December 29, 2005

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant personality disorder (APD) �s considered to be an active-detached personality pattern, meaning that avoidants purposefully avoid people due to fears of humiliation & rejection. It �s thought to be a pathological syndromal extension of the �normal inhibited� personality, which �s characterized by a watchful behavioral appearance, shy interpersonal conduct, a preoccupied cognitive style, uneasy affective expression & a lonely self-perception (Millon & Everly). According to this view, the avoidant pattern seems to range �n varying degrees along a symptomological continuum from mild to extreme. In mild cases, a person may be said to be normally shy, whereas extreme cases indicate personality disorder.

It should be noted that many more people have avoidant styles as opposed to...


Posted by tAPir at 9:45 AM

December 26, 2005

Dysfunctional Families Affect The Mental Health Of The Child

Strohschein compared children whose parents remained together and those whose parents had divorced between 1994 and 1998. The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth of Canada continues to interview the sample of 17,000 children once in two years. Antisocial behavior along with anxiety and depression is quite common among children whose parents are about to break up. The parents who are about to get divorced also reported higher levels of depression and family dysfunction, which also has...


Posted by tAPir at 8:15 AM

December 22, 2005

Just For Fun: Dancing Shows The Best Mate

LONDON: Men who want to carve up the dancefloor should take a good look at their bodies before launching into a waltz or foxtrot in the hope of impressing a woman.

Scientists have discovered that the best male dancers tend to have more symmetrical body features, in a study that suggests dancing ability may be sexually appealing because it conveys useful information about a man's physical fitness.

Many species, including humans, are known to prefer mates with...


Posted by tAPir at 10:19 AM

December 20, 2005

Mental Health A Rising College Student Issue

Julia Trachy always counted herself among the happy. So after she dropped 25 pounds in two and a half weeks and her stomach hurt so much she couldn't hold herself up to play the violin, she didn't read it as depression.

"I just thought there was something wrong with me physically," said Trachy, a sophomore nursing student at the University of Minnesota. When her doctor suggested therapy, she thought, "They think I'm making this up. I was really hurt just because all my life I was the fun person."

Student mental health is a rising concern at universities across the country _ 86 percent of campus counseling centers report say they've seen an increase in...


Posted by tAPir at 7:47 PM

December 17, 2005

Holiday Stress And Depression

The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures, and anxiety about an uncertain future.

Many factors can cause the �holiday blues�: stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one�s family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests also contribute to feelings of tension. People who do not become depressed may...


Posted by tAPir at 9:35 AM

December 12, 2005

Paxil: Stronger Birth Defects Warning

The FDA and drug company GlaxoSmithKline have strengthened their warning about using the antidepressant drug Paxil during early pregnancy.

The warning is based on early results from two studies. The studies showed a higher rate of heart-related birth defects in babies born to women who took Paxil during early pregnancy than in babies of women in the general population or women who took other antidepressants.


Posted by tAPir at 9:41 AM

December 8, 2005

Hypnosis Can Make Changes On The Brain

Hypnosis, with its long and checkered history in medicine and entertainment, is receiving some new respect from neuroscientists. Recent brain studies of people who are susceptible to suggestion indicate that when they act on the suggestions their brains show profound changes in how they process information. The suggestions, researchers report, literally change what people see, hear, feel and believe to be true.The new experiments, which used brain imaging, found that people who were hypnotized "saw" colors where there were none. Others lost the ability to make simple decisions. Some people looked at common English words and thought that they were gibberish."

The idea that perceptions can be manipulated by expectations" is fundamental to the study of cognition, said Michael I. Posner, an emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Oregon and expert on attention. "But now we're really getting at the mechanisms."Even with little understanding of how it works, hypnosis has...


Posted by tAPir at 9:45 AM

December 5, 2005

Can We Cure Fear?

Why is fear so intractable? And what can we do about it? Therapy has provided succor for many people; others have relied on the strength they get from their faith or other support networks. But in a world where we regularly witness hair-raising events--such as the aftermath of suicide bomber attacks in full color on our living-room televisions, on Web sites and on newspapers' front pages--is such verbal support enough? Answering a perceived need, fear-blunting medications are coming onto the scene. Could we--should we--all simply pop pills to ease our anxieties?

Fear is more than a state of mind; it is chemical. The feeling of alarm arises from...


Posted by tAPir at 11:31 AM

December 2, 2005

Little Ethnic Variation In Paxil Response

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study has found no major differences in how people of different ethnic groups respond to the anti-anxiety drug paroxetine, sold as Paxil.
Studies have documented worse quality mental health care for minorities, and minorities are rarely included in studies of drug treatment for psychiatric disorders, Dr. Peter P. Roy-Byrne of the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and colleagues note. The percentage of people with certain genetic variations involved in metabolizing drugs varies by ethnic group, they add.

"Although these differences produce only 'average' variations in kinetics and dynamics, the dissimilarities could contribute to therapeutic or side effect profiles that vary from the norm," the researchers note in their report in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

To determine if there were ethnic variations in...


Posted by tAPir at 9:20 AM

November 29, 2005

Exercise May Not Slow Mental Decline

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Staying physically active can help keep adults fit as they grow older, but, contrary to what some may think, it may not protect against mental decline, according to a new study.

"While participation in physical activity has been shown to have many health benefits for older adults, this study does not provide strong support that it protects against cognitive decline," study author Dr. Maureen T. Sturman, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois and the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, told Reuters Health.

Previous researchers have reported that physical activity may help guard against stroke and coronary heart disease, both of which may be associated with the development of dementia. Other studies have looked at the influence of physical activity on mental status and mental decline...


Posted by tAPir at 9:51 AM

November 25, 2005

Dolphin Therapy For Depression

Life got no porpoise? Try dolphin therapy

A study has revealed that swimming with the friendly mammals can significantly alleviate depression

AS IF to prove that no therapy is too far-fetched to be incorporated into modern medicine, psychiatrists have shown that swimming with dolphins can relieve depression. The results have been published in the British Medical Journal. A team from Leicester University took 30 patients with mild to moderate depression to Honduras and encouraged them either to swim with dolphins or just to swim and snorkel on the reef, unaccompanied by dolphins, for two weeks.
All got a bit better, as might be expected, but those who swam with dolphins showed...


Posted by tAPir at 10:56 PM

November 23, 2005

Restless Legs Syndrome Causes Depression, Anxiety

Seniors and baby boomers have most severe cases, have pain more often

Senior citizens and baby boomers with restless legs syndrome (RLS), a common debilitating condition, may be affected physically, mentally, and socially by their disease. Depression and anxiety are cited in this new study, which also found those at risk of RLS were more likely to be overweight, unemployed, daily smokers, and to have issues with work attendance and performance.

There is a strong association...


Posted by tAPir at 9:18 AM

November 21, 2005

Handling Your Psychiatric Disability In Work Or School

An interactive and informative web site for people with a psychiatric condition that addresses issues and reasonable accommodations related to work and school. This is the only site designed exclusively to provide information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other employment and education issues for people with psychiatric disabilities.


Posted by tAPir at 8:24 AM

November 18, 2005

Scientists Find Fear Gene

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists may have found a gene for fear -- a gene that controls production of a protein in the region of the brain linked with fearful responses.

Their finding, published on Thursday, could lead to new treatments for mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety.

The gene, known as stathmin or oncoprotein 18, is highly concentrated in the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear and anxiety, the researchers report in Thursday's issue of the journal Cell.

"This is a major advance in the field of learning and memory that will allow for a better understanding of post- traumatic stress disorder, phobias, borderline personality disorder and other human anxiety diseases," said Gleb Shumyatsky of Rutgers University in New Jersey, who worked on the study.

"It will provide important information on how learned and innate fear is experienced and processed, and may...


Posted by tAPir at 10:48 AM

November 15, 2005

Data Showed Venlafaxine XR Worsens Sexual Function

LAS VEGAS, NV -- November 10, 2005 -- Sexual functioning worsened in patients with major depressive disorder treated with Effexor XR (venlafaxine) as compared to patients treated with Wellbutrin XL (bupropion), according to the results of a new study presented yesterday at the 18th Annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress.

This is the first head-to-head 12-week study to compare the impact on sexual functioning of Wellbutrin XL, the once-daily norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), to the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine XR among patients with major depressive disorder.

Wellbutrin XL has been previously shown to have a lower risk of sexual dysfunction as compared to...


Posted by tAPir at 10:37 PM

November 12, 2005

Dietary Fatty Acids: Essential For Mental Health

Insufficient intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) may contribute to the pathogenesis of mental diseases, while their supplementation may relieve some symptoms, according to researchers who attended the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and Psychiatric Disorders held in Bethesda, Md., in September 1998.
"This is the first time researchers in this field have been brought together," said Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), who organized the workshop. Other organizers were Jerry Cott, Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Sahebarao Mahadik, Ph.D., Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and the NIH Offices of Dietary Supplements and Research on Women's Health.

Despite having long established that omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in neurosynaptic membranes, Hibbeln said that...


