Peter R. Breggin MD is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former Consultant at NIMH who has been called “The Conscience of Psychiatry” for his many decades of successful efforts to reform the mental health field. Find posts on psychiatry.
My Wednesday June 12, 2019 showwas my most impassioned discussion of The Psychiatric Abuse of Children with guest psychotherapist Michael Cornwall, PhD adding experience and grounding, as well as wisdom. What the FDA has unleashed upon children is unprecedented and begins a new era of electrical abuse.
Michael and I tell you about our new organization that this atrocity has inspired. It’s called Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children! or SPAC! We invite you to join SPAC! And we invite you to help us stop this latest psychiatrist abuse of children. This will be my first major organized reform effort in many years. SPAC! will be directed by Michael through our nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy.
The FDA has approved using a TENS machine called Monarch to delivery electrical “stimulation” to the forehead through to delicate, vulnerable frontal lobes of children to treat ADHD. The current spreading diffusely like a mini-electrical lobotomy cannot fix anything. It actually causes a broad electrical disruption of normal brain function. I was so dismayed but this “treatment,” I stumble on air trying to find words horrific enough to describe the size of the danger to children.
The current is applied every night, all night, to the entirely normal brains of children 7 to 12 years old with no apparent limit on for how many months or years of treatment. Now that it’s FDA approved, Monarch can be legally used on any and all children at the doctor’s whim. The FDA required only a single 4-week long study to approve this gross intrusion to the highest centers of the normal brain.
Only 62 children were studied and only half of them got the electrical treatment. It’s a tiny experimental group without replication by a second study that will lead to a pandemic of abuse. Meanwhile, the manufacturer is intent on a year or more of electrifying the children every night, but its 12-month study utterly failed. All but three children and families quit the study before it was scheduled to end. The FDA gave no importance to this disastrous result, confirming that the FDA’s Medical Devices section is a den of evil.
We are talking about a potentially disastrous tsunami of psychiatric abuse of children, spilling over onto adults. Learn more about this “treatment” and about our new organization, including relevant publications you can download for free. https://breggin.com/childrens-page
Along with my guest psychotherapist Michael Cornwall, we discuss the building of our new project, Spac! –Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children! The inspiration for this was FDA approval of overnight electrical stimulation of the brains of children labelled ADHD with a TNS machine called Monarch. Envision a future where children and their parents, and their teachers, and their doctors, all believe there is a newer and safer method than drugs–hooking up electrodes to the foreheads of kids to “stimulate” their frontal lobes every night. Imagine millions of children enduring this stigma, this humiliation, this lie about being helped, this encouragement to see themselves as broken devices, and and the specter of unknowable long-term brain injury. We don’t want to imagine it. We want to stop it. Call into the show with your own reactions and ideas!
Dr. Peter Breggin’s new blog on Mad in America, “A Smashing Victory–and an Insidious New Threat,” describes saving a young man from involuntary ECT. It also presents a new electrical threat to the brains of America’s children and initiates new countermeasures to stop this abuse before it gets completely out of control.
The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour replays a wonderful show with nutritionist and friend Pam Popper, PhD, today at 4 pm NY Time. Pam, plus two wonderful callers and I, make this an inspiring show all about human purpose. If you’re looking for encouragement or courage, seeking inspiration and direction, or simply wanting to enjoy yourself, join into this wonderful robust conversation about living by principles and finding purposes.
Religion may have a wide range of health benefits, research suggests. For instance, a study that appeared last year found that religious believers tend to live 4 years longer, on average, while another study found that attending religious ceremonies slashes the risk of premature death among seniors. […] Now, a new study is bringing these research topics together, as a team of psychologists […] asked 4,285 study participants to answer a survey in which they had to describe their “God encounter experiences and mystical experiences.” The surveys asked the participants about their experiences with the “God of [their] understanding,” a “Higher Power, Ultimate Reality, or an Aspect or Emissary of God (e.g., an angel).” The survey also inquired about how the participants felt after the experience and how it changed their lives, if at all. […] Overall, the study found that most participants who had “God encounter experiences” reported positive effects on their mental health. Namely, the mystical experiences improved their life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning, and these positive changes lasted for decades after the experience.
In 1949, the National Mental Health Association (now known as Mental Health America) declared May as Mental Health Month. It initially begun as Mental Health Week, its growing public interest and the broad scope of issues meant that it broadened into a month-long awareness campaign. This year marks MHA’s 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month! […] According to the Mental Health America website, this year’s campaign will center on the following themes: animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections. Below we will elaborate on these recommendations.
