Recommended Reading for Thursday, May 6
“Society” by Martin O’Neill, via Laugh or Cry.
the personal hurricanes of kirsty mitchell – the guardian asks why so many women suffer from depression.
hmmm, i’m getting a little tired of articles like this that always seem to be about the same thing. white, middle class, married, slightly older than ‘normal’ mothers talking about how they got depression trying to hold down a city job, run a family, and still look (and i quote) fabulous. the tone is always this one of overwhelming apathy, this ‘but i was only trying to have it all’ whinge, rather than a direct look at the root causes of what’s making them feel that they have to have it all, at once, in the first place.
Three in five individuals who were out of work for at least six months because of a disability did not have disability income protection, according to findings from a new MetLife study released today. The MetLife Study of the Emotional and Financial Impact of Disability also found that among those individuals who did have coverage, only about one-third of their income, on average, was protected.
Journal of Medical Internet Research – Mobile Therapy: Case Study Evaluations of a Cell Phone Application for Emotional Self-Awareness
We developed a mobile phone application with touch screen scales for mood reporting and therapeutic exercises for cognitive reappraisal (ie, examination of maladaptive interpretations) and physical relaxation. The application was deployed in a one-month field study with eight individuals who had reported significant stress during an employee health assessment. Participants were prompted via their mobile phones to report their moods several times a day on a Mood Map—a translation of the circumplex model of emotion—and a series of single-dimension mood scales. Using the prototype, participants could also activate mobile therapies as needed. Five case studies illustrate participants’ use of the mobile phone application to increase self-awareness and to cope with stress.
Disability Scoop – Poll Shows Public Support For Community Living
A Harris Interactive poll released Wednesday indicates that a majority of Americans support legislation that would allow people with disabilities to choose community-based care over nursing homes. The poll commissioned by the self-advocacy group ADAPT and the Coalition for Community Integration, gauged opinions on the Community Choice Act, a bill proposed in Congress that would mandate that states offer people with disabilities the option to use Medicaid funding to pay for community-based rather than institutional care. Findings from the poll indicate that 66 percent of Americans support the legislation without knowing what it would cost. When informed that the measure would likely add no more than $6 to a middle class taxpayer’s bill, 89 percent of respondents were supportive.
When Medicine Got it Wrong is the groundbreaking story of a small group of loving California families in the 1970s who challenged the commonly-held belief that schizophrenogenic parents caused schizophrenia. Angry at being blamed for an illness they knew was not their fault, mothers and fathers in San Mateo, California started Parents of Adult Schizophrenics (PAS) and began fighting for better understanding and treatment. The story starts in 1974, and centers on two families — the Oliphants and Hoffmans — whose sons developed schizophrenia in their teens. Doctors told the boys that their parents were the cause of their problems. Medical records labeled each child as the “identified patient” in a dysfunctional family structure wherein the parents were more psychologically ill than the family member exhibiting delusional and psychotic symptoms. The cure: separation from the parents. The boys were institutionalized at Napa State Hospital, and the parents were warned that visits would be detrimental to their sons’ chances of recovery. The Oliphants and Hoffmans prompted researchers to question their assumptions about schizophrenia’s etiology. Their passion inspired parents across the country to organize and lobby for research and more appropriate, compassionate care. Their passion paid off: by the end of the 1970s neuroscience was investigating causes outside of family dysfunction and interpersonal relationships. Rapid discoveries in the next decades revolutionized medicine’s understanding of these brain diseases. By the mid-1980s, textbooks dropped the term “schizophrenogenic,” and in the 1990s pharmaceutical companies introduced the first new generation of medication in decades.
Los Angeles Times – When prescribing a drug, doctors have many choices — too many in some cases (h/t notemily)
Even when research has identified the best drug choice, doctors don’t always prescribe it. “Physicians make many decisions that aren’t evidence-based,” says Dr. Michael Hochman, assistant professor of clinical medicine at USC and lead author of the JAMA article. “Every physician decides a bit differently.” Some physicians can’t keep up with all of the new drug information. Others simply prescribe medications out of habit; they may learn to use one drug during their medical training and, if they have good experiences with it, continue to use it for many years. Still others factor a drug’s cost into their decision-making to help their patients save a bit of money. Then there’s the pharmaceutical industry. It can affect the choices of doctors and patients. Many drug companies provide physicians with medication samples, and the availability of these samples can dramatically alter doctors’ prescribing patterns, studies have shown. It can lead physicians, in short, to dispense and prescribe medications that wouldn’t otherwise be their first choice.