Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Now We Know: You Don't Slap a "Hysterical" Person has an article that brings up the fact that when Mel Gibson slapped Oksana Grigorieva for being "hysterical," that was not only inappropriate, but could do more harm than good.

Is it wise to slap a hysterical person? Absolutely not. Most psychiatrists avoid the word hysteria, because it's loaded with sexist baggage from the 19th century....

Slapping was a common response to so-called hysterical episodes in the 19th century. At that time, almost all women suffering from psychological problems like hallucinations, convulsions, sleep-walking, unexplained pains, or amnesia were diagnosed with some form of "hysteria," but researchers couldn't agree on what caused it. Some blamed syphilitic parents, others pointed to imbalances in the blood, and many just thought the women were faking illness to avoid their domestic obligations....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just in Time for Thanksgiving

They say that laughter is the best medicine, but the health benefits of gratitude are quite impressive. According to this Wall Street Journal/FOX News article:

"A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being. Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections...."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Over Half of Patients with Depression Give Up

Science Blog reports on a European study that reveals some depressing statistics: Out of a sample of 7,525 patients, the Catalan Institute of Health says 56% stop taking their medications within the first 4 months, less than 25% continue their treatment for more than 11 months, and only 22% complete their course of treatment.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gene Therapy Being Explored as a Treatment for Depression

A Reuters-MSNBC article describes a technique, which we are careful to mention is still in the experimental phase, offers hope for counteracting a gene (p11) that is linked to depression. We avoid using the "C-word" (cure) because depression may not have a singular cause, but anything that contributes to progress is good in our book.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Don't Tell Me What Kind of Day to Have!

Barbara Ehrenreich explores the darker side of positive thinking on The bottom line: beware of groupthink!

UPDATE: Dr. David Van Nuys explains the difference between positive thinking and the positive psychology movement pioneered by Martin Seligman.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Congressman Patrick Kennedy Speaks Out for Mental Health

On the Today Show, Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, talked about his future life's work: mobilizing public support for research and destigmatization of diseases of the brain.