December 25, 2006

Top TEN New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make our top ten list?


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Posted by tAPir at 8:06 PM

December 18, 2006

Depression At Christmas

Depression at Christmas

Survey on Depression at Christmas shows quite clearly what many of us have long suspected - that Christmas is difficult for vast numbers of people. It is a particular problem for depressed adults, who often feel worse as the festive season gets underway.

Over 45 per cent of those who responded said that they dread the festive season. Interestingly, New Year doesn't fare any better than Christmas. The results of the survey show that many people find coping with Hogmanay and all the supposed jollification equally difficult. In fact 43 per cent of respondents said that they did not like New Year 'at all'.

And when asked: 'If you're already depressed, does Christmas tend to make it worse?' more than 57 per cent replied that it often or always does.


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Posted by tAPir at 7:33 PM

December 14, 2006

A tAPir Member's Story

deedee65PA's Story

I suffered from depression for years before anxiety/panic entered my life. I had a pretty rotten childhood, with a clinically depressed mom, whose only means of dealing with it was to deny it. She would "escape" from us every night, leaving my sisters and I in the care of our brothers. She was there for us if we needed her, but never emotionally. I remember telling her I love you Mom, but she never said it back. When I asked her if she loved me, she'd just say something like, "I love all my kids." We were the poor family in an upper-middle class neighborhood, so I was the subject of a lot of teasing, and had very few friends, which has caused me, as an adult, a lot of self-esteem issues, along with never being able to trust anyone. I remember spending hours in the school psychologists office, making up things to tell him, because my mom made me promise I wouldn't tell him anything about our home life. It's like she knew I was sad, but she didn't want me to blame her. And, I wasn't allowed to tell anyone outside the immediate family either, as if being sad made me (or her) somehow flawed, or a bad person.

6 years ago, I went into such a deep depression, I tried to commit suicide. I wasn't sure if I actually wanted to die, but I knew I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. Which is kind of ironic, because dying in my sleep is one of my biggest fears now. I was hurting so bad, and couldn't convince anyone I was in trouble, so I found a way to make them listen, and boy did they. Before I knew what happened, I was on the psych ward of my local hospital, and my life was fallling apart. I separated from my husband for 5 months, I became suddenly single, and scared to death that I had finally fucked up for good this time. Things slowly got better, Jim and I got back together, and the depression faded, for a while.

Two years after that, my middle sister went into a depression, checked herself in to her hospital, and tried to kill herself while there. Although my attempt was only a 'minor' one, hers nearly killed her. She was on life support for 2 weeks, and had to spend 6 weeks in the hospital, under constant watch. She had to undergo numerous shock-therapy treatments, because she was so imminently suicidal. She's doing better now, I'm happy to report. I only wrote this because I think it's important to show that mental-health issues really do run in the family.

Two years ago, I had my first panic attack, but of course didn't know it. My doc knew it though, and put me on Ativan. That bottle lasted me nearly 2 years. The attacks were few and far between, and mild enough to manage, I thought.

Then a year ago, my big sister, Lisa, died in her sleep. No one knew she was sick, not even her. She had an undiagnosed heart condition. Her kids found her. To say the least, it was absolutely the worst thing that ever happened to me. Lisa was my best friend in the world, the one I went to when I had no one else to go to. That's when the depression and anxiety started to rear it's ugly head again. Then, some sick, twisted person from my church had the nerve to say that I wasn't getting over my grief fast enough, and that was probably because I was afraid Lisa was in hell, because she wasn't 'saved' before she died. Needless to say, I started spending a whole lot of time away from that place. I believe that added to my depression/anxiety.

January 26th, Jim was in a car accident. He was fine, but I couldn't get all those 'what if's' out of my head, and the anniversay of Lisa's death was approaching, so my panic went into high gear. I had to quit my second job, and I spent the night before the anniversary date sitting up in bed, afraid to go to sleep. After that, I spent two weeks just laying around, convinced I was dying that very moment. I had numerous ER trips, until finally, I got some help in the form of meds and just started therapy 6 weeks ago. I took a 4 week leave of absence from work, because I was so afraid of something happening to me while I was there, and not being able to take care of my girls. It was during that time that I started scouring the internet for any info I could find on anxiety/PD, and I found tapir. Thank God! I was so relieved to know that I wasn't alone in this, and that knowledge in itself was pure therapy for me. It kickstarted me into getting my shit back together. So, thanks tapirites.

Posted by tAPir at 3:10 PM

December 3, 2006

Stress, Depression and the Holidays...12 Coping Tips

Stress, depression and the holidays: 12 tips for coping
Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and affect your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.
For some people, the holidays bring unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it's no wonder. In an effort to pull off a perfect Hallmark holiday, you might find yourself facing a dizzying array of demands — work, parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, caring for elderly parents or kids on school break, and scores of other chores. So much for peace and joy, right?


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Posted by tAPir at 12:10 AM

November 27, 2006

Researchers Seek Routes to Happier Life

NEW YORK - As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Caroline Adams Miller knows a few things about using mental exercises to achieve goals. But last year, one exercise she was asked to try took her by surprise..........

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Posted by tAPir at 8:02 PM

November 23, 2006

Bev's Story

Bev's Story

I remember as a child being constantly scared of nuclear war. This was in the late 70s and 80s but we lived near a military base so every week the bomb raid sirens would go off and during the school year we would have weekly bomb drills, you know "duck and cover". That was my first real paranoia.

I also lived in constant fear, through out childhood and into my early 20s, of someone coming to get me in my sleep. In my late teens my townhouse I shared with friends was broken into while we were asleep. The guy who broke in ran off, after my boyfriend woke up and pumped his shotgun. We never even saw the guy. Only thing he got was my wallet. Thats when my obsession of locking the doors started. It took me years to stop the lock, unlock, lock, unlock, lock thing. I still catch myself doing it from time to time. I also have a big, scary sounding dog that makes me feel more secure. But, to this day I have really horrid dreams of being chased and not being able to get away.


After the birth of my son a few years ago (my 2nd child) I got a bad strep like infection in my throat. It took from July until early November that year for my fever to go away. I was REALLY sick. During that time my anxiety and panic attacks started. My symptoms were so confusing, I didnt know what was panic, what was a side effect from drugs or what was a part of my actually infection. I had hot flashes, extereme nausea, numbness, insomnia, heart palps, dizziness, extreme thirst, muscle spasms, horrid thoughts, KNOWING I was dying....I could go on and on. Combine all that with feeling like crap from a fever, and its hell.

Finally after all those months my fever went away and I gradually crawled out of my head and back into the real world. I still get scared when I get a sore throat because I really, really dont want to go back there again. Worst thing I have ever felt.

I still deal with daily anxiety (3 1/2 years later) but I usually can handle it. Some days are really bad but I usually only have a bad, bad day a couple times a month or so. Thank goodness the panic attacks dont happen very often, I haven't had one since last August. I hope that they stay away, but you can never tell.

Anyhow, thats a basic overall picture of my story

Posted by tAPir at 5:15 PM

November 18, 2006

After Treatment for Mental Illness, Fight for Insurance Often Follows

After Treatment for Mental Illness, Fight for Insurance Often Follows
By SUSAN FREINKEL
Like millions of Americans, Caroline Polk, a freelance editor in Washington, was left deeply unnerved by the Sept. 11 attacks.

She could not sleep and felt tense and nervous all the time. Unable to calm herself, she decided to go for counseling, paying out of her own pocket. After four months, her anxiety had subsided, and she quit.

Ms. Polk did not give the therapy another thought until a few months later, when she decided to switch her health insurance. She applied for an individual plan through a Maryland company, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. When the application asked about recent medical treatments, she duly noted the counseling, as well as some visits to the doctor for minor back pain.

To her surprise, CareFirst initially turned her down, saying that while neither the anxiety nor the back trouble alone disqualified her, together they tipped the scales against her. Ms. Polk, 38, appealed the decision, and eventually the company agreed to issue her health insurance.

''I'm very healthy,'' she said. ''I don't have any chronic conditions. I don't smoke. I exercise regularly. I'm actually a very good health risk.''

