depression

Little ball

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I feel like curling myself up in a little ball. A wooly, warm, tired little ball.

I wish my limbs were more flexible. 

Good night, lovely readers.

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The sound of us opening our eyes

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English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...
English: A sleeping male baby with his arm extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know the importance of balance, but we struggle to achieving it. One of the most important issues related to harmony and balance, is parenting. The same rule applies to parenting as many things in life: Neither too much or too little.

I found a really interesting article on the subject, that I had to share since we have to open our eyes to the peril of “curling-parenting”; Where you remove every obstacle so that children don`t learn and become competent and empathic. In other words: Children who never met resistance, don`t develop emotion regulation skills necessary for surviving today.

Some have said we are creating a society of narcissist, which reminds me of a quote from a Norwegian therapist:

“We`re a society of people who want to be seen, and none left to see.”

By 

As a new mom and a recent MSW graduate, I can’t help but analyze, question, and sometimes fear the ways in which my parenting choices will affect my son.

During the few months I was home with my baby, I joined a moms group. Now that the babies are three or four months old, the conversations sound like “my baby will not sleep in the crib,” “my baby wakes up every three hours,” “my baby needs to be held all day.”

From a recommendation, I readBringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting when I was pregnant. The 2012 book is written by Pamela Druckerman, an American mom raising her baby in Paris.

At first glance, I thought the book was a witty tongue-in-cheek story about neurotic Americans and cool Parisians. On second glance (and a second reading after I birthed the child), I realized this book unlocked the secrets of raising a happy, resilient adult.

Ms. Druckerman charmingly explains the many ways in which French children differ from American children. On the surface, it appears that American children are less patient, less polite and throw more tantrums. American parents may think it’s cute and innocent; their kids will grow out of it. And it is true, the child may eventually stop the behavior, but the coping skills (or lack of) have been firmly set in stone.

Why You Should Let Your Baby Be FrustratedI do not believe Druckerman was writing a book on human development, but to a social worker, it seems her observations directly relate to why so many American adults seek therapy. Therapists’ offices are filled with adults who suffer from anxiety,depression, anger management issues, eating disorders or marital problems. Any psychoanalyst would tell you that many of these issues are deeply rooted in childhood.

American parents seem overly worried that if their child hears “no” they will become angry and experience frustration and disappointment. On the contrary, the French believe that “no” saves children from the tyranny of their own desires. Caroline

Thompson, a family psychologist in Paris whom Druckerman interviewed, stated what seems to be the overall view in France: “making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people.” Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?

“French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn’t teach it.”

Druckerman interviewed pediatrician and founder of Tribeca Pediatrics, Michel Cohen, a French doctor practicing in New York City. “My first intervention is to say, when your baby is born, just don’t jump on your kid at night,” Cohen says.

“Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth.” “Le pause,” as Druckerman coins it, is one of the main ways to gently induce frustration. The French believe “le pause” can start as early as two to three weeks old.

Although “le pause” may sound like tough love for a infant, most American parents end up surrendering to the “cry it out” method at three to four months because their baby never learned to self-soothe. “Le pause” worked for me, although I did not consciously subscribe to this method. I think it was a combination of sleep deprivation and C-section recovery that created “le pause,” but it worked! “Le pause” creates babies who are content to snuggle alone in their cribs, babies who at a very young age learn to soothe themselves.

And hopefully “le pause” creates adults who can cope with frustration, a skill that is extremely useful and necessary for success in work and relationships and dealing with the overall stressors of everyday life.

Norwegian links:

Psykopatiserie del 8 – Samfunnsmagasinet

SUPERMARIE – – Vi ser ikke ut lenger, vi ser kun oss selv – Side2

Livsstrategi: Se og bli sett

English links:

People, help the people

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The sound of death

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When I started this blog, I had a vague idea of what I wanted: To share some of the knowledge collected over a lifetime with the readers, and maybe find others who wanted to do the same. I love to find and share post I find inspirational.

Suicide is a topic that never can be talked enough about. Psychologists in Norway are taught (but not enough) to ask questions related to killing yourself, and most luckily take this seriously. Most therapists will once in their lives lose a client (I am dreading when it happens to me) and it is a real trauma when and if it happens. I have talked with therapists who have lost somebody, and they never forget it. Considering how much I care for many of my patients, I know how much it would hurt if they were not here anymore, and I have seen and read enough to know that the pain never seizes completely. For this reason everything I learn that can make me a better therapist, is extremely valuable. For this reason, I want to share some interesting research I`ve stumbled into lately.

