Articles from the Week of July 21, 2023
A kick in the pants can be the best thing in the world for you.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.
Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.
A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.
Harold Macmillan, former U.K. prime minister
Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past.
Tryon Edwards (American theologian)
Do you know what country has such a low crime rate that it is forced to import prisoners from other countries in order to have enough inmates for their prison guards to watch? The answer is Netherlands (Source: Needtoknowfacts.com).
“Canada has the most donut shops per capita in the world.” (Source: Needtoknowfacts.com).
“As common eating utensils, chopsticks in Asia are about 2,000 years older than the fork in Europe.”
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing ice cream to the United States, (he discovered ice cream when he was ambassador to France). However, ice cream was not discovered in France, but in China in the first millennium A.D. (Source: TriviaBrightmail.com)
Elyse G.’s brain is fabulous. It’s also missing a big chunk
This research started with Elyse G., a person who didn’t know until she was 26 and in graduate school, that she was missing a big chunk of her brain, the part that is normally associated with reading and language fluency. And yet no one would have noticed that she was different from other graduate students unless a neurologist had done a brain scan and saw an enormous black hole. That example has started a research project, the Interesting Brains Project, which has scanned about 40 people with significant holes in their brains, and who yet appear to be functioning at average or above average levels. While damage to the brain in adulthood, usually from accidents or strokes, often leaves people with significant deficits, these “holes” in the brain, thought to be caused by strokes happening before or shortly after birth, seem to show that the brain is enormously flexible, and that the abilities that are usually done by one section of the brain can often be taken over by other parts. Functional MRIs have shown that the functions are not automatically done by the corresponding part of the brain in the opposite hemisphere, but sometimes elsewhere. If you read this article, prepare to be amazed!
Click here to read the full article
Can teens with ADHD tell when they are on medication?
This is a summary of research by Dr. David Rabiner, an expert in ADHD. He doesn’t use a web address that I can easily link to, but I’ll summarize his article because I think it is important. Students with ADHD were randomly given a placebo or one of three doses of ADHD medication. When on medication, their academic results were significantly better, but they had no better than chance ability to tell whether they were on medication or placebo. Therefore they attributed their better performance to their efforts and didn’t think medication made any difference. This may be why some children and teens with ADHD refuse to take medication—they don’t realize that medication really does help them to work better.
Scientific Evidence for a Creator
Again, this is not a counseling article, but if you have a client who is struggling with whether issues of faith and science can be reconciled, this free 22-page book by Stephen Meyer is an excellent discussion of why the amazing complexity of DNA and RNA and all the factors necessary for our universe to support life make it scientifically more reasonable to conclude that a super-intelligent designer created both the universe and life on this planet than to believe that both of these factors came together through random processes. Bill Gates is quoted in this minibook as saying that the programming that goes into DNA and RNA is something beyond the level of programming even our best programmers can do at this time. This free 22-page minibook is available for anyone to download and read.
How to Tell the Difference Between Bipolar and Schizoaffective Disorder
This is an article that I believe every counselor should read because it clearly explains the difference between three disorders that have some overlapping symptoms—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. To complicate things a little more, there are two subtypes of schizoaffective disorder—Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type and Schizoaffective Disorder Depressive Type. The most effective treatment combines both medication and several types of counseling. This is an excellent introduction to both diagnosis and treatment. Some of you may want to become involved in counseling those this diagnosis, because it involves counseling skills you probably have already learned.
How to Prevent Addiction Patients from Leaving Treatment Against Medical Advice
Research reveals that close to ¼ of substance abuse in-patients leave their programs before treatment is complete. This is a good article identifying why that happens and what therapists can do to decrease the likelihood of that happening. Although this article is written for substance abuse treatment, I think some of the ideas could be applied to help reduce premature termination by other kinds of clients also.
3 Unexpected Signs of Bipolar Depression
We’re all familiar with the primary way that bipolar depression expresses itself, but here are three unexpected ways that bipolar depression can express itself. See the similarities between this article and the article a couple weeks ago about how depression in adolescent males doesn’t express itself in the ways normally associated with depression.
