Thursday, July 02, 2009

PJTV: The Depression Cure

Do you or someone you know suffer from depression? Then you must watch my PJTV interview with Dr. Steve Ilardi, author of the new book The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs. Dr. Ilardi discusses how modern life is causing depression; how ruminating over one's problems is linked to depression and most importantly, what can be done to beat it--either for yourself or a loved one.

You can watch the show here.

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"America isn't hiring precisely because of government policy."

Jerry Bower, a guest blogger at CNBC, has good insight into why US companies are not hiring:

America isn't hiring precisely because of government policy. Small business owners, who are usually the first into and the first out of the job pool, are standing by the fence and watching. They are paralyzed by regulatory uncertainty. If they hire someone who ends up doing poorly, will they be able to fire that person? Will they have to pay their health care bills after they've been terminated? If so, for how long? Who will pay for all these stimulus checks? If it will turn out to be small business, why would they hire instead of keeping costs low to prepare for the big tax bill? Where will the market move? Are you in the right business or are your clients in a politically disfavored industry? Are your clients in health care (being nationalized), autos (already nationalized), banking (somewhat nationalized) or any energy production process which uses carbon (pulverized)? Until you know, you don't grow, and until you grow your market, you don't grow your payroll.

Jobs aren't languishing despite the government's best efforts. They're languishing because of them.


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New research on the link between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

I just saw this interesting article on Drudge from The Independent entitled, "Unlocked: the secrets of schizophrenia:"

Scientists have discovered a remarkable similarity between the genetic faults behind both schizophrenia and manic depression in a breakthrough that is expected to open the way to new treatments for two of the most common mental illnesses, affecting millions of people.

Previously doctors had assumed that the two conditions were quite separate. But new research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or other of the two illnesses. ....

"Discoveries such as these are crucial for teasing out the biology of the disease and making it possible for us to begin to develop drugs targeting the underlying causes and not just the symptoms of the disease," said Kari Stefansson, the head of deCode Genetics, the Icelandic company involved in one of the three studies. "One of the reasons this study was so successful is its unprecedented size. Pooling our resources has yielded spectacular results, which is what the participants from three continents hoped for."

If you or someone you know suffers from either of these illnesses, you will know how difficult and painful they can be. Let's hope this research leads to better treatment options.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

But "she managed to disarm him and cut him".....

There are times when fighting back is a good thing--this is one of them:

Chicago police have released photographs of a man suspected of demanding money from a female doctor and attempting to sexually assault her in her North Side office Monday evening.

The doctor managed to disarm her knife-wielding assailant and badly cut him on one or both of his hands, police said this morning.

The doctor was alone in her office in a medical professional building in the 2900 block of North Commonwealth Ave. near St. Joseph Hospital in the Lakeview East neighborhood about 6:30 p.m. when a man came in asking for directions to another office, said Police Officer Laura Kubiak.

He then displayed a knife, put it to the doctor's throat and forced her to the floor, Kubiak said. The doctor, in her 30s, suffered a puncture wound to her thigh. She was also punched.

But "she managed to disarm him and cut him" before he fled, Kubiak said.

His hand wounds were severe enough to seemingly require medical attention, Kubiak said.

We are frequently told by "authorities" and others to act passively when involved in a crime situation--sometimes that's the wrong thing to do. But it is often the will to fight back, not the sheer amount of strength one has that is most important.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

A few questions about Bernard Madoff

I just read the verdict of 150 years for Bernard Madoff and all I can really think is "Why is it that someone who set up a Ponzi scheme gets more jail time than the majority of murderers?" I realize that many people were involved and yes, I would be angry if someone cheated me out of my life's savings (though I would not give only one person all of my money to invest but that is beside the point). Is Madoff just a symbol of Wall Street greed, which in today's society is worse than murder to so many? Is it because the people feel they trusted him and were ripped off and therefore justify any horrible thing they can think of to happen to him? Can anyone explain to me how what Madoff did is worse than murder?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

" In my experience, the internet is not the disease but rather the symptom. "

I read with interest a short newsbite about how spending too much time online is straining Irish marriages (via Instapundit):

Too much time spent on the Internet is causing increasing friction between couples in Ireland, a marriage counselling service said Friday.

Some seven percent of couples seen by ACCORD, the Catholic Church's marriage care service, say too much time spent in cyberspace by one partner is their main problem, according to figures for the first half of this year.

John Farrelly, its director of counselling, said the problem had come virtually out of nowhere in the last three years.

A commenter in response to the news story, I think, hit the nail, on the head, "the internet is not the disease but the symptom."

If a marriage is good, one will want to spend more time with their spouse, and perhaps if strained, will try to escape in various ways, which might include going online. Or, in my case, both spouses could spend a lot of time online and then use it to make their marriage better. Glenn and I discuss stuff online all the time and always have something fun to talk about. I have never laughed as hard at some of the things I read or had to think so much in response to some of them. So, I guess, like any hobby or vice (take your pick), it depends on how one uses it as to whether it is positive or negative.

If you wonder if you are "addicted" to the internet,there are all kinds of helpful books out there-- even one specifically geared towards Catholics called Breaking Free of the Web: Catholics and Internet Addiction. The title makes it sound like "addiction" to the internet is always a bad thing.. .but I think it has its place.