Posted by tAPir at 10:20 PM

November 9, 2005

The Sad State Of American Health Care

For Americans, Getting Sick Has Its Price

Survey Says U.S. Patients Pay More, Get Less Than Those in Other Western Nations

Americans pay more when they get sick than people in other Western nations and get more confused, error-prone treatment, according to the largest survey to compare U.S. health care with other nations.

The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to...


Posted by tAPir at 10:00 AM

November 6, 2005

Genetic Map Shows Route To New World Of Medicine

A COMPREHENSIVE chart of the genetic differences between human beings has been drawn up for the first time, promising breakthroughs in the hunt for the genes that influence common diseases such as cancer, asthma and diabetes.
The International Haplotype Map, or HapMap, provides an index to the human genetic code, allowing scientists to identify inherited variations that affect human health with much greater speed and simplicity. This will transform the development of new drugs and diagnostic tests, and could open a new era of bespoke medicine in which patients can be prescribed treatments that correspond best to their individual genetic make-up.


Posted by tAPir at 7:05 PM

November 3, 2005

Four Approaches To Psychotherapy

There are a lot of useful specific technical interventions that a skilled therapist can offer to clients. Such techniques include assistance with reality testing and education, the offering of helpful perspectives and concepts for thinking about problems and issues, practical techniques for managing emotions, thoughts and behavior, and the provision of direct...


Posted by tAPir at 8:19 AM

October 31, 2005

Diabetes And Depression: A Fatal Mix

SEATTLE, Oct 26, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A just-released three-year study finds type 2 diabetes and depression can be a fatal mix.

Researchers found patients whose type 2 diabetes was accompanied by minor or major depression had higher mortality rates, compared with patients with type 2 diabetes alone.

Researchers at the University of Washington and at Group Health Cooperative, a large, Seattle-based health plan, surveyed and then followed 4,154 patients with...


Posted by tAPir at 9:55 AM

October 27, 2005

Antidepressant Acts As Placebo To Treat Compulsive Shopping And Kleptomania

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS -- October 27, 2005 -- The antidepressant escitalopram failed to show any efficacy compared to placebo in subjects with compulsive shopping disorder or kleptomania in two pilot trials.

Results were presented here at the 18th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress on October 24th.

In the first trial, Lorrin M. Morran, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, United States, and colleagues assessed the response to escitalopram among 26 women with a mean age of 29 years who had been diagnosed with compulsive shopping disorder.

Dr. Koran said those women who responded over an initial 7-week phase were...


Posted by tAPir at 9:20 AM

October 24, 2005

Trauma And Dissociative Disorders

Recently considered rare and mysterious psychiatric curiosities, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder-MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders are now understood to be fairly common effects of severe trauma in early childhood, most typically extreme, repeated physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) was changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), reflecting changes in professional understanding of the disorder resulting from...


Posted by tAPir at 10:47 AM

October 21, 2005

Cyclothymia: What Is It?

Cyclothymia is a chronic bipolar disorder consisting of short periods of mild depression and short periods of hypomania (lasting a few days to a few weeks), separated by short periods of normal mood. Individuals with cyclothymia (thymia: from the Greek word for the mind) are never free of symptoms of either depression or hypomania for more than two months at a time. In 1980 the classification of cyclothymia was changed in the DSM-IV from Personality Disorder to Mood Disorder.

Though the above description portrays cyclothymia as a mild disorder, it is so only relative to...


Posted by tAPir at 8:20 AM

October 16, 2005

Hyperventilation: What It Is - How To Stop It

Alternative names

Hyperventilation; Breathing - rapid and deep; Overbreathing; Fast deep breathing; Respiratory rate - rapid and deep.


Hyperventilation is rapid or deep breathing, usually caused by anxiety or panic. This overbreathing, as it is sometimes called, actually leaves you feeling breathless.

When you breathe, you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Excessive breathing leads to low levels of carbon dioxide in your blood, which causes many of the symptoms that you may feel if you hyperventilate.


Feeling very anxious or having a panic attack are the usual...


Posted by tAPir at 12:19 PM

October 13, 2005

Evidence Based Therapies In Child And Adolescent Psychiatry

Consumer, professional, legislative and regulatory organizations are increasingly calling for the development and adoption of evidence-based therapies, based on demands for quality services and expectations that outpouring of dollars and time are rewarded by beneficial outcomes. In child and adolescent mental health, growing public concerns over safety, in particular with psychotropic medications, and the recognition that psychiatric impairment is a major factor within other social service systems has further fueled the demand for empirically based interventions.

Randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) with adequate sample sizes and defined study populations are the standard for characterizing an intervention as evidence-based (Cochrane Collaboration, 2002). A listing of all RCTs in child and adolescent psychiatry is beyond the scope of this commentary (for a review, see McClellan and Werry [2003]). This review will outline interventions with the best research support. Fortunately, although the literature remains limited, the number of well-conducted studies is increasing.


An estimated 6% of young people under the age of 20 in the United States receive...


Posted by tAPir at 9:58 AM

October 11, 2005

Pregnancy Warning Added To Paxil Label

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has sent a warning letter to doctors, advising that the antidepressant Paxil may be linked to a slightly higher risk of birth defects in babies exposed to the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy. The company also has added the warning to its Paxil label. This comes on the heel of a new study requested by the Food and Drug Administration.


Posted by tAPir at 8:25 AM

October 7, 2005

Anxiety And Sensory Overload

On the AutAdvo list, one of the NT members asked about sensory overload. This is certainly a topic of importance, given how strongly it affects the life of the autistic person, so I posted a rather detailed reply. I was surprised by the feedback I received for that post... it was overwhelmingly positive, and several people asked that I post it on my site so that others can read it. I was happy to do that, certainly, as helping NTs to understand autistics is one of the purposes of this site.

I will include the original citations from the post to which I replied, since the responses I typed were geared toward the questions as posted. Those original questions will have the greater than '>' symbol in front of them.

> What type of sensory overload? Is it auditory, visual, other, all?
It is different with each of us, but the short answer is 'all.' It can be any of the senses... I know that loud noises, or even persistent quiet ones, add significantly to the sensory load, and certain types of noises are worse than others. In time, my nervous system will return to normal if no other loads are placed on it, but if there are more noises or other loads present, the stress level will build faster than I can burn it off, and I will get overloaded.

I have described it like this. It is as if there is a reservoir of sorts that each of us has. This reservoir starts off empty, but the things we experience throughout the day fill it up. Any sensory load (which I define as stimulus that the nervous system is describing to the brain-- in other words, anything that can be felt) or other nervous system load will cause the reservoir to take on more fluid. It does not have to be unpleasant-- even pleasant kinds of sensory load (like enjoying a movie at a theater-- I like it, but it does present a notable sensory load) fill up the reservoir. Things like the smell of people's perfume, bright lights...


Posted by tAPir at 3:21 PM

October 3, 2005

Avoid Catastrophic Thinking

There are things we can change about ourselves and things we cannot. Concentrate your energy on what is possible -- too much time has been wasted.

This is the age of psychotherapy and the age of self-improvement. Millions are struggling to change. We diet, we jog, we meditate. We adopt new modes of thought to counteract our depressions. We practice relaxation to curtail stress. We exercise to expand our memory and to quadruple our reading speed. We adopt draconian regimens to...


Posted by tAPir at 7:32 PM

September 29, 2005

Emotional Abuse: What Is It?

Heterosexual women are the most common victims of Domestic Violence.
However, men, women, gay and straight can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence. It scars and bruises on the inside. It usually leads to physical/sexual abuse.

If you are being abused, seek professional help immediately. If you have a question or a comment...


Posted by tAPir at 10:04 AM

September 25, 2005

Exercise Is Good For The Brain

Everybody knows exercise is good for your heart, but is it good for your brain?

Scientists think it is, and new evidence suggests they might be right -- at least with aging mice.

The researchers, who report their findings in the Sept. 21 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, discovered that a small number of mice that exercised regularly appeared to be mentally sharper than those that were the rodent equivalents of couch potatoes.

The tests suggest that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in mice that have reached the late stages of their lives, said study co-author Fred Gage, a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Previous research has shown that younger mice placed in an "enriched environment" -- one with plenty of stimulation -- were better at...


Posted by tAPir at 9:50 AM

September 21, 2005

Turning Misery Around

Confusion," insists Byron Katie, "is the only suffering in the world." And the way to relieve confusion is to develop a questioning mind.

Katie is a self-styled coach and helper who has developed a very simple, but very rigorous method of inquiry into your own mind. It's a way of getting to know yourself, and a means of turning misery around.

It's Katie's contention that it's the beliefs and judgments we build around our own experiences that trap us...


Posted by tAPir at 8:22 AM

September 17, 2005

People Who Choose Their Depression Treatment Do Better

Patients who chose their own treatment for depression had better outcomes than patients whose treatment was determined by their physicians alone, a new study of veterans has found.

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle studied 335 adults who had a clinical diagnosis of depression. The study appears in the October issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Participants, overwhelmingly male with an average age of 57, were allowed to...


