Interdisciplinary Review of General, Forensic, Prison and Military Psychiatry and Psychology and the related subjects of Behavior and Law with the occasional notes and comments by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova).
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Recent Publications Review, Part 3 - 4.20.13: Journals
A study out this past month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that forecasting future criminal behavior could become reality in the near future. The study offers the first evidence that brain scans might be used to predict who will commit a crime. read more
To believe two contradictory conspiracy theories at the same time is be irrational on steroids. There is some evidence that this occurs, but I cling to the possibility that the case is overstated. read more
If any activity undermines or degrades our rational capacities, then we have a moral reason to avoid that activity. (This may be a good reason to avoid all reality television as well, but I’ll leave that aside for now.) At some level of use, it does seem that marijuana has this effect on people. read more
There are many advantages to being bicultural, two of which are greater creativity and professional success as shown in a recent study. The underlying psychological mechanism that accounts for this is enhanced integrative complexity. read more
When tragedy hits, it affects all of us. We could be living in the town, state or country where it happened. But we don’t have to be. Crisis reminds us we’re vulnerable, we can’t control everything, and there are evil people in the world. This type of news can floor the most put together person and it can destroy those of us who are extra sensitive. It can turn our vision of the world upside down.
At the same time, it’s a reminder that we’re all human and in the face of tragedy we’re more alike than we’re different. If we could hold onto the love, compassion and empathy we have for those in need, we might change our world for the better.
You might be feeling anxious lately because of what’s going on in the media and that could be percolating into your daily life. If you’re struggling with anxiety because you’re highly sensitive or creative, you’ll appreciate our posts on why the two are intertwined with tips on how to feel less anxious now. If you’re like many of us right now who need a way to come down from the fear, anxiety and overwhelming sense of hopelessness in response to the Boston tragedy, you’ll gain a lot from our posts on being vulnerable and how to cope. Whatever you’re going through this week, take care of yourself.
To Be More Creative Deal With Anxiety (The Creative Mind) – Anxiety and creativity go hand-in-hand. It’s actually quite normal to experience anxiety in the process of creative expression. But phobia and panic can be a detriment to those in the creative field. Learn more here. Anxious? A Simple Yoga Posture That Helps (Channel N) – Yoga can help combat stress, insomnia and anxiety. Watch this short video with a guided yoga posture to help you feel better now. The Neuroscience of Learning to Trust Yourself (Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Strength can come from vulnerability. Learn to be more mindful of these often difficult moments and you will be better equipped to withstand more challenging events. After the Boston Marathon Tragedy – Taking Care Yourself When Traumatic Events Occur (Family Mental Health) – If the recent bombing in Boston has you emotionally drained and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Read this to get tips on how to take care of your emotional needs during trauma and tragedy. Paper Tigers (360 of Mindful Living) – Do you take things too personally? This short post looks at the evolutionary reason why you or someone personalizes everything.
“You idiot. Can’t you do anything right? I asked you to do a simple task. And what did you do? You screwed it up big time. What the hell is the matter with you?”
Some people believe that humiliation is a good teacher. You gotta learn. You must not forget. You will be punished if you don’t do it right. Humiliation will make a lesson stick.
These folks are right — humiliation is a good teacher.
But the lesson you learn is not what the teacher is intending. You don’t learn to do things better. You don’t learn to upgrade your skills. You don’t learn to trust your ability to learn.
What you do learn, instead, is to:
Embrace rigidity. “I can’t do this. No way. No how.”
Play it safe. “I’ll just make a fool of myself so I’m sticking to the tried and true.”
Shirk responsibility. “It’s too hard for me; you have to do it for me.”
Develop a fixed perspective. “I’ve never been any good at this and I never will be.”
Yes, humiliation throws cold water on the joy of learning and shuts down the joy of risk-taking. Indeed, a single dose of humiliation in a vulnerable child can lead to a belief that “I can’t do it,” while a regular dose of humiliation will profoundly cripple a child’s belief in himself and in his ability to learn. “I’m dumb. I’m stupid. I’m no good. And don’t try to convince me otherwise.”
If you’ve been exposed to the debilitating effects of humiliation, it’s time to rectify the damage that has been done. Here’s what you must do:
Know that there’s nothing immutable about what you know and don’t know. All you can honestly say is that you don’t know how to do something yet. Put the time and effort into it, and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn.
A mistake is not a felony. And it’s certainly not deserving of capital punishment. The most you can say is, it’s a misdemeanor or an oops! Just an error. Something that slipped your mind. Something you forgot because you were distracted. Next time you make a mistake, don’t agonize over it. Instead, acknowledge it. Fix it (if you can). Learn from it. Move on to your next challenge.
Keep stretching. Keep reaching. Keep learning. Make new mistakes; it means your mind is active. You have not given up on yourself. You are not content to live within a comfort zone the size of a postage stamp. No, that’s not for you. It’s a big wide world out there, with lots of things to learn. You want to be a part of the world. Not apart from the world.
No matter how much you learn, how much you know, there will be stuff you don’t know. This is not proof of your stupidity. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is simply life. We cannot know it all.
When you don’t know what to do, improvise. That’s what everybody else is doing (whether they admit it or not). Make it up on the spot. Sometimes it will work out well. Sometimes it won’t. That’s the nature of life.
