WORDS OF WISDOM
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.
“Bad Parenting Is Not What They Told Us It Was”
Parents of children with ADHD often feel insecure about their parenting skills, and they often get criticized for how they respond to their child’s tantrums. Here’s an article by a parent of a child with ADHD that could be encouraging for those discouraged parents. Click here to read full article.
What Research Tells Us About Cannabis Use — And What Parents Should Consider
This is probably the most informative article I have read about marijuana use. It is an interview with Martin Paulus, M.D., who is an internationally recognized researcher in the adolescent field. If you read it you will undoubtedly learn several things you didn't know previously. He sounds like a very balanced researcher who lets you know what research has and has not learned about marijuana use. Click here to read full article.
Ethics Consult: OK a Horn Implantation in Patient’s Skull? MD/JD Weighs In
You probably will never need to make a decision like this (thankfully), but this doctor has an interesting discussion about some related procedures (e.g., breast reconstruction following breast removal because of cancer) that are informative. Click here to read full article.
Lithium Works for Bipolar Disorder. Why Aren't We Using It?
This is an interesting discussion, which you can either listen to or read the transcript, which is an interview with two well-respected psychiatrists, one of whom has bipolar disorder itself. They lament the fact that lithium is being replaced by more and more psychiatrists with the second-generation antipsychotics, even though lithium is the only treatment that is known to reduce the likelihood of suicide. (As you may recall, those with bipolar disorder commit suicide at 15 times the rate of those in the general population. Those of us who have worked in the mental health field for several years usually know of several people with bipolar disorder who have committed suicide.) If you work with any clients with bipolar disorder, this article is worthwhile reading. If they sometimes wrestle with suicidal thoughts and they are not on lithium, it may be worthwhile to have them talk with their psychiatrist about whether lithium might be a treatment to consider. Click here to read full article.
Why Bipolar Triggers Matter
A true story written by a professional with bipolar disorder, which would probably be helpful for everyone with bipolar disorder to read, especially those in what feels like a “perfect” life situation, who as a result may be ignoring triggers. Click here to read full article.
Doctors raise alert over dangerous ‘sleepy chicken’ TikTok trend
If you’ve been reading the news over the last few months, you know that there have been several warnings about fads that have been popularized on TikTok that represent serious danger to the health of teens who try them. Here is the latest dangerous trend. Click here to read full article.
Anger Is Important — But Only When It’s Managed
This is a good article by Edward Hallowell. It’s written for parents of children with ADHD, but the suggestions he gives could probably be helpful to the parents of any child who has an anger problem. Click here to read full article.
When Therapists Encourage Family Cutoffs: Are We Helping or Harming?
This is a fairly long article from the Psychotherapy Networker, but I think it is worthwhile to read and think about. It talks about the benefits that can come from helping individuals work toward understanding of family members, rather than having the therapist give them negative diagnoses and encouraging our client to cut them off. Click here to read full article.
Doctors Debate Whether Trans Teens Need Therapy Before Hormones
Since this is a New York Times article I’ll summarize the major points for those who don’t have a subscription to the paper. This is a draft of the physicians Standards of Care which give guidance for physicians. For adults with gender dysphoria it allows doctors to prescribe hormone treatments of surgery without psychological assessment. However, for teens who claim they have gender dysphoria it requires that teens receive a psychological assessment and have had gender dysphoria for several years before physicians can prescribe either hormones or do surgery. While there are some physicians who believe teens should receive hormones or surgery without psychological assessment or a history of several years of gender dysphoria, other physicians (apparently the majority of those who wrote these standards), say that the fact that hormone treatment often causes permanent sterility and the fact that there are about 85% who detransition (return to their natal gender) and the fact that teens who say they are gender dysphoric today are quite different than people who were gender dysphoric years ago, they believe these new requirements are appropriate. Click here to read full article.
When Dementia Strikes at an Early Age
This is another article from the New York Times, so I’ll summarize the most important points.
Although dementia normally strikes after 65 (frequently in the 80s) it is estimated that 3.9 million people worldwide between the ages of 30 and 65 have dementia, or about 119 out of every 100,000 people. The usual cause of dementia in younger people is Alzheimer’s Disease rather than one of the other causes. It causes special concern, because it usually occurs during the most productive years of a person’s life. The assessment would usually be done by a neurologist, but if confirmed, safeguards must be taken, such as no longer driving, operating dangerous machinery or cooking, and being left alone. Click here to read full article.