Posted by tAPir at 7:25 PM

September 15, 2005

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders: A Guide

What are obsessions and compulsions?

Obsessions are recurrent, persistent, unwanted ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that are experienced involuntarily, appear to be senseless, and feel out of control. They commonly intrude when you are trying to focus on thinking or doing other things. Obsessions are often accompanied by uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a sensation that things have to be done in a way that is "just so."

Some common obsessions include:

* fear of danger to oneself or others
* fear of contamination
* a need for exactness or order
* sexually explicit or repugnant thoughts

A compulsion is a repetitive behavior - a ritual - that you feel driven to do, and seemingly cannot stop doing. Compulsions occur as a result of obsessions and represent your attempts to manage your incessant thoughts by doing something to try to settle them. For example, if an obsessive worry is whether or not the door was locked, then a compulsive response might be to check the lock repeatedly. Some common compulsive behaviors are...


Posted by tAPir at 8:43 AM

September 11, 2005

Adolescents Really Do Suffer Brain Dysfunction For A While

The inability to penetrate the minds of stroppy, angst-ridden teenagers is an accepted part of parenthood. Now it appears the feeling is mutual. Scientists believe a regression in the brain at puberty could explain why Harry Enfield's character Kevin finds life so unfair. Young teenagers begin to lose the ability to discern emotions in adults' faces, causing them to behave temporarily like younger children.

Professor David Skuse, of the Institute of Child Health in London, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science that hormonal surges at puberty may cause a rewiring of the brain of adolescents which interferes with their ability to interact socially with their elders.

'There is a temporary deterioration in children's capacity...


Posted by tAPir at 11:37 AM

September 7, 2005

After The Deluge

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 2-Long after the floodwaters here have receded and this critically wounded city has begun to mend, the mental health effects of the nation's worst natural disaster will linger.

The American Red Cross, in recognition that catastrophes also leave mental and emotional damage in their wake, is coordinating and deploying psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health counselors to storm-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast.

At the Astrodome in Houston, where about 25,000 evacuees from New Orleans have been transported, storm survivors are receiving clean food and water, a place to sleep, and, for those who need it, the services of volunteer mental health workers from Baylor College of Medicine, several campuses of the University of Texas Health Sciences Centers, and other area institutions.

For the survivors, mental and emotional responses to a disaster usually come in waves, beginning with...


Posted by tAPir at 9:47 AM

September 3, 2005

Benzodiazepines Effective Against Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures

WASHINGTON, DC -- August 29, 2005 -- Tranquilizers work better than placebos at treating the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome but they may not work better than other drugs, according to a new review of recent studies.

The class of depressant drugs known as benzodiazepines are especially effective at treating seizure in withdrawal patients, say Dr. Christos Ntais of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and colleagues. People given benzodiazepines were 84% less likely to have withdrawal-related seizures compared to those given placebos.

"This might suggest that their [benzodiazepines'] current status as first-line treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome is justified," Dr. Ntais and colleagues say.

However, the researchers found...


Posted by tAPir at 4:45 PM

August 30, 2005

Statistics On Panic Disorder


Definition: Illness characterized by spontaneous episodes of intense, gripping terror accompanied by heart palpitations, dizziness, and smothering sensations.

Causes: psychological vulnerabilities, stress, unresolved childhood issues, or a combination of all three.

Length of typical panic attack:


Posted by tAPir at 9:22 AM

August 26, 2005

Why Don't Some Patients Take Their Medicines?

Patients who trust their doctors are more likely to stick to their prescription medicines, even if they face high out-of-pocket costs, a new study finds. But patients who have lower levels of trust in their physicians, or who have depression-like symptoms, are much more likely to skip doses or refills when costs become a problem for them.

Those findings, from a new study of 912 patients...


Posted by tAPir at 10:25 AM

August 22, 2005

Be Your Own Anxiety Coach

Everybody experiences anxiety periodically. But some people experience more than their share, and suffer anxiety to such an extent that it becomes a disruptive force in their life. If you are such a person, this site can help you get the information and resources you need to learn how to tame this anxiety and enjoy your life.

You may already know that these kinds of problems are called "anxiety disorders." Most of the people I work with dislike this name, and I don't care much for it either. But it's so widely used that we're stuck with it, and so...


Posted by tAPir at 9:16 PM

August 20, 2005

Warning: Bogus tAPir Emails

tAPir members should ignore any emails coming from or We have recently gotten email from these addresses under these headers:

Subject: Your Account is Suspended For Security Reasons
Subject: You have successfully updated your password
Subject: Warning Message: Your services near to be closed.

They claim to come from "The Algy Support Team" and may contain attachments that you SHOULD NOT open. The real automated email from the tAPir site never includes attachments.

Thank you,

Noodles and the tAPir Volunteer Staff

Posted by tAPir at 8:21 AM

August 19, 2005

Disassociative Identity Disorder: Staying Grounded

Terrified, I sit bolt upright, a scream stifled on my lips. I turn the lamp on. It is only my husband, snoring away beside me. But the painful images won't leave me. One after another, they tumble through my mind, flash photos of a childhood I want to forget, but that refuses to be shoved away. I am having memories. And as I shake in the middle of the night, I have to find a way to calm down, to not go crazy as I remember the past.

Intrusive memories are a component of both PTSD and dissociation. The person who has dissociated painful memories has often "locked them away"...


Posted by tAPir at 9:05 AM

August 16, 2005

Therapy And The Nonjudgemental Witness

When psychotherapists talk about nonspecific factors, they use words like "authenticity", "genuineness", and "presence". What these words boil down to is the idea that good therapists offer their clients real caring and compassion, and whole attention. They are there not just physically, but are also wholly attentive, focused on the client's difficulties, and actively listening to and thinking about what the client is describing in the hopes of finding ways to help that client. They empathize and emotionally connect with what their clients are going through, although they do not take these feelings on, or allow themselves to become overwhelmed by these feelings. They are emotionally, intellectually and physically there with their clients, in the room and receptive and without judgement. This state is not an artifice but rather a true receptivity and willingness to be present. There is no hidden or alternative agenda beyond this mission of compassion and desire to help.

I should hasten to add that all this openness, receptivity and desire to help is entirely one-sided. It is focused on the client. There is no expectation that the client should reciprocate, as would be the case in any other sort of similarly charged relationship. Good therapists keep the focus on the client, and share very little about their own lives, if anything at all.

It is incredibly difficult to fake the state of receptivity and compassion that characterizes the nonspecific factors. Almost all of the time, clients know...


Posted by tAPir at 9:56 AM

August 13, 2005

Bullying In The Workplace

Those who can, do. Those who can't, bully.

Bully OnLine is the world's leading web site on workplace bullying and related issues which validates the experience of workplace bullying and provides confirmation, reassurance and re-empowerment

Topics covered at Bully OnLine: workplace bullying, mobbing, bullying at work, work abuse, workplace abuse, abuse in the workplace, workplace violence, harassment at work, workplace harassment, discrimination at work, stress at work, stress-related illness, law on stress, emotional abuse.

If you're looking for information on bull mastiff dogs (bullies) click...


Posted by tAPir at 9:27 AM

August 9, 2005

Mental Health And Mental Illness: Points On A Continuum

As will be evident in the pages that follow, �mental health� and �mental illness� are not polar opposites but may be thought of as points on a continuum. Mental health is a state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity. Mental health is indispensable to personal well-being, family and interpersonal relationships, and contribution to community or society. It is easy to overlook...


Posted by tAPir at 6:44 PM

August 5, 2005

Tips To Kill Depression

5 Super Effective Tips To Kill Depression
Michael Lee

Being lonely is a normal part of our everyday lives. We get sad when we fail in our exams, when we're rejected by the person we love, or when someone very close to us passes away. Depression, however, could be more fatal than just plain loneliness. It could render life-long consequences that could ruin your self-esteem, health, and well-being.


Posted by tAPir at 6:29 PM

August 2, 2005

Panic Attacks: What They Are And How To Cope

What is a Panic Attack?

You are driving across town, and get caught at a red light for a few minutes. As you sit there, you begin feeling a bit strange.

Suddenly, your heart rate increases, a cold sweat starts on your forehead, and you feel faint. You can compare the initial feelings with the type of instant nervousness you get when you receive terrible news about a loved dying or having an accident.

Your mind races to calm yourself down and relax, but you have lost faith in yourself. You continue to try and regain control by looking at the light and hoping it turns green. It has only been seconds, but it feels like half an hour. You begin to think of the last time this happened. You begin to have...


Posted by tAPir at 9:27 AM

July 30, 2005

Muscial Hallucinations

Janet Dilbeck clearly remembers the moment the music started. Two years ago she was lying in bed on the California ranch where she and her husband were caretakers. A mild earthquake woke her up. To Californians, a mild earthquake is about as unusual as a hailstorm, so Dilbeck tried to go back to sleep once it ended. But just then she heard a melody playing on an organ, "very loud, but not deafening," as she recalls. Dilbeck recognized the tune, a sad old song called When You and I Were Young, Maggie.

