To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.
— Abraham Lincoln
I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this old before.
The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
Ida B. Wells
Do not confuse peace of mind with spaced-out insensitivity. A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, very aware.
— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
A great man is always willing to be little.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Men, would you like to have these odds? Only 1 calico cat in 3,000 is male. Must be a nice world for male calico cats.
How long should you dunk an Oreo in milk to produce the perfect texture? Scientists studying this question decided 3 seconds was optimal, although it depends on the fat content of the milk and how soggy you prefer your Oreos. But isn’t there a question more important to be studying than this one? Click here to read full article.
Ahead of huge Mega Millions drawing, how these lottery winners became big losers
It might seem that it would be nice to win the lottery, but these stories show that for many, it does not improve their lives long-term. Click here to read full article.
Fast Food Linked to Increased Dementia Risk
We have known based on previous research that high consumption of fast foods is associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and all-cause mortality. It has now been found that high consumption of fast food makes a significant difference in the likelihood of developing dementia. A research study of 72,000 people found that for every 10% increase in fast food consumption, there is a 25% increase in dementia risk. Click here to read full article.
No Evidence Low Serotonin Causes Depression?
I included an article two weeks ago about the large meta-analysis that questioned whether depression was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, a belief that 80% of laypersons believe and a belief widely fostered by the pharmacological industry. This is an article in a psychiatry journal that gives a more detailed discussion. The researchers found there was no difference in serotonin levels in those with depression versus others. There was also no difference in 5-HT1A receptors, which are believed to inhibit the release of serotonin in the brain. The researchers also studied the levels of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan depletion has been believed to reduce serotonin and has been utilized to investigate whether lower serotonin levels might lead to depression. However, a study of tryptophan deletion found that it does not cause depression. On the other hand, there is strong evidence that factors in our lives can lead to depression, and so one of the authors of the study concluded that it is better for counselors to try to work with the events in our lives rather than focus on changing the chemistry of the brain.
One psychiatrist and educator recommended that we not stop using antidepressants because the causes of depression are still incompletely understood, but this research clearly suggests that counselors, working with clients to decide how to respond to difficult situations, have a very important role to play. Click here to read full article.
Make It a Family Affair
This article by Edward Hallowell, a specialist in treating ADHD, makes some good suggestions in this article. He suggests not keeping the ADHD a secret from the other children in the family but educate the whole family and then involve them all in coming up with solutions. Click here to read full article.
When Sensory Issues Trigger Meltdowns from Our Sensitive Kids
Children with ADHD (and also a few others) are very sensitive to loud sounds and lights and become very upset when exposed to them. Here are brief descriptions of how eight families deal with that situation of a child who is overly sensitive to loud sounds or bright light. Click here to read full article.
When You Feel “Stuck” with the Label of “Bipolar” after Diagnosis
When people are first diagnosed with a label of “bipolar” (or any other diagnosis) they may feel trapped, but this author and advocate talks about the many benefits of finally having an accurate diagnosis. If you have a client newly diagnosed, they might be helped by this brief article and her video. Click here to read full article.
California Dems want mental-health warnings on pot — New York should heed the lesson
There are not many times that I am supportive of what California legislators do, but here is one of them. Since legalizing pot, their hospitalization rate for pot-induced psychosis has jumped 54%, and so some of their legislators are proposing a law requiring that a warning be put into marijuana packages to warn users of potential dangers. Click here to read full article.
High Rate of Mental Health Problems in Transgender Children
This study confirms the wisdom of the recent British decision to not quickly treat children and teens who claim to be transgender to “gender-affirming” care. Often these children have other mental health problems, and perhaps once these problems are successfully treated they will no longer feel the need to have what is often irreversible treatments to change their gender. Click here to read full article.
CDC Directs People to Transgenderism, Teen Sex, and Astrology Websites
At one time we used to trust the CDC as a trustworthy scientific organization whose recommendations could be trusted. Because of their questionable guidance on the COVID pandemic that trust has been severely shaken. And now their help pages are promoting things like transgenderism, anal and oral sex, and occult superstition. It is sad that an organization that could be such a helpful resource is now promoting activities such as these. Click here to read full article.
Association of the “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure-time Physical Activity Patterns With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Nationwide Cohort Study
Does it make a health difference if people exercise several days a week or do almost all their exercise on two days a week (“weekend warriors”). I’ll quote directly from the study.
