|6.24.05 Tom Cruise went on the Today Show this morning and lectured us about the history of psychiatry, psychiatric medications, and psychological treatments. Nobody would expect a psychologist or psychiatrist, for example, by virture of his or her training, to lecture on national television about how to be a movie actor. Yet, Tom Cruise trades on his movie actor fame to talk psychological nonsense and tell us the virtures of his religion, Scientology, a cult group that specializes in getting rich people to fork over money, and was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, a fellow who claimed to talk to aliens from outer space. Cruise should stay in the land of make-believe and fantasy where he functions best. A well-known writer responds to Tom Cruise:
6.25.05 In the Wall Street Journal (6.24.05) Michael Fumento''s article "Immune to Reason" takes on the conspiracy theories of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ---- theories that identify various vaccines, some containing mercury others not, for causing Autistic Spectrum Disorders. These are dangerous theories not the least because many parents are not getting their children vaccines and there are outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, mumps, rubella, and diptheria ---- and children are dying as a result.
7.1.05 Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, gave a brilliant, inspirational commencement address at Stanford U.
7.1.05 This article is one of my favorites. Originally published in the American Scholar in 1992, the author is Paul McHugh, MD, a psychiatrist who was chair of the Dept. of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins for many years. "Psychiatric Misadventures" describes common errors in psychiatric thinking.
7.1.05 Sally Satel''s, MD and Christina Hoff Sommers'', Ph.D. "One Nation Under Therapy" takes a critical look at "therapism" ---- a view of people as fragile, sick, and in need of therapy. This article is a summary of their view.
7.2.05 From the Edge Web site. Edge poses the question "What Do You Believe is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?" and gets answers from 120 scientists from such fields as psychology, physics, economics, biology, and chemistry.
7.4.05 Happy July 4th. Andrew Sullivan on "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
7.6.05 Just found this web site in a new book on adolescent mental health: "Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders. What We Know and What We Don''t Know." D. Evans, E. Foa, R. Gur, H. Hendin, C. O''Brien, M. Seligman, and B. Timothy Walsh (Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. This web site contains much mental health information for adolescents.
7.9.05 My favorite all around Web site is "Arts & Letters Daily."
7.13.05 I found the following quote from Francois VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680) about Amour-propre, defined variously as self-regard, self-love, self-interest, or self-respect:
Amour-propre is the love of oneself and of all other things for one''s own sake; it makes men idolize themselves and would cause them to tyrannize over their neighbors had they the opportunity...Nothing equals the impetuosity of its desires, the depths of its schemes, or the ingenuity of its methods...It is impossible to fathom the depths or pierce the gloom of the abyss in which it dwells...There it conceives, breeds, and rears, unknowingly, a vast number of appetites and dislikes---some of so monstrous a shape that it fails to recognize them when exposed to the light of day, or cannot bring itself to own them. Out of the night that covers it are born the absurd ideas it entertains of itself; thence come its errors, its ignorance, its clumsiness, and its fatuous beliefs about itself --- its notion that its feelings are dead when they are but asleep, that it has lost its activity when once it is at rest, and that it has got rid of the appetites it has for the moment appeased.
8.10.05 This thoughtful article "Ibsen and His Discontents" is by British psychiatrist Theordore Dalrymple --- enjoy. Dr. Dalrymple is the author of two books: "Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass." and "Our Culture, What''s Left of It." Dalrymple is the pen name of Anthony Daniels, MD, a British psychiatrist who has worked for many years in a prison hospital.
8.12.05 When it comes to national health care, P.J. O''Rourke said it best:
"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it''s free."
8.16.05 Denis Dutton writes a fascinating article about "Cold Reading" ---- the art used in the magician''s trade to give people the illusion that the magician (or fortune teller or astrologer, for example) is able to predict much about a person''s behaviors and personality --- with only a small amount of information. Denis Dutton, who lives in New Zealand, is the editor of the Web site "Arts and Letters Daily.
