HealthCentral’s votes for best bipolar sites

August 5, 2007

Major health site HealthCentral has posted its list of picks for the highest-quality sites on bipolar disorder.  Via GJ of Living With A Purple Dog, who received one of the rewards.


bpII mixed states

August 4, 2007

 This article (abstract) compares “Mixed Depression” (major depression + some manic/hypomanic symptoms) with “Dysphoric/Mixed Hypomania” (major depression + full hypomania; as close as you can get to a DSM-defined mixed state (full mania + full depression) and still be bipolar-II.  They looked at a lot of bpII outpatients who presented for depression treatment, and also asked a separate bunch of bpII people who weren’t having symptoms at the time to remember what hypomania was like.  (Weird study design, but there’s probably a reason for it – maybe just that most people don’t come in complaining of regular hypomania.)

Seventeen percent of people had full-blown hypomania along with their depression, and 66% had mixed depression – that’s a *lot* of mixed states in people who are coming in for depression, not for mixed states.

More specifics at the link.  I’m at martial arts camp all this week, and am going to try very hard to keep up with regular content, but may have to just dump some links back in there.  After this week, I have no school or work for two weeks, and there will be extra-spiffy stuff then.

bonobos! they just keep coming.

August 3, 2007

I got 19 bonobo-related visitors yesterday.  Dear bonobo searchers, welcome, I talk about bonobos sometimes, even if they’re not the main focus of this blog.  Nevertheless please feel free to have a look around.  I am delaying today’s break-from-the-usual-Friday content until tomorrow and will try to have a nice bonobo-related post then.  I’m trying to avoid sexually explicit content, but I’ll find you a link.

freezing water isn’t so bad if a friend like you reassures you

August 3, 2007

The alternative hypothesis is that science undergrads can mitigate pain caused by ice water, but arts majors can’t.  Article.

Anyway, it does look like this might be a way to improve placebo effects. Sweet!

I’m moving home after my internship today and tomorrow, which is why I’m posting this so early.  Next one should be up at a normal time.

environmental effects on mental illness

August 2, 2007

Environmental Connections: A Deeper Look into Mental Illness

I love when I see articles discuss environment/biology in ways that are cutting-edge, instead of “nature versus nurture” or even “nature and nurture are both important”.  This one is a good one.

the placebo effect

August 1, 2007

The placebo effect (article).  The study is on individual differences in dopamine response that are associated with expecting to get a reward, and with experiencing greater pain relief.

There are placebo effects for nearly everything under the sun, not just pain.  I wonder what systems the others are due to?

It’s too bad this doesn’t translate into getting a bonus placebo effect just by expecting a reward.


July 31, 2007

Ten people found my journal yesterday by searching for “bonobos”.  It probably wasn’t what they were looking for, but I hope they saw the cute picture and read about the female-female coalitions that let female bonobos mate with the males they want to mate with and not the unpleasant aggressive ones.

Go bonobos!

(The real entry for today is below)