The antics and dangerous deployment of an emergency jet chute by former Jet Blue Airlines employee Steven Slater captivated media attention a few months ago. The case his since been pleaded in court. Slater has come to represent to Americans disgruntled and disturbed employees of all kinds. Recently the American Psychological Association has showcased the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For many acne is the bane of growing up and for some acne continues through adulthood. Acne can elicit both teasing and sympathy from others, and like many things, perhaps it is only the sufferer of acne who realizes its true effect on the body and beyond. New research is looking at how acne affects […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Parents and those who work with children have long recognized the difficulty in gaining a bed for a child in a children’s psychiatric unit of a general hospital (these are rare), a large university or teaching hospital, or a specialized children’s psychiatric center. These kinds of placements are crucial when a child is psychotic, suicidal, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For nearly the past 60 years, the psychiatric profession has published a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual describing different mental conditions that are treated by psychiatrists. The first manual was spiral bound and was made up of fewer than 80 pages. DSM IV has become a major reference work, with hundreds of pages and many auxiliary […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
We have previously written how pack-rat tendencies in their extreme form can be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. With this in mind, I think it’s fair to say that many keep old medications in the medicine cabinet for those just in case emergencies, unlikely as they may be. This tendency toward saving prescription drugs […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s a very provocative article in CNN.Health today. If you are depressed (or have some other mental-health condition), should you reveal this at work? And if you decide to make this revelation, to whom should you share? In 1972, Thomas Eagleton’s revelation of his history of depression cost him the nomination for the Vice Presidency. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Also posted in AMERICA magazine; please go to here to make comments or read the comments of others Perhaps we cloud this topic with euphemisms: but many a boy or growing young man who is poor at sports faces hurdles of bias, loneliness, and rejection. Despite many ways of compensating (intellectual, musical, artistic), poor athletic […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Next to Normal is the bravest and one of the most talked-about Broadway musicals in years. It is recently the subject of an American Theatre Wing “Working in the Theatre” seminar. We highly recommend this landmark musical as a way, along with the efforts of AMHF, to raise public awareness about bipolar disorder and other […]By: Evander Lomke
The New York Times weighs in with a thoughtful article on more than a child-rearing question: Are we doing right by the next generation when early signs of emotional distress are expressed? This is an issue of national concern. Even though AMHF is concentrating its efforts more toward “the other end” of the population spectrum, […]By: Evander Lomke
Readers of our blog know I draw inspiration from theBy: Evander Lomke
An intriguing article is presented in the current issue of the Journal of Counseling and Development, the academic journal of the American Counseling Association. The authors (Gill, Minton, and Myers) that a woman’s spirituality or religious commitment accounted for a good portion of their resilience and wellness. There are implications for training programs in psychology, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Glenn Close, award-winning actress who has become an advocate for persons with bipolar disorder and other severe mental illnesses, will be the Keynote Speaker at Neuroscience 2010 , the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, to be held in San Diego from November 13-17th, 2010. Close has developed a special interest in mental […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The 2008 Law concerning parity for mental health treatment–making mental health care covered by insurance to be on a level with medical care–apparently is being circumvented by some businesses, the Boston Globe reported today. Therapists, previously required to only fax in treatment information, now are reported to participate in lengthy and sometimes intimidating phone interviews. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Many of the public and well as the mental health professions have never heard of the phrase “sports wound.” This refers to males who do not display athletic prowess or good eye-hand coordination. As much as we may want to deny this, boys who lack sports ability often are teased and bullied through their growing […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s too much bullying going on and not enough being done to stop it. In all fairness, many have the good will and courage and desire to confront bullying but want to make sure it is done properly so as to not make a bad situation worse. AMHF is monitoring the psychological damage done to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) now allows pilots to continue their in-air responsibilities if they are on certain antidepressants. Historically, pilots have not been allowed to fly while taking antidepressants as many of the original antidepressants had side effects which could be extremely serious if they occurred in flight. Side effects such as seizures or […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In 1953, the year the Rosenbergs were convicted in the electric chair, Esther Greenwood (a.k.a. Elly Higginbottom), poet Sylvia Plath’s alter ego (further complicating the picture, Plath wrote under the pen name “Victoria Lucas”), underwent electroshock therapy. Electricity, neurological connections, high-strung emotion, madness, suicide (which the real-life Plath committed ten years after the setting of […]By: Evander Lomke
Emily White is a lawyer who lived alone for six years in her 30s and said those were years of “savage loneliness.” She has written a book about this, “Lonely: A memoir”, just published by Harper Collins. Ms. White describes many of the pop psychology attitudes that even serious therapists adope. “Living alone gives you […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I highly recommend Louis Menand in the March 1, 2010, issue of The New Yorker. In part, Menand writes: “Progress in medical science is made by lurching around. The best that can be hoped is that we are lurching in an overall good direction….The goal of biological psychiatry is to identify the organic conditions underlying […]By: Evander Lomke
NEUROPSYCHOLOGY: “All Kinds of Things Affected by the Brain” Simone Collymore, PhD, is a neuropsychologist in Kingston, New York, one of the few practitioners in the Hudson Valley of this specialty involving psychology and brain science. Whereas other specialists that study the brain by necessity use tools that may have less-than-helpful side effects, Collymore’s craft […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The profession of psychiatry is now in the fourth edition of the book that classifies mental disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV. The revised version will be published in 2013, and there continues to be debate about what will and will not be included. The New York Times brings this and a spirited discussion in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Headlines everywhere proclaim sad news: *In 2009 alone more than 330 active servicemen and women have committed suicide *Shocking new figures show the number of soldiers who commit suicide in January could top the number of soldiers killed in Iraq *Tough old soldier battles new enemy: suicide *Every day, five US soldiers try to kill […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Too many US soldiers are attempting or carrying out suicide attempts; many succeed. One reason for this is the tremendous ambivalence over current military actions. This is not like World War II, a so-called good war, although this phrase also causes many to wince. Viktor Frankl, concentration-camp survivor, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Winter, early winter, is especially dark. People become particularly isolated in Central Wisconsin during these months. Those who cope well, like my 87-year-old aunt, keep productively busy with a range of activities from walks, tending animals, baking, sewing, quilting, visiting, sending photos and messages to members of the family in far-flung places. Altruism abounds. My […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Many therapies focus on identifying and resolving feelings and conflicts. Empathy–truly understanding another’s life situation–is a common characteristic of all successful therapists. Beginning in the 1970s, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck developed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which emphasizes identifying dysfunctional thoughts, changing them to transform negative feelings such as depression and anxiety into positive mental […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Today’s lingering economic recession affects citizens in a number of ways as anxiety is heaped on anxiety, especially at this pressure-packed time of year. One might call this phenomenon “The Depression of Depression.” New York TimesBy: Evander Lomke
The National Institute of Mental Health offers a rich Web site for consumers, researchers, and program administrators. Not only is there detailed and highly credible information about major mental-health conditions, the procedures for obtaining research and program grants are detailed. A section of the Web site, “Science News,” provides interesting feature stories about conditions and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I had the distinct honor to receive an invitation to the Fall Harvest Festival presented by Suicide Prevention International. Suicide is now recognized by the World Health Organization and the United States government as a global health problem. Suicide Prevention International has developed four distinctive projects: – Youth Suicide Prevention – Recognition of an Individual […]By: Evander Lomke
In today’s New York Times, Gordon Marino raises tantalizing and taboo questions in his essay “Kierkegaard on the Couch”: Kierkegaard on the Couch Many of us mental health professionals are quick to see any despair that is made up of themes related to spiritual sadness as indicators of depression, small or major. Freud of course […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.