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Posted by tAPir at 8:22 PM

November 10, 2006

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM) is an annual observance that encourages the public at large and local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. AAM began as a way to inform the American public that alcoholism is a treatable disease, not a moral weakness, and that people who are addicted to alcohol can and do recover.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines alcoholism (or alcohol dependence) as a chronic disease with four symptoms:

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Posted by tAPir at 8:33 PM

November 5, 2006

Germs Never Sleep

SIMON SASSOON saw the future in a dream. Mr. Sassoon, a former watch designer, dreamed he was standing in a women’s public restroom, which his hygiene-conscious girlfriend had just left. Attached to the door above the knob was a white plastic box.

A new product for the germaphobe: the HYSO, which disinfects public restroom door handles.

As Mr. Sassoon’s dream self watched, the box made a gushing sound. Out from the bottom sprayed a fine dry mist, which bathed the metal knob and killed every germ on it...............


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Posted by tAPir at 6:17 PM

October 29, 2006

Mental Health Problems: The undefined and hidden burden

Mental health problems: the undefined and hidden burden

The undefined burden of mental problems refers to the economic and social burden for families, communities and countries. Although obviously substantial, this burden has not been efficiently measured. This is because of the lack of quantitative data and difficulties in measuring and evaluating.

The hidden burden refers to the burden associated with stigma and violations of human rights and freedoms. Again, this burden is difficult to quantify. This is a major problem throughout the world, as many cases remain concealed and unreported............


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Posted by tAPir at 7:06 PM

October 24, 2006

Mind Matters: The Science of the Brain

Oct. 24, 2006 - Imagine that I have $100 and I offer you $20 of it, no strings attached. You'd take it, right? Any fool would; it's a windfall. But imagine further that you know I must give away part of my $100 or lose it all. All of a sudden my motives aren't entirely altruistic, but I'm still offering you free money. Take it or leave it, but no negotiation allowed. How would you feel? What would you do? ?????????

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Posted by tAPir at 8:52 PM

October 17, 2006

Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Someone with a cold may just have left a little drop of virus on the light switch for you to pick up and infect yourself with, researchers found in a real-life look at how colds get passed around.

Adults with runny noses leave the virus on about 35 percent of objects they touch, such as telephones, door handles and television controls, the researchers at the University of Virginia reported on Friday.

An hour after someone leaves a virus-infected droplet on a surface, it can be picked up 60 percent of the time. And 24 hours later, 33 percent of the little virus-laden droplets got onto a finger, the researchers told a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.


"Some adults left a few ... and some contaminated almost all of the sites tested," said Dr. Owen Hendley, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia Health System, who led the study.

Although the study was funded by the makers of a disinfectant spray, Hendley said it is far more important for people to remember to wash their hands.

"In order to get infected with the rhinovirus which causes essentially half of the colds in adults and children, you have to...

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Posted by tAPir at 4:38 PM

October 9, 2006

Our Member of the Month's Story.....Julie b.

Julie b.'s story

"It Can Get Better And Better"

Ok here goes.

Im 39 years old and suffered a bout panic attacks 4 years ago, brought about by me winding myself up about swallowing chewing gum......that simple. I convinced myself it was stuck in my throat, a day later choked on a crisp and ended up in hospital having a panic attack, no one explained what they were.
all i could feel was this wave coming over me, i thought i couldnt breath, then the next one came, i was this way for months, breathing into brown bags, but did not seek advice.

then they just went.....nothing, i got busy with college and my baby and the house.
then 9 months later i felt ill and was admitted to hospital 3 times before they found out my issues........stomach gastritis and gall stones. I felt i had no one to care for my baby while i was in hospital and the more i worried the more i felt anxious. I was sat in the bath in the hospital and it started.....i was shaking and so afraid i was gonna die.... there and then and nothing could convince me otherwise, but still i didnt tell anyone.

I came home from hospital and my sister rang our mother because she was worried i was going over the edge. my mum came to look after me and my baby and fed us and generally i realised that i have never felt so loved by anyone than at this time. I was hyperventilating all the time and i mean all the time, i would not leave the house at all, i couldnt care for my child and i thought i was gonna die every second of every hour of the day. Mum stayed for 2 weeks and she forced me to go out of the house every day, just for a walk, God help me but when she left for home i just wanted to die. By this time i had finished college and had started university.

then i found the group NO Panic in England, and Tapir and there starts the change. For a month i rang No Panic phone volunteers every day, crying and distressed, they were the ones that got me back to uni.
I went to uni every day........but still convinced that every step i took was going to be my last one, walking to the bus stop on a nite i would sweat, cry, and generally i felt look to anyone passing like i was drunk.

It was the most horrible time of my life, feeling like every minute was my last one on this earth, then who would look after my baby, i was bitter with her father i didnt want him to do it. I would ring my sister and beg her to take care of my child if i died. This was at the crux of the matter, i was a single mum, afraid of leaving my baby, this thought was in my mind every minute of every day.
As im writing this i am crying as i realise just how bad things were then, what a mess i was, how out of control i really was. I was convinced i would end up on a psyche ward and not be able to care for her.

then i started listening to the volunteers at No Panic, putting into practice their advice, i also went to the Doctor to request medication, i told them i had panic disorder, they didnt tell me.

Then i had to move to get away from the area my ex lived as he was hassling me, i found a house and got busy, i researched panic the whole time and came here to visit often. I stopped my meds as they stopped the panic but gave me anxiety, i had only been taking them 3 months. I came here and read about finding other ways to cope.
Breathing techniques, turning negative thoughts around, distracition. I was still ringing No Panic on a reg. basis, they gave me advice, mindful thinking, concentrating on one thing at a time. I bought a relaxation C.D. from them for 3 pounds, and this 3 pounds saved my life, i did this C.D. every day twice a day.
the C.D takes you through clenching all the muscle groups one by one, then relaxing them, and for me this was the massive breakthrough i had been looking for for almost a year. The difference in my life was amazing, i couldnt believe that doing these exercises would change me, but they did, along with deep breathing and researching panic an anxiety until i was sick of reading about it.

Then i could come here and post about other stuff, womens things, support offering it and requesting it.

that was all almost 2 and a half years ago.
So dont get me wrong, i still have anxiety, but i cannot and will not let it rule my life again, ever. I have had to force myself to do things.
Force myself to go to the shop and run out without buying what i need, but hey i went there.
I forced myself to go to a concert with ten thousand people there, and bloody hell i loved every minute.
I forced myself to take my child to school and to swimming and had to force myslef to look people in the eye as they stopped to chat to me, Lord i hated every mintue, and sometimes the old thought that every step was my last one crept back in and i gave in sometimes an stayed home.......but practice was the key....keep doing it and doing and its not gonna kill you,

I would not drop dead in the street, and if i did, would i care, no i would be dead.
I wasnt going to pass out, if i did then someone would ring an ambulance.
I wasnt going crazy, i was to aware of going crazy to be going crazy

And most of all my baby would be looked after, after all why wouldnt she be, shes loved by my family who would defend her, she has people around her who would remind her of me.

Milestones for me were, meeting a new man, him moving him, me telling him about panic and him not running in the opposite direction.
being able to go and complete my university qualification and become a social worker, a better person because of my struggles with panic and anxiety and spreading the word that it is possible to beat.
Getting married in front of those i love with all my heart. Becoming closer to my mother was a massive development for me, realising i was worthy of her love and that she had always loved me.
And realising that i am a good person, with a good heart and that i deserve a life that is good and free from panic.

So thats me, free from panic. and i thank God for his part in my recovery.
I thank God with all my heart for my wonderful child who is brighter than any star.
And i thank God for sending my husband to me, a man who accepts me for what i am, where i have been with panic and will support me when that anxiety creeps in where i allow when i am tired.

I owe my sanity to the volunteers at No Panic and i owe the fact that i discovered i was normal to the people at TaPir, who offered support when all i wanted to do was crawl away and give up.

Jools, who is still practicing the breathing and relaxing........long may it continue.

Posted by tAPir at 1:43 PM

October 4, 2006

Patient's Genes May Guide Antidepressant Use

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- New insights into how genes affect an individual's response to particular drugs could someday speed the effective treatment of depression, researchers say.........

