By the book
The recently released DSMV is not flawed due to poor science, but because the DSM was never intended to help find what ails you. It is a financial tool useful to the medical industry as it interfaces with insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. Kinda like Quickbooks Pro helps your company interface with your bank, your accountant and the IRS.
Big psycho-pharm companies need a book to go by to create products to sell. So if the DSM isolates a category called “depression” organized by a cherry-picked handful of listed traits, then Big Pharma can offer a depression pill to mask some symptoms and Big Insurance can charge for policies and be charged by providers for “depression” even though what the patient probably needs is psychotherapy to remove the festering thorn in her heart. That is if she ever wishes to get well…
I remember one case where a client was treated unsuccessfully for bipolar disorder for eight years because her psychiatrists and counselors (there were many) found some symptoms in the DSM that matched that category. They assumed she could never get well. They didn’t notice a host of other symptoms, because they were looking at the DSM, not her. As her therapist, I suggested she visit a GP for a full checkup. As I suspected, she had serious physical disease. She wasn’t primarily bipolar. It was just a symptom. Her brain was sickened by her undiagnosed physical illness. Free of side-effect-ridden psychopharms and treated for the actual disease, her bipolar symptoms evaporated.—MR
Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say
By Pam Belluck and Benedict Carey, New York Times, May 6, 2013
Just weeks before the long-awaited publication of a new edition of the so-called bible of mental disorders, the federal government’s most prominent psychiatric expert has said the book suffers from a scientific “lack of validity.”
Stress versus anxiety
The below article misses an important point. It’s anxiety, not stress per se that kills. We ALL experience stress in our lives. It’s those things that happen to us. Some are exposed to more than others, but EMTs, for example, experience stress for a living and thrive. Some of us are genetically wired to be able to handle more than others. Some of our nervous systems were damaged growing up in a war zone or in a stressful household so never learned how to handle much stress at all. The better you regulate the anxiety created in your body by outside stressors, the better relationships you’ll have and the healthier you’ll be. This is where a psychotherapist can make a difference: helping you understand that anxiety doesn’t necessarily have to arise from stress and how to turn it into positive energy.—MR
High levels of cortisol — the so-called stress hormone — have been associated with cardiovascular disease in some studies, but not in others. This may be because measuring cortisol in blood or saliva at one point in time may pick up acute stress, but it fails to account for long-term stress.
Who’s on first?
The answer is “no one.” Most folks don’t realize that no one is testing the 85,000 chemicals “registered” with the EPA. All registration means is that the EPA has the manufacturer’s name and address. It’s up to you whether you wish to make yourself safe, or at least safer, by avoiding products with chemicals. The bottom line to your mental and physical health is the fewer chemicals to which you are exposed, the healthier you’ll be. Your choice.—MR
Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?
By Ian Urbina, New York Times, April 13, 2013
MANY Americans assume that the chemicals in their shampoos, detergents and other consumer products have been thoroughly tested and proved to be safe. This assumption is wrong.
Hard to swallow
The following op ed opinion reminds us that to be human is to have normal human emotions such as sadness, grief and loss. That some people are more excitable than others, perhaps more excitable than others would like. And that sometimes the psycho-pharmaceutical industry capitalizes on our dislike of the pain of being human.—MR
By TED GUP, New York Times, April 2, 2013
THE news that 11 percent of school-age children now receive a diagnosis of ADHD— some 6.4 million — gave me a chill. My son David was one of those who received that diagnosis.
Cut it out!
There are easier, better and cheaper ways to shift the balance of the microbial life in your gut than surgery. Rebalancing your microbiome not only impacts your ability to lose weight, but your mental health as well as the rest of the systems and organs of your bodymind. Talk to me before you cut it out.—MR
Bacteria in the Intestines May Help Tip the Bathroom Scale, Studies Show
By Denise Grady, New York Times, March 27, 2013
The bacterial makeup of the intestines may help determine whether people gain weight or lose it, according to two new studies, one in humans and one in mice.
Move up in the world
Exercise will make you healthier physically and happier mentally. However, the answer to the question, “how much exercise and what kind?” is strictly personal. First lesson: dont’ overdo it. Experiment with different forms until you find one that resonates with your particular bodymind. A ten-minute trip around the block three or four times a week is a good place to start, even in a wheel chair. As you find yourself feeling better you may be drawn to tai chi, contra dancing or fencing!—MR
For most people, exercise elevates mood. Repeated studies with humans and animals have shown that regular workouts can increase stress resistance, decrease anxiety, lessen symptoms of depression and generally leave people cheerful.
Wake up thinner
Turns out that the easiest way to cut down on your weight is to consistently get a good night’s sleep. If you are already getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night, this won’t work. But if you aren’t, it most likely will.—MR
American culture is all about buying stuff. Our stuff requires maintenance, repair, cleaning, storage, and having people around to admire our stuff and use our stuff. It requires all sorts of activities and concerns to care for and showcase our stuff. After awhile it becomes clear that more stuff does not make a person less anxious and unhappy, but more. The squirrel wheel keeps spinning and we are constantly being pushed to run faster, but to what end? Reducing material need, finding a balance and focusing on what is really important is not easy, but an important aspect of living a more peaceful and fulfilling life.—MR
Living With Less. A Lot Less.
By Graham Hill, New York Times, March 9, 2013
I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.
Besides being fun, walking more decreases your chances of Alzheimer’s! Check out this short video of walking fun in Sweden.
Toxic means poison
In the study reported below, sugar is proven toxic to the bodymind. Given the ubiquity of added sugar and corn syrup in the food stream and its addictive nature, the question arises “how much of it do I want me and my family to eat?” Do you only keep your children from drinking alcohol because it is illegal or because it will hurt them? It’s your choice now that you have the facts about sugar.––MR
Copyright 2013 Morgan Randall, MA, LMHC. All rights reserved.