10 Reasons Why Affirmative Action Died
This obviously is not a counseling article, but this topic is important in today’s cultural conversation, and this article by Victor Hanson is worth taking the two minutes it will take to read it.
Toxic Positivity: How Too Much Positivity Harms Us
Normally we encourage clients to develop a more positive outlook on life. But this psychotherapist has a good reminder of ways in which too much positivity is harmful.
Anger Management for Children with ADHD
Here is a very succinct but helpful article by Edward Hallowell, a respected expert on ADHD of ways for parents to work with children when they are angry.
How addictive, endless scrolling is bad for your mental health
We’ve all probably heard that scrolling social media isn’t healthy for anyone, teens or adults. This article explains three of the factors that make this psychologically unhealthy, so it may be helpful that way. I believe it leaves off a fourth factor—comparisons. It’s easy, especially for young people, to compare themselves with the images projected on computer screens and then conclude that they don’t measure up. The three factors mentioned in the article, when combined with this fourth factor, is one of the things that makes endless scrolling so unhealthy for many people.
Further Up, Further In: C.S. Lewis After His Conversion
C. S. Lewis and his books have made a lasting impression on many during the last 80 years. Here is a summary of a stage play that is currently being presented about his life after conversion. This Breakpoint article gives a fascinating introduction to his life after conversion and probably will encourage you to see the stageplay if it comes to your area.
The Best Books to Understand What Bipolar Is REALLY Like
If you have clients with bipolar disorder or have a client who has a loved one with bipolar disorder, here are some recommended books to help provide understanding and support. There’s many books to choose from, so people can choose the one that most appeals to them.
Gender Activists’ Exploitation of Autism
This article tells how several groups that supposedly offer help to children with autism, are actively encouraging children to adopt transgender identities.
Public Schools in Seattle Offer Sex-Change Services to Children as Young as 13 – Without Telling Parents
Public schools in Seattle are offering sex-change services to children as young as 13 (some reports say as young as 11) without the parents’ knowledge or approval.
Update on Vaping
Many people (including some of your clients) believe that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking. Here is an update on the matter.
Bipolar & Creativity: Mania vs. the Muse
Some people with bipolar disorder believe they are most creative when they are in a manic state, and for this reason may resist taking medication. Here is an article from a creative person who has bipolar disorder, has been creative both when on or off medication, and has concluded that his creativity is best expressed when he stays on medication.
World’s 2nd Happiest Country Has Surprisingly High Rate of Mental Health Disorders: Study
A country that has often been nominated as one of the world’s happiest countries—Denmark, also has a surprisingly high rate of mental disorders. For more details see the article.
Nearly 1 in 10 American Kids Have Developmental Disabilities, Says CDC
An article that probably should be read by counselor educators and also by counselors meeting their continuing education requirements is this one. A growing number of our children are being diagnosed with one or more of the developmental disabilities.
Cannabis Use in Pregnancy Could Harm Development of Fetal Organs, Study Says
In states that have approved recreational use of marijuana and even in states that require a medical prescription (some women experience anxiety or nausea during pregnancy and ask their doctors for prescriptions) growing evidence says that cannabis can do harm to both male and female babies prior to birth. SAMHSA has said “marijuana use during pregnancy is not safe and comes with serious, potentially deadly risks.” If you are working with a female client who is pregnant and is considering asking her doctor for a prescription for medical marijuana this would be an important article to give to her.
The difference between “safety net” parenting & “helicopter” parenting
Dr. Caroline Leaf writes a daily blog on mental health. If you have a parent who is a “helicopter” parent and you’d like to help him or her modify their parenting style to something that is healthier, this blog might help.
Doctors Warn Against ‘Gender-Affirming’ Hormones, Surgeries for Youth
Even though professional medical groups like the AMA won’t even allow the question to be brought up at their conferences, this international group of doctors is stating that “there is low to very low evidence to suggest that hormonal intervention produces any mental health benefits in minors—and that its risks are significant.” See the article for further information.
Many Patients Take to Online Forum to Vent About SSRIs
Although SSRIs help a significant number of patients with depression, there are also a significant number who assert that SSRIs don’t help them and discontinue them with or without their doctor’s approval. So it is important to recognize that SSRIs may not give some clients the relief they desire.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend or week!