Six Mental Illnesses Share Same Neural Network, Cases of Autism Likely Undercounted, and More

  • Friday, February 03, 2023 10:02 AM
    Message # 13083621

    Articles from the Week of February 3, 2023

    Interesting Quotes

    Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

    Babe Ruth

    Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

    Albert Einstein

    Vulnerability is like a connector... it connects you to the rest of the world.

    Phil Stutz (psychotherapist)

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Never is a man more of a man than when he is the father of a newborn.

    Matthew McConaughey

    "Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.


    Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

    Robert Frost

    “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

    Ernest Hemingway

    Fascinating Facts and Trivia (many from

    The Father of the Stop Sign Never Learned How to Drive

    In 1867 William Eno, as a young boy, was part of a 12-horse traffic jam in New York City, when none of the drivers nor the police knew what to do. When his father died, leaving him a multi-million-dollar inheritance, he devoted himself to a field that up to that time, did not exist—traffic management. From those experiences he eventually developed the stop sign as a way of guiding traffic and, eventually became known as the “father of traffic safety.”

    The human circulatory system is more than 60,000 miles long.

    “Human hearts have a big job: moving oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. But as much credit as the heart gets, it doesn’t work alone — the adult human circulatory system includes arteries, veins, and capillaries in a network that’s more than 60,000 miles long.

    “In terms of distance, the blood vessels in our bodies are lengthy enough to circle the globe twice, with mileage to spare. What’s more, about 80% of that distance comes from just capillaries, the smallest blood vessels that connect veins and arteries. With each heartbeat, the circulatory system is a multi-functioning wonder, working simultaneously to oxygenate blood, remove waste from our organs, and transport hormones and nutrients to their necessary destinations. Meanwhile, this system also stabilizes our bodies by helping to fight off disease and regulate body temperature.

    “Not all living creatures have circulatory systems, and among those that do, they can look drastically different. Vertebrates — mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds — have “closed” circulatory systems, meaning that blood is transported through the body sealed within arteries and veins. Invertebrates (think snails, crabs, and octopuses) have “open” systems with no veins, where blood flows freely throughout the entire body cavity and is directly absorbed by the organs. And some animals, such as jellyfish, anemones, and corals, have no blood or circulatory systems at all, instead relying on the water they live in to supply the oxygen and nutrients they need.” [Quoted from]

    Who was the only U.S. President whose first language was not English?

    Answer: Martin Van Buren (his first language was Dutch)

    Astronauts actually get taller when in space

    “Astronauts actually grow while they are out in space. This growth is due to the lack of gravity when they're in space compared to when they are on Earth. Earth's gravity naturally compresses the spine when people stand, making them slightly shorter over time. In space, the spine lengthens and decompresses as the astronaut spends time in space. This often results in the astronaut coming back to Earth taller than they were when they left, sometimes even by up to a few inches.” [Quoted material is from]

    Phil the groundhog is accurate less than half of the time.

    There has been much hoopla this week because of the annual sighting of Punxsutawney Phil, which happens on February 2nd. However, those who keep records say that the groundhog has only accurately predicted oncoming weather 39% of the time since records began in 1887.

    Counseling Articles

    Counseling Referral List

    A referral source for pastors is now available on the SFACC website. This is designed to help pastors know how to refer parishioners to counselors, psychiatrists, mental health hospitals, substance abuse hospitals and eating disorders treatment centers. Please let the pastors of your church know about this article. It contains more information than pastors or anyone can easily retain, so it is compiled as a pdf document that they can print off and consult when needed. It also has sections on how mental health problems can sometimes appear as spiritual problems when they are not. We encourage you to read this yourself and then recommend it to your pastor or pastors it you believe they would benefit from this information.

    Lloyd Morrisett, a Founder of ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies at 93

    You may wonder why I’m including an obituary in this week’s compilation of counseling-related articles. If you read it, I think you’ll find the story fascinating. Lloyd Morrisett was a psychologist who was observing his three-year-old daughter’s television viewing habits, (even before programming began for the day, she would gaze for moments at a time looking at the blinking icons, and became struck with the idea that television could be used to help children learn skills and knowledge that would help them in school and later life. He interviewed child psychologists and many others, and from those interviews, developed the program Sesame Street. Unfortunately, the article is in the New York Times, so you probably will not be able to read it without a subscription. Even if you can’t, I think it reminds us of the fact that if we observe what is going on around us, we can sometimes develop something creative that will make the world a better place. Click here to read his obituary.  

    Can Limiting Screen Time Improve Autism Symptoms?