“This large prospective cohort study of 350,978 adults in the US did not find any significant difference in mortality rates between weekend warriors and regularly active participants. Compared with physically inactive participants, active participants (both weekend warrior and regularly active) had lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates.” So if your weekly schedule doesn’t allow you to exercise regularly on weekdays, apparently you can get similar health benefits by more extended workouts on the weekend. Interestingly, the study doesn’t address whether people experience more soreness when they do all their exercise on weekends. Click here to read full article.
Managing Impulsivity Requires Putting Precautions in Place
We all are impulsive at times (e.g., adding a candy bar in the checkout lane at the grocery store, but the kind of impulsive decisions that people with bipolar disorder often have more serious consequences. Steven Propst, a writer with bipolar disorder himself, talks about the ways it can manifest itself and a good proposal that he uses to tame impulsivity in his own life. Click here to read full article.
Can Using Marijuana Lead to Cannabis Dependence?
This is an informative article from the Amen Clinic using brain scans to look at the effects of marijuana use on various parts of the brain, and the real-life consequences of those brain changes. For anyone considering using marijuana for recreational or medical purposes, this is worthwhile reading. Click here to read full article.
Step-by-Step Guide for Securing ADHD Accommodations at School
“Two federal laws provide for free, public special education services: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act.” However, many children with ADHD do not receive accommodations because there are several specific steps parents must take for the school system to have to provide accommodations. This article very clearly describes these steps. Click here to read full article.
20 Classroom Accommodations That Target Common ADHD Challenges
This is a worthwhile article for parents and teachers to have when designing accommodations. It lists 20 challenges children with ADHD commonly face and 20 practical accommodations that can, in most cases, be easily implemented in the classroom. This article and the previous one are ones that I wish every parent of a child with ADHD could read before sending their child to school for the new academic year. Click here to read full article.
2 California Parents Fight Transgender Bills
Two bills are being introduced by California legislators that would probably be extremely frightening to most parents. Although it is unlikely that such bills would be considered in Florida in the near future, California often serves as a model for other states, so it is probably wise to be aware of these issues. Click here to read full article.
‘Nobody’s Perfect’: Disney Star Demi Lovato Explains Why She’s Going Back To ‘She/Her’ Pronouns
Superstar Demi Lovato, who claimed for a time that she was “non-binary” and wanted to be referred to by the pronouns “they/them” has now decided that she is feeling more feminine and now would like to be referred to by the pronouns “she” and “her.” Not the most important news in the world, but thought you might like to know. Click here to read full article.
Red State Approves What for Pregnant Women?
In a move that will make some people cheer and other people curse, the Georgia Department of Revenue made this significant move. See what you think. Click here to read full article.
In Adult ADHD, Home-Based Brain Stimulation Improved Attention
Some adults are unwilling to take medication, even though we know that stimulant medication can be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms. Now we do have an alternative to offer them. “Home-based transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improved attention in adults with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were not taking stimulant medications, a randomized trial showed.” It would be good to have a randomized study comparing the effect of tDCS with stimulant medication to see how the two compare. Then adults could use this information in deciding whether they wished to try either of these treatments. Click here to read full article.
Investing in a Research Workforce with Personal Experience of Serious Mental Illness
When people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) have their first psychotic break, it often occurs during the undergraduate college years. Even if they recover and return to school, they are hardly ever considered to be part of research teams conducting studies on effective treatment of serious mental illness. Yet some of these people (e.g., Kay Jamison, Pat Deegan) have gone on to make significant contributions to the field of mental health. This article argues thoughtfully that more effort needs to be made to intentionally encourage such people to be invited to be part of future research teams. Click here to read full article.
Association of Maternal Tobacco Use During Pregnancy with Preadolescent Brain Morphology Among Offspring
Perhaps you are working with a young woman who has been a smoker and is now pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, and who is ambivalent about giving up smoking. Will it make a difference in her developing child? This study in the Netherlands compared about 2700 women who were smokers and about 2000 women who were non-smokers and then did brain scans of their children between the ages when they were 9 to 11. The study, though technical, showed that there were detectable and significant differences in brain development of those children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy and those who did not. Click here to read full article.
UK Cracks Down While US Doubles Down on ‘Gender Affirming’ Care
This article reminds readers that several of the European countries who were leaders in approving “gender affirming care” are now stopping that movement because they recognize the damage that is being done to children. In contrast, the U.S., in many states, are increasingly supporting the movement of “gender-affirming care” and are punishing anyone (doctors, counselors, or parents) who does not wholeheartedly support that movement. Click here to read full article.
Best wishes for the weekend and upcoming week!