Maggie was her mother's name, and when Dilbeck (now 70) was a girl her father would jokingly play the song on their home organ. Dilbeck is no believer in ghosts, but as she sat up in bed listening to the song, she couldn't help but ask, "Is that you, Daddy?"

She got no answer, but the song went on, clear and loud. It began again from the beginning, and continued to repeat itself for hours. "I thought, this is too strange," Dilbeck says. She tried to get back to sleep, but thanks to the music she could only doze off and on. When she got up at dawn, the song continued. In the months to come, Dilbeck would hear other songs. She heard...


Posted by tAPir at 9:53 AM

July 26, 2005

New FDA-Approved Device Offers Hope For Depressed Patients

The Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center medical team involved in the research and development of an innovative therapy for depression - vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) - is starting a new clinic for patients who have treatment-resistant depression.

The vagal nerve stimulator was approved Friday by the Food and Drug Administration for...


Posted by tAPir at 7:28 PM

July 21, 2005

Alternative Therapies

The second part of our special report on complementary health therapies considers which fringe therapies are likely to join the healthcare establishment

Osteopathy and acupuncture have joined the mainstream and other less well-known treatments are following in their wake, with some being used inside the NHS while others are gaining a fan base outside it. So which of the therapies that are �bubbling under' will join the establishment, and which will go the way of phrenology and primal scream therapy?


Posted by tAPir at 9:03 PM

July 18, 2005

Compulsive Behaviors: Linked To Parkinson's Drug

Compulsive behaviors may be side effect of Mirapex, research suggests

Joe Neglia was a retired government intelligence worker with Parkinson�s disease when he suddenly developed what he calls a gambling habit from hell.

After losing thousands of dollars playing slot machines near his California home several times a day for nearly two years, Neglia stumbled across an Internet report linking a popular Parkinson�s drug he used with compulsive gambling.

�I thought, 'Oh my God, this must be it,�� he said. Three days after stopping the drug, Mirapex, �all desire to gamble just went away completely. I felt like I had my brain back.�


Posted by tAPir at 9:26 AM

July 13, 2005

Mental Illness More Prevalent In Western Nations

Melbourne, July 12 : People in the West suffer more from mental illness than those in poorer countries, with chances of recovery being higher in places like India than in say New York or London, says an Australian study.

In the most comprehensive survey of the prevalence of schizophrenia worldwide, scientist John McGrath and colleagues from the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research reviewed data from 188 studies published between 1965 and 2002, reported the

Although previous research by McGrath's team found the number of new cases emerging each year were similar in both Western and developing nations, the latest survey said the prevalence was "significantly lower" in poorer countries.


Posted by tAPir at 6:26 PM

July 11, 2005

Cluster Headaches: Cause Of Anxiety Disorder?

The intense pain of cluster headaches may not be the only worry for those patients suffering from them.
Patients with cluster headaches--severe headaches occurring in clusters of several months and then receding--have a higher rate of anxiety disorders during the time between clusters of headaches and show memory deficits during headache clusters, according to a recent University of Iowa Health Care study.

Ricardo Jorge, M.D., associate research scientist in the UI Department of Psychiatry and lead author of the study, said the impetus for the study was a previously identified link between migraines and depression and anxiety. Cluster headaches, similar to migraines in many ways, were thought to have...


Posted by tAPir at 8:35 AM

July 8, 2005

More US Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs

Abusers of prescription drugs nearly doubled to over 15 million from 1992 to 2003, with abuse among teens tripling, according to a US study released on Thursday.

The report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University suggested that more Americans were abusing controlled prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin combined.

Of 15.1 million abusers of prescription drugs , 2.3 million are teenagers, but youngsters turn to...


Posted by tAPir at 8:02 AM

July 5, 2005

Estrogen Affects OCD

June 8, 2005 -- Researchers say there may be a link between estrogen deficiency and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in men.

More than 3 million U.S. adults have OCD, says the National Institute of Mental Health. The disorder involves recurrent, unwanted thoughts or rituals such as counting, checking, cleaning, or washing the hands, which people feel they cannot control.

People with OCD can suffer intensely, but treatment...


Posted by tAPir at 7:44 PM

July 2, 2005

Birth Weight Linked To Mental Health

BRISTOL, England, July 1 (UPI) -- Researchers at Britain's University of Bristol found low birth weight is associated with adult psychological distress.

The researchers found that children carried full term but weighing less than 5.5 pounds had a 50 percent increased risk of psychological distress in later life, according to the study published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The study took into account potential confounding factors, such as the father's social class, maternal age and adult marital status.

"The findings suggest that low birth weight at full term has a direct effect on adult mental health, rather than simply...


Posted by tAPir at 6:39 PM

June 30, 2005

Insomnia May Precede And Prolong Major Depression

Two new studies show that insomnia, far from being a symptom or side effect of depression, may instead precede it, making some patients more likely to become and remain mentally ill.

One paper was presented today at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) in Denver, and the other will be published shortly in the Journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

In recent years, researchers established that insomnia and depression are linked, but struggled to determine which came first. Many experts believed that...


Posted by tAPir at 9:56 AM

June 26, 2005

Depress Your Depression

Each year millions of people suffer from some form of depression. Researchers estimate as many as one out of every three people will develop depression at some point in their lives. Although the average depression lasts around six months, those with severe major depression or constant dysphoric depression may have symptoms that last for years. Some depressed individuals resort to suicide as a way of alleviating their anguish. Given the frequency with which depression occurs in our society, the length of time it can last...


Posted by tAPir at 6:15 PM

June 23, 2005

Situational Anxiety: Stopping Stage Fright

Anyone who gets the jitters just thinking about speaking In class knows that Imagining fellow students In their skivvies doesn't really help. According to a speech expert, some people are born with a fear of public speaking. But he's working on ways to help them overcome it.

Ralph Behnke, Ph.D., a speech communication professor at Texas Christian University, has found that the highest point of anxiety and cardiovascular activity for public speakers comes in the moment they're expected to start talking. But another nerve-shattering high comes when...


Posted by tAPir at 7:09 PM

June 21, 2005

WHO Urges Laws To Protect The Mentally Ill

GENEVA - Governments should pass legislation to protect people with mental illnesses from abuses, the U.N. health agency said Monday.

In many countries, the people who suffer from mental, neurological or behavioral problems are among the most vulnerable groups of society, the World Health Organization said in a 181-page report.

More than 450 million people around the world suffer from such problems, the agency said.

"We have a moral and legal obligation to modernize mental health legislation," said WHO chief Lee Jong-wook. "WHO is ready to help...


Posted by tAPir at 9:54 AM

June 17, 2005

Mental Illness The New "Normal"

To provide context for the government's mental health survey, the Times told a similarly inspiring story of science replacing superstition. In the old days, it explained, "gamblers and drinkers, the excessively impulsive or rebellious, [and] the sexually promiscuous...were considered sinners, deviants or possessed," while "those who denied themselves food or comfort, or who prayed or performed ritual cleansing repeatedly, often struck others as especially pious."

But "as science gradually displaced religion," the Times continued, "such behavior was increasingly seen in secular, diagnostic terms." Hence "excessive fasting became anorexia," and "ritualized behavior was understood...


Posted by tAPir at 3:37 PM

June 15, 2005

Information Overload: Two Heads Not Better Than One

In an age of e-mails, databases and online catalogues, two heads may no longer be better than one, according to new ESRC-sponsored research into the effects of information overload.

Problems are exacerbated when information is shared between people with different viewpoints, says a team led by Professor Tom Ormerod of Lancaster University, which revealed big variations in recall among married couples.

In a project aimed at finding better ways for us to organise and retrieve information for shared use, researchers investigated how couples catalogue and retrieve their digital photos now that the age of the shoebox full of prints and negatives is gone.

The team developed a novel digital photograph browser (TW3 - 'The Way We Were'), which restricted cataloguing and retrieval to 'Who', 'What', 'Where' and 'When', while allowing choice within these categories.

When couples had jointly catalogued photographs, it was found that...


Posted by tAPir at 11:13 AM

June 13, 2005

Psychiatric Comorbidity Influences Anxiety Recovery And Recurrence

Anxiety disorders appear to be insidious and chronic conditions, with low rates of recovery and high probabilities of recurrence, study findings suggest, with the likelihood of recovery significantly reduced in the presence of particular comorbid psychiatric conditions.

The researchers therefore suggest that patients with comorbid conditions should not be excluded from clinical trials of anxiety disorders.

The inclusion of such individuals could "provide clinicians and policymakers with rich and much needed information about the effects of psychiatric comorbidity on the long-term outcome of anxiety disorders," Steven Bruce (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA) and colleagues say.

The team analyzed data from...


Posted by tAPir at 9:56 AM

June 10, 2005

Why Do Humans Abuse Drugs?

At the New York Academy of Medicine's 71st annual Thomas William Salmon Lecture, Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) told attendees that she has been obsessed with trying to understand what neurobiological changes explain aberrant behavior in addictive people. "We don't know to what extent changes in people who are addicted are effects of chronic drug exposure, effects of genes that predispose them to become addicted or effects of the environment that facilitate the translation of addiction," she explained. "I'm going to start to try to dissect those elements."