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Posted by tAPir at 3:31 PM

September 29, 2006

Brain Stimulation Produces Creepy Shadow Feeling

LONDON (Reuters) - Stimulating a certain area of the brain can produce a creepy feeling that someone is watching you when no one is, scientists said Wednesday.

Swiss researchers made the discovery while evaluating a young woman for surgery to treat epilepsy. They believe their finding could help explain feelings such as paranoia which afflict patients suffering from schizophrenia.

When they electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction in her brain, which is linked to self-other distinction and self-processing, she thought someone was standing behind her.

If they repeated the stimulus while she leaned forward and grabbed her knees she had an unpleasant sensation that...


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Posted by tAPir at 6:00 PM

September 26, 2006

Stress and the immune system

There are two main catagories of stress: acute and chronic. Acute stressors include unpleasant films, understimulation/work underload, overstimulation/work overload, unexpected or uncontrollable noise, prestige or status loss, electric shock, uncontrollable situations, physical illness, surgery, threats to self-esteem, and traumatic experiences. Chronic stressors include sleep deprivation, daily "hassles", work overload or underload, role strains, or social isolation. There are, of course, many more things that can cause stress, but these are the stressors most commonly used in experimental research and most commonly seen in the general population (Elliott and Eisdorfer, 1982).

While there is no way to predict conclusively how an individual will respond to different stressors, stress does cause...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:24 AM

September 20, 2006

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

In a 1994 report on the current state of emotional literacy in the U.S., author Daniel Goleman stated:

"...in navigating our lives, it is our fears and envies, our rages and depressions, our worries and anxieties that steer us day to day. Even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions. The price we pay for emotional literacy is in failed marriages and troubled families, in stunted social and work lives, in deteriorating physical health and mental anguish and, as a society, in tragedies such as killings..."
Goleman attests that the best remedy for battling our emotional shortcomings is preventive medicine. In other words, we need to place as much importance on teaching our children the essential skills of Emotional Intelligence as we do on more traditional measures like IQ and GPA.

Exactly what is Emotional Intelligence? The term encompasses the following five characteristics and abilities:

1. Self-awareness--knowing your...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:21 PM

September 16, 2006

Skeertnhurtn's Story

All I can remember about how my panic started is that we (my sister and kids) went to a birthday party. Suddenly, my sister took her glasses off and while sitting on a rolling kitchen chair, rolled herself to a wall, and began to have what I SWEAR was a seizure. She was shaking uncontrollably, drooling and twitching. Her friend called 911 while the husband tried to keep her awake and calm and breathing, and I was left to heard all the children out of the kitchen and into another area of the house so they would not be wigged out by what was happening in there. This was 10 yrs ago (she went to the hospital and they told her she had a stress attack, gave her xanax, and when the twitching stopped, they sent her home).

The next evening we all had plans to play cards (a weekend event) at my sister's apartment.
(we would switch places every weekend). During that evening, I could not sit still, pay attention, communicate. It felt like I couldn't breathe right. I had to stop playing so I could keep going outside for air. So, I took my own daughter, and went home, where I still could not function properly. It was still early when we got home so my girl asked could she go out and play with friends. I said, "No". But I did tell her she could have 1 person over but not to make any sound. I am sure she was like WTF? but at that time I was really scared. I didn't was anyone near me, her included, but I didn't want her out of the house, either. After about an hour, I had her call my aunt and I talked to her. She brought me a Xanax (my other aunt has a LONG history of panic) as she seemed to figure out I needed to calm down. Well, that little pink pill knocked my butt down for the count.

A lot of it is a blur, but maybe a month later, I was in the ER for a major panic! Thought my heart was going to pump out my chest. While in the ER, a father came rushing in to triage and was yelling for help, as his son was having a heart attack! Well, you can guess what I was thinking!

Yup! We are going to die, me and that young man! (don't know how or where he is). Was given the whole battery of tests and whatever, and sent home. No meds. Go home, it was panic.

Fast forward a year, (or 2 or 3 ) still panic but with an added element...depression. Insurance was changed at work, to HMO so had a quack give me Zoloft...later it was Paxil, and later still was followed by Prozac, Welbutrin, Trazadone, Lexapro, still have my Xanax (also saw 5 doctors in between, remember this is over a period of 10 yrs).

One thing I hadn't thought of till some family member brought it up, was during a lot of that time, I had lost two family members, although we were estranged, were still my family. (brother and sister, lost in car accidents, 6 yrs apart), moving, new jobs, new meds, extended family (I am raising my deceased sister's boys) and over time, "IT" just got the better of me. None of the meds really helped, was never given correct dosages, or even a combo of meds to control these feelings. I also tried therapy over last summer and still no relief. Also, a psychiatrist and she wanted to put me on some stuff that would raise my blood sugar and pack on the pounds. (diabetes runs in the family!) She said it would contain my "RAGES", as that was her diagnoses, in ONE VISIT!

In one year, (2002) in order, I have lost the following: 3/02, my father (who raised me from 14 till adulthood) 6/2002, my mother in law, 7/02, my daughters great grandma, 11/02, her grandma,
(her dad's side of the family) 12/02 my sister in law, 01/03, my niece. We had driven over 2,000
miles just to say good bye to these family members.

I know that without you tAPirites, I would have surely lost my mind by now. I have heard your tales of woe, and some pretty funny things in here. I also have my husband of 4 years to help me with the spiritual side of things and just his presence to help me along. My kids...they are awesome. I used to try to hide it, but since it is a part of me, I have had to let them in at some point, but only when they were old enough so I wouldn't scare them.

Sorry this was so long, but it is also cathartic. I am slowly finding the ME that was left behind 10 yrs ago.

Wishing everyone here the best...


Posted by tAPir at 10:21 AM

September 10, 2006

Buying Medications Online

People who buy medicines over the internet could be unwittingly putting their health at risk, warn UK doctors.

Some drugs are fake and contain ingredients bearing little resemblance to the medicine named on the bottle, the Sunderland team told the Lancet.

Even if patients get the right drug, there is a risk of unchecked side effects and dangerous interactions.

The team reports the case of a woman who damaged her vision with oral steroids bought online from Thailand.

The 64-year-old woman had taken the drug for four years after making a self-diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

In February 2006, she went to the accident and emergency department of the Sunderland Royal Infirmary because she had noticed her eyesight failing for the previous six months.

The doctors who examined her discovered...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:53 AM

September 6, 2006

Mental Issues Surge Post-Hurricane

Morning Edition, August 29, 2006 · Mental health problems roughly doubled in the months after Hurricane Katrina, but thoughts of suicide among those with mental health problems actually decreased, according to a new study. The finding of reduced suicide runs counter to many other reports.

The study, published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, is the first report of a federally funded tracking survey of the mental health needs of about a thousand adult pre-hurricane residents of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

It found serious,,,


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Posted by tAPir at 6:32 PM

September 3, 2006

Compulsions In Depression: Stalking By Text Message

A 32-year-old woman compulsively sent her ex-boyfriend text messages (repeatedly asking him to meet her, chastising him for leaving her, and expressing love for him) after he ended their relationship. He told her to stop contacting him because he wanted no communication with her. Her messages were alarming and disrupted his life. She continued, however, despite his attorney threatening legal action against her. Any effort to resist sending a message resulted in increased tension until she sent a message, which was followed by a short period of relief that "a link [between her and her ex-boyfriend] was maintained." Her growing tensions were only relieved by...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:40 AM

August 29, 2006

What is Happiness?

What Is Happiness?


by: Terri Emmett

We all say we want happiness, but how many are willing to give what it takes to achieve it? Realizing that true happiness is a result of giving - not of receiving - discourages many people from obtaining it for their own. They don't want to make the personal sacrifices required to achieve it for themselves and consequently, all they can do is resent those who have found it. The biggest secret for finding happiness is to realize that disciplined determination on your part is required to acquire it..............