8.27.05 Charles Murray, coauthor of the controversial book "The Bell Curve" offers an insightful view of the "Taboo of Inequality." http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html
9.8.05. Information on coping with stress and trauma from the National Institute of Mental Health.
9.20.05. The link below is to the National Institute of Mental Health information on schizophrenia.
9.27.05. Sherwin Nuland, M.D., Professor of Surgery at Yale Medical School, is interviewed for 3 hours on C-Span 2 this Sunday, 10/1/05. Dr. Nuland is the author of the award winning book "How We Die." A DVD of the program is available.
10.9.05. James Q. Wilson, a brilliant social scientist, writes about the family in an article called: "The Ties That Do Not Bind: The Decline of Marriage and Loyality."
10/11/05. Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., world renowned expert and author of many influential books on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has a new Web site.
10.16.05 So What Do You Have to Do To Find Happiness? Read this article and get some ideas.
10.27.05 I have a chapter on human growth and development in the book "Essentials for Orthodontic Practice."
11.13.05 A tribute to my friend Benny on his 95th birthday.
11.23.05 My response to psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Andreasen''s interview about how psychiatry has gone wrong in the "American Scientist" posted on the Shrinkette Web site.
11.23.05 100 Notable Books of the Year from the New York Times.
11.29.05 "Does Stress Cause Cancer?" Article in today''s New York Times.
11.30.05 ADHDTV - satire from "The Onion."
12.6.05. "Laughter: The Cure and The Disease."
12.6.05 "Let a Thousand Choices Bloom. Debating the Future of Educational Reform."
12.10.05 Discussing death with children.
12.10.05 Richard Pryor, iconoclastic comedian, dies at 65.
12.15.05 Thomas Sowell --- Seeing Clearly. On being liberal, conservative, and the nature of man.
12.19.05 The following quote is from Paul R. McHugh, MD, on the proper use of psychotropic medications:
The moral ''bottom line'' ... in the use of all medications (not just the new ones) is: turn to a medication only after you have thought carefully about the patient''s symtpoms and complaints and decided these issues represent or express some disruption of brain function or structure in need of medical management. Otherwise, help those who consult you to see what they can do to make better sense of their situations and deal more effectively with them. If this method of assessment is followed, then the new discoveries in phamacology will work as they were designed and a coherent, effective practice of psychiatry will proceed for the benefit of all.
---- in Cerebrum, 2004
12.19.05 Gerald Edelman was awarded the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine in 1972. One of the world''s foremost experts on the brain and consciousness, he is founder and director of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California. His most recent book is Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness. Gerald Edelman describes the brain:
In considering the brain, we are talking about a population of hundreds of billions of cells that far exceeds the number of stars in the sky. The number of possible connections these cells can make exceeds the number of particles in the universe. To give a sense of this, consider that the cortex of your brain has 30 billion neurons. It has a million billion connections, at least. If you counted one connection per second, you would not finish counting until 32 million years later.
--- in New Perspectives Quarterly, Volume 21, #3, Summer 2004
12.19.05 The Flash Mind Reader - try it: http://trunks.secondfoundation.org/files/psychic.swf
12.20.05 Humans like to think that they are unique, but the study of primates has called into question the exceptionalism of our species. So what does primatology have to say about war and peace? Contrary to what was believed just a few decades ago, humas are not "killer apes" destined for violent conflict, but can make their own history. "A Natural History of Peace" by Robert M. Sapolsky, Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University.
12.29.05 James K. Glassman writes on economic growth in the USA in 2005 in his article "A Lot to Celebrate." http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.23630,filter.all/pub_detail.asp
12.29.05. On 12/26/05, in the Wall Street Journal, James Q. Wilson makes clear the limits of intelligent design in "Faith in Theory. Why ''intelligent design'' simply isn''t science."
1.3.06. John Brockman, editor and publisher of the Edge Web site, asks more than one-hundred thinkers, "What is your most dangerous idea?"
