News Articles Week of November 7th-11th

  • Friday, November 11, 2022 6:03 PM
    Message # 12986374
    Valentino (Administrator)

    Interesting Quotes

    A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.


    Old age is just one organ saying to another, “You haven’t seen anything yet!”

    Author unknown

    "My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth."


    To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

    Thomas Edison (who had more than 1,000 patents at the time of his death).

    On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.

    Thomas Jefferson

    Interesting Facts (compiled from and a variety of other sources)

    American astronauts are now allowed to vote by absentee ballot from space. For the address they are living in, they put “low-Earth orbit.” Their ballot is sent to them and they return their choices using encryption.

    In case you didn’t know, rats enjoy being tickled. However, you probably won’t be able to hear their giggles without some special equipment, because their giggles are at a higher range than the human ear can hear.

    Antidepressants Don’t Work the Way Many People Think

    This is a New York Times article, so you may not be able to download it unless you have a subscription, so I’ll summarize the major points. Last year I mentioned to you that the rationale we gave for depression was that it was an imbalance in brain chemicals, and that antidepressants increased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and others. This explanation is no longer thought to be accurate by many psychiatrists and researchers, even though we believed that and taught that for several decades.

    The theory that is gaining ground since the 1990s is that depression often happens (there are probably more than one way that depression works in different people), but a primary way is that chronic stress causes a shrinking in one area of the brain (the hippocampus), and that some antidepressants work is by stimulating new neurons (brain connections) to develop in this area.

    So while most antidepressants produce some benefit in about 60% of people (either using the first or second antidepressant tried), the reason they work is probably different than what most laypersons believe.

    It is also true that other factors have been shown to be helpful, e.g., reducing stress, CBT, mild or moderate exercise, changing diet, improving sleep patterns, so we as counselors have an important role to play in helping those experiencing depression. Click here to read full article. 

    Pet Ownership Brings ‘Huge Benefits’ To Adults With Autism, Study Finds

    A fascinating study of some 700+ adults, ½ with autism and ½ without, found that having a pet “led to a higher quality of life, less anxiety and a wide range of other benefits.” Click here to read full article. 

    Where Woke Is Going: Able-Bodied Man ‘Identifies’ as Disabled Woman in Wheelchair

    In our culture there is growing acceptance of the idea that if a person identifies a certain way, that makes it true, even though objective evidence suggests otherwise. One situation that illustrates the absurdity of this notion is a man from Norway who says he identifies as a disabled woman, even though he is neither disabled nor a woman. How long will this kind of thinking go on before people reject the idea that identifying as something you are not does not make it so? Click here to read full article. 

    What 300 therapists had to say about mental health

    The waiting lists are long in many places throughout the U.S. Here are some comments and some of the things therapists are suggesting when people cannot get an appointment. Click here to read full article. 

    Not Your Grandparents' Sexual Activity

    Researchers rarely include information about sexual activities among older folks in their surveys or research, and probably many counselors are reluctant to inquire about this area unless clients themselves bring this area up. This article could help you be better informed about the typical sexual activities of the older generation. Click here to read full article.

    Florida Medical Boards Ban Transgender Surgeries, Hormones for Minors

    This past Friday (November 4) The Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine banned puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries for minors. The motions granted exceptions for teens already in treatment and those enrolled in clinical trials. Since the latest research found that 92% of those with gender dysphoria revert to their natal gender sometime during puberty, and since most 10 to 12-year-olds (the ages when most children are started on puberty blockers) are not likely to have an awareness of what gender they will want for a lifetime, many believe that these decisions by the two boards are warranted, although some gender change advocates will obviously disagree. Click here to read full article.

    Social Stressors Can Be Triggers for Bipolar Disorder

    It seems plausible that social triggers can initiate the first episode of bipolar disorder in persons who have the genetic predisposition for bipolar disorder, and for other mental disorders that have a genetic predisposition. Asking clients about social stressors that preceded their current issues will probably become a standard part of the intake discussion for counselors and psychiatrists in the years ahead. Click here to read full article.

