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Sentimental Value and the Cognitive Conscious

Imagine: a large garbage bag, clearly full of unwanted items such as used clothes, books, and maybe the occasional string of Christmas lights.  Just a big pile of junk.  Peeping through the top of the bag, a pair of melancholy eyes follow your gaze.  It’s a stuffed bear.  The stitched mouth seems to form a sad smile, as if to say, “Please take me...  I can be your friend.”  What is it about the oddly shaped pieces of fabric, stitched together and stuffed with cotton, with two button “eyes” and a sewed on mouth that make us feel sorry for the abandoned toy?

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Book Commentary- The Schopenhauer Cure

The Schopenhauer Cure, by Irvin D. Yalom, follows the last year of therapist Julius Hertzfeld’s life.  At a routine check-up, Julius Hertzfeld is told he has malignant melanoma, and only has approximately a year to live.  Confronted with his own mortality, he decides to evaluate his life’s work.  What has happened to his old patients?  He remembers most of them as successful cases; he felt that he was able to help.  No therapist can help every person; Julius knew that, and remembered a few cases he was not able to crack.

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Society's perceptions and the over-diagnosis of Depression

Depression—also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression—is most widely known a mental illness where the patient is so sad that he is unable to function normally in life (4).  A person suffering from depression displays signs of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness, and restlessness (1).  Pessimism and insomnia are common symptoms, as well as appetite gain or loss (1).  Apathy and loss of interest in once-fun activities are also ways to spot depression (4).  However, where is the fine line between a mere case of the blues and a serious depressive disorder?

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Schizophrenia: What are the causes?

What do you think of when you think of schizophrenia?  Many people will think of someone who has multiple personalities.  Well, while movies and popular culture might portray schizophrenia as having such a symptom, a “split personality” is not usually the case (2).  There are many other different aspects of the disease.

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