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Posted by tAPir at 6:19 PM

August 24, 2006

10 Easy Tips To Help Panic Attacks

Below are 10 simple tips to help ease the effects of your panic attacks, obviously it's not possible to do all 10 at the same time but pick and choose the tips that help reduce your panic attacks. If one of the tips doesn't help then try another. You may want to print these tips out for easy reference if an attack occurs...............

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Posted by tAPir at 8:29 PM

August 21, 2006

Depression: Self-Help- Living with Depression in Yourself and Others

Depression self-help tips include aerobic exercise; taking classes that involve interaction and creativity; and spending time with people who make you feel better, rather than those who make you feel worse.........

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Posted by tAPir at 6:30 PM

August 15, 2006

Remeron Settlement Results in $36 Million for Consumers

Remeron Settlement Results in $36 Million for Consumers.......

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Posted by tAPir at 7:56 PM

August 9, 2006

Just For Fun: The Psychology Of Avatars

"Avs," as Palace members affectionately call them, fall into two overall categories. The first are the standard set of "smileys" that come with the Palace program . Inspired by ASCII smileys, these faces are available to all users. They come in a set that displays basic human emotions and behavioral signals - happy, sad, angry, winking, sleeping/bored, blushing, head-nodding, head-shaking. The user also can change the color of the face or add to it one or more props, such as hats, wigs, scarfs, devil horns, a halo, a glass of beer, a bicycle, etc. Because the faces and props can be mixed and matched, users have at their disposal an almost infinite array of combinations to express themselves...


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Posted by tAPir at 5:44 PM

August 6, 2006

Pretty Pearly Pills

WASHINGTON - If you think beauty can't go more than skin deep, swallow this: Health officials on Thursday said drug companies could start gussying up their pills with pigments like those that give cosmetics a pearly sheen.

The pearlescent pigments can be used in any drugs that are swallowed, including pills, tablets and liquids, the Food and Drug Administration said. As a result, drugs may never look the same again.

The pigments can produce...


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Posted by tAPir at 7:41 PM

August 2, 2006

Orphan Soul's Story


This is the story of my journey of life.

I had always been outgoing and up for a challenge. Nothing scared me and I would think nothing of jumping on a train and seeing where I ended up. I was always working and was very happy with my life.

I was at a party in another part of the country and met a wonderful girl and a year later we were married. We moved to another part of the country away from her village to start a new life together. Everything was great, we had two beautiful children and we always did everything together as a family. I lost my job and we had the usual problems that families have but nothing that we couldn’t cope with. I had financial worries but I was been the macho man and keeping them to myself because I didn’t want to worry my wife with them.

For a couple of weeks I began to have this blister like rash suddenly appear all over my body which made me feel very dizzy. It would stay for an hour or so and then go as suddenly as it came. I went to the doctors but they said they didn’t know what it was and wouldn’t be able to say unless I went in with it so they could see it themselves. I later found out many years later, quite by accident, that what I had was Uticaria which can be brought on by stress.

A few weeks later, while my wife was at a friend’s house I received a distressing phone call, which I won’t go into details about, and all of a sudden my world collapsed. I had taken acid many years ago and it felt like I was tripping again. But this time it was very frightening. I really had no clue what was happening to me and I found myself pacing up and down the garden waiting for my wife to return back home. I was shaking like a leaf, I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was on fire.

My wife duly came home and packed me off to bed telling me I would be ok in the morning. But the next morning I felt worse and wouldn’t get out of bed. I stayed in bed for a week, in the dark with the curtains closed and feeling scared of everything. I was petrified to eat, sleep, talk and even going to the toilet. I honestly thought I had gone insane. My wife called out a doctor and as soon as he entered the bedroom he told me that I had had a nervous breakdown and gave me some pills to help calm me down.

I was so relieved that I hadn’t gone insane but I refused to take the medicine because I was petrified of what they might do to me. I stayed in bed for a further two weeks and because all I ate was literally crumbs I had lost so much weight that I had no strength to walk. In fact it felt like I was walking on broken glass. When I eventually got the nerve up to go back downstairs I felt unable to talk to my kids and wife. I was living a constant anxiety and panic attack.

My wife couldn’t understand how I had gone from been so extrovert and fun loving to a complete stranger. As a result I spent a lot of my time over the next couple of months been frustrated with her lack of understanding, and no doubt her been as equally frustrated with me. Until one day she had had enough and left with the kids and went back down to her home village 400 miles away. So after 7 years of blissful marriage we were divorced.

Because I wanted to see my kids again I tried every doctor and psychiatrist I could find to help me get the courage up to travel the 400 miles to where they lived. My ex-wife put every block she could in the way of me and my kids because she didn’t want them to have a mentally ill dad. This all added to the stress and every time I made progress with my health she would bring something new up which knocked me back.

I wish I could say it all worked out great but it didn’t. I fought for two years but I had to come to the realization that I couldn’t even walk down the road, never mind travel 400 miles, without falling to pieces. So as a result, up to now, I haven’t seen my children in six years.

But before anyone thinks this is just all doom and gloom let me continue.

I struggled long and hard and pushed myself to get some sort of life or normality. I was still having really bad anxiety and panic attacks but not as often as I was and some days I was almost ‘normal’.

Three years ago I met a wonderful woman through a chat site. I was surprised that she only lived a few streets away from me. We decided to meet up in a local café and we got on really well. I knew sooner or later I would have to tell her my background and about my mental condition so on the second date I told her. Yes I know it seems like a heavy thing to do on a second date but she would find out eventually and I didn’t want her to have any false pretence about me.

To be honest I expected her to walk out the door because after all who would want to take someone on like me. She asked me quiet a few questions and seemed to be happy with my honest answers. I still thought she was just been gracious and didn’t expect to see her again. But instead she invited me for dinner.

I asked her a year later why she decided to be with me and she told me that one of the reasons was because I had been so honest with her knowing fine well I could have easily blown it by been so honest.

Around her I can truly be myself. If I am having a bad day I don’t have to hide anything. In fact she encourages me to tell her and explain what is going on in my head so she can better understand me. She is such a positive force in my life that I have managed to pass my driving test and now I drive a car. Strangely though she doesn’t drive because she says the thought of it petrifies her.

I have been with her for over three years now and she has really brought me out of my shell. She encourages, and sometimes forces me to stretch my boundaries of what I think I am capable of. I do things now that I would have never dreamed about before I met her. She is almost as desperate for me to see my children again as I am myself and with her behind me I can’t really fail.

I still don’t work full time because I still have too many bad periods to be of use to an employer. I’m still sometimes too frightened of the world to leave my comfort zone. I’m realistic to know that I will never be the same person I once was before my nervous breakdown. But in the same breath I also know I am getting just that little bit better everyday so I will never again be that stranger I once turned into. All it took was for me to have faith in someone else and just as importantly for her to have just as much faith in me.

The things I have learned is that stress can be sneaky and doesn’t always show itself until it explodes out of control. If you have worries share them with someone else. It doesn’t matter who you talk to because it is far better to talk than to keep it all bottled up. Always try and remain as positive as you possibly can, believe me I know how hard that can be to do. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to be 100% perfect. Nothing in this world is 100% perfect. Wasn’t perfect before you started to have anxiety and panic attacks so stands to reason that it won’t be perfect now. The only thing that has changed is you – not the world.

Posted by tAPir at 1:55 PM

July 30, 2006

FDA Approves First Generic Sertraline


As part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) on-going efforts to increase the available generic drug alternatives for American consumers, the agency today approved the first generic version of Zoloft tablets (sertraline), as well as a liquid concentrate (sertraline hydrochloride) version of the product.

Sertraline tablets are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults and the liquid concentrate is approved for the treatment of MDD and some anxiety related disorders. In 2005, Zoloft was the sixth highest-selling brand-name drug in the United States, with retail sales totaling $2,561,069,000.

"Generic drugs are safe and effective alternatives to brand name prescription products and can provide for significant cost savings for the American public," said Gary J. Buehler, Director, Office of Generic Drugs. "Our office is committed to increasing the number of approved generic alternatives as quickly as possible."

The economic benefits of FDA's generic drug approval program are significant because...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:42 AM

July 25, 2006

The Real Age Test..Seen on Oprah

Your RealAge is the biological age of your body, based on how well you've maintained it.

