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Mental Health

Sophie F's picture

From the Inside Out

Mental illness has long since confounded people who have them, their families and those attempting to treat them. The current system for evaluating mental health status entails largely a set of diagnostic criteria that are designed to standardize diagnosis and treatment. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in its current incarnation is a tome of symptoms, categories and diagnoses that are useful tools for mental health practitioners coming to grips with the varied presentation of behaviors that are characteristic of individuals with varying experiences. There is a vast difference according to all diagnostic measures, between anorexia nervosa, for example, and schizophrenia. Anorexia is defined as:   

Ljones's picture

Tourette’s Syndrome: Difference or Disease?

Tourette’s syndrome is a highly complex behavioral disorder. There is no real “typical” case of Tourette’s as it is extremely individualized and changes within each person who has it throughout their life. Some who are afflicted with very severe symptoms’ lives are incredibly affected by the syndrome, while most patients go undiagnosed for years. Are the behaviors that characterize Tourette’s syndrome really debilitating? Or are they just different?



mstokes's picture

The Purposeful Migraine


The Purposeful Migraine


In the essay "In Bed," Joan Didion writes:

"And once [migraine] comes, now that I am wise in its ways, I no longer fight it. I lie down and let it happen. At first every small apprehension is magnified, every anxiety a pounding terror. Then the pain comes, and I concentrate only on that. Right there is the usefulness of migraine, there in that imposed yoga, the concentration on the pain. For when the pain recedes, ten or twelve hours later, everything goes with it, all the hidden resentments, all the vain anxieties. The migraine has acted as a circuit breaker, and the fuses have emerged intact. There is a pleasant convalescent euphoria. I open the windows and feel the air, eat gratefully, sleep well. I notice the particular nature of a flower in a glass on the stair landing. I count my blessings." (1)


Paul B's picture

A Cocaine Addiction Gene? Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves...

A recent survey has reported that 64% of teens have tried illicit drugs by the age of 18 (1). Some of these kids will develop a profoundly devastating drug addiction while others will not. This phenomenon has lead researchers to ask why. Why are some individuals, who experiment with drugs, more susceptible to drug addiction while others do not? By addressing this question, researchers hope to develop better preventative measures as well as better treatment for drug dependent individuals.

vpizzini's picture


Very different strategies can be adopted in the study of the mind, but, on the whole, they can be clustered in two separate groups. One is more quantitative, based on statistics, experiments, isolated events and is able to identify variables and establish laws that allow the prediction of a future behavior. The other one is more qualitative and is based on the particular characteristics of a single person and very seldom utilizes generalized theories.

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