Delivered last December, Volkow's talk...


Posted by tAPir at 9:46 PM

June 7, 2005

Mental Disorders Common In US

Up to 26 percent of all U.S. adults struggled with mental illness in the past year, with half of them having initially suffered symptoms as children, according to new research Monday from Harvard University scientists.

They found most people did not seek treatment for the common conditions such as depression and anxiety that were tracked. But when people did get help, they usually waited about...


Posted by tAPir at 10:48 AM

June 5, 2005

Healing And Prevention: The Unseen Wounds

After commanding a transportation unit in Iraq, a National Guardsman returned home to California (Guthrie, 2005). He thought he was fine until the nightmares and night sweats started. He felt numb and detached from his family. When he drove to work, a bump in the asphalt triggered memories of improvised devices that exploded on Iraqi roadways. With the encouragement of his family, the Guardsman finally sought counseling.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old gunner still in Iraq became...


Posted by tAPir at 9:54 AM

June 1, 2005

What Parents Need to Know: Treating Depression in Children and Teens

During a National Mental Health Association telephone media briefing this week, a teen with depression, her mother and two mental health experts discussed what families can do if they think their child needs mental health treatment. The briefing went beyond current controversies -- such as rumors and myths concerning specific treatments and mental health screenings in schools -- to address What Parents Need to Know: Treating Depression in Children and Teens.

"Recent controversies about depression in children and teens have left many parents with unanswered questions about what to do if their child has a mental health problem" said Michael Faenza, MSSW, NMHA president and CEO. "From the safety of antidepressants to the political debate about school-based mental health screenings, parents face...


Posted by tAPir at 10:10 AM

May 30, 2005

Road Rage: Are Our Patients Driving Angry?

Road rage is a topic that has received much attention recently with reports of serious incidents appearing in the media on an almost daily basis. Road rage has no standard definition, although it has been defined as a situation where "a driver or passenger attempts to kill, injure or intimidate a pedestrian or another driver or passenger or to damage their car in a traffic incident" (Smart and Mann, 2002a). Newspaper reports on road rage have greatly increased in...


Posted by tAPir at 9:15 AM

May 26, 2005

The Importance Of Social Support

Family ties, friendships and involvement in social activities can offer a psychological buffer against stress, anxiety and depression. Social support can also help you cope better with health problems.

Cultivating social support can take some effort. Here's how to develop and maintain strong and healthy social ties.

Social support isn't the same as a support group. Social support is...


Posted by tAPir at 9:51 PM

May 23, 2005

Religious Coping And Recovery From Depression

Philadelphia�Depressed seniors who believe their life is guided by a larger spiritual force have significantly fewer symptoms of depression than those who do not use religious coping strategies. Moreover, this relationship is independent of the amount of social support those individuals receive, according to results of a prospective study presented at the 2002 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

"This is a pretty remarkable study�and when you see these kind of data coming out from both medical and psychiatric populations, it�s hard to continue ignoring...


Posted by tAPir at 10:43 PM

May 19, 2005

Researchers Use MRI To Find "Anxiety Gene"

Likening the human brain's regulation of emotions to a well-tuned orchestra, scientists from the U.S. government's National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) say they may have found a gene that sounds a discordant note, increasing some people's susceptibility to anxiety and depression.

In a report appearing in the May 8 online issue of Nature Neuroscience, NIMH scientists say the gene variant weakens a circuit in the brain for processing negative emotions like anxiety and depression. The research team first scanned 114 healthy subjects using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Posted by tAPir at 9:28 AM

May 15, 2005

FDA Approves Drug For Restless Legs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug by GlaxoSmithKline for the treatment of restless leg syndrome (RLS).

The drug, Requip, was first approved in 1997 for Parkinson's disease.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations of the legs and an urge to move them for relief. Individuals affected with the disorder describe...


Posted by tAPir at 9:57 AM

May 12, 2005

Studies Misguiding Choice Of First Line Treatment?

Psychologist Drew Westen, Ph.D., director of the adolescent and adult personality program of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, and his colleague, Kate Morrison, Ph.D., have written an ambitious, multidimensional meta-analysis of 34 studies on empirically validated psychotherapies published between 1990 and 1998 in top peer-reviewed journals. The study has raised controversy in its reassessment of previously published data and with its suggestion that these data are not always strong enough to warrant...


Posted by tAPir at 9:37 AM

May 10, 2005

How To Resolve Crisis Situations

There are situations in life that come to us where we feel stuck and that there is no way out and we are doomed forever. We tell ourselves "this is it." I am sure if you have a mental health disorder you have faced those times.

At times they are self created and times where fate just seems to walk in on us.

I had my car stolen yesterday. The police were at my door telling me they saw my car driven over 100 mph by a 20 some year old male and a female in the car.

It is important to know that approximately 3 months ago my previous car just "quit on me" and to fix the car would cost more than it was worth. It took me 3 months of financial hardship to get another very cheap car - $450 was all I could afford and find someone to take payments.

I just paid for some work on it last month. It is important for you to know...


Posted by tAPir at 9:16 AM

May 7, 2005

Stress Reducers: The Best-Laid Plans Of Mountain Men

The mile hike along the rocky, fairly inclined Deep Gap Trail in the mid-day sun is moderately strenuous and yields a just reward. Perched on a massive boulder, the view of the Appalachian ranges in the Pisgah National Forest is wondrous: wave after wave of hazy blue ridges breaking onto the green forested valley. A cool caressing "sea" breeze provides the only disturbance to the waves of silence. (I try to momentarily ignore the reality that the haze has more to do with man-made pollution than natural mountain "smoke.")

However, driving home it's clear the back muscles are starting to tighten up. And by the time I return to the B&B, I'm out of it enough to improvise upon Henry Higgins: "The pain of strain drains body and the brain."

I've definitely got severe...


Posted by tAPir at 10:18 AM

May 4, 2005

Relaxation Response Connected To Mind-body Health

Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and prayer, can improve people's health, and psychologists are in a unique position to promote such self-care techniques as a major part of preventative health care, said Herbert Benson, MD, the founding president of the Harvard Medical School Mind/Body Medical Institute, during the 2005 State Leadership Conference's opening session.

Stress hormones, produced when the body's "fight or flight" response is triggered, play a role in a host of ailments including...


Posted by tAPir at 6:41 PM

April 29, 2005

Wake Up Well

If you�re fed up with feeling horrible first thing, here�s how to beat that early morning sloth.

Do you envy those people who spring out of bed each morning, bright-eyed and ready to face the day? If you're a slow starter, try these tips to give yourself some get-up-and go! We are not talking big lifestyle changes but a few simple wake-up tactics, which will fuel your energy reserves so you start every day bursting with vitality.

Stretch it

Even if you have overslept avoid...


Posted by tAPir at 9:09 AM

April 26, 2005

Making Changes For The Better

Making small changes to everyday habits can help you feel happier and healthier.

Better sleep

Keep to a regular bedtime to help set your body clock.

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine for at least four to six hours before bed.

Prepare for sleep by having a warm bath and listening to gentle music while sipping camomile tea or a milky drink.

Sprinkle essential oils...


Posted by tAPir at 9:24 AM

April 23, 2005

Sleep Or Suffer

Recognize that the sleep system tends to right itself after a few nights of insomnia if you do not adjust your schedule.

Set a regular bedtime -- and keep it. Your body needs reliability.

Less is more. Keeping your wake-up time constant but going to bed one hour later will help 25 percent of insomniacs within one to two weeks. Prepare to feel sleepy at times and avoid...


Posted by tAPir at 6:31 PM

April 17, 2005

Survival Guide For Mortifying Moments

No matter how well-adjusted or discreet we might think we are, some situations get the best of us. Turning down a friend's pass, knowing how to console someone who is grieving, or even just accepting a heartfelt compliment can make us want to dive underneath the nearest table or bury our heads in deep sand. "Situations that require a process of transition create intense feelings...


Posted by tAPir at 9:45 AM

April 14, 2005

Interview With Moby On His Panic Disorder

Even if you've never heard of Moby (a.k.a. Richard Melville Hall, a descendant of Herman Melville), there's a good chance you've heard his work. His atmospheric sounds provide the soundtrack to television commercials and films such as Seabiscuit and Heat, as well as a recent James Bond. Known for bringing electronic music to the mainstream, he's sold over 14 million records. He creates albums in the studio he built in the spare bedroom of his Manhattan apartment. Nearby he owns a vegetarian restaurant where he likes to play Scrabble.

You even talk about your panic attacks. When did they start? I've had them since I was 19, when I tried LSD-my one and only time trying LSD. I didn't like it very much. About a week later, I started having panic attacks. I didn't know what they were. Now I'm fine. Every now and then, I'll have too much caffeine, be stressed out about work and be in a relationship that's not going well, and it will happen again.


Posted by tAPir at 9:44 AM

April 9, 2005

Morphine May Help OCD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who have not been helped by standard drug treatments, a weekly dose of oral morphine may ease their symptoms, according to a small pilot study.
The newer class of antidepressants known as SRIs is approved for treating OCD, but up to 40 percent of patients fail to respond to two or more of these drugs, Dr. Lorrin M. Koran and his associates explain in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Quite why morphine can be effective is not known, but...