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In 2003, during his first year teaching at Harvard, Nock approached his colleague Mahzarin Banaji with a proposal. Banaji had helped develop the Implicit Association Test, which was introduced to social psychology five years earlier and has become famous for its ability to measure biases that subjects either don’t care to acknowledge or don’t realize they have on topics like race, sexuality, gender and age. Nock wondered if the I.A.T. could be configured to measure people’s bias for and against being alive and being dead, and Banaji thought it was worth a try. They experimented with several versions in Nock’s lab and at the psychiatric-emergency department at Mass General. Then they put their best one on a laptop and offered it to Mass General patients, many of whom had recently threatened or attempted suicide; 157 agreed to take it. Hunched in plastic waiting-room chairs or propped up in cots as they waited for a clinician to admit or discharge them, they were often grateful for a distraction.

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Some things are automatic for us. Why not use this knowledge ?

Balancing the computer on their thighs, the patients held their pointer fingers over left and right keyboard keys. The heading “Life” appeared in the upper left corner of the screen, “Death” in the upper right. In the center, words associated with one of the headings popped up one at a time. Patients jabbed the left key to link “alive,” “survive,” “breathing,” “thrive” and “live” with “Life”; the right key matched “funeral,” “lifeless,” “die,” “deceased” and “suicide” with “Death.” The researchers asked the volunteers to do this as quickly as they could. Each word had a correct response. If patients put “thrive” with “Death,” for instance, a red X appeared, and the test paused until they hit the proper key. The sorting continued as the words reappeared randomly. After about a minute, the headers switched sides, and the process repeated. Then new rubrics popped up — “Me,” “Not Me” — along with new words to sort: “self,” “I,” “myself,” “my,” “mine,” “other,” “theirs,” “they,” “them,” “their.” Again the headers flipped places, and the sorting continued.

Once the patients had established a rhythm, the test began to measure bias. The headers doubled up: “Life” above “Me” and “Death” above “Not Me,” forcing test-takers to hit the same button to group “thrive” and “breathing” with “self,” “my” and “myself.” “Die” and “funeral” went with “theirs,” “they,” “them.” Theoretically, the faster the patients were and the fewer mistakes they made on this part of the test, the more they associated themselves with living.

Then “Life” and “Death” switched places, swapping the associations; the same key grouped “myself” and “my” with “funeral,” “suicide,” “die,” “deceased.” Agility on this part of the test would suggest an association with dying.

Doctors of all kinds, including psychologists, do no better than pure chance at predicting who will attempt suicide and who won’t. Their patients often lie about their feelings to avoid hospitalization. Many also appear to mislead by accident, not realizing they are a risk to themselves or realizing but not knowing how to say so. Some 90 percent of young people who kill themselves have visited their primary-care doctors within a year; nearly 40 percent of adults have within a month. The opportunity to help them seems enormous, if only there were a way to see past appearances and identify an inclination they might be hiding — perhaps even from themselves.

dontrainThe Mass General patients and their clinicians rated on separate scales how likely they thought they were to try to kill themselves in the future. When researchers checked on each patient six months later, they discovered that, as expected, clinicians had fared no better than 50-50 in their predictions. Patients themselves, it turned out, were only slightly more accurate. The I.A.T., to everyone’s surprise, bested them both. People who sorted words more quickly when “Death” was paired with “Me” than with “Not Me” proved three times as likely to try to kill themselves as people who sorted words more quickly when “Life” was paired with “Me.” The I.A.T., it seemed, was picking up a heightened signal of suicidal tendencies that the most commonly used method for assessing risk — a clinical interview — had been powerless to detect.

One of the comment (there were many)  to this post was:

A letter written by my daughter,16,on tumbler

Dear you,

i’ve been there, okay? i’ve been in the position you are right now. you want to do it, you want everything to end. you think that this world is going to be so much better without you. you think that it won’t matter if you’re gone. you figure people can just go on with their lives, and eventually you’ll be nothing but a memory. it’s better for yourself, and everyone around you.
i’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong.
Suicide is never the answer. Even though it may feel like the one thing you have control over, the one thing you can take, you can never take it back. There are no do overs. You can’t commit, die, and then decide you want to be back here again. It doesn’t work that way.
Your mom’s smile slowly withers away after the years of your passing. She clamps her hand over her mouth as she rereads those same familiar words, “It’s not your fault, Mom.” Even though she wants to believe you, she can’t.
Remember the guy who would never cry? That was your father. But that was the past. He needs to convince everyone—and himself—that he’s okay. He constantly thinks about what would have happened if he walked into your room, only a half hour before it happened. In his mind,it was his fault.
Remember.You are beautiful. I don’t need to see a photo of you to know that. You’re so much more than what you’ve become. You are so loved.
Stay strong. Keep holding on. Everything is going to be okay.

