Monday, June 27, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shockney Announces Retirement

This news item is an update to the Colorado Springs Gazette story posted to this blog on the 5th of June. Agencies that could be pursuing actions against "Doctor" Shockney were not issuing statements to the news media.

The state board, which could revoke Shockney’s license and recommend criminal prosecution, did not return calls for comment Wednesday. Citing confidentiality rules, board staff will not say if the board is investigating Shockney.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s office, which could prosecute Shockney for fraud, criminal impersonation and a number of other crimes, also did not return calls for comment.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Johnson & Johnson Issues Product Recall for Risperdal/Risperidone,

FOX News has an article about pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson recalling 16,000 bottles of its antipsychotic Risperdal and another 24,000 bottles of a generic formulation of the medicine made by Patriot Pharmaceuticals because of a musty or moldy odor caused by a chemical called TBA. "While not considered to be toxic, TBA can generate an offensive odor and a very small number of patients have reported temporary gastrointestinal symptoms when taking other products with this odor," J&J said on Friday.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Give Therapy a Chance

Studies have shown than when properly applied, psychotherapy can be as powerful as any medication, and DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) has been preaching for years that these two go hand-in-hand and should be combined with regular support group sessions.

In the WebMD article, "Top 7 Therapy Myths Debunked," Heather Hatfield addresses these widely held (but still fallacious) beliefs:

1. My childhood doesn’t matter.
2. All therapists are the same.
3. I don’t need therapy, just drugs.
4. It’s not going to work.
5. It’s too expensive.
6. It’s going to send me over the edge.
7. I don’t have time.

New Study Reveals Popularity of Bullies

FYI Living ran an article that provides some insight as to why school systems have traditionally covered up for bullies by blaming their victims. research suggests that most aggressive behavior in children is actually not the result of psychological or social problems, but rather a desire to maintain one’s social position in the group. In fact, new studies reveal that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem; the higher one’s social ranking in school, the more likely he/she is to have been involved in an aggressive incident. That’s right, if it’s true that being class president is just a popularity contest, then perhaps the class president is actually the class bully.

Since the victims of bullies commonly experience depression and social anxiety, this new data supports the implementation of anti-bullying programs in schools. These programs provide students with an environment where they can openly discuss the effects of aggressive behavior and learn conflict resolution skills from adults and peers.

The study collected data from 3,772 students across 19 middle and high schools. Students were asked to name five kids who had physically or verbally abused them, as well as five kids who they had picked on. The study revealed that the desire to achieve or maintain popularity was directly proportional with aggressive behavior. In fact, the more popular a student was, the more likely he/she had been involved in an aggressive situation....

Here's the clincher: "According to a recent study involving 5th and 6th graders, it’s not the bullies who are disliked by their classmates, but the kids being bullied."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They Call It "Paris Syndrome"

A BBC article describes how Japanese visitors to Paris are subject to a state of shock when they get there.

A dozen or so Japanese tourists a year have to be repatriated from the French capital, after falling prey to what's become known as "Paris syndrome".

That is what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations.

The experience can apparently be too stressful for some and they suffer a psychiatric breakdown.

Around a million Japanese travel to France every year....

A PERSONAL NOTE: When I went to Paris on 2 occasions, I posed as a French-speaking Japanese tourist after hearing all those tales they tell about how Parisians treat American servicemen.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Another Reason Why We Need to Beware of Imitations

This shocker of a story appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette today:

Edwin Shockney’s 2009 book “Delusional Entitlement Disorder” describes people who increasingly expect quick payoffs without hard work and “believe that standards, rules and laws do not apply to them.”

He could be describing himself.

Shockney says he has a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in psychology, which give him the expertise to diagnose patients, advise government agencies and testify in almost 150 local court cases.

In reality, the Colorado Springs man quit at least three colleges. He has no bachelor’s degree and no master’s. And his doctorate came from a defunct California seminary based in a strip mall.

But through an ever-evolving string of embellishments and outright lies, Shockney has hoodwinked the Colorado professional counselors oversight board, the Catholic Church, local lawyers, police, a large defense contractor and countless patients for more than a decade.

He has gotten away with it despite repeated complaints to authorities.

And his deceptions could have serious repercussions because his court testimony has influenced dozens of child custody and criminal cases that may now warrant new trials....

EDITORIAL COMMENT: The bottom line is that psychotherapy offer a great deal of scope for quacks who take advantage of highly vulnerable people. Since they are likely to come up with strange and unsound advice with no scientific basis, they can hurt a lot of patients before the authorities yank their chain and either/or strip them of their licenses or initiate criminal proceedings.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Twelve Essential Traits of Survivors

The Survivors Club, based on the Ben Sherwood book with the same title, studies the traits of resiliency that psychologists and even the military have taken an interest in. "12 Essential Traits That Make You a Survivor," provides a quick look at what they believe is the "right stuff."

Friday, June 3, 2011

"8 Signs Someone Is at Risk of Suicide"

This list, from, is a good start, but far from exhaustive. One should look for other symptoms as well: having a plan for doing oneself in, multiple suicide attempts, giving away prized possessions, a lifelong pattern of pessimism and cynicism, an unusual calm and tranquility, etc.