    A prospective study on young children with autism (i.e., not a randomly-controlled study, which will probably follow), found that reducing screen time for young children both significantly improved core autism symptoms and reduced parental stress levels. Click here to read the full article.  

    Study: Even With Fivefold Increase, Autism Likely Undercounted

    Although autism is being identified more frequently now, it still is not being identified completely, especially in minority populations. Another interesting find in this study—although many people believe that children with autism also have other intellectual disabilities, this study found that about 70% do not. Click here to read the full article.  

    The mundane, radical, fun, painful ways we can help our kids find happiness

    Despite the lengthy title, this is a worthwhile article to read. It contains a summary of the more than eighty-year-study from Harvard University on what factors are associated with happiness. Plenty of insights you could use in counseling. You may have to register for a free account to the Washington Post in order to read it, but the registration process takes 30 seconds or less. Click here to read the full article.  

    Just 29% of white parents see college degree as important, while most minority parents still do

    There is a growing belief among some adults that a college degree is not the wisest choice for all young adults, since college often leaves young people with considerable debt, and there are many jobs that can be trained for through apprenticeships or other similar training. This new research study from Pew Research Center found that only a minority of white parents view a college degree as extremely or very important for their children while most minority parents do. Click here to read the full article. 

    Worth a chuckle

    The Babylon Bee had a recent segment talking about the results of the exorcism Nancy Pelosi had done on their California home recently. According to the Bee one of the results of the exorcism is that she became a Republican!

    Marie Kondo Gives Up

    The Washington Post reported that decluttering guru Marie Kondo admitted she had “kind of given up” on keeping her home tidy after having her third child.

    Finding Hope: A Difficult but Vital Part of Life with Bipolar

    This blog has something that I think is important with every client we meet—finding hope that, whatever handicaps we face, whether it be bipolar or something else, we will find a way to be okay. Click here to read the full article. 

    School Supervisor Overdoses On Fentanyl Student Brought To School

    Just a warning: this school supervisor did not ingest fentanyl or even touch it. While inspecting the things a 13-year-old student brought to school he apparently inhaled the air around some fentanyl capsules and through that overdosed. Fentanyl is reportedly 50 times more potent than heroin. This student had brought 150 fentanyl capsules to school, apparently with the intention of selling them to fellow students (The supervisor was treated by EMTs at the site and taken to the hospital, where he reportedly has recovered). Click here to read the full article. 

    Great Moments in American History, Revised According to AP's Inclusive Style Guide

    This is a tongue-in-cheek article about what great documents in American history would look like if modified according to woke requirements. They include the U.S. Constitution, Paul Revere’s ride, the March on Washington, FDR’s fireside chat, the Statue of Liberty, and the Star-Spangled Banner. Click here to read the full article. 

    Relationships Are Key to Long-Term Health

    Here is another finding from the 80+ year Harvard study. As Christian parents we realize that it’s important to nurture our children’s religious faith. This study reminds us that it’s important to encourage them to consider marriage and other relationships as an important part of having a healthy life. Click here to read the full article. 

    He Asked Them To Get A Sex Change, And Now He’s Asking Them To End It All

    A very sad story. A Canadian male adolescent requested sex reassignment surgery (which is provided free of charge because of Canada’s socialized medicine). He has experienced two years of medical problems with the artificial vagina that was given him. In 2016 Canada made medically assisted suicide available to those with terminal illnesses. In 2021 this service was made available to anyone, even if they were not terminally ill. He is now requesting medical assistance to end his life. Click here to read the full article.  

    Three Big Bipolar Misconceptions

    Probably anyone who has worked in the mental health field for long knows about these misconceptions, but people who have recently learned they have bipolar disorder may not know they are not true. They may be more likely to hear this from a person who has lived with bipolar for many years such as Julie Fast. Click here to read the full article.  

    Psychiatric Illnesses Share Common Brain Network

    We have heard some hints of this before, but recent research has confirmed that six of the most serious mental disorders--schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety—all share some common neural connections. While it is still too early to use this information in treatment, these findings definitely will have implications for the future. Click here to read the full article. 

    Pregnancy & Bipolar

    Mothers with bipolar disorder often have fears that getting pregnant while on psychotropic medication could increase the chances of having a child with birth defects. Recent research has suggested that such concerns are frequently overstated. Here is a good article by a physician. 

    The Surgeon General Just Issued A Huge Warning About Social Media…

    The U.S. Surgeon General under both the Obama and Biden administrations said in a recent interview that he believes while children’s personal identity is still developing, they should not be allowed to join social media sites. He believes it is best that they not join social media sites until they are at least 16. Their reasoning is quite interesting. See article for more details. 

    Have a wonderful week or weekend!

    Henry Virkler

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software