10.20.06. Sally Satel, M.D. on "Suicide Risks and SSRIs."
1.27.06. The politically partisan brain - article in the New York Times.
1.27.06. Joseph Epstein on "The Perpetual Adolescent".
1.28.06. Christina Hoff Sommers reviews Kate Beirne''s book "Women Who Make the World Worse..."
1.30.05. Economist R. Glenn Hubbard examines the taxing problems of health care in "Health Care, Heal Thyself."
2.7.06 The New Miracle Drug - humor.
2.9.06. "Not a Panacea..." On the benefits of health savings accounts in today''s Wall Street Journal.
2.13.06. Excellent Web site by Thomas Brown, Ph.D. on ADHD and associated disorders.
and Thomas Brown''s, Ph.D. recommendations for readings on ADHD and associated disorders.
2.14.06 "A Pill to Treat Your Addiction? Don''t Bet the Rent." Sally Satel, M.D. in the New York Times.
2.21.06 Heart risks with stimulant use? Maybe? Worry? Some top docs respond to latest concerns raised by FDA.
2.21.06 On Charles Darwin in Scientific American. Science and the art of writing well.
2.23.06 Are Our Thoughts Constrained by Language? Interview with Steven Pinker, Ph.D.
2.23.06 Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Marriage.
2.26.06 National Institute of Mental Health - 2006 statistics on the number of mental disorders.
2.28.06. Edward Hallowell, M.D., co-author of "Delivered from Distraction" and "Driven to Distraction" speaks out about the recent controversy about the use of stimulant medication to treat ADHD.
2.28.06 Information for parents about antidepressant medications for children and adolescents from the National Institute of Mental Health.
3.1.06 Psychiatrist Sally Satel, M.D. looks at trauma and the military.
3.7.06 Denis Dutton reviews Charles Murray''s Human Accomplishments.
3.7.06 Inside Scientology published in the Feb. 06 Rolling Stone.
3.14.06 The Beneifts of Physical Activity - The Evidence.
3.16.06 Michigan Psychological Association Newsletter. 1st Quarter, 2006.
3.31.06 Pathways to Depression. New research on what we are learning about depression treatment from advances in neuroimaging.
4.11.06 "Free Markets and the End of History." Interview with Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winning economist.
4.25.06 "After the Adoption. A New Child and the Blues." In the New York Times.
5.6.06 Happy 150th birthday to Freud.
5.17.05 An Ode to Immigrants - in verse by Ray Bradbury in today''s Wall Street Journal.
5.25.06 Theodore Dalrymple. "Poppycock." A prison psychiatrists examines the romancing of opiates.
5.27.06 Brainweb. Information on the brain, mental illness, and workings of the mind --- from the Dana Foundation.
5.30.06 Rappaport, Judith, and Inoff Germain, Gale. "Unshackling the Slaves of Obsession and Compulsion: A Brain Science Success Story." Dr. Rappaport is the Chief of the Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health.
5.31.06 A talk with Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University about "The Science of Happiness."
6.18.06. Daniel Gilbert on Fatherhood.
6.20.06 Do yourself a favor and read Michael Crichton''s article on the environmental movement called "Environmentalism as Religion." He is one smart, sensible Harvard trained physician and writer of such block busters as "Jurassic Park" and "ER."
6.22.06. Yesterday, Mrs. Waltraud ("Wally") E. Prechter spoke to my Psychological Aspects of Dentistry class at the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Dentistry. She left a deep impression on the students and dental faculty with her knowledge, compassion, integrity and committment to improving research and treatment for mental illness.
Mrs. Prechter is on a mission to cure the illness that robbed the life of her brilliant and creative husband who committed suicide on July 6, 2001. Heinz Prechter was a victim of Manic-Depression, a psychiatric illness with a strong genetic base, with no known cause or cure.
As an immigrant from Germany coming to a land he grew to love deeply, Mr. Prechter introduced the sunroof to North America and founded the American Sunroof Company starting his journey to success from a one man operation in a two car garage in Los Angeles --- before becoming a leader in Detroit''s downriver community.