Take the test.....

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Posted by tAPir at 10:17 PM

July 23, 2006

STAR*D: Hope for Consumers with Major Depression

Results of a landmark study on depression provide conclusive evidence that treatment works and recovery is very possible for people who suffer from major, chronic depression. This study, called the “Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression” study (STAR*D), is the largest multicenter study on major depression ever conducted. It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Study results:

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Posted by tAPir at 3:26 PM

July 18, 2006

Mental and Neurological Disorders

Mental and neurological disorders

Twenty-five per cent of individuals develop one or more mental or behavioural disorders at some stage in life, in both developed and developing countries. The following disorders can now be diagnosed reliably and accurately as the most common physical disorders; some can be prevented, all can be successfully managed and treated......

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Posted by tAPir at 4:41 PM

July 13, 2006

Grading the States..A Report on America's Health Care System for Serious Mental Illness

Click on your State....See how it compares....


http://www.nami.org/gtsTemplate.cfm?Section=grading_the_states>READ MORE

Posted by tAPir at 12:49 PM

July 9, 2006

Short Term Psychotherapy: Does It Work?

THOUGH HE WAS the father of the most time-consuming of therapies, psychoanalysis, legend has it that Sigmund Freud cured the composer Gustav Plahler's impotence during a stroll around a lake.

The notion that a psychological difficulty could be remedied in a single session sounds gimmicky, and yet, some say short-term therapy is the best way to deal with a stark reality: About 40 percent of people who consult a therapist never go back. Advocates of single-session, or planned short-term therapy, which typically lasts three to five sessions, maximize the...


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Posted by tAPir at 11:27 AM

July 5, 2006

Study: Fat People Not More Jolly

Fat people not more jolly, says study


Fat people are not more jolly, according to a study that found obesity is strongly linked with depression and other mood disorders.

Whether obesity might cause these problems or is the result of them is not certain, and the research does not provide an answer, but there are theories to support both arguments.

Depression often causes people to abandon activities, and some medications used to treat mental illness can cause weight gain. On the other hand, obesity is often seen as a stigma and overweight people often are subject to...

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Posted by tAPir at 9:06 AM

July 1, 2006

Third Depression Drug Rarely Helps


NEW YORK — The large group of depression sufferers who haven't recovered with two common medications stand little chance of success from a third drug, says the latest report from the nation's most ambitious study of depression treatment.

Only about 16 percent of those in the study became free of symptoms after switching to a third drug, researchers said.

Combined with previous reports from the project, the new finding suggests that about 60 percent of people who have depression can gain...

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Posted by tAPir at 6:34 PM

June 26, 2006

Strict Moms: A Cause Of Obesity?

Children with strict mothers are much more likely to get fat, American researchers said yesterday.

A new study found that disciplinarian women ended up with six-year-olds who were nearly five times more likely to be overweight than the children of those who treated their offspring with flexibility and respect but also set clear rules.

The scientists, from Boston University School of Medicine, said it could be because...


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Posted by tAPir at 6:46 PM

June 22, 2006

Jilly's Story


Hi, I don't know if I qualify as a success story..but here goes.

I was officialy diagnosed with panic disorder over 20 years ago although I had symptoms for years. Looking back, my mother used to poke fun at me saying "jump and dive", "jump and dive." That was because I acted impulsively.

I tried hard to "mask" my symptoms all through nursing school. Quite successfully I might add..but to this day am trying to "unlearn" all the unhealthy coping tools I used to "mask" my disorder. Ironically, I worked in Psychiatric Nursing...and thought I would end up there as a patient instead of a supervisor.

Eventually, I could no longer handle my panic disorder symptoms. I went to a Dr. and got medical causes ruled out. I was referred to a psychiatrist. My initial shrink was an older man...very uneducated (I found out later) to anxiety disorders. Under his care, he prescribed me everything under the sun..including a narcotic cocktail I was to drink (I had severe panic being stuck in traffic). While the cocktail did make me tired, it did nothing to help my panic attacks. I thought I was losing my mind and that I was the only one who ever had this happen to them. He hopped from one diagnosis to another, and one medication to another.

Thank God (in a weird way), my shrink died suddenly of a heart attack and I was referred to his associate. I was diagnosed CORRECTLY within minutes of taking a questionare and giving a health history. I was prescribed Xanx and referred to a psychotherapist.

The very FIRST day I took Xanax, I just felt "normal." No bad adverse reactions...no panic. Just "normal." I followed up with they psychotherapist who evaluated me for over 6 months to literally say "your more normal than me..there is nothing I can do."

So, I maintained my theraputic Xanax regime and have continued ever since. I decided about 8 years ago, that I was tired of being passive about my disorder. I began studying, researching, and learning all I could about the different disorders and their possible causes.

I furthered my career, married, and lived a normal life. My shrink used me as a successful case study in a presditious medical journal. I have taught him alot and he still refers alot of my material to other panic disorder patients.

I have had a few exacerbations here and there. But to make a long story short, I can say I have learned more than most PHD's in the areas of anxiety disorders. I am a more compassionate and understanding Nurse because of it. I also live a relatively normal life..not continually consumed or in "emotional" check fearing panic.

I utilize many therapies to keep healthy emotionally and physcially. For me, cognitive behavior, relaxation techniques, BREATHING effectively, and recognizing my "triggers" to panic have all played essential keys to becoming asymptomatic.

If I had stayed passive, I am convinced that I would be a Junkie from the narcotics ill prescribed for me by the original shrink. I have also learned that nobody is going to fix your life but YOU.

Sure, we all need alittle help now and then..but information is the key to treating these disorders. Dr.'s are not God's (and neither are Nurses)...and the one who relies soley on medication is not taking charge of their life.

Most disorders are treatable by up to 90%. You just have to dig deep inside yourself and find the courage to put up the good fight.

If I had not, I would never have advanced my Nursing Career. I think I would be either dead or homeless. Now, I consider myself not a "victim" but an advocate and voice for those with panic disorder.


Posted by tAPir at 12:08 PM

June 19, 2006

Botox Depression Away

A trial carried out by Dr. Eric Finzi and Dr. Erika Wasserman found that treating clinically depressed patients with botox on the frown lines of their faces actually got rid of their depression.

In their abstract report, found in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, the researchers indicate that major depression is a common and serious disease. Major depression is sometime resistant to drug therapy and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches.

In this trial, the researchers...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:52 AM

June 13, 2006

Anxiety In The Eldery

Anxiety in the Elderly
Research, on both the course and treatment of anxiety in older adults, lags behind that of other mental conditions, such as depression and Alzheimer's. Until recently, anxiety disorders were believed to decline with age. But now ........

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Posted by tAPir at 9:15 PM

June 7, 2006

A Hard Habit To Break....Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Hard Habit to Break: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
While many of us may find ourselves checking and rechecking the alarm clock the night before an early morning flight or job interview, the lives of people living with obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) are dominated by such repetitive behaviors, ...
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June 2, 2006

Dual Diagnosis

What is Dual Diagnosis?
A person who has both an alcohol or drug problem and an emotional/psychiatric problem is said to have a dual diagnosis. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both problems..............

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Posted by tAPir at 6:17 PM

May 30, 2006

Depression.....Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder....

An estimated two to three percent of Canadians suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that seems to be related to the amount of sunlight that you are exposed to.......

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Posted by tAPir at 7:05 PM

May 27, 2006

Intimacy And Antidepressants


Sometimes, even when effective in alleviating depression, antidepressants may interfere with sexual drive, arousal, function, and satisfaction. It can be difficult to differentiate the sexual disinterest so common in depression from the sexual disinterest seen with some antidepressant medications.

Other changes in sexuality, ..........
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Posted by tAPir at 6:06 PM

May 22, 2006

Anxiety And Sleep

Anxiety & Sleep
Sleep - is a basic human need at any age, as essential for good health as a proper diet and regular exercise. A good night's sleep refuels the body's energy, gives our active brains a rest, and puts us mentally in a better mood.

One of the greatest frustrations we all face at some point .........

