Category Archives: research

can I get a redo?

My experience with psychotherapy supports the findings that we can “rewire our brains.” In cognitive therapy, I learned to stop negative thoughts and suicidal ideation, rewrite those thoughts and replace them with more accurate ones. In therapy I’ve learned to reframe my life experiences as meaningful – as preparing me to be a better mother, wife, and daughter, […]

via Bipolar Disorder and Neurocounseling — Kitt O’Malley

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Cheers for EDNOS!

What’s worse, an eating disorder lacking a clear label can deter people from help. “Often people with eating disorders of any type really minimize it” – name or no name, DeNicola says.

That tendency can be even greater when the condition’s identity is elusive, Kracov says. “When you don’t fit into those categories it’s really easy to say, ‘That’s not me. This isn’t a problem,’ when really, you’re still thinking about food all of the time – it’s taking over your life,” she says.

Read more about it here (from February 2015): When Your Eating Disorder Doesn’t Have a Name.

What’s really interesting to me is that I began eating again during my study abroad in Argentina (a girl in the above article re-discovered food in German). I’m interested to know how we can create experiences like that for people with disordered eating who don’t have the opportunities that we did.

And the thesis develops…

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a new take on addiction and treatment.

“Addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.”

The above quote and the below passages are from The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think by Johann Hari, author of ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.’ Read the whole article, it’s worth it.

“This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find – the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding’. A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else…

…But still – surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book ‘The Cult of Pharmacology.’

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism – cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of life ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about The Cause of Addiction lying with chemical hooks is, in fact, real, but only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the one hundred year old war on drugs. This massive war – which, as I saw, kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool – is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction – if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction – then this makes no sense.”

You can buy the book here.

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research.

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Medical School have teamed with the University of Southern California and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT for a four-year, $16 million study to better understanding bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

It is the largest study of its kind funded to date, and the National Institute of Mental Health will provide the funding.

U-M will work with the partnering institutions to study the genetic material of 10,000 people of European, Hispanic and African-American descent. Researchers will study whole genome sequencing, where they will read all 3 billion pairs of DNA in each subject.

“We hope to gain a better understanding of these diseases that directly affect 1 percent of the population, but impact countless friends and relatives,” Michael Boehnke, principal investigator and director of the Center for Statistical Genetics, said in a statement.

“From what we learn, we hope we can identify better targets for drug development or better targets for the drugs we now have. We also could imagine improving our ability to predict who might get these diseases.”

Boehnke said the collaboration builds on previous research by these same investigators. They worked together on a smaller genome sequencing project, and each has a specific role in the work that begins this month.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes mood shifts, and dramatic ups and downs in energy and activity level.

Schizophrenia is also a brain disorder that can cause people to have irrational fears, and other reports suggest that people who suffer from this disease have the feeling that people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting against them.

There is clinical and genetic evidence of overlap of these illnesses, researchers say, which is cause for emphasizing the importance of a combined genetic analysis.

Symptoms of these disorders impact personal, social and vocational capabilities due to ongoing and fluctuating symptoms. Researchers say that suicide occurs in as many as 20 percent of cases.

Both conditions can be genetic and are thought to result from interactions between biological and environmental factors.”

Original article published on mLive.

Read a similar news release from USC’s Keck School of Medicine here.

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