Posted by tAPir at 8:34 PM

April 5, 2005

Forgive To Live

Still holding grudges? Check your pulse: New research suggests that harboring feelings of betrayal may be linked to high blood pressure which can ultimately lead to stroke, kidney or heart failure, or even death.

In a study exploring the effect of having a forgiving personality on both psychological and physical stress responses, University of Tennessee (UT) students discussed...


Posted by tAPir at 8:18 PM

April 2, 2005

Group Opposes Mandatory Mental Health Screening

(AgapePress) - A Texas pro-family group is voicing opposition to a bill in the state legislature that would implement President Bush's mandatory mental health screening initiative.

HB 470 is part of President Bush's "New Freedom Initiative," which is a plan to screen the entire U.S. population for mental illness. Under the plan, public schools would screen students for "co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders."

Mary Lynn Gerstenschlager is the education liaison for Texas Eagle Forum. She is concerned that the legislation requires children as young as preschool age to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not.

"We would like to ... see that no...


Posted by tAPir at 10:22 AM

March 30, 2005

Employer-paid Mental Health Treatment

Proposal requires some employers to pay for mental health treatment

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolinians could be a step closer to getting mental health coverage through their employers after lawmakers compromised on a bill that would require insurers to pay for the mental health treatment.

The proposal, approved Wednesday by a Senate committee, doesn't go as far as mental health advocates had hoped. It exempts small businesses and limits the illnesses covered under the mandate. But advocates say...


Posted by tAPir at 8:31 PM

March 27, 2005

Stop Hyperventilation For Better Health

With breath begins our journey of life. But as we breathe incessantly, taking it for granted, we develop bad breathing habits. Here are some tips on how to correct them for total well-being.

What is the correct way to breathe? Do we need to relearn breathing? Learning to breathe is a deconstruction process, not a technique to improve breathing. We identify and let go of existing things, which restrict the natural flow of breath.

Perform a subtle check whether the breath is disordered or restricted.

Sit comfortably in a chair, back straight and feet firmly planted on the ground. Quietly observe your breath. Ask yourself the following questions and wait for your reactions. Don't worry if they are vague or blurry. Over a period of time, the sensations will become...


Posted by tAPir at 8:50 PM

March 25, 2005

Medicaid Cuts Devastating For Mental Illness

Washington, DC - The House of Representatives today passed a federal budget resolution that advocates say would dramatically reduce federal support for Medicaid-financed mental health services.

"Indiscriminate Medicaid cuts could have a crippling effect at the local level and absolutely devastate the tens of thousands of people with mental illnesses and their families who rely on Medicaid to access needed services," Linda Rosenberg, spokeswoman for the Campaign for Mental Health Reform and President and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

Medicaid is...


Posted by tAPir at 11:00 PM

March 22, 2005

Link: Depression And Painful Complaints

Pain is more likely to be a part of the lives of people who live with depression than it is for those who are free from depression, according to research presented here on February 25th at the 21st annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

The same study's findings show that among individuals who have chronic pain, those with depression will report more severe pain and worse functioning, and use more medications than do non-depressed people.

Previous studies showed that people with depression...


Posted by tAPir at 8:47 PM

March 18, 2005

Friends: A Source Of Stress?

Sometimes a friendmay actually increase your stress level.

Alone Against the World
Having friends to depend on can be comforting, but one new study suggests that sometimes it's best to go it alone.

Ohio State University psychology professor Catherine Stoney, Ph.D., concocted a purposefully stressful situation in which 40 college-aged women were given just two minutes to prepare a speech. They then delivered their speech before a video camera, and while half of the women had a friend on hand for support, the other half gave the speech alone.

To measure stress, Stoney monitored the speakers' blood cholesterol levels before, during and after giving their speeches.

Surprisingly, she discovered that women with a friend present experienced a surge of cholesterol three times greater than did women with no social support.

"It may be that having a friend there engenders more...


Posted by tAPir at 8:35 PM

March 16, 2005

Country's First Program For Homebound Seniors

Program to Take Psychiatric Services to Frail Elderly in Their Homes
Updated: Feb 25th 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking outreach program for frail elderly who need psychiatric services in their homes -- believed to be the first of its kind in the United States -- is being launched by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

"The highest prevalence of mental illness is in those aged...

Posted by tAPir at 9:46 AM

March 13, 2005

Healthy Love Life Leads To Well-Being

The urge to merge. The search for a soul mate. Be it hearts and minds, bodies or souls, the desire of humans to connect with each other may be the most basic of instincts, the mating ritual, mankind's most primal.

But while anthropologists have long known that the complex combination of biological and evolutionary factors that drive humans to couple and reproduce ensures the well-being of the species, decades of research into human sexuality, brain chemistry, mental health, longevity �even the nutritional value of wine and chocolate � have increasingly shown...


Posted by tAPir at 6:42 PM

March 9, 2005

What Is Reality Therapy?

Reality therapy is a very user friendly technique that asks key questions that help us look at our behaviors and see if we are just "talking the talk, or whether we are walking the walk". Actions speak louder than words. Reality therapy employs some...


Posted by tAPir at 8:25 AM

March 6, 2005

Update On Treatment Of Panic Disorder

Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia occurs commonly in patients in primary care settings. This article assesses multiple evidence-based reviews of effective treatments for panic disorder. Antidepressant medications successfully reduce the severity of panic symptoms and eliminate panic attacks. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants are equally effective in the treatment of panic disorder. The choice of medication is based on...


Posted by tAPir at 8:34 AM

March 4, 2005

Depression Detection In Primary Care

Objective: The first purpose of this study was to examine the variables related to the diagnosis of a depressive disorder and associated with referral to a mental health clinician. The second purpose was to examine the level of agreement of the primary care provider's diagnosis of depression with that of the mental health clinician.

Depressive disorders are common, chronic, and costly. Almost 20% of adults experience a mood disorder requiring treatment during their lifetimes, with approximately 8% of adults having...


Posted by tAPir at 8:50 AM

March 2, 2005

The Neural Basis Of Fear And Anxiety

WHEN IT COMES TO EMOTIONAL LEARNING, the things you have heard may be affecting you as much as those you have experienced, according to Elizabeth A. Phelps, Ph.D., a New York University neuroscientist. Phelps and her colleagues at Yale University found that patients who expected to experience an electric shock suffered anxieties similar to those who had a response to a real threat. "A lot of our fears and anxieties are learned through communication," says Phelps. "If someone tells you to be afraid of a dog, then the brain responds as if you actually were."

During the study, published recently in Nature Neuroscience, subjects were shown...


Posted by tAPir at 8:13 AM

February 28, 2005

Crazy For You

Lovesickness may be a real affliction, says psychologist

As Valentine's Day approaches, British psychologist, Frank Tallis, asks if we should take lovesickness more seriously. Until around 200 years ago, it was accepted as a legitimate illness by medics, but modern medicine has tended to look upon it as simply a poetic turn of phrase. However, Dr Tallis' feature in The Psychologist cites research suggesting that the effects of being lovesick can be described in the latest diagnostic terms - including mania, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. While clinical psychologists are very unlikely to receive referrals from GPs for lovesickness today, Dr Tallis claims it may be an underlying problem in many, and that an understanding of the effects of love on an individual may help psychologists diagnose and treat people. �Many people are referred for help who cannot cope with the intensity of love, have been...


Posted by tAPir at 8:14 AM

February 26, 2005

Drug Or Herb?

The woodland plant St John's Wort has been in use since Crusader times, when the flowers were steeped in warm oil to extract a potent juice contained in its fibrils, but recently the plant's reputation in easing mild reactive depression has gained prominence. Now German scientists have compared the effectiveness of the widely used antidepressant, Paroxetine against a specially manufactured St John's Wort extract called hypericum extract WS 5570. They randomly assigned 301 patients of both sexes, with moderate or severe depression, to either Paroxetine or the herbal extract for six weeks. At the end of the trial half (61 out of 122) of those who took St John's Wort found their symptoms in decline, while only...


Posted by tAPir at 8:15 AM

February 24, 2005

Maternal Depression And Low Birth Weight

DURHAM, NH -- January 21, 2005 -- Depressed pregnant women may be more likely to have babies with low birth weights, according to a new published in the Southern Economic Journal.

The study, co-authored by Karen Conway, professor of economics at the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, showed that depression among mothers-to-be can result in delaying prenatal care, smoking and drinking.

"Maternal smoking has consistently been found to be one of the most important determinants of infant health, and our depression regressions confirm the casual observation that smoking is associated with maternal depression," according to the study.

The researchers used the results...


Posted by tAPir at 8:13 AM

February 22, 2005

Shout Louder, Live Longer

Women who let their feelings show, even if it means having a row with their partner to clear the air, are likely to live longer than those who bottle up angry feelings. However, if they come home upset about what's happened at work, telling their partners their troubles increases the men's chances of developing heart disease. The conclusions are the latest from the Framingham Offspring Study, part of a long-term project looking at the health and...


