Sibling aggression

doctors and insurance The relationship between physicians, insurance, and patients is probably only going to become more complex under the affordable health care act, but here’s to small victories: doctors will retain the right to take on large insurers when their practices undermine the physicians’ capacity to provide timely and high quality medical care.

overview of depression and anxiety for primary care

May 24, 2013, Progress Notes

CDC: Mental Illness In Children Costs $247 Billion Annually

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report (pdf) revealing that mental illness in America’s youngsters may cost as much as $247 billion a year and may affect up to one in five children. The report did not generate network television coverage. Instead, coverage appears primarily on wire sources and medical websites. Bloomberg News (5/17, Lopatto) reports, “Mental illness in children costs $247 billion annually, a figure increasing along with the number of kids hospitalized for mood disorders, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders,” according to a report released May 17 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a special supplement to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “As many as one in five children…
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Electronic media

Psychiatrists’ use of electronic communication and social media and a proposed framework for future guidelines Most psychiatrists use social media to some extent to interact with patients – if not emailing then texting, etc. Here’s a recent paper I wrote on the topic

(Español) Mental Health in China

China is transforming the provision of mental health to its citizens under a new law that takes effect tomorrow. Its first national mental health legislation should have wide-ranging effects on provision of mental health services, but perhaps the most significant and controversial change is one that banishes most forms of involuntary treatment. The law also mandates strict limits on use of seclusion and restraints and ends the use of psychiatric admission as punishment or to enforce treatment of individuals who do not have a mental illness. It also forbids the practice of requiring patients to participate in labor or limiting their right to communicate with the outside world. An editorial appearing online in AJP in Advance yesterday calls the new…
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the digital footprint

Very interesting new article published about interpreting private traits from online behavior entitlted: Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior by Michal Kosinskia,1, David Stillwella, and Thore Graepel. Here’s the abstract: We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orienta- tion, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental sepa- ration, age, and gender. The analysis presented is based on a dataset of over 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes, detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychomet- ric tests. The proposed model uses dimensionality reduction for…
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screen time

“Daddy, can I use the iPad?” What a question. ‘Well,’ I think to myself, ‘on the one hand it will give me thirty minutes to get some work done, on the other hand, it’s another half hour lost to Good Luck Charlie or whatever pre-teen show my six year old seems to adore.’ “OK, thirty minutes,” I say. Cue little brother: “Daddy can I use the iPad?” ‘Well,’ I think to myself, ‘can I get a two for one here? Both children occupied with screens? Now I’m ruining two minds – but what a break.’ My guilt has apparently abated. “Let me get my phone for you,” I say, “just thirty minutes.” How many times does this happen across the…
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I have become interested in memes, I think mostly because I like the name. Defined as “An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation” they seem increasingly important. Seems like we live on this stuff – packets of information on Facebook, bytes of data in songs, and glitzy images that flash across our screens as we gaze into our phones. What laws govern these memes? Are they subject to the physical principles of entropy, gravity, and vectors? Or perhaps they conform to the quixotic principles of molecular genetics — memes, for example, in red states cannot transmit easily to blue states not because of competing hegemonies but…
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Illness, treatment, and tragedy

In the wake of the Connecticut killings, I have been asked many times “what did that guy have, you think?” I have no idea – smarter people than I have speculated he had a neurodevelopmental disorder, that he looked odd, and the history suggests he struggled socially – that he was something of a pariah. I don’t doubt any of these hypotheses – they all fit the bill. I’m just not so sure knowing really makes much of a difference at this point. Maybe, perhaps, ideally it might have helped to know his diagnosis prior to his snapping and murdering innocent people, but even then, I’m not so sure. Let my gratitude for the DSM V revisions not be overlooked…
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