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What are you reading/analysing at the moment?

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  • I wonder who did the studies?

    Most I think would say listening to music is being mindful, as is praying at home or in a church etc. There have definitely been fmri scans to show increases in density of the pre-frontal cortex and benefits from, which lapse off over time, and a difference between experienced and novice.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6778831/
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322892752_Brain_Activity_in_Mindfulness_Depends_on_Experience_a_Meta-Analysis_of_fMRI_Studies
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-47470-4

    I think the tweet is really pushing the fact that these are being used as a cheaper panacea instead of solving the base psycho/social problems. The same argument can be made for medication.

    My personal experience of mindfulness has been broadly beneficial but I definitely went down a dark hole of apathy which is (imho) it's logical end point. I think it has it's place, as in being still for a while, but whether that takes place via music, fishing, praying or meditating isn't the issue for me.




  • I wonder who did the studies?

    Most I think would say listening to music is being mindful, as is praying at home or in a church etc. There have definitely been fmri scans to show increases in density of the pre-frontal cortex and benefits from, which lapse off over time, and a difference between experienced and novice.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6778831/
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322892752_Brain_Activity_in_Mindfulness_Depends_on_Experience_a_Meta-Analysis_of_fMRI_Studies
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-47470-4

    I think the tweet is really pushing the fact that these are being used as a cheaper panacea instead of solving the base psycho/social problems. The same argument can be made for medication.

    My personal experience of mindfulness has been broadly beneficial but I definitely went down a dark hole of apathy which is (imho) it's logical end point. I think it has it's place, as in being still for a while, but whether that takes place via music, fishing, praying or meditating isn't the issue for me.

    It's all very well cited, the studies showing benefits didn't have proper controls (going about your life as normal is not a proper control), if they had a control at all. And they were usually tiny. Maybe music also shows the same benefits in an fMRI? Or reading? Or study? Or eating spinach? They didn't check. Sounds like you'd find the book very interesting!

    In the meantime, this is free: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353526/




  • you know i don't think it clicked with me first what you meant by apathy but yeah that's so true. The "spiritual bypass" might be another side of it. I've been in that zone, it's very nice, but it's not "enlightened" or anything it's some kind of... I don't know... It's a nice place to visit but I don't want to live there. I want to like things, I want to want, I want to have preferences, I want to get annoyed about silly things sometimes. And I definitely don't want to feel like I'm floating far above anyone who is still experiencing those things! Is that the sort of thing you meant?




  • I think it can be beneficial but it's not for everyone. I definitely found it calming and grounding. I love going down to the Buddist gaff in Cork and meditating in the room there. I've had some trippy experiences with it but the place in Cork is spectacular in its setting in any case so I can get pretty tripped out over nature.

    What I mean by that is the sense of connection and appreciation. Has this benefited my life? Yes, can I prove that? No many other things changed in my life as well. One aspect, that is different, is my reactions to stressful situations. I was taught autogenic training. It was explained to my by someone who has English as a second language. Anytime I meditate in practice or before a dive in the sea I place my tongue at the back of my tooth front teeth. I try to keep it there most of the time I meditate.

    Like a Pavlovian response my body now associates the placing of my tongue there as an indication that I want to relax. The proponents would say I am influencing the parasympathetic nervous system through the vagus nerve. Fine, I just know that it helped my hold my breath for longer which is want I wanted. I found the same holds true when faced with a personal verbal attack etc, I remain calm for the most part and wonder why, why am I am being attacked and what is driving the other persons behavior instead of reacting to it. Again I am open to the idea that this just comes with advancing years and no longer giving a flying etc....




  • Ah that's a really good idea! Associating something with that mental state, like a cheat code that allows you to jump a few levels Must start tonguing myself when I meditate :D


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  • Must start tonguing myself when I meditate :D

    And you wonder why Buddists are happy.:P




  • The Lancent Psychiatry podcast.

    Episodes:

    'Life after suicide', with Angela Samata on her husband's suicide, raising her children, nerves about going to support group and what convinced her to go public with her story. Very good.

    'Getting active', with psychiatrist Fiona Gaughran of the UK National Psychosis Service re health, mental health and smoking, medication. Good to hear an Irish voice on a mental health podcast.




  • There is so much material that can be dissected and analysed on Facebook and other social media sites. There is so much manipulation going on it is no wonder that people are on edge.

    I spent the better part of a week looking through all this talk of anti-whatever while seeing the anti-conspiracy side too. The anti whatever crowd are using anything that backs up their argument and watching as the sea of replies come in that are stroking their ego's. Some of these people are even claiming they don't even have ego's so therefore get ahead of any future accusation that they do. The anti-conspiracy crowd are using humour as a defence mechanism to deter the anti-whatever crowd.

    There is a great many people using high levels of manipulation and people are none the wiser. I Just watched about the first 2 minutes of a YouTube video posted by somebody as " evidence " to the claims of the current crisis being planned. Of course their qualifications would appear to back up their narrative To quote:
    the important point to note is there are no excess deaths.... no excess respiratory deaths. And so if you accept that and if anyone listening checks that (statistics) they must know that the rest of what I'm telling you is true... because... blah blah blah
    Worth bearing in mind here the person iv'e quoted is a " "former" " researcher at Pfizer Global.

    I believe something must be done to call these people out on stuff they are posting as evidence. They are claiming that mental health is also suffering while bombarding the issue with things that cause stress and anxiety for people, especially anyone susceptible to conspiracy. I myself do not have any qualifications in Psychology but always have an interest in the inner workings of behaviour. This stuff is fairly obvious to me so I can only imagine how a trained Psychologist would look at it.