Mindfulness therapy may be an effective way of mitigating the stress experienced by spouses and other informal caregivers for military veterans, a new study […] that taught caregivers of veterans in central Illinois mindfulness-based cognitive therapy skills. The caregivers in the treatment group—mostly women caring for their spouses—reported significant decreases in their perceived levels of stress, anxiety and worry. By contrast, the researchers found no significant changes in any of these symptoms among the participants assigned to the waitlist control group. “This not only shows the feasibility but also the promise that mindfulness has for improving mental health outcomes in this vulnerable, hard-to-reach population,” Lara-Cinisomo said. “Although the study population was small, it shows that there’s interest in this type of programming.” […] “Despite our small numbers, we were able to show that mindfulness helps and that it should be pursued not only by researchers, but by practitioners and those providing services to this population,” said Lara-Cinisomo, who is currently working with colleagues at the RAND Corporation and Loyola University to build on these findings.
University of Wisconsin professor Richard Davidson discussed the importance of mindfulness practice and well-being cultivation at Memorial Union Monday night. Davidson is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at UW and the founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds, which aims to “cultivate well-being and relieve suffering through a scientific understanding of the mind,” according to their website. […] Our brains change unwillingly most of the time, but Davidson said he believes we can practice to better control it. “If we nourish our minds even for the small amount of time each day that we brush our teeth, this world would be a very different place,” Davidson said. Cultivating well-being can benefit people’s physical health, Davidson said.
In one recent study, 585 young adult Japanese participants reported on their moods after walking for 15 minutes, either in an urban setting or in a forest. The forests and urban centers were in 52 different locations around the country, and about a dozen participants walked in each area. In all cases, the participants walking in a forest experienced less anxiety, hostility, fatigue, confusion, and depressive symptoms, and more vigor, compared to walking in an urban setting. The results were even stronger for people who were more anxious to begin with. […] In another recent study, Polish participants spent 15 minutes gazing at either a wintertime urban forest or an unforested urban landscape. The trees in the forest had straight trunks and no leaves (because of winter), and there was no other shrubbery below the trees—in other words, no green; the urban landscape consisted of buildings and roads. Before and after, the participants filled out questionnaires related to their moods and emotions. Those who gazed at a winter forest reported significantly better moods, more positive emotions, more vigor, and a greater sense of personal restoration afterwards than those who gazed at the urban scene. […] It may be that some of these benefits have to do with how forests affect our brains. One study found that people living in proximity to trees had better “amygdala integrity”—meaning, a brain structure better able to handle stressors. These findings and many others—including an earlier review of the research—show how even short amounts of time in a forest can give us a break from our frenzied lifestyles.
Antidepressants work well for many people, and can be literal lifesavers. Due to the way your body gets used to them, starting and stopping the drug isn’t simple: If you’ve begun a prescription, you know that they can take weeks to start working. And in the event that you and your doctor decide it’s time to stop taking them, antidepressants can also be tricky to discontinue. After the New Yorker recently ran an article on the challenges one woman faced with switching and discontinuing psychiatric drugs, I began hearing from people who got the idea that antidepressants are difficult to impossible to quit, and that they were afraid doctors don’t know how to safely guide people through the process. Fortunately, that’s not the case: psychiatric professionals do understand that this is an issue, and it is possible to discontinue the drugs—but you’ll need to do it slowly, carefully, and with professional help.
“In the course of our lives, there are a whole lot risk factors that predispose us to depression, (and) there were a whole lot of protective factors that kept us from being depressed. What’s happened is the risk factors have gone up and the protective factors have gone down,” Prof Carr-Gregg says. One key protective factor that has been lost is “spirituality”. “Not necessarily religiosity but where you have a sense of belonging, a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose. In other words, you feel part of something bigger than you,” he says. […] “One of the critical things missing in the general practitioner’s armour, they may well have a PBS (pharmaceutical benefits scheme) prescription pad, what they won’t have is a capacity for social prescribing, and here you’re really talking about GPs playing a more active role in working with psychosocial organisations, services and others,” he says. As for why powerful drugs are being handed out free and easily while basic lifestyle modifications are being left prohibitively expensive, Prof Rosenberg says: “It’s a great question.”