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Posted by tAPir at 5:12 PM

May 20, 2006

Pressure On To Rekindle Drug Bill

WASHINGTON — A year ago, a bill giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to make pharmaceutical companies conduct safety studies of drugs after they're approved disappeared into the Senate committee that handles health matters.

But the results of a new report by congressional investigators on continuing safety problems at the FDA may put pressure on members of that committee to revive the bill.

Among those senators is Patty Murray, who has not been vocal on general drug-safety issues. The Washington Democrat has served on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions panel since 1996.

The bill's author, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, applauded the study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday, saying...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:10 PM

May 16, 2006

Prescription Drug Abuse By Teens Continues

While teen smoking and drinking continue to drop, a survey to be released today indicates that teenage abuse of prescription drugs has become "an entrenched behavior" that many parents fail to recognize.

For a third straight year, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America study showed that about one in five teens have tried prescription drug painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin to get high. It also indicated that many teens feel experimenting with prescription drugs is safer than illegal highs.

Forty percent said prescription medicines were...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:40 PM

May 12, 2006

Paxil Suicide Risk In Young Adults


FDA and Drug’s Maker Warn Doctors of Possible Risk in Adults Aged 18-30 By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD


May 12, 2006 -- The antidepressant Paxil and its controlled-release version, Paxil CR, are getting a new warning about suicide risk in young adults.

The FDA and Paxil’s maker, drug company GlaxoSmithKline, are notifying doctors about the warning, which is being added to the drug’s package inserts.

Antidepressants already carry a warning about...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:08 PM

May 10, 2006

Cheap Psychological Tricks: Surprise

Everybody loves to have a secret "angel," a special person who anonymously does nice things for them. When your work load or worry is reduced because someone stepped in and helped out, or when someone leaves a candy bar on your desk for no apparent reason, it really lifts your spirits.

We all know how much receiving these small favors can affect us. But little surprises can have a great many positive side effects for the giver as well as the receiver! Handing out one small surprise can change your mood immediately into a more positive one. This trick can easily work in everyone's favor.

In fact, giving one simple surprise-doing something that's nice and unexpected-can markedly improve a person's mood for about twenty to thirty minutes. Think of the implications.

Research in this area suggests that one effective treatment for normal, everyday moodiness need not involve drugs, therapy, or a large expenditure of funds. It can simply consist of being kind and doing something nice for others.

Here's how it works. If you want to help someone snap out of a bad mood, you could ask, "What's wrong? Do you want to talk about it?" The answer would probably be no. Rather than trying to solve the problem directly, show you care by doing something nice. If you have a bouquet of flowers on your desk, take out a few posies and leave them in your coworker's cubicle. The research suggests that doing something thoughtful for someone is a powerful act and can considerably change the mood of the recipient.

Any spontaneous act of kindness is going to improve the mood of the recipient for at least twenty minutes The warm glow from a greeting card, note, or positive email lasts about twenty minutes. That may not sound like a long time, but if a person is having a rough day, those moments may make all the difference and guide them toward a more pleasant day.

If you help someone out anonymously, two things happen The recipient gets a mood elevator for at least twenty minutes. So do you. Preliminary research suggests helping people without telling them gives you a "feel-good" better than a runner's high. Use this CPT on yourself, too. When you find a quarter in a coin return. see a four-leaf clover, receive a compliment from a colleague, hear from a long-lost friend, complete an enormous project on time, or get a good parking place, take time to enjoy these little surprises. Let these random, pleasant experiences raise your spirits for a while.

The cheap psychological trick: Do you want to help your friends feel better? You can't constantly control their emotions, but with one surprise--one act of random kindness--you can almost instantaneously turn a frown into a twenty-minute smile. If you do your good deed anonymously, you might find that your own smile lasts even longer.

From the book, "Cheap Psychological Tricks: What To Do When Hard Work, Honesty, and Perseverance Fail" by Perry W. Buffington, Ph.D.pp. 152 - 154


REFERENCES:
Isen, A. M., K. A. Daubman, and G. P. Nowicky. "Positive Affect Facilitates Creative Problem Solving". Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology June (1979): 1122-1131
Isen, A.M., M. Johnson, E. Mertz, and G. F. Robinson. "The Influence of Positive Affect on the Unusualness of Word Associations." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology June (1985): 1413-1426.
Moss, F. J. "The Hiring Mood." Psychology Today November (1988): 26


Posted by tAPir at 9:34 AM

May 7, 2006

Borderline Personality Disorder

Raising questions, finding answers

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family.............

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Posted by tAPir at 12:00 AM

May 3, 2006

Causes Of Anxiety Disorder: Nature Or Nurture?

Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Nature or Nurture?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is harnessing the most sophisticated scientific tools available to determine the causes of anxiety disorders. Like heart disease and diabetes, these brain disorders are complex and probably result from a combination of genetic, behavioral, developmental, and other factors.
Studies of twins and families suggest that genes play a role in the origin of anxiety disorders. But heredity alone.....

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Posted by tAPir at 2:43 PM

April 30, 2006

Paradoxical Intention: What Is It? How Does It Work?

Paradoxical intention --try to go in the direction opposite of what you want or fear. This method focuses on the underlying fear, not the surface symptom.

Trying to do the opposite of what you feel compelled to do now, which is closer to what you really want to do in the end. Examples: An overly orderly and perfectionistic person should insist on experiencing the feared messiness and failure, the student obsessed with getting "A's" might try for some "C's" and "B's." A person afraid of the water should go swimming 3 or 4 times a week. A shy person should greet people, get involved, express opinions, and generally be assertive. A folk remedy for hiccups is to offer a dollar if the sufferer can produce 10 realistic hiccups in a row without any occurring accidentally. Tics too have been cured by voluntarily producing them.

Trying to do the opposite of the frustrating habit or urge, which is...


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Posted by tAPir at 7:18 PM

Anxiety Disorders: The Role Of Psychotherapy In Effective Treatment

Anxiety Disorders: The Role of Psychotherapy in Effective Treatment
Everyone feels anxious and under stress from time to time. Situations such as meeting tight deadlines, important social obligations or driving in heavy traffic, often bring about anxious feelings. Such mild anxiety may help make you alert and focused on facing threatening or challenging circumstances. On the other hand, .........

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Posted by tAPir at 3:58 PM

April 26, 2006

Psychotherapy: Learning Theory

Psychodynamic culture, originally a European phenomenon, was transplanted to America during the teens and 20s a century ago. While it quickly attracted a native following who took it on its own terms, it also angered a number of academically based psychologists who were working as hard as they could to differentiate psychology from philosophy so as to make it into a real science that biologists, chemists and most importantly physicists wouldn't laugh at. At the time the field of psychology was only about 30 years old, and it was still quite unsure of its identity within the family of sciences.

These early psychologists who birthed the behavioral school of...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:07 PM

April 22, 2006

Coulrophobia: Fear of Clowns

Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is a coining in response to a surprisingly large amount of interest in the condition, particularly on the Internet, where websites have been developed which are specifically devoted to the issue.

In discussions of causes of coulrophobia, sufferers seem to agree that the most fear-inducing aspect of clowns is the heavy makeup which, accompanied by the bulbous nose and weird color of hair, completely conceals the wearer's identity. Clowns also often appear in horror movies, but unlike the phobia, the intention here is usually to frighten viewers by letting the horrific take the disguise of something normally associated with fun and happiness.

Of late, the preponderance of coulrophobia as a convenient punch line in mainstream media has led to...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:40 AM

April 19, 2006

Fibromyalgia Comorbidity: Anxiety And Depression

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic widespread pain syndrome often associated with fatigue, sleep disturbance, functional impairment, and psychiatric comorbidity.

We previously described psychiatric comorbidity and functional disability in 184 patients seen in the rheumatology department's multidisciplinary group clinic at Kaiser Permanente (KP) Colorado from November 1998 through August 1999.1 Using an electronic questionnaire, we identified many patients with psychiatric disorders, including depressive illness, bipolar disorder, and general anxiety disorder as well as functional impairment severe enough to interfere with several major life domains. We also described the therapeutic interventions developed to address the needs documented by...

