Monday news and blogs

Have a nice week:

  • Hold Me Tight | Psychology Today —  Really beautiful article on conflict in close relationships. —We have a wired-in need for emotional contact and responsiveness from significant others. It’s a survival response, the driving force of the bond of security a baby seeks with its mother. This observation is at the heart of attachment theory. A great deal of evidence indicates that the need for secure attachment never disappears; it evolves into the adult need for a secure emotional bond with a partner. Think of how a mother lovingly gazes at her baby, just as two lovers stare into each other’s eyes. — Although our culture has framed dependency as a bad thing, a weakness, it is not. Being attached to someone provides our greatest sense of security and safety. It means depending on a partner to respond when you call, to know that you matter to him or her, that you are cherished, and that he will respond to your emotional needs.
  • Recovery from “schizophrenia” and other “psychotic disorders” Anatomy of a delusionI just finished Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.” I thought I would probably take few weeks to read it, as I have so much other stuff going on, but it kind of took over my weekend. While Whitaker can be faulted with at times making things seem simpler than they really are, I think his overall thesis, that psychiatric medications in general are on average making long term outcomes worse instead of better, is accurate and well supported (you can browse the evidence for his thesis at his website.) What I am struck by is the similarity between the dynamics around the delusions of those who get psychiatric labels, and the delusions of the mental health system itself.
  • NIH proposes new funding rules to prevent conflicts of interest NYT — Vince Boehm had this to say about these rules: The National Institutes of Health proposed new conflict-of-interest rules will do nothing to limit financial ties between government-funded researchers and private industry and leaves university administrators in charge of policing the arrangements. The new proposed rule lowers the threshold for reporting conflicts of interest to $5,000 from $10,000. Universities will have to post this information to websites.–This is a case of the foxes minding the hen house. The universities themselves will decide if a financial arrangement between an NIH-funded researchers and a private firm poses a threat to the integrity of the research and has to be ended. This move was precipitated by Sen. Charles Grassley’s investigations into drug and device company ties to NIH-funded psychiatrists and others. Unless the disclosure requirements are tightened, this proposal will backfire.–It surely won’t prevent under reporting like we saw in the $4+million Biederman mess at Harvard if we leave it up to the Old Boy Network.

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