Mindful of that need, last Friday the FDA approved the first non-drug device to treat the disorder. Aimed at children aged 7 to 12, the prescription-only device—called the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System—is described in an agency press release as “innovative, safe, and effective” in treating children who have difficulty staying focused and paying attention, two of the key criteria listed for a diagnosis of ADHD. The size of a cell-phone, the device sends a low-level electrical pulse to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in “selective maintenance of attention.” Through a small patch that adheres to the forehead, just above the eyebrows, the device emits a signal that produces a “tingling sensation on the skin.” “While the exact mechanism of eTNS is not yet known,” the FDA acknowledges, “neuroimaging studies have shown that eTNS increases activity in the brain regions that are known to be important in regulating attention, emotion, and behavior.”
If you’re like many people, you may have decided that you want to spend less time staring at your phone. It’s a good idea: an increasing body of evidence suggests that the time we spend on our smartphones is interfering with our sleep, self-esteem, relationships, memory, attention spans, creativity, productivity and problem-solving and decision-making skills. But there is another reason for us to rethink our relationships with our devices. By chronically raising levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, our phones may be threatening our health and shortening our lives. […] Also, try to notice what anxiety-induced phone cravings feel like in your brain and body — without immediately giving in to them. “If you practice noticing what is happening inside yourself, you will realize that you can choose how to respond,” says Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. “We don’t have to be at the mercy of algorithms that are promoting the fear of missing out.”
The Minds of Men - Full Interview of Dr. Breggin - YouTube
This is Peter R. Breggin’s interview with film makers Aaron and Melissa Dykes in the making of The Minds of Men, a documentary in which Dr. Breggin is featured. This is the whole unedited interview, presenting some of Peter Breggin’s most inspired and engaging discussions about his life’s work and shows what motivated him to become such an avid lifetime reformer. You will know him and understand his work much better after viewing this.
On MIA Radio this week, MIA’s Zenobia Morrill interviewed Dr. Vance Trudeau, a professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Dr. Trudeau describes a recent study he conducted, alongside a team of researchers, led by Dr. Marilyn Vera-Chang, that has implications for understanding of the long-term impact of antidepressant drug exposure (see MIA report). The study, titled “Transgenerational hypocortisolism and behavioral disruption are induced by the antidepressant fluoxetine in male zebrafish Danio rerio,” linked antidepressant exposure to decreased coping behaviors in zebrafish that lasted several generations. Dr. Trudeau is the research chair in neuroendocrinology at the University of Ottawa, where he studies how the brain regulates hormonal activity in fish and frogs. Such analyses offer important insights into the effects of environmental exposures on human health because these hormonal systems are shared across species.
Sadists with Agendas is the subject as Dr. Peter Breggin examines the motives behind psychiatric atrocities in segment VIII, the final part of his unedited interview filmed for use in the amazing blockbuster film, The Minds of Men, which features Dr. Breggin. Dr. Breggin shares his feelings, thoughts and actions surrounding one of the most important accomplishments of his career: his successful international campaign to stop the world-wide resurgence of brain-mutilating lobotomy and psychosurgery. In the several segments, he describes his response to learning the truth about the hidden, devastating impact on children and adults and his discovery of the racist and political ambitions of leading psychiatrists and neurosurgeons.
Meditation and mindfulness have been around for thousands of years. But the advent of smartphones and computers led to a new phenomenon: the mindfulness app. There are a few to choose from, including the punchy, assertive 10% Happier, the elegant and placid Calm and the first app that really brought mindfulness to our phones, Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk who went on to run a meditation clinic in London, met a new business partner, Richard Pierson, and launched Headspace in 2010. The company began as an events organisation and led to the now-ubiquitous app in 2012. On a smartphone or on a computer, users can listen to guided meditations, for instance, which vary in length from one minute to 20 minutes. They are focused on different topics, from stress to sleep, mindful eating to transforming anger. The app, which offers the first ten sessions for free and a subscription after that, has an appealing design with distinctive animations to introduce you to new techniques.
A young bank teller is shot dead during a robbery. The robber flees in a stolen van and is chased down the motorway by a convoy of police cars. Careening through traffic, the robber runs several cars off the road and clips several more. Eventually, the robber pulls off the motorway and attempts to escape into the hills on foot, the police in hot pursuit. After several tense minutes, the robber pulls a gun on the cops and is promptly killed in a hail of gunfire. It is later revealed the robber is a career criminal with a history of violent crime stretching all the way back to high school. Now tell me: Are you picturing a male or a female robber? If you look back at the last paragraph, you’ll notice that I didn’t actually specify the robber’s sex. Nonetheless, I’d be willing to bet that you were picturing a man. Don’t worry—you weren’t being sexist; you were simply playing the odds. Most men are not especially violent, but most people who are especially violent are men. And rare though they might be, men such as our fictitious robber are the extreme of a more general trend, namely that men are more violent than women, more in-your-face aggressive, and more prone to taking risks.
