After “fierce debate”, the government of the province of Western Australia has voted to completely ban all use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), or electroshock, on children under the age of 14, reported ABC News. More →
Scientific American‘s Gary Stix has posted links to two video lectures about meditation and its effects on the human mind. Ricard Matthieu, a Buddist monk with a doctorate in cell biology, talks about the art of meditation, and Richard J. Davidson lectures at Stanford University “about the emergence of the new field of contemplative neuroscience.” More →
The new Social Security Act, an Obamacare-inspired, Open Payments report came out September 30th. As part of the new healthcare reform policy, this federal report requires pharmaceutical and medical device companies to annually share documentation of direct payments they provided to entities such as medical practices and teaching hospitals. But before anyone gets excited and thinks there is finally a reliable and valid monitoring method to document that such payments are minimal as well as on the up and up, please note that 40% of the payment records (considered for inclusion in the 2013 Open Payments report) were not included in the $3.5 billion due to “unresolved questions” being cited.
Is there an alternative to the current, dominant way of making psychiatric diagnoses? If so, what would it look like? On his Critical Psychiatry blog, Duncan Double raises these questions and posts to freely-accessible versions of both a commentary about the topic in the Lancet by Mary Boyle and Lucy Johnstone as well as a Lancet letter retort to it. More →
Russia’s national police force, the Investigative Committee, has failed to convince a judge to force a prominent political protest artist to submit to a second psychiatric evaluation after he passed the first one they demanded, reported the Russian legal information agency RAPSI last week. Days later, The Guardian reported that the artist climbed onto the roof of a Russian psychiatric hospital and cut off his earlobe to protest the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents. More →
To help my non-recovery oriented colleagues understand the stigma/resentment associated with ‘borderline personality disorder,’ I simply mention this: “Let’s say I call you and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a referral for you. She’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder . . .’” I need to go no further; without fail, my colleague will smile or laugh. We both know that such a referral is a no-no, so much so that it doesn’t even have to be mentioned; it is a given.
Allen Frances recently wrote a Huffington Post blog that made some good points about advocate compromise, but used some very insulting language and therefore made an inaccurate assessment of the problem. He is asking the mental health advocates to end a “civil war.” I am making the point instead, that it’s not a civil war. Dr. Frances is trying to get two ends of the bell curve together instead of addressing issues in the middle of the bell curve. In the middle, it’s people who know the science trying to educate people who don’t know the science.
After they have been hit by a taser, most people experience a significant diminishing in their memory and cognitive functions for up to an hour, according to an unpublished study discussed in Live Science. The researchers said that the impacts were serious enough to raise into doubt whether people who’ve been tasered will understand their legal rights during any subsequent police arrest. More →
“Emodiversity,” or living with a wide range of many different types of both very positive and very negative emotions, is strongly linked to overall mental health and well-being, writes Discover Magazine‘s Neuroskeptic. More →
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