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Archive for February, 2010

Is this woman just Debbie Downer, or yet another example that the Positive Psychology movement is increasingly under fire and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is taking over? Although not a clinician herself, she challenges many well-accepted therapeutic techniques widely used in offices today and is spurring more debate against Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology Movement. And again, I am seeing more and more evidence coming out in support of ACT. She does not name her opinions as such, but if you are familiar with it, you will hear many similarities. This 3rd generation CBT is a therapy to watch, folks.

Barbara Ehrenreich has PhD in Cell Biology but is described on Wikipedia as “an American feminist, democratic socialist, pop sociologist and political activist”. She is also the author if nearly 20 books and many columns and essays in prestigious publications.

Regardless of your stance on this, she raises some interesting questions.

http://fora.tv/2010/01/11/Smile_or_Die_The_Tyrany_of_Positive_Thinking

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Possibly in response to the New Yorker article questioning the legitimacy of  depression, this article argues that not only is depression a real biological illness, but that it may have vast benefits to society. For instance, they alleged that Charles Darwin possibly suffered from it, enabling him to write one of the most significant and controversial tombs in history. It also argues that treating the illness with anti-depressants may take-away from these “beneficial effects”.  I think the controversy here lies with situational sadness and melancholy being called depression.  Yes, in my teen and early adult angst, and through some normal life changes, sadness has propelled me to some great learning and realizations; however, to someone suffering from clinical depression, is there really an upside?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/magazine/28depression-t.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

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Are you really depressed?

Let’s start this blog off with a big debate happening in the field right now. Thanks to a new and widely publicized study pointing to the fact that SSRI’s are no more effective in treating mild to moderate depression than placebo’s  (see original study here: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045 ), a controversy is brewing.  Here is an interesting piece from the New Yorker that boldly asks, is depression even a real illness?

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/03/01/100301crat_atlarge_menand

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