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VIrtuality first, reality, second

I created a myspace account some months ago just because I heard that Liz Phair had an account and would add anyone as her friend. But I don't really use it and certainly don't employ all the special fx that hard-core users apply to their pages. Nonetheless, I felt obligated to put some basic info into my profile.

This evening I decided to review my profile and I noticed that the only book I had mentioned was one that I finished a long time ago. So I decided to update that section. One book I wanted to add was Bob Spitz's new biography of the Beatles, which I am about half-way through. Because I could remember neither Spitz's name nor the exact title of the book, I reflexively Googled "beatles biography," got the information, and added it.

When I was done I noticed that the book was sitting an arm's length away from me next to my laptop. I had been reading it this morning while waiting for an eye exam, and I put it on my desk when I got home.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
Have you become an absent-minded professor of sorts? ;-)
Oct. 10th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
Oct. 11th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
I believe the technical term for that is a "brain fart"... I'm not sure who came up with the phrase, but it's as apt as it is disturbing.

Don't worry though. That sort of thing happens to all of us.

BTW, you're a psych of some variety, right? Can you recommend me any good books on the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders?
Oct. 12th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
I just had a computer fart, in which I posted a long reply only to see LJ lose it. *&^$*&%&@!

At any rate what I said is that I am a professor of psychology who specializes in normal personality, so I really have no expertise or good advice on the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders.

I do have a favorite book on anxiety, which is The Anxiety Disease by David Sheehan. It was one of the first popular books of its type to argue that anxiety is a medical condition rather than a neurosis. Published in 1983, it is NOT a good source of information on modern drug treatments. But it does have a very compelling model of the progression of anxiety through stages if left untreated. That is what I like about the book.

As I am sure you know, treating mood disorders with drugs is still a very hit-or-miss proposition. Psychiatrists must literally experiment on each patient, searching for an optimal level and type of drug. Sometimes the result is a spectacular success, often no change is seen, and sometimes people get worse. Hopefully we will see improvement in this area in the future.
Oct. 15th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
You are right (as always). Getting the correct dosage of meds and seeing improvement is VERY difficult to say the least. I try to explain this to my patients but, they don't seem to understand and want to see great improvements instantly. It just doesn't work that way. I also hope to see some improvements in this area soon.
Oct. 15th, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC)
Psychiatrists must literally experiment on each patient, searching for an optimal level and type of drug. Sometimes the result is a spectacular success, often no change is seen, and sometimes people get worse.

...and, sometimes the side effects experienced from taking the prescribed drugs are worse, or harder to deal with, than the disorder itself. It is no wonder that noncompliance rates are so high.

Work is being done to improve the area of drug treatments, but it may be years before anyone reaps benefits from the new research.

Currently, I am a participant in three different bipolar research studies. They are all part of a larger study, but each is investigating different aspects of the disorder. One study in particular is looking at optimal levels of certain types of drugs used in treatment. One study is looking to identify the gene related to bipolar disorder. And, one study is looking for signs and symptoms of the disorder in the children of the participants.

Needless to say, it is interesting. However, I would much rather be a researcher investigating and working for the study -- instead of simply being a participant. At any rate, I am happy to contribute and do my part -- regardless of how small it may be.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )