. Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
  61. Meow occasionally.
  62. Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
  63. Give religious tracts to each passenger.
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Psychology

Laws of Lasting Love: Written by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D.*

During my 25 years as a therapist, I have seen hundreds of people disappointed
over unfulfilling relationships. I have seen passion turn to poison. I
have grieved with patients for the love they lost or never found.
"We seemed to love so much, but now it’s gone," one woman lamented
to me. "Why do I feel so lonely every night even when he is right there
beside me? Why can’t a relationship be more than this?"
It can. I was once invited to the 60th anniversary celebration of a remarkable
couple. I asked the husband, Peter, if he ever felt lonely and wondered where
the love between him and Lita had gone. Peter laughed and said, "If you
wonder where your love went, you forgot that you are the one who makes it.
Love is not out there; it’s in there between Lita and me."
I know we can love deeply, tenderly and lastingly. I have seen such love,
and I have felt such love myself. Here are the laws I have discovered for such
lasting and loving relationships:

Put time where love is. A fulfilling relationship begins when two people make
time together their No. 1 priority. If we hope to find love, we must first
find time for loving.
Unfortunately, current psychology rests on the model of the independent
ego. To make a lasting relationship we have to overcome self-centeredness.
We must
go beyond what psychologist Abraham Maslow called "self-actualization" to "us-actualization." We
have to learn to put time where love is. Many couples have experienced
a tragic moment that taught them to value their time together.
In crisis, become as one. Just after a couple left my office
one evening, I heard what sounded like a gun-shot. I looked out the window
and saw the couple
backing toward their car, and the shadow of a large figure near a street
light. Clinging together, they couple kept backing away. The figure quickened
his
pace toward them. The couple joined hands and ran to their car. As I dialed
security, the figure came closer, and I saw it was one of our guards. I later
discovered that the "shot" was a noise that had nothing
to do with my couple, but they didn’t know that. Like herd animals, they had
reacted to danger by coming together, in a "couple caution circle." Threatened,
they had become one.
Take a loving look. How we see our partners often depends more on how we
are than how they are. The loved-ones in a relationship are not audience,
but participant
observers in each other’s lives. Author Judith Viorat once wrote, "Infatuation
is when you think he’s as gorgeous as Robert Redford, as pure as Solzhenitsyn,
as funny as Woody Allen, as athletic as Jimmy Connors, and as smart as Albert
Einstein. Love is when you realize he’s as gorgeous as Woody Allen, as smart
as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Solzhenitsyn, as athletic as Albert Einstein,
and nothing like Robert Redford in any category–but you’ll take him
anyway." This law of lasting love instructs us to look with instead
of for love.
Try another perspective. This law illustrates how some people spend their
relationships struggling to change a partner’s mind. People in lasting-love
relationships begin with the premise that there are many realities. They
learn to accept different points of view. When a couple breaks free of
their one-reality
trap, their problems are solved. The lasting relationship is never sure
of the seperate "selves" that
make it up. But it has complete confidence that the relationship will grow
in a never-ending process of learning.
Look out for No. 2. There is a power healing energy that emanates from loving.
Lasting love can learn to sense it, send it and make it grow. We are energized
by love if we put our energy into loving. Bad energy springs from conflicts
that arise when two egos collide. When I watch couples argue with each other,
I want to shout: "Grow up, stop fighting, start loving!" It is better
to learn how to love than how to fight. Don’t try to win in your relationship,
win for your relationship.

Relationship is designed primarily for giving rather than taking. It is meant
to be a permanent union of two unselfish people. As one person told me, "The
old saying was look out for No. 1. But we’ve learned to look out for No. 2.
If you fight for yourself, only you can win. When you fight for your relationship,
you both win."
* Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University School of Medicine
and former Director of Professional Education at The Kinsey Institute for Research
in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

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