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Posted by tAPir at 9:29 AM

April 16, 2006

Anxiety In The WorkPlace

Getting stressed out at work is natural - it happens to everyone. But there's a difference between being stressed out by your job and having an anxiety disorder. Stress can trigger a latent disorder, or heighten the anxiety already being experienced by a sufferer. This is bad news for people with anxiety disorders, as well as for employers.......
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Posted by tAPir at 12:03 AM

April 13, 2006

Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Shyness, Phobias....Are they running your life?

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of psychiatric disorders ín the United States. Approximately 27 million Americans – nearly 15% of the population – will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

Anxiety disorders are most often characterized..........
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Posted by tAPir at 9:47 PM

April 12, 2006

Anxiety Screening Tools

Anxiety Screening Tools

One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder is by taking a Self Test. Self Tests,
or screening tests, are developed to help you recognize the signs of an anxiety disorder. They are not intended to provide a conclusive diagnosis or replace a proper evaluation by a physician or mental health professional. A "positive" result from any of the screening tools only indicates that you could benefit from a comprehensive mental health exam. Regardless of the results, contact your physician and/or a mental health professional if you have any concerns.
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Posted by tAPir at 12:30 AM

April 8, 2006

Stress: How to Better Cope with Life's Changes

What causes stress?
Stress is caused by the body's instinct to defend itself. This instinct is good in emergencies, such as getting out of the way of a speeding car. But it can cause physical symptoms if it goes on for too long, such as in response to life's daily challenges and changes.

When this happens........
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Posted by tAPir at 11:43 PM

April 6, 2006

Using Self-Hypnosis to Overcome Fear

People often ask why many fears are so persistent. Fears are difficult to overcome because they are typically conditioned & help at a subconscious level. That ís why “willing” yourself not to be afraid doesn’t work — because will operates at the level of your conscious mind.

It ís often possible,.......
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Posted by tAPir at 3:36 PM

April 3, 2006

Anxiety and Panic: Gaining Control Over How You're Feeling

Anxiety can be a normal "alarm system" alerting you to danger. Imagine coming home and finding a burglar in your living room. Your heart beats fast. Your palms get sweaty. Your mind races. In this situation, anxiety can provide an extra spark to help you get out of danger. In more normal but busy situations, anxiety can give you the energy to get things done.

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Posted by tAPir at 5:25 PM

April 1, 2006

Dealing With Grief

What is grief?

Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, divorce, job loss, a move away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness.

How does grief feel?

Just after a death or loss, you may feel empty and numb, as if you are in shock. You may notice physical changes such as...

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Posted by tAPir at 6:42 PM

March 27, 2006

Moral Judgements Can Distort Memory Of Events

Viewing a person as dishonest or immoral can distort memory, a Cornell study suggests. So much so, that when we attempt to recall that person's behavior, it seems to be worse than it really was.

Psychology Professor David Pizarro, at Banfi's Restaurant on campus, found that people who read about a man who walked out on a restaurant bill remember the bill as much higher if they're told he liked to steal; people who thought he left because of an emergency remember a significantly lower bill. Conclusion:


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Posted by tAPir at 6:49 PM

March 22, 2006

Depression, Anxiety During Childhood Linked To Higher BMI Into Adulthood For Women

Depression and anxiety disorders during childhood may be associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) into adulthood for women but not men, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The increasing prevalence of obesity among children and adults is becoming a public health crisis, according to background information in the article. Understanding the social and psychological conditions that are associated with obesity could help predict which children...

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Posted by tAPir at 6:47 PM

March 19, 2006

Best Ways To Ease Anxiety Disorders

Meditation may ease anxiety among people who suffer from anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But a new study suggests meditation isn't necessarily better than other types of relaxation techniques at treating anxiety.

Researchers reviewed two studies comparing meditation to other relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback, and found...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:41 PM

March 16, 2006

Biology Of Emotions

We can define an emotion as a subjective state of feeling accompanied by changes in the body that prepare the organism for a specific type of action. Some of these bodily changes occur in various organs such as the heart, blood vessels, gut, etc. and are mediated by the ANS; other changes occur in the facial muscles, producing the specific facial expressions that are hard-wired into the overall emotional response; still other changes occur in body posture that reflects readiness for a specific action; and there are specific changes in vocalizations and tone of voice as well. Basic emotions - fear, anger, surprise, joy, sadness, and disgust - each have their own unique facial expressions, bodily postures, action tendencies, tone of voice, and ANS changes, as well as unique subjective feelings. For example, fear involves not only feeling afraid, but also a fearful expression on the face, strong activation of the sympathetic nervous system, high pitch vocalizations, and a behavioral tendency to flee. The facial expressions for each basic emotion have been found to be universal across all human cultures, showing that they have been hard-wired by evolution rather than learned. Darwin recognized this in the 19th century, and suggested that one way to change your emotional state is to...

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Posted by tAPir at 8:30 AM

March 15, 2006

Coping Skills Test

How well do you cope with stress?

Take THIS TEST and find out!

Posted by tAPir at 9:55 AM

March 11, 2006

Train Your Brain

Mental exercises with neurofeedback may ease symptoms of attention-deficit disorder, epilepsy and depression--and even boost cognition in healthy brains

At first the computer game looks awfully easy for an eight-year-old--like something out of the Stone Age of arcades in the 1980s. A red triangle "arrow" appears on the monitor's blue screen, and then the nose of a cartoon airplane glides into view from the left. If the arrow points upward, Ben must make the plane climb. When he succeeds, a spiky yellow sun beams.

A second glance shows that all is not as it seems. For one thing, Ben has no joystick. Instead several...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:13 AM

March 8, 2006

FDA approves patch to treat Depression

WASHINGTON - Federal regulators approved the first antidepressant skin patch on Tuesday, providing a different way to administer a drug already used by Parkinson’s disease patients.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the selegiline transdermal patch, agency spokeswoman Susan Cruzan said. The drug belongs to a class of medicines...

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Posted by tAPir at 8:40 AM

March 5, 2006

Altruism In Humans

Infants as young as 18 months show altruistic behaviour, suggesting humans have a natural tendency to be helpful, German researchers have discovered.

In experiments reported in the journal Science, toddlers helped strangers complete tasks such as stacking books.

Young chimps did the same, providing the first direct evidence of altruism in non-human primates.

Altruism may have...

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Posted by tAPir at 9:51 AM

March 2, 2006

Mental Illness Puts Employers Off


The government is unveiling plans to get thousands of people - including many with mental illnesses - off incapacity benefit and into work.

Ministers hope the changes will improve lives as well as save money, but how easy will it be for mentally ill people to find work?

Bruce Murray says he would love to get a job but has been unable to get off incapacity benefit because of the mental illness he has suffered from for more than 20 years.

The 41-year-old from Elland, West Yorkshire, was diagnosed with...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:37 AM

February 26, 2006

Magnetic Therapy May Help Control Depression

NEW YORK - Repetitive magnetic stimulation of the brain may be an effective and safe long-term maintenance therapy for some patients with major depressive disorder, results of a small study suggest.

“There is growing evidence to support the short-term antidepressant effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), but few published data pertain to the maintenance treatment of patients with DSM-IV diagnosed major depressive disorder,” write Dr. John P. O’Reardon and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The researchers examined the long-term efficacy of...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:28 AM

February 22, 2006

The Use of Animals to Help Treat Anxiety Disorders

OBJECTIVE: Animal-assisted therapy involves interaction between patients and a trained animal, along with its human owner or handler, with the aim of facilitating patients' progress toward therapeutic goals. This study examined whether a session of animal-assisted therapy reduced the anxiety levels of hospitalized psychiatric patients and whether any differences in reductions in anxiety were associated with patients' diagnoses. METHODS: Study subjects were 230 patients referred for therapeutic

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Posted by tAPir at 2:43 AM

February 19, 2006

FDA Revamps Rules For Package Inserts


New labelling laws by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make medicines safer. The layout of prescription drug package inserts have been updated for the first time in 25 years, requiring drug makers to provide doctors with easier access to important information about drug safety.

Over the past ten years, the prescribing information for newly approved products has become more complex, and specific information is often difficult to locate in the package insert.