Mindfulness expert and psychologist Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., has heard multiple covers of that classic tune, and says it’s natural to feel that way at first. He likens learning to meditate to starting out on something that’s physically challenging, such as riding a bike. “When you practice over time, it gets easier,” says Goldstein, creator of the Mindful Living Collective, an online network of regular folks who practice mindfulness and work together to share what they’ve learned to help each other meet their personal goals. Just as you owned your neighborhood once you got the hang of pedaling, meditation, Goldstein says, “allows you to gain more confidence around managing your stress and emotions.”
Because PRN.fm is moving its NYC offices, there is no live show on Wednesday May 29th, which would usually be the Open Lines Wednesday to call in on all subjects. I will be replaying the August 9, 2018 show:
Where are all the young psychiatrists? Well, they are beginning to express themselves. My guest is psychiatrist Pinar Miski, MD, who teaches my live on-line course, “Why and How Stop Taking Psychiatric Drugs.” Pinar brings serious clinical experience as a psychiatric consultant on medical wards and also as a person knowledgeable in the field of nutrition. She offers a caring, straightforward and sound approach to helping people that may help you rediscover your faith in yourself. It may even put some healthy chinks in the psychiatric armor. This was Pinar’s first radio show ever and it was 5/5 stars.
Jeffrey Masson PhD. is an astonishing scholar and person who will be my guest on the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour Wednesday May 22 at 4 pm New York Time on www.prn.fm. Based on Freud’s personal correspondence, Jeff was the first to courageously disclose that the creator of psychoanalysis knew that many of his female patients had been sexually abused as children but hid the truth to protect his own professional status. After writing more good books critical of psychiatry and psychotherapy, Jeff went on to an astonishing career writing extraordinarily empathic books about animals, both domesticated and wild. He and I together also researched the role of psychiatry in Nazi Germany and presented on these topics in Cologne, Germany. At that time, we visited a dreary and frightening East Berlin shortly before the Berlin Wall came down. Jeff and I have so much to talk about that this show could range into all the most interesting nooks and crannies of human existence. The last time he was on the radio with me in 2015, he was so amazing that I did a series of four separate hours with him. I personally look forward to renewing my on-air visits with him.
Michael Cornwall, PhD, the great psychologist and humanitarian, is my guest on the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour live at 4 pm NY time on Wednesday May 15 on www.prn.fm. We will fume about Children, ADHD, psychiatric abuse, and the latest technological nightmare approved as a treatment by the FDA. For Michael and me, this new “treatment” is a horrible affliction on children. We feel outraged!
The May 8, 2019 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour was a landmark radio program to be listened in the show archives. This Saturday May 12 at noon in Toronto at Queens Park, there is a shock protest and a hunger strike taking place against ECT. This radio hour was happily given over to the protestors.
This amazing hour begins with my interviewing Bonnie Burstow, PhD, a leading Canadian, researcher, teacher and writer in criticizing psychiatric oppression. She is joined by Connie Neil, an 80-year-old Canadian shock survivor who plans to participate in the hunger strike. Stephen Ticktin, a Canadian psychiatrist and devoted international activist then comes on the air with us. He is followed by Don Weitz, a Canadian survivor of insulin coma shock, who has for decades been a leading psychiatric reformer. Each of them will be at the shock protest. Finally, we are joined by an anonymous American shock survivor.
Shock treatment is a crime against humanity that is defended by all the force that can be leveraged by psychiatry, including the shock and drug manufacturers, the psychiatric and medical associations, the media, federal insurance programs including Medicare, and the FDA.
From the human stories to the politics and the details about how shock causes damage—this is an extraordinary hour. It was for me also a great moment, having so many old friends and reform-minded colleagues together on the air.
When the show started, I had no idea how amazing it would become. It is disillusioning to hear that such a dreadful abuse as ECT has recently found FDA approval but it is inspiring to hear the progress being made in the courts, including my research and forensic work. Most inspiring is how survivors of shock treatment like Connie and Don, continue to fight back along with honorable professionals, like Bonnie and Stephen.
On my free ECT Resource Center, you can find out all you need to know about shock treatment which is more damaging in its modern form than it was decades ago, and it is making a comeback! Go to www.123ECT.com.