With love,

Me

 

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Movies about all the mental illnesses (from anxiety to personality disorder)

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– submitted by Ruth Levine, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

This summary was derived from several of the articles listed in the resource list, from the suggestions of our ADMSEP colleagues, and from our own personal experience. We have not personally reviewed all of the movies on the list, and suggest you view any film before choosing it for teaching purposes.


Axis I Disorders

Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Bipolar Disorder/Mania
Copycat (panic/agoraphobia) Mr. Jones
As good as it gets (OCD) Network
The touching tree (Childhood OCD) Seven Percent Solution
Fourth of July (PTSD) Captain Newman, MD
The Deer Hunter (PTSD) Sophieís Choice
Ordinary People (PTSD) Sheís So Lovely
Depression Psychosis
Ordinary People Shine
Faithful I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
The Seventh Veil Clean Shaven
The Shrike Through a Glass Darkly
Itís a Wonderful Life (Adjustment disorder) An Angel at my Table
The Wrong Man (Adjustment disorder) Personal
Dissociative Disorders Man Facing Southwest
The Three Faces of Eve Madness of King George (Psychosis due to Porphyria)
Sybil Conspiracy Theory
Delirium
The Singing Detective
Substance Abuse
The Long Weekend (etoh) The Days of Wine and Roses (etoh)
Barfly (etoh) Basketball Diaries (opiates)
Kids (hallucinogens, rave scenes, etc.) Loosing Isaiah (crack)
Reefer Madness Under the Volcano
Long Day’s Journey into Night Ironweed
The Man with the Golden Arm (heroin) A Hatful of Rain (heroin)
Synanon (drug treatment) The Boost (cocaine)
The 7 Percent Solution (cocaine induced mania) Iím Dancing as Fast as I can (substance induced organic mental disorder)
Eating Disorders
The Best Little Girl in the World (made for TV)-Anorexia Kateís Secret (made for TV)-Bulemia

Axis II Disorders

Personality Pathology
Cluster A Cluster B
Remains of the Day- Schizoid PD Borderline PD
Taxi Driver-Schizotypal PD Fatal Attraction
The Caine Mutiny- Paranoid PD Play Misty for Me
The Treasure of Sierra Madre -Paranoid PD Frances
After Hours
Cluster C Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Zelig-Avoidant PD
Sophieís Choice-Dependent PD Histrionic PD
The Odd Couple-OCPD Bullets over Broadway
Gone with the Wind
A Streetcare Named Desire
Antisocial PD
A Clockwork Orange
Narcissism Obsession
All that Jazz Taxi Driver
Stardust Memories Single White Female
Zelig The King of Comedy
Jerry Maguire Triumph of Will
Alfie
Shampoo Mental Retardation
American Gigolo Charly
Citizen Kane Best Boy
Lawrence of Arabia Bill
Patton Bill, On His Own

Miscellaneous Issues

Family Early Adult Issues
Ordinary People Awakenings
The Field The Graduate
Kramer vs Kramer Spanking the Monkey
Diary of a Mad Housewife
Betrayal Latency and Adolescent Issues
Whoís Afraid of Virginia Woolfe Stand by Me
The Stone Boy Smooth Talk
The Great Santini
Doctor/Patient Relationship Boundary Violations
The Doctor The Prince of Tides
Mr. Jones
Idealized “Dr. Marvelous” Psychotherapy
Spellbound Suddenly Last Summer
The Snake Pit Captain Newman, MD
The Three Faces of Eve Ordinary People
Good Will Hunting

Steve Hyler directs an APA course on this topic, and
would be a good person to check with.
For more details, you can call me (409) 747-1351. Hope to see you in Maine!

Ruth Levine
University of Texas Medical Branch


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summary was derived from several of the articles listed in the resource list, from the suggestions of our ADMSEP colleagues, and from our own personal experience. We have not personally reviewed all of the movies on the list, and suggest you view any