Posted by tAPir at 8:15 AM

February 20, 2005

The Media And Victims Of Violence

At what point does an interview with a grieving, traumatised victim of a violent crime cross the line between a legitimate inquiry into a matter of public interest and an opportunity to rehash the gruesome details of the crime for dramatic effect?

This question was on the media agenda for much of the past week or so in light of several newspaper, radio and television interviews with Mrs Sonia Williams, mother of the three children killed at Kiloncholly in St Mary two weeks ago.

In one of the interviews I heard, Mrs Williams relived for Nationwide@5 co-hosts Cliff Hughes and Emily Crooks the trauma that has to be the worst nightmare for any parent. The co-hosts struggled to find the right tone, so they were clearly aware that this story required a fine balance.

Mrs Williams sounded like she really wanted to talk. In fact, she explained that she welcomed the opportunity to keep telling the story because it took her mind off what happened.

In the quiet moments when she was...


Posted by tAPir at 8:07 AM

February 18, 2005

Foods For Mental Health

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In research that literally offers food for thought, scientists have found that omega-3 fatty acids and uridine -- a natural substance found in foods -- work as well as antidepressants in preventing signs of depression.

The rat experiments used a well-established animal model of depression, according to the researchers from Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

The rats were placed in a tank of water, where they had no choice but to swim. After a while, the rats realized swimming was futile, so they simply began to float, a sign of surrender to depression. Given an antidepressant drug, however, they started swimming again, the researchers said.

But combined doses of omega-3 fatty acids and uridine were as effective as...


Posted by tAPir at 8:20 AM

February 16, 2005

Redefining Mental Health

Health chiefs explain how they aim to break the mould and become one of the first mental health trusts to achieve foundation status.

Each afternoon school children crisscross the grounds of Harplands Hospital in north Staffordshire on their way home.

The act may not seem that important at first sight.

But what makes this truly remarkable is that the stylish �25m PFI centre in Stoke is actually a mental health hospital.

Just a decade ago it would have been unheard of for children to even enter the grounds of such a facility.

Hospital bosses believe...


Posted by tAPir at 8:16 AM

February 14, 2005

Bid To Find Key To Social Phobia

One in 10 people have social anxiety disorder

Doctors are aiming to uncover what causes one of the most common mental health problems - social anxiety disorder.

The condition, which is characterised by a dread of social situations, affects one in 10 people.

The University of Southampton and Royal South Hants Hospital team believe people with the phobia either misread social cues or ignore them altogether.

Researchers said their findings may help improve treatment.

Current treatments vary from counselling, psychological therapy and drugs.

The team will get volunteers to look at images of faces and objects on screen and measure their reactions.

Lead researcher Dr David Baldwin, a senior lecturer in psychiatry at the university, said ...


Posted by tAPir at 8:11 AM

February 11, 2005

Depression May Be Monkey Business, Too

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDayNews) -- Two new studies suggest that our simian cousins may have more in common with us than we realize.

Female monkeys suffer from depression, especially when they're isolated, while the innate sense of fairness in chimpanzees seems to be pegged to interpersonal relationships, researchers have found.

The findings could give experts more insight into how monkeys and chimpanzees evolved separately from humans. And in the case of one monkey study, "we can study these animals and learn things that will help us understand human depression better," said co-author Carol Shively, a professor of pathology at Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

While some animals appear to suffer from depression, researchers have so far only used rats as a model for human behavior, Shively said. For example, researchers have given Prozac to rats to see if it helps motivate them to swim longer.

In her study, Shively and her colleagues studied 36 adult female cynomolgus monkeys who lived with other monkeys in groups of four. The findings appear in the April issue of the Journal of Biological Psychology.

The researchers noted that ...


Posted by tAPir at 11:18 PM

February 10, 2005

Stress Can Make You Forgetful

How many people have gotten home after a blindingly stressful day and realize they�ve forgotten some important event or errand?

Well, now at least there�s a scientific explanation for the oversight.

Stress makes you forgetful.

People going on stage or taking an exam or finding themselves in similarly tough situations already knew this, of course.

But a team of researchers has found...


Posted by tAPir at 8:16 AM

February 8, 2005

The Culture Of Distress

There's more mental illness in America than anyone previously suspected. The first nationally representative survey reveals that nearly one-half of all Americans between the ages of 15 and 54 have experienced an episode of psychiatric disorder some time in their lives, 30 percent of them within the past year.

What's more, most mental illness tends to cluster in a small number of individuals, according to the results of the National Comorbidity Survey. Fifty-six percent of people with a history of one psychiatric disorder also suffer from a multiplicity of others. Roughly 5.2 million Americans account for 90 percent of all episodes of severe mental illness each year.


Posted by tAPir at 8:11 AM

February 6, 2005

Email Transference: Seeing The Other Clearly

The lack of face-to-face cues in e-mail often results in ambiguity. Without hearing a person's voice -- or seeing body language and facial expressions -- you may not be exactly sure what the person means. This ambiguity enhances the tendency to project your own expectations, wishes, and anxieties unto the somewhat shadowy figure sitting at the other end of the internet -- what is called a "transference reaction." As an e-mail relationship develops over time, there may be ebbs and flows in the transferential feelings and attitudes towards the other person. When you first connect through e-mail, they tend to be minimal since you do not know the other person and have little psychological investment in the relationship. Transference reactions are more likely to surface when emotional attachments begin to form but you still do not have a good "feel" for the person due to that lack of f2f cues. Other peak moments occur when emotional topics come up but you are unable to...


Posted by tAPir at 8:21 AM

February 4, 2005

Antidepressant Warnings Tightened

LONDON - Britain�s medicines agency tightened warnings on popular Prozac-type antidepressants on Monday following a review of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI) sparked by concerns over their safety.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there should be stronger warnings about the risk of withdrawal reactions after ending a course of SSRI treatment and in most cases the lowest recommended dose should be prescribed.

Young adults should be monitored closely as a precautionary measure when being treated with SSRIs, it added.

The agency appointed an expert group to investigate the drugs� safety following claims they could...


Posted by tAPir at 8:08 AM

February 2, 2005

The Behaviors Of Addiction

Phil Rich, Ed.D., MSW

There are a number of "side" behaviors that often accompany addiction which are not actually part of the addiction. It's simply that addiction is so inherently anti-social that many of these behaviors go hand-in-hand with it, required because they're needed to maintain the addiction.

The Side Behaviors
Denial. Addicts often deny that there is an addiction. Denial is a way to ignore or dismiss the idea of addiction and avoid seeing a problem. Sometimes, addicts will acknowledge being addicted, but nevertheless dismiss the significance of the addiction. Cigarette smoking is a good example of an addiction that people readily acknowledge, but frequently do nothing about. They deny the reality of the addiction. Overcoming denial is always the first step in treatment of addictions.

Selfishness. Addictions make people...


Posted by tAPir at 8:11 AM

January 31, 2005

Stress And Office Noise

Sounding Off at Work

If you sit near enough to you co-workers to hear them typing, you'll probably need a few extra sick days.

In a study conducted at Cornell University, design and environmental analysis professor Gary W. Evans, Ph.D., aimed to figure out how low-intensity noise affects people working in open spaces without separate offices or cubicles. Evans recruited 80 female clerical workers and piped in typical office background noises--conversations, typing sounds and ringing phones--to half of their offices as they worked.

Workers toiling in noisy environments showed increased levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, but few of the participants reported feeling particularly stressed. Surprised at his findings, which appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Evans suspects that workers tend to...


Posted by tAPir at 8:15 AM

January 29, 2005

Your Dreams Are Your Power

Create Your Dreamscape

Dreams are a risk free way to learn new skills, explore new behaviors and make changes in your life. Material flows freely between the dream realm and waking reality. You've probably noticed that what concerns your waking mind often appears in your dreams. The opposite is also true.

By focusing your mind on specific areas that intersest you, you can intentionally create dreams to promote growth and healing. For example, you can develop assertiveness or become more comfortable making friends, or presenting, etc. by practicing in your dreams. Over time, you can...


Posted by tAPir at 8:18 AM

January 27, 2005

Forgiving Yourself

The ultimate spiritual challenge may be to forgive. But years of talking with struggling souls has convinced me that there is one person whom many of us have particularly great difficulty forgiving. That person is oneself.

You may have had the experience of making a major mistake, perhaps deeply hurting someone you love, then replaying the event over and over again with an accompanying negative narration. "You terrible bum, you sinner, you worthless piece of ----. How could you do that? What is wrong with you?" People of a religious bent will even feel condemned to the fires of hell with themselves being judge and jury. In essence, we sometimes view our own failings to be...


Posted by tAPir at 8:10 AM

January 25, 2005

Depression And Negative Thinking

It has been estimated that we have anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. If your cast of mind is predominantly negative, imagine how many negative thoughts you are generating daily--thousands upon thousands. That is precisely the case with depression.

One of the features of depression is pessimistic thinking. The negative thinking is actually the depression speaking. It's what depression sounds like. Depression in fact manifests in negative thinking before it creates negative affect.

