Finding Silver Linings

You know, most developments in our lives can be viewed from different if not utterly divergent perspectives. I was reading snippets the other day from one of Gottman’s book on Divorce ( and a fascinating principle that must broadly apply to other domains of life besides marriage is this notion of a struggle between positive and negative interpretation of events. He argues that well compensated (not financially, though I’m sure that must help) individuals in the marriage dyad tend to view and or incorporate negative data from their partners into a fundamentally positive paradigm — that is, when you’re in a good mood, even things that usually piss you off roll off your back. And the converse is true: irritable…
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The New York Times loves psychiatry

… which of course is great and the articles they publish are mostly incredibly well thought out and cogent. But sometimes even cogent articles raise questions in patients’ minds… which is good, but perhaps unsettling. Best, I would think, to raise these questions with your therapists, psychiatrists etc straight away – not necessarily as a test to make sure your therapist or doctor is apprised of what’s going on in the NYT — but more to feel that any unanswered questions or unsettled feelings get addressed, because unspoken concerns in psychotherapies and psychiatric treatments can impact them deeply.

Early detection of psychopathy> Powerful story I spend a lot of time with young people, and sometimes I wonder… can we teach empathy??

The schedule book

Never did I think that I would come to depend on my schedule book like I do now – I feel anxious without it. I tried programming everything into the phone — not the same. I need to see it and hold it to feel like I am controlling my time but it’s an illusion, I think. “… best made plans” — but still, I love trying to order my time and plan my days. I feel A little more effective.

Long hours

It seems like it should be easier, feeling whole – feeling sane – feeling better. But it slips away time and again Leaves you feeling like even though you’ve put in the long hours There are many more to go.

Flowers and Trash

Ten years a go I heard Thich Nhat Hanh ( say that when he looks at a flower, he sees trash…. Didn’t get that until today… Amazing how long some things take to sink in.

Developmental Parenting?

We all know how important childhood development is, and quite a bit is known about adult development, but parenting as a developmental process is is not as well understood. What I mean is, just as children and adults progress through a series of well-characterized cognitive, affective, and physical stages, I believe people as parents do, too. Parenting as a developmental process has its roots in psychoanalytic theory. As that story goes, “normal” individual development consists of sequential transformations determined by interactions with the environment. But when development goes awry, we get “stuck.” In most cases, we get over it, but sometimes when our own kids’ developmental ebb and flow reminds us of our own early struggles, we become vulnerable to…
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Robert Whitaker, what’s your angle?

His book, The Anatomy of an Epidemic has made a splash and grabs the low hanging fruit off the psychiatric research tree (i.e., pathophysiology of depression still a “work in progress”), but you gotta wonder what’s underneath his curiosity…

Report: 20% Of US Adults May Suffer From Mental Illness Each Year.

Love epidemiology… the figures are amazing, we hopefully can reinvigorate our dedication to adequate treatment services in this country.. The Washington Post (1/19, Brown) reports, “About 20 percent of American adults suffer some sort of mental illness each year, and about five percent experience a serious disorder that disrupts work, family or social life, according to a government report released Thursday” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health sketches a now-familiar picture of a country where mental illness is common and the demand for treatment high.” For example, “mental illness is most prevalent in women, young adults, the unemployed and people with low incomes.” USA Today (1/19, Lloyd)…
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Psychiatry and Facebook

A few data points about Facebook… >500 million users 50% log on in a given day 36% of time on the internet 70% of Facebook Users outside the US Average User: 130 “friends” 80 community pages, groups, events 90 pieces of content each month > 55 minutes per day on Facebook There are clearly ways in which Facebooking connects people and may be “mentally healthy” but could it at some point start to shift our world towards isolation and discontinuity?? Something to think about.