    These people on Facebook are talking about mental health then proceed to overload people with misinformation and the manipulation. I am usually not one who believes in conspiracy as I tend to be too inquisitive and I do want to know why.... which in turn leaves it open to getting both sides of the argument as I think most people are like this. A lot of the content does have an agenda for instance, hypothetically if you are a travel agent you will do everything you are able to do to stop your business from going belly up. We have seen these travel agents lobby for their business. This on some level I suspect is what is going on with the multi agenda these influence's or useful idiots are taken part in.

    Awareness to these obvious and transparent behaviours that are causing mental health issues for everyone needs to be in the for front of media. Maybe the following is only happening to me but Facebook is notifying me about a response to a post when I comment on a post that is debunking an opinion. When I click the notification the post does not show. If this is happening to a lot of people this will cause frustration. It is no secret that Facebook are masters of Psychology and it might also be complete coincidence that I am unable to see a reply for discussion. In saying that if I hadn't of thought of that I might have been inclined to create my own debate of matters.

    Are people awake to these possibilities in Psychological warfare. I think not.




  • Three chapters in Marie Cassidy's book on her life as a forensic pathologist.

    Also have Niamh Fitzpatrick's to read, her sister was Dara of Rescue 116.


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  • Fish pass mirror test. Time to move the goalposts again instead of just, you know, respecting all sentient life: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/a-self-aware-fish-raises-doubts-about-a-cognitive-test?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB




  • The American Psychiatric Association apologises for supporting racism in psychiatry.
    Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association today apologized to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for its support of structural racism in psychiatry. Written and issued by the organization’s Board of Trustees, the apology acknowledges past practices and events in psychiatry that contributed to racial inequality, and expresses the organization’s commitment to developing anti-racist policies that promote equity in mental health for all. The apology is available to the public on APA’s website with an accompanying document covering some historical instances of racism in organized psychiatry.

    “We apologize for our role in perpetrating structural racism in this country, and we hope to begin to make amends for APA’s and psychiatry’s history of actions, intentional and not, that hurt Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” said APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. “This apology is one important step we needed to take to move forward to a more equitable future. The Board is issuing this document on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, because we hope that it honors his life’s work of reconciliation and equality. We do not take that legacy or his call to action lightly and will continue our important work.”

    “The Board of Trustees of APA has taken an important step in issuing this apology,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “The APA administration is committed to working toward inclusion, health equity, and fairness that everyone deserves.”

    The APA Board of Trustees began to draft the apology late in 2020 after it concluded that events and persistent inequities in health care and psychiatry had highlighted an organizational need for action. It commits the APA to moving forward in this important area. It is issued at the same time as APA’s Presidential Task Force on Structural Racism continues its work to educate and engage members on the issue and implement changes within the organization.

    PR statement.

    Main apology

    Fitting that it was Martin Luther King Jr Day when they apologised.




  • The American Psychiatric Association apologises for supporting racism in psychiatry.



    Main apology

    Fitting that it was Martin Luther King Jr Day when they apologised.

    Was there anything in the Mother and Baby report about the role, if any, of psychiatry and/or the wider medical society?




  • Was there anything in the Mother and Baby report about the role, if any, of psychiatry and/or the wider medical society?

    Don't know, tbh. I did see talk on Twitter of a printer offering to provide copies to the victims at no cost.

    Elsewhere, been reading this.

    Impact of trauma on Gardai - quite raw in parts.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/garda-trauma-sean-was-a-garda-for-six-weeks-when-he-saw-his-first-body-1.4462432
    Just a few months before that incident, he was the first responder to a fatal crash that killed five young men in Ravensdale, Dundalk. “I could hear one of them moaning from within the car. That stayed with me too.”





  • The Garda article paints a very stark picture, which if anything is slightly soft on the reality. I know a few Gardai and they've said the same thing - any admission of mental health issues is basically career suicide.

    Truly an awful, awful culture. We can't expect superhuman standards from people who are still human beings. The suicide figure among Gardai being four times that of the general population is horrifying.




  • I recently finished an introduction to psychiatric drugs by the psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff. In it she posits that drugs work in either a disease centred way or drug centred way.

    Disease centred as in it's actually correcting something, eg, insulin deficiency corrected by metaformin medication in T2 diabetes.

    Drug centred as in not correcting a deficiency, eg sore ankle for which I take a painkiller for. The painkiller doesn't fix the ankle but may allow physiotherapy to take place to heal the ankle which could have been too painful to proceed with otherwise.




  • Given what we know about police interactions with those with mental health issues, this set up should be more so the norm.

    A New York City pilot program that dispatches mental health specialists and paramedics instead of police for certain nonviolent emergency calls has resulted in more people accepting assistance and fewer people sent to the hospital, early data shows.

    It's one of a number of programs underway around the country trying to address police violence and systemic racism following George Floyd's murder by providing alternatives to sending law enforcement to respond to emergency calls involving issues such as mental health or drug and alcohol crises. https://www.npr.org/2021/07/23/1019704823/police-mental-health-crisis-calls-new-york-city






  • This popped up ages ago and I meant to post it. Norway's non-medication based approach to psychosis.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-56097028

    Most people with psychosis take powerful drugs to keep delusions and hallucinations at bay - but the side-effects can be severe. In Norway, a radical approach is now on offer via the national health system for patients who want to live drug-free.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09788jy





  • In relation to the last two posts Drop the Disorder had their online conference yesterday. If you are interested in this topic I would suggest joining the Drop the Disorder Facebook group. Recently read, James Davies new book Sedated: How Modern Capitalism Created our Mental Health Crisis.

    The Critical Voices Network Ireland will be hosting their annual conference online and or from UCC. Last year they had John Read speaking which was very interesting and last year Robert Whitaker gave two presentations.


    Currently reading Undressing by James O' Neill.



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