    5 Doctors Sue California Over Medical Misinformation Law

    I discussed a new law signed by Governor Newson in California a few weeks ago that threatened doctors with losing their licenses to practice medicine if they shared information that went against the consensus of current thinking. As I mentioned then, much of the information shared by the CDC and Dr. Fauci early in the COVID pandemic turned out to be incorrect, but if doctors in California had shared thoughts different from the current thinking, they could have been in danger of losing their licenses. As predicted, the first lawsuit against this law is being filed. Read the article to see the grounds for this lawsuit.  Although this law concerns medical doctors, if this concept spread, similar laws could be enacted that would affect counselors. Click here to read full article.

    How to Be Your Child’s Social Emotional Learning Coach

    Children with ADHD often have difficulty starting and maintaining friendships, however, each child’s needs may be somewhat different. But parents can often help them learn skills to improve their relationships. This article gives parents some good, practical suggestions on how to do this. Click here to read full article.

    4 Sleep Tips That Actually Work for Symptom Management

    We know that one thing that can trigger a Bipolar 1 episode is a few nights of disrupted sleep: therefore it’s particularly important for people with bipolar disorder to develop consistent sleep habits. Here are some things to suggest to them. (These could probably be helpful to anyone who has difficulty with sleep.) Click here to read full article.

    Why So Many Young People Are “Disconnected” From Their Families, Bodies, and Reality

    A new broadcast from Breakpoint that you, or some of your clients, might be interested in. Click here to read full article.

    Bipolar Depression Will NOT Define Me

    People with either Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2 often spend more time in the depressed end of the spectrum, and as such, being bipolar can take over their self-concept. This is an inspiring message from someone who has struggled with Bipolar 1 since 19 yet went on to earn her doctorate. I think her message could be an encouragement to anyone with a chronic mental or medical condition—I am not my illness; I am a person (the most important part) who lives with a certain condition. Click here to read full article.

    4 Cases of Mass Hysteria in History—Meowing Nuns, Medieval Dance Plague, Laughter Pandemic, and More

    Although you may never run across this in counseling you might, and it would be well to be enlightened about it. While the article only mentions four examples, there was a more recent example: there was a “laughing” movement among Christians back in the 1970s, primarily among charismatic believers, which died down after several months. Click here to read full article.

    National Park Service Asks Visitors to Please Stop Licking Toads

    This is from the New York Times, so I’ll summarize it for you. The Sonoran desert toad’s toxins create an intense psychedelic experience. People can lick the toads themselves, but the common way people use it is to dry the toxin, then smoke it in pipes. If you have a client who is into psychedelic experiences, you can warn them that the toxin can be fatal. Click here to read full article.

    How the Cognitive Science of Belief Can Transform the Study of Mental Health

    An article about cognitive beliefs in a psychiatry journal. It takes some concentrated effort to understand it all, but it does affirm the importance of cognitive behavior therapy in helping humans become as healthy as they can be. Click here to read full article.

    For When You Miss Your Bipolar Disorder Mania

    Probably most of us who read this compilation of articles have never experienced an episode of mania. When we see the damage people do during a manic episode we wonder how anyone would be attracted to the idea of having a manic episode. This writer gives us a good description of why manic episodes feel so good to people with Bipolar 1, and why feeling normal sometimes feels so dreary in comparison. She ends with a nice discussion of why, in the long run, living with normal feelings is so much better. Click here to read full article.

    Clumps of human nerve cells thrived in rat brains

    When I first mentioned the research about putting human nerve cells into rat brains I had some ethical qualms about that research study. However, after reading more about the research I feel less concerned. One problem in studying nerve cells is that when they are raised in test tubes they do not grow well. When spliced into a living organism they grow much more and become more differentiated. They do not seem to change the nature of the organism they are transplanted into: rats continue to be rats. And they provide possibilities of being able to study important brain diseases without endangering human beings. To learn more about this new line of research, click on this link. Click here to read full article.

    Long COVID Realities

    An increasing number of people are experiencing long-COVID symptoms, and some of them may come to you for counseling. The symptoms that these clients may be experiencing include “fatigue that interferes with daily life, symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as post-exertional malaise), fever, joint or muscle pain, rash, changes in menstrual cycles, …difficulty thinking/brain fog, change in smell or taste, depression or anxiety” and other symptoms. Most of those who have “long COVID” did not have serious cases of COVID initially and were not hospitalized. This article includes greater description and a listing of long COVID clinics. It also warns that most therapies offered are still experimental, so there is no guarantee that they will work. Therefore clients should not put themselves in financial danger in order to try some unproven treatment. A good article to consult if you have clients with long COVID symptoms. Click here to read full article.

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