In US hospitals, 300,000 preventable adverse drug events occur every year, many as a result ...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:43 AM

February 16, 2006

Hikikomori: Voluntary Isolation

Hikikomori ("pulling away, being confined," i.e., "acute social withdrawal") is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents and young adults who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement due to various personal and social factors in their lives.

The term "hikikomori" refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general, as in the hikikomori issue, as well as those individuals who display behaviors considered...


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Posted by tAPir at 8:13 AM

February 11, 2006

Mind Your Language: Media View Of Mental Illness

When the former heavyweight boxing champion, Frank Bruno, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in September 2003, the reaction of the Sun's headline writers to his illness was nothing if not direct. "Bonkers Bruno locked up," screamed its front page. It was intended as a jokey play on words. But even the Sun seemed to realise pretty quickly that it had gone too far: later editions appeared with a much more sympathetic, albeit less snappy "Sad Bruno in mental home". It was a marked improvement on the first headline that was reportedly under consideration: "Loono Bruno".

Humour may be some people's way of coping with adversity, but such headline-writing shows...

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Posted by tAPir at 2:28 PM

February 8, 2006

Dealing With Difficult People

How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life?

I�ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes people diagnosed with alexathemia, the condition whereby people either don�t feel emotions or are completely out of touch with their emotions. You�d think such people would be hyper-rational, but they aren�t. They can�t even function in society. They have no...


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Posted by tAPir at 7:06 PM

February 5, 2006

Popular Antidepressants May Affect Immune System

Drugs that treat depression by manipulating the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain may also affect the user's immune system in ways that are not yet understood, say scientists from Georgetown University Medical Center and a Canadian research institute.

That's because the investigators found, for the first time, that serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the chemical is specifically used to...


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Posted by tAPir at 10:10 PM

February 3, 2006

Sex Reduces Public Speaking Stress!!

Forget learning lines or polishing jokes - having sex may be the best way to prepare for giving a speech.

New Scientist magazine reports that Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley, found having sex can help keep stress at bay.

However, only penetrative intercourse did the trick - other forms of sex had no impact on stress levels at all.

Professor Brody monitored how various forms of sex affected blood pressure levels in a stressful situation.


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Posted by tAPir at 9:11 AM

February 1, 2006

Stress can have a Damaging Impact

Stress in the workplace is a major factor in the development of heart disease and diabetes, a study says.

Stress has long been linked to ill health, but the British Medical Journal study may have identified the biological process for the first time.

The study of 10,000 civil servants found a link between stress and metabolic syndrome, which involves obesity and high blood pressure.

Experts said the University College London report was "interesting".

Lead researcher Tarani Chandola said: "Employees with chronic work stress have more than double the odds...

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Posted by tAPir at 6:23 AM

January 30, 2006

Family Problems? Blame the Cell Phone!!

NEW YORK - The round-the-clock availability that cell phones and pagers have brought to people�s lives may be taking a toll on family life, a new study suggests.

The study, which followed more than 1,300 adults over 2 years, found that those who consistently used a mobile phone or pager throughout the study period were more likely to report negative �spillover� between work and home life...

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Posted by tAPir at 2:53 AM

January 26, 2006

Could a Pill Help Fade Traumatic Memories?

Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in a recent movie, your brain could be wiped clean of sad and traumatic thoughts.

That is science fiction. But real-world scientists are working on the next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event...

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Posted by tAPir at 2:57 AM

January 23, 2006

Initial Results Help Identify Treatment-resistant Depression

Initial results of the nation's largest clinical trial for depression have helped clinicians to track "real world" patients who became symptom-free and to identify those who were resistant to the initial treatment. Participants treated in both medical and specialty mental health care settings experienced a remission of symptoms in 12 to 14 weeks during well-monitored treatment with an antidepressant medication. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), used flexible adjustment of dosages based on quick and easy-to-use clinician ratings of symptoms and patient self-ratings of side effects.

About a third of participants reached a remission or virtual absence of symptoms during the initial phase of the study, with an additional 10 to 15 percent experiencing some improvement. Subsequent phases of the trials will help....

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Posted by tAPir at 3:41 AM

January 19, 2006

Antidepressant Protein Discovered in Mouse Brain!

A protein that seems to be pivotal in lifting depression has been discovered by a Nobel Laureate researcher funded by the National Institutes of Health�s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

"Mice deficient in this protein, called p11, display depression-like behaviors, while those with sufficient amounts behave as if they have been treated with antidepressants," explained Paul Greengard, Ph.D., a Rockefeller University neuroscientist who received the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries about the workings of such neuronal signaling systems. He and his colleagues found that p11 appears to help regulate signaling of the brain messenger chemical serotonin, a key target of antidepressants...

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Posted by tAPir at 3:22 AM

January 15, 2006

The Stigma Of Mental Illness

Archaic stereotypes and discrimination are painful reminders that mental illnesses are still stigmatized.

You've probably heard the words, tossed out loosely, without a care � words like "psycho," "schizo" and "wacko." Or you've seen the jokes on television about "loony bins" and characters in straightjackets. You might even have read about the government official who quipped that a congressman must be "off his meds and out of therapy."

But if you or a loved one has a mental illness, you know that these words and gimmicks aren't just harmless fun. Rather, they perpetuate the stigma attached to mental illness. Stigma is painful and shaming, but you can both cope with it and combat it.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace or shame. It has four components:


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Posted by tAPir at 10:06 PM

January 11, 2006

The Science Of Synesthesia

Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes

People with synesthesia--whose senses blend together--are providing valuable clues to understanding the organization and functions of the brain

When Matthew Blakeslee shapes hamburger patties with his hands, he experiences a vivid bitter taste in his mouth. Esmerelda Jones (a pseudonym) sees blue when she listens to the note C sharp played on the piano; other notes evoke different hues--so much so that the piano keys are actually color-coded. And when Jeff Coleman looks at printed black numbers, he sees them in color, each a different hue. Blakeslee, Jones and Coleman are among a handful of otherwise normal people who have synesthesia. They experience the ordinary world in extraordinary ways and seem to inhabit a mysterious no-man's-land between fantasy and reality. For them the senses--touch, taste, hearing, vision and smell--get mixed up instead of remaining separate.
Modern scientists have known about synesthesia since 1880, when Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, published a paper in Nature on the phenomenon. But most have brushed it aside...


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Posted by tAPir at 5:30 PM

January 8, 2006

The Promise Of E-Therapy

Videoconferencing, Web sites and other electronic media offer faster, cheaper care--without the stigma of parking in front of the shrink's office.

A sheriff's deputy pulls up to the emergency room at Scott County Hospital in rural Oneida, Tenn., with an agitated, disoriented passenger who appears to need psychiatric care, maybe even immediate hospitalization. But no one at the county hospital is trained to make that decision. The nearest qualified person is 59 miles across the state, at the Ridgeview Psychiatric Hospital in Oak Ridge.

Only a few years ago a member of Ridgeview's Mobile Crisis Team would have driven for 90 minutes, mostly over winding back roads, to Oneida. During that long wait, the distressed patient could not...

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Posted by tAPir at 9:59 AM

January 5, 2006

The Origins Of Doomsday Anxiety

After years of ignoring the most pervasive fear in human history, it is time to examine its roots dispassionately. For such a purpose, we need only call upon the appropriate rules for evaluating historical evidence.

Let a comet appear in the sky. Let the �zeroes� line up on a calendar. Let the weather turn stormy, or world events grow unsettled. When such things occur they will invariably trigger a cultural response�the �doomsday anxiety�, a fear of the end of the world.

Today little attention is given to the historic origins of this cultural syndrome. However, only a few years ago it reared its head...


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Posted by tAPir at 9:33 AM

January 1, 2006

New Studies On Antidepressants


WASHINGTON - Anti-depressants, such as Prozac and similar drugs, help many patients overcome their often disabling psychiatric disease and do not increase the risk for suicide, according to two large studies being published today that counter recent concerns about the popular medications.

The findings from two independent, federally funded studies � the first of their kind � spurred some psychiatrists to call for the Food and Drug Administration to re-evaluate its warnings about the drugs...


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Posted by tAPir at 8:22 AM