Interview VI of VIII, Dr. Breggin describes how Yale’s visiting professor, Jose Delgado, put caps on the heads of patients to stimulate their brain by remote control—and how Dr. Breggin’s reform work stopped all the Harvard/Yale experiments. When Dr. Breggin started his successful international campaign to stop psychosurgery in the early 1970s, he never imagined the mind-control aspirations and racist motivations espoused by key neurosurgeons and psychiatrists. […] For detailed descriptions of Peter and Ginger Breggin’s successful campaigns to stop federally-funded psychosurgical, eugenic and racist programs of behavioral control, see Psychiatry as an Instrument of Social and Political Control.
Before antidepressants, I was articulate and accomplished. I could think — I could do anything I set out to do. I was a banking executive living in a beautiful apartment in Boston’s Back Bay when a home invasion in 1985 prompted my doctor to prescribe antidepressants for PTSD. Just as my attacker slammed into me, SSRI antidepressants ambushed the neurotransmitters in my brain causing cognitive decline, severe anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal depression. They helped me function for a while, but the debilitating mental and physical side effects of antidepressants held me prisoner. I couldn’t “decide” to get off them. […] Antidepressants caused innumerable mental and physical problems. I merely subsisted from day-to-day trying to cope with what the drugs were doing to me. Uncontrollable high anxiety ruled, and I thought about suicide every day.
A very good Open Mic Wednesday, which takes place every last Wednesday of the month at 4 pm NY time. The number to call from anywhere is 888 874 4888. Today, calls varied from how to live life without drugs to surviving as a good therapist in professional communities that push drugs. I also talk about the secrets to life. The last Wednesday of the month focuses on callers, but you can call my talk radio show at 888 874 4888 at 4 pm NY time any Wednesday while you listen to the show on www.prn.fm or its app.
For decades neuroscience, like most research areas, overwhelmingly studied only males, assuming that everything fundamental to know about females would be learned by studying males. […] Gradually however, and inexorably, we neuroscientists are seeing just how profoundly wrong — and in fact disproportionately harmful to women — that assumption was, especially in the context of understanding and treating brain disorders. Any reader wishing to confirm what I am writing can easily start by perusing online the January/February 2017 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research, the first ever of any neuroscience journal devoted to the topic of sex differences in its entirety. All 70 papers, spanning the neuroscience spectrum, are open access to the public. […] Recognizing our obligation to carefully study sex influences in essentially all domains (not just neuroscience), the National Institute of Health on January 25, 2016 adopted a policy (called “Sex as a Biological Variable,” or SABV for short) requiring all of its grantees to seriously incorporate the understanding of females into their research. This was a landmark moment, a conceptual corner turned that cannot be unturned. But the remarkable and unprecedented growth in research demonstrating biologically-based sex influences on brain function triggered 5-alarm fire bells in those who believe that such biological influences cannot exist.
The share of U.S. adults reporting no sex in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018, underscoring a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people. But among the 23 percent of adults — or nearly 1 in 4 — who spent the year in a celibate state, a much larger than expected number of them were twentysomething men, according to the latest data from the General Social Survey. Experts who study Americans’ bedroom habits say there are a number of factors driving the Great American Sex Drought. Age is one of them: The 60 and older demographic climbed from 18 percent of the population in 1996 to 26 percent in 2018, according to the survey.
The share reporting no sex has consistently hovered around 50 percent, and because that age group is growing relative to everyone else, it has the net effect of reducing the overall population’s likelihood of having sex. […] Young men also are more likely to be living with their parents than young women: In 2014, for instance, 35 percent of men age 18 to 34 were living in their parents’ home, compared with 29 percent of women in that age group. At the risk of stating the obvious, “when you’re living at home it’s probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom,” Twenge said.
Nutritional psychiatrists counsel patients on how better eating may be another tool in helping to ease depression and anxiety and may lead to better mental health.
A study of more than 12,000 Australians published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 found that individuals who increased the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that they ate reported that they were happier and more satisfied with their life than those whose diets remained the same. […] Another study of 422 young adults from New Zealand and the United States showed higher levels of mental health and well-being for those who ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the same benefits did not accrue to those who ate canned fruits and vegetables. “We think this is due to the higher nutrient content of raw fruits and vegetables, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C, which are vulnerable to heat degradation,” said Tamlin Conner, a study author and senior lecturer at the University of Ota. One of the first randomized controlled trials to test whether dietary change may be effective in helping to treat depression was published in 2017. In the study, led by Felice Jacka, a psychiatric epidemiologist in Australia, participants who were coached to follow a Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks reported improvements in mood and lower anxiety levels. Those who received general coaching showed no such benefits.