When something intrigues you, go for it. Don’t tell yourself “I’m no good at this.” Take up the challenge. Put in the hard work. Ask for assistance. Tolerate the discomfort. And watch yourself bloom.
Whatever humiliating experiences you have had in the past, do not let them continue to define you today. Right now, this moment, this very moment, before you put this article down, say something that gives homage to who you are and what you’re about. If whatever you say brings a smile to your face or warmth to your inner being, you know you’ve chosen the right words.
Practitioners of conversion therapies claim that a gay sexual orientation is unhealthy and unnatural and therefore amenable to cure. Others argue that, whether or not homosexuality is an illness, banning such therapy interferes with self-determination—that people have the right to try to change their sexual orientation. However, there are several flaws in these arguments. read more
Susan Eva Porter, author of Bully Nation: Why America's Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone, is an important spokesman for what's wrong with the crusade against bullies. You can watch/listen to two excellent interviews she has recently done. read more
It has only been a few days since the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Many parents are worried about persistent problems their children may endure. Here are some symptoms to look for and ideas for helping. read more
The over-prescription of medication for "human experiences" is causing some to question whether or not life experience is being considered pathology. I wonder whether or not it is sometimes the starting point for unnecessary addiction. read more
WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) — A preliminary, inconclusive test suggests the deadly toxin ricin was in a letter sent to President Obama on Tuesday, officials report.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.
The letter was intercepted at the White House mail screening facility, which is not located near the White House complex, USA Today reported Wednesday.
The preliminary test showed evidence of ricin, but the FBI said only a complete second test can confirm if the letter actually did contain the deadly poison, the Associated Press reported.
Ricin, which is found in the castor oil plant, can prove deadly if inhaled, one expert noted.
“Without a doubt, ricin is toxic,” said Victoria Richards, a toxicologist and assistant professor of medical sciences at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
“If castor beans are eaten [about 20 for an adult] death can occur in six to eight days,” Richards said. “When concentrated, ricin powder may be lethal in a much shorter timeframe. There is a process called oral inhalation, in which powders or aerosolized agents [depending on the particle size] can be deposited in the mouth and eventually swallowed.”
If swallowed, “ricin will cause nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and dehydration,” Richards added. “Multiple organ damage also occurs, and eventually death.”
At least three U.S. senators also reported receiving suspicious mail in recent days. A letter sent to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., tested positive for ricin in a preliminary test. On Wednesday morning, a suspicious letter was received by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and a suspicious package was received by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
“We do not know yet if the mail presented a threat,” Levin said, USA Today reported.
The letter received by Wicker on Tuesday contained a “white granular substance” and was quarantined before the initial test indicated that the substance was ricin. The letter was intercepted at an off-site mail facility. The material has been sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis.
The president was briefed on the suspicious letters on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday morning, said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, USA Today reported. More information
For more on ricin, head to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) — English-speaking Hispanics in the United States are less likely to take measures to protect themselves from skin cancer than Spanish-speaking Hispanics, a new study finds.
The findings suggest that language needs to be considered when developing skin cancer prevention strategies for Hispanic Americans, according to Elliot Coups and colleagues at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Their study included 788 Hispanic adults in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. Of the participants, nearly 36 percent were Spanish-speaking, 19.5 percent were English-speaking and about 45 percent spoke both languages.
English-speaking Hispanics were more likely than Spanish-speaking Hispanics to do things that put them at increased risk for skin cancer (sunbathing and indoor tanning) and less likely to protect themselves from the sun by seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.
However, language had no bearing on sunscreen use, according to the study, published in the current issue of the journal JAMA Dermatology.
Bilingual Hispanics were more likely than English-speaking Hispanics to take skin cancer prevention measures, but less likely than Spanish-speaking Hispanics.
In terms of specific behaviors, 39 percent of participants said they sunbathed. Younger people and those of Puerto Rican, Cuban, South American or “other” Hispanic heritage were more likely to do so than those of Mexican descent. Slightly more than 5 percent of the participants had ever tanned indoors, an activity that was more common among women and those of Cuban or “other” Hispanic descent than those of Mexican descent.
Overall, 53 percent of participants said they stayed in the shade most of the time or always when outside on a sunny day, 31 percent said they used sunscreen at least most of the time when outside, and 24 percent said they wore sun-protective clothing most of the time or always, the investigators found.
Hispanic men sought shade and used sunscreen less often than women, but were more likely to wear sun-protective clothing. Older people were more likely than younger people to seek shade and wear sun-protective clothing.
Slightly more than 43 percent of the study participants said they never or rarely used sunscreen. Nearly one-quarter of those who did use sunscreen did not know the sun protection factor (SPF) of their sunscreen, the findings showed.
Although Hispanics are less likely than whites to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, they are more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier age and at an advanced stage, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. More information
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about skin cancer prevention.
Assault on America: Patriots' Day 2013 - RenewAmerica RenewAmerica Does not everyone in America feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been going on within the last few weeks in Russia?" Wilsonian Internationalism: Woodrow ...
Psychiatric Profession Has Lost Its Mind American Free Press In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is scheduled to release its fifth Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) superseding the DSM-IV published in 1994 and revised in 2000. The new “psychiatry bible” has been criticized by many ...