To suffer from Manic-Depression is to have a brain disease. About 2 1/2 percent of the population age 18 and over --- about 5.7 million Americans have Manic-Depression in a given year. Manic-Depression is a treatable condition --- with medications such as Lithium and psychological therapy --- and many people with the illness go on to lead normal, sometimes highly productive lives. But many with the illness never get properly diagnosed, and even when diagnosed they often do not receive the treatment they need and do not consistently take their life-saving medications.
The following is a quote from Dr. Kay Jamison, a psychologist at the Medical School of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and a world authority on Manic-Depression. About ten years ago, Dr. Jamison wrote her autobiography called "The Unquiet Mind" describing her own battle with this illness:
"Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illess that is biological in its origin, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an aillness that is unique in conferring advantages and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and, not infrequently, suicide."
Mrs. Prechter is the President of a foundation established in 2001 by her and her children in memory of her husband: The Heinz C. Prechter fund of Manic-Depression. She has testified before Congress, is involved in the President''s New Freedom Commision and on the Michigan Mental Health Commission to help improve the mental health care system in America.
Send donations to The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Fund at the University of Michigan :
U of M Office, Depression Center Development Office, MCHC F6241, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0295. Or phone 734.647.9138.
6.25.06 Kay Jamison, Ph.D. on "Acknowledging Depression," in today''s Washington Post.
6.26.06 "A Summer Reflection on Why America Works," by Victor Davis Hanson.
6.28.06 The Friedrich Nietzsche diet book.
6.29.06 A review of Joseph Epstein''s new book: "Friendship: An Expose''".
8.8.06 Joseph Epstein, retired English Professor from Northwestern University, long-time editor of the American Scholar, and other of many books and essays, describes the priviliges and pressures of rich kids growing up in America in his essay "Kids Come First," Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2006.
8.27.06 Brain cells that read minds.
10.3.06 "Out of body experiences" discussed in the journal "Brain."
10.14.06 "Symposium: Romancing Opiates"
10.22.06 Joseph Epstein: "Ugly, Thorny Things." As essay on the relationship between facts and ideas.
11.9.06 My review of the article "Psychiatric Misadventures," by Paul McHugh, M.D., former Chief of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine.
11.19.06 The link below is for Guidelines for ADHD youngsters who are applying for accommodations when taking the ACT.
12.12.06 The dangers of sexual predators are real, but exaggerated by the media.
1.03.07 "What are you optimistic about? and why? 160 scientists give their answers.
1.15.07 Text of Martin Luther King''s speech "I Have a Dream."
1.29.07 Retired Professor of English at Northwestern University, and author of 19 books, Joseph Epstein writes a delightful essay on turning 70.
2.5.07 Steven Pinker, Harvard Psychologist, discusses "The Mystery of Consciousness."
2.23.07 Newsweek: Men and Depression.
3.12.07. Is scientific understanding of the self possible? Psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple reviews the evidence in "Do the Impossible: Know Thyself."
4.05.07 Our messy, reptilian brains.
5.02.02 "The Way We Age Now." Dr Atul Gawande, surgeon and gifted writer, offer his take on aging and the lack of physicians interested in skillsed in treating the elderly.
6.13.07 "Kids Today" by Richard J. McNally, a psychology professor at Harvard University, and author of "Remembering Trauma," Harvard University Press, 2003.
6.14.07 Dr. Theodore Darlrymple, former psychiatrist in a prison hospital in London, England, recommends the five best books on the criminal mind.
7.21.07 Web site for National Association for Mental Illness --- much useful information.
10.29.07 Theodore Darlrymple. "What the New Athiests Don''t See."
12.17.07 Psychiatrist Sally Satel tells the story about how she found someone to donate a kidney to her to save her life in "Desperately Seeking a Kidney," New York Times, 12-16-07.