Most depressed people are not aware that the despair and hopelessness they feel are flowing from their negative thoughts. Thoughts are mistakenly seen as...


Posted by tAPir at 8:18 AM

January 23, 2005

A Nation Of Wimps

Maybe it's the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt three miles an hour. On his tricycle.

Or perhaps it's today's playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And...wait a minute...those aren't little kids playing. Their mommies--and especially their daddies--are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching. Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves.

Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Presumably, parents now worry that school bathrooms are not good enough for their children.

Consider the teacher new to an upscale suburban town. Shuffling through the sheaf of reports certifying the educational "accommodations" he was required to make for many of his history students, he was struck by the exhaustive, well-written--and obviously costly--one on behalf of a girl who was already proving among the most competent of his ninth-graders. "She's somewhat neurotic," he confides, "but she is bright, organized and conscientious--the type who'd get to school to turn in a paper on time, even if she were dying of stomach flu." He finally found the disability he was to make allowances for:


Posted by tAPir at 10:38 AM

January 21, 2005

Mirth Is Good For Stress

A confession: I was a network situation comedy writer who decided to get mymasters in psychology. I was making retribution for my sins.

It was a startling contrast going from studio lots where people worked at finding laughs to a profession where the mandatory operating equipment includes a box of Kleenex.

Since one of my key survival mechanisms in life is laughing, I asked my teachers if I could use humor with my clients. Their response: "Be very cautious." Only last year, the American Psychoanalytic Association held that humor was "inappropriate" to their mission, but lately, cracks in the wall have begun to appear. A recent article in the American Psychological Association Monitor described a "mirthful consultant" who helped psychologists brighten patients' lives using stuffed bears and scarf juggling. Other articles in magazines such as Humor and Health have shown that mirth can lower stress and help strengthen the immune system.

The diagnosis is that mirth is good...


Posted by tAPir at 8:17 AM

January 19, 2005

Predicting Who Will Get Panic Attacks

A brief questionnaire can identify people at highest risk for experiencing panic attacks, psychologists at Harvard and elsewhere have found. Called the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, this questionnaire asks people to rate their fear of such anxiety symptoms as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nervousness, and even stomach growling.

The index measures not anxiety, but a person's fear of these anxiety-related symptoms. Just as people vary in their proneness to feel anxious, so they differ in their fear of feeling anxious -- their anxiety sensitivity.

"People with low sensitivity regard symptoms like a rapid heart rate as unpleasant but not much to worry about," says Richard McNally, professor of psychology. "But those with high anxiety sensitivity respond with alarm, often fearing they may be having a heart attack."

People who worry about what they think will happen -- fear of fear -- aren't mentally ill but they are at increased risk for panic attacks.

These attacks are sudden, unpredictable bursts of fear. Victims experience...


Posted by tAPir at 8:22 AM

January 17, 2005

Poem For Agoraphobics

The Agoraphobic's Checkout
by Newf


What trials a phobic goes through just to get through one more day
To function in the outside world with so many obstacles in their way.

They have to know where the exits are while shopping at the stores
The first thing that a phobic does is check out all the doors.

A 'Fire Exit Only' sign can...


Posted by tAPir at 8:22 AM

January 15, 2005

Drug Companies Launch New Prescription Drug Card Savings

Together Rx Access� is a free savings program that helps eligible participants save approximately 25%-40% and sometimes more* on over 275 brand-name prescription drugs and other prescription products, as well as savings on a wide range of generic drugs. (Click here to see the most recent list of drugs and products.)

Are you and your family eligible?


Posted by tAPir at 8:10 AM

January 13, 2005

Fatty Foods - Depression Link?

You are, as the expression goes, what you eat. After all, the very tissues of your body, the fuels that power every cell, the hormones that keep you humming, all must ultimately be furnished by the foods you eat. No surprise, then, that over the past 15 years, perhaps spurred most intensely by health concerns and the performance demands of elite athletes, a burgeoning body of literature has documented the intimate connections between food and health. At the same time, an interest in nutrition has moved from the fringes of cultural life squarely into the mainstream.

But that turns out to be a very neck-down view of things. For while the foods we eat have measurable effects on the body's performance, they may prove to have an even more critical influence on how the brain handles its tasks. The brain is an extremely metabolically active organ, making it a very hungry one, and a picky eater at that. The idea that the right foods, or the natural neurochemicals they contain, can enhance mental capabilities--help you concentrate, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, magnify memory, speed reaction times, defuse stress, perhaps even prevent brain aging--is not idle speculation.

Nutritional neuroscience, as it's called, is barely in its infancy. But it's already turning up some very heady findings. Among them:

* A diet that draws heavily on fatty foods and only lightly on fruits and vegetables isn't just bad for your heart and linked to certain cancers--it may also be a major cause of depression and...


Posted by tAPir at 8:15 AM

January 11, 2005

Seasonal Affective Disorder And Taste

If that Snickers bar you're eating seems a bit less sweet this time of year,you might be experiencing a newly discovered symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the so-called winter depression that strikes as many as 15 million people during these sunlight-scarce months. It turns out that SAD dampens not only your mood but also your taste buds.

The finding comes courtesy of Paul Arbisi, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. SAD sufferers often...


Posted by tAPir at 8:16 AM

January 9, 2005

Taming The "What Ifs"

One in four of us will suffer from an anxiety disorder in our lifetime. And the rest of us will worry, fuss, and fret far more than we need to. Now, in this excerpt from his book, "Worry," the psychiatrist who helped put attention deficit disorder on the map offers his treatment program for brooders.

Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.

--Swedish Proverb.

WORRY IS LIKE blood pressure: you need a certain level to live, but too much can kill you. At its worst, worry is insidious, invisible, a relentless scavenger, roaming the corners of your mind, feeding on anything it finds. It sets upon you unwanted and unbidden, feasting on the infinite array of negative possibilities in life, diminishing your enjoyment of friends, family, achievements, and physical being -- all because you live in fear of what might go wrong. People who worry too much suffer. For all their hard work, for all their humor and willingness to laugh at themselves, for all their self-awareness, worriers just cannot achieve peace of mind.

Worry is amazingly common. At least one in four of us...


Posted by tAPir at 8:24 AM

January 7, 2005

Stress And Antidepressant Link Found

LOS ANGELES, Dec 17, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Scientists studying depression say they have found a link between how well someone handles stress and how much good antidepressants do.

Psychiatrists have long known that about half the people found to be suffering from depression also show signs of elevated anxiety and researchers have been trying to explain the correlation.

In the new study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, doctors from Harvard and UCLA treated with drugs a group of 54 Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles who were both depressed and highly anxious.


Posted by tAPir at 8:18 AM

January 5, 2005

Vitamin C For Stress

It's already everybody's favorite nutritional supplement, linked, however controversially, to preventing the common cold and fighting cancer. But vitamin C recently added a new notch on its belt. The vitamin helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress on people.

People who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to acute psychological challenges. What's more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood.

In one recent study German researchers subjected 120 people to a sure-fire stressor�a public speaking task combined with mental math problems. Half of those studied were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C.

Such signs of stress as elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and high blood pressure were significantly greater in those who did not get the vitamin supplement. Those who got vitamin C reported that they felt less stressed when they got the vitamin.

The researchers believe that vitamin C should be considered an essential part of stress management.

Earlier studies showed that vitamin C abolished secretion of cortisol in animals that had been subjected to repeated stress. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Once it gets into the bloodstream...


Posted by tAPir at 8:17 AM

January 3, 2005

Make The Most Of Your Natural Rhythms

It�s not the one on the wall that counts, but the one inside you.

Whether you're at your best first thing or late at night depends on a natural phenomenon known as circadian rhythms. These are governed by an internal �body clock' that is built into humans and most other living organisms and runs on a 24-hour cycle.

Circadian rhythms were discovered in the late 70s by a team of scientists at Manchester University, led by Dr Jim Waterhouse. They were found to control many of the body's functions, raising body temperature and releasing hormones according to their own internal pattern, regardless of external �time cues' such as changing light or regular mealtimes.

During the experiments, volunteers were kept in an isolation unit for a day and a night with no clocks, and constant light. The volunteers were fed simple snacks every hour and made to sit upright without any sleep for the whole time.

In all cases, the volunteers' bodies functioned as if...


Posted by tAPir at 8:19 AM

January 1, 2005

No More "Lunatic Asylums"

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 17, 2004 (IPS/GIN) -- Officially there are no more "lunatic asylums" in Latin America - a term that brings to mind dark, foul-smelling institutions where those who have gone "mad" were locked away, sometimes for life, and frequently mistreated.

But although mental hospitals in the region have been given modern names and a whitewash, the transformation has not always put an end to the abuse.

Testimony and documents studied by IPS indicate that significant changes have occurred in Latin America in favour of the mentally ill over the past few years, including a gradual departure from the old model of locking up patients and a move towards out-patient treatment that allows them to stay in close contact with their families and communities.

However, not everything is rosy.


Posted by tAPir at 8:23 AM