Belief in miracles is widespread. According to recent surveys 72% of people in the USA and 59% of people in the UK believe that miracles take place. Why do so many people believe in miracles in the present age of advanced science and technology? Let us briefly consider three possible answers to this question. The first possible answer is simply that miracles actually do take place all the time.
Despite differences in historical era and social background, the Kaiser who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918 and the American president who parlayed a real-estate empire into electoral (if not popular) victory displayed remarkably similar temperament. As Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen suggested, “Germany used to have a leader like Trump,” adding that “it’s not who you think.”
A question that I am often asked by family members, friends, and even by other physicians and nurses that I work with, is “Should I get my memory evaluated?” Partly, the question is asked because they have noticed memory problems, and are struggling to sort out whether theses lapses are an inevitable part of normal aging versus the start of something more ominous, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The numerous factors that induce someone to think about suicide, the “ideators,” are often different from those who actually attempt suicide, the “attempters.” For example, the traditional risk factors for suicide, such as depression, hopelessness, many psychiatric disorders, and impulsivity, strongly predict suicide ideation but weakly predict suicide attempts among ideators.
In late 1916, while the world was entrenched in the Great War, two physicians on opposing sides of the conflict started to encounter patients who presented with bizarre neurological signs. Most notably, the patients experienced profound lethargy, and would sleep for abnormally long periods of time. One of the physicians, Constantin von Economo, was at the Psychiatric-Neurological Clinic at the University of Vienna.
Terms such as “Soldier’s Heart,” “shell shock,” and “Combat Stress Reaction” have all been used to describePost Traumatic Stress Disorder in the military. War and PTSD have a long history together, as does the stigma behind mental health within military culture.In the following excerpt from The Last and Greatest Battle John Bateson discusses the dangers of underreported PTSD and the steps we can take to help prevent military suicides.
Hearing things that other people do not – in other words, an auditory hallucination – is something that approximately 5-15% of the population experience at some point in their lives. For people with a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, the experience of auditory hallucinations can often be bewildering and upsetting. However, for some people unusual sensory experiences can be an important and meaningful part of their lives.
The media love it. Films and novels fictionalise it. TV and newspapers want to follow a real patient around. They virtually always get it wrong (and the worst thing you can do for such a patient is put him/her on television). Psychogenic amnesia (also known as dissociative or functional amnesia) still intrigues and fascinates. In 1926, Agatha Christie, the acclaimed novelist, disappeared for 11 days.
I have written elsewhere about how music, in a way that spoken language rarely does, can affect arousal, stimulate our emotions and memories, and move our bodies. It can even subtly alter our physiological state, both internally by altering heart rate, levels of hormones and so on, and externally – resulting in goose bumps, chills, tears, etc. This is the universal power of music
Two different cases raising similar issues about advocating suicide may shape US policy for years to come. In Massachusetts, Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for urging her friend Conrad Roy not to abandon his plan to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide: “Get back in that car!” she texted, and he did. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has already ruled that prosecuting her for involuntary manslaughter was permissible
Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the number of people in the United States with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) increased from about 20,000 to as many as four million within a ten-year period. If this were true, we would be amidst an epidemic of unprecedented proportions. I believe that these increases in prevalence rates can be explained by unreliable case definitions.
“What happened?” This is the first question a police officer will ask upon arriving at a crime scene. The answer to this simple question—What happened?—will determine the course of the criminal investigation. This same question will be asked by attorneys to witnesses on the stand if the case goes to trial.
In a utopian world of abundant health budgets and minimal health challenges, it is probably fair to say that few would object to including the arts within hospitals or promoting them as a part of healthy lifestyles. Certainly, we have a long history of incorporating the arts into health (stretching back around 40,000 years), so it’s a concept many people are familiar with. But in an era of austerity, the value that the arts can bring comes under much closer scrutiny
In his 1954 essay ‘Metapsychological and Clinical Aspects of Regression within the Psycho-Analytical Set’, Donald Winnicott states: “The idea of psycho-analysis as an art must gradually give way to a study of environmental adaptation relative to patients’ regressions. […] I know from experience that some will say: all this leads to a theory of development which ignores the early stages of the development of the individual, which ascribes early development to environmental factors.
Age-related memory loss is to be expected. But can it be mitigated? There are many different steps we can take to help maintain and even improve our memories as we age. One of these steps is to make a few simple dietary changes. The following shortened excerpt from The Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory lists dietary basics that can benefit memory.
Rarely do esoteric academic debates, especially those concerning methodology, make their way into the popular press. But, for the past two years, a major controversy on the replication of psychological research has spilled into public view and shows few signs of abating. However, the debate is silent about the far more problematic conceptual crisis that challenges the core principles of scientific psychology.