Cognitive Impact of COVID-19 Lasts Months
Those who are hospitalized with COVID are more likely to experience “brain fog” in the months afterward than those not hospitalized.
Seven months after hospitalization “the researchers found that 24% of patients had deficits in memory encoding, 23% had deficits in memory recall, 20% had deficits in category fluency, 18% had deficits in processing speed, 16% had deficits in executive functioning, and 15% had deficits in phonemic fluency.”
So if you have a client who complains about “brain fog” several months after being hospitalized for COVID, this is not uncommon.
Unfortunately this article does not give any strategies for restoring cognitive function. But this does give one more reason not to intentionally expose yourself to COVID in order to obtain “natural immunity.” One can never tell whether they may get a minor case of COVID or a more serious case. And even minor cases of COVID can cause cognitive problems (see article below). Click here to read full article.
Memory problems may persist for months after even mild COVID
The following research article says that memory and attention problems were found months afterward in young adults even after they had experienced mild COVID. On a personal note, my wife and I both experienced what we believe was the Omicron version of COVID after getting together with family over Christmas (we weren’t diagnosed but both of our sons went to the hospital and were diagnosed and our symptoms were similar to theirs, so we think we probably had it). Although we had mild cases, I’ve found my memory is much worse since we had it. Click here to read full article.
Behavior Problems at School: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide for Parents
This is an excellent guide for having a comprehensive plan if a parent receives communication from their child’s school that their child is showing behavior problems there. It also includes good suggestions on what not to do. While the article appears in a periodical for parents of children with ADHD, I think it would be helpful for any parent if they get a communication that their child is showing problem behavior at school. Click here to read full article.
Free at-home COVID tests
The federal government is supplying four at-home COVID tests free to those who request them. Shipping is also free. You can order yours at the website below. Click here to read full article.
Comparison of Prolonged Exposure vs Cognitive Processing Therapy for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among US Veterans: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Here is a summary of the treatments and conclusions from the article itself:
“Question: How do prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy compare for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Findings: In this randomized clinical trial among 916 veterans of 2 evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD, PTSD symptoms improved in both treatment groups. Prolonged exposure was more effective than cognitive processing therapy for reducing PTSD symptoms, but the difference between treatments did not reach the predetermined threshold for clinical significance.
Meaning: These findings suggest that although prolonged exposure had an advantage over cognitive processing therapy for PTSD symptoms, patient preferences should be considered because both treatments resulted in meaningful improvements and did not differ in their effects on other outcomes.” Click here to read full article.
‘A Stunningly Corrupt Enterprise’: Jordan Peterson Blasts Academia, Resigns As Tenured Professor At University of Toronto
Some of you are aware of Jordan Peterson, an academic who has been a conservative voice in the field of counseling and psychology for several years. Although he is agnostic in his views about Jesus’ divinity, his views have often been of interest to Christians in the counseling field. This article contains excerpts from an interview he recently gave after resigning for the University of Toronto. Click here to read full article.
AMERICAN IVF: AND THEN THERE WAS ONE … EMBRYO
American medicine has for years been primarily doing IVF by transferring multiple embryos into a woman’s uterus, with the hope that this will increase the likelihood of one successful baby surviving. This was done for multiple reasons—the high cost of in vitro fertilization, the fact that many insurance policies do not cover the procedure, etc. There is the moral issue of what is to be done with excess fertilized embryos that are never used and this issue has never been resolved. But there are other issues created when multiple embryos are simultaneously implanted: there is a higher incidence of miscarriages, there is a higher incidence of multiple births, often who are born prematurely and needing to spend additional time in NICUs, and often requiring even single birth babies to spend additional time in NICUs.
In Europe with improved technology they have been increasing the success rate of single-embryo transfers, and now this is becoming more commonly offered in the U.S. This article explains the many benefits of single-embryo transfers for couples seeking help in conceiving. Click here to read full article.
‘Nocebo’ effect blamed for two-thirds of COVID vaccine symptoms: Study
Sometimes people complain of minor symptoms (headache, soreness around the injection site, fever, or fatigue) after receiving COVID vaccination. This study, which gave the vaccine or a placebo, found that 77% of those who received a placebo stated they felt the same symptoms, so expectations seem to be playing a major role here. Click here to read full article.
Hope you have a good week!