Mindfulness, synchronicity, more serious adverse reactions to SSRIs and the death of normality…Thursday news and blogs


  • “Mindfulness for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn — Book Review — WildMind — As someone who uses mindfulness and meditation to manage chronic back pain myself, I felt a pang that this material was not available 25 years ago when I was first learning to meditate. I’m sure it would have made my journey a lot easier and more effective as he deals very directly with the mystery of how to be with experience when it is painful. One phrase I particularly liked was “tuning IN trumps tuning OUT”. In other words: if we can resist the natural response of endless distraction and aversion to pain and engage with the pain directly, then the overall suffering will diminish greatly.
  • Synchronicity — Truly Noodled — More and better commentary on the piece I posted yesterday about children and trauma: “How a deprived childhood leaves its mark on the brain” from the Independent.
  • Certain Popular Antidepressants Linked to Cataracts in Seniors — HealthDay — if it’s not one thing that will get you in the way of adverse reactions with antidepressants it WILL be another. I won’t call adverse reactions side-effects either. That’s a euphemism. Drugs have effects, some of them adverse…some of them supposedly therapeutic.
  • Psychiatric Fads and Overdiagnosis, Normality is an endangered species. DSM5 in distress, Psychology Today — No doubt Frances’ estimation is in part right, but we do indeed have an epidemic caused by the drugs themselves as well. The “epidemics” in psychiatry are caused by changing diagnostic fashions – the people don’t change, the labels do. There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder. What is diagnosed as mental disorder is very sensitive to professional and social contextual forces. Rates of disorder rise easily because mental disorder has such fluid boundaries with normality.

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