Question Is exposure to air pollution associated with adolescent psychotic experiences? Findings In this nationally representative cohort study of 2232 UK-born children, significant associations were found between outdoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter and reports of psychotic experiences during adolescence. Moreover, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides together explained 60% of the association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences. Meaning The association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences is partly explained by the higher levels of outdoor air pollution in urban settings.
We’ve all heard the adage, Happy wife, happy life. And it turns out it may be true. A study led by a Rutgers University researcher found that a husband’s life satisfaction tended to be greater when his wife described their marriage as a happy one. But let’s take this adage one step further and ask an even more intriguing question: Can having a happy spouse (regardless of gender) not only lead to a happier life but a longer one as well? That is the question a researcher from the Netherlands recently set out to answer. In this study […] The first notable result was this: The life satisfaction of one’s spouse was associated with a significantly reduced risk of dying. Put simply, people with happy spouses (ones who would strongly agree with the statement “I am satisfied with my life”) lived longer than people with unhappy spouses. Importantly, this result remained regardless of the individual’s gender, ethnicity, education level, household income, or sexual orientation.
Researchers at Iowa State University suggest that being kind to others for just 12 minutes may do more to make ourselves feel better. “Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness and feelings of social connection,” says psychology professor Douglas Gentile, who worked on the new study appearing this week in the Journal of Happiness Studies. Gentile and his team asked student-participants to walk around the campus for 12 minutes, and were each assigned a different mood-boosting strategy. Some students were told to observe others around them and sincerely think to themselves, “I wish for this person to be happy” — called the “loving-kindness” strategy. Others were asked to consider their “interconnectedness” with others, perhaps through mutual friends or classes, or shared emotions. Finally, a third group was asked to make a “downward social comparison” by considering how they might be better than others around them. A control group was told to simply observe others noting appearance, fashion and demeanor, with no instruction on thoughts. Those who practiced loving-kindness and wished other well ended-up happier, more caring, and less anxious than the other groups after the 12 minutes. The interconnectedness group grew more empathetic and caring, while the downward social comparison technique showed no benefit. Indeed, they felt less empathetic, caring and connected than other groups.
A few years ago, Amy Lopes, a veteran fifth-grade teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, learned that teachers at her school could try a mindfulness and yoga training along with their students. Her immediate reaction: “What a bunch of baloney! I said, OK, I’ll try it, but it’s not going to work,” recalled Lopes, who teaches at the William D’Abate Elementary School. “But, within a couple weeks, I just let go and became a learner along with my students, and my whole world has changed.”
A great guest on the radio today on the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour: British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, a leader psychiatric reform in Great Britain and around the world. She will tell us about her psychiatric drug withdrawal project and professional reactions to it as well as potential harms from psychiatric drugs. We will both answer questions about psychiatry in the world today. The program starts at 4 pm NY time. Listen to our great conversation onwww.prn.fm, call in to speak with us at 888 874 4888, and listen to the archives on www.breggin.com.
For older men, faith may have more to do with hormones than the holiness of their lives. A study by researchers at McGill University in Canada found a possible connection between the levels of the sex hormones testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and how religious men are. These findings add to the growing evidence that religiosity is not exclusively influenced by childhood upbringing or psychological makeup; rather, physiological factors could be just as influential. […] “Religion influences a range of cultural and political patterns at the population level. Results from the current study indicate the latter may also have hormonal roots,” explains lead author Aniruddha Das in a news release. “There is therefore a need for conceptual models that can accommodate the dynamic interplay of psychosocial and neuroendocrine factors in shaping a person’s life cycle.”
Electronic books are convenient, but they may not be as beneficial for toddlers’ development as print books, according to a small study. Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found parents and toddlers interacted more when reading print books together. “Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.” […] That recommendation was echoed by authors of a related commentary who praised the study for being able to compare experiences within each parent-toddler pair and called for more research on electronic books. “In the meantime, pediatricians should help parents understand that enhancements often found in electronic books will not help child development as much as enhancements provided by parental interaction,” they wrote.
If there are superstar scholars, Berkeley professor Judith Butler is a superstar. She is best known for pioneering the idea that “male” and “female” are merely social constructs. […] I have debated this topic with followers of Butler and Fine in various settings. When I share with them research […] they more often claim that the research must be meaningless because it involved children or adults. […] So let’s study humans before birth. In recent years, there have been fascinating studies in which neuroscientists have studied the brains of babies in their mothers’ wombs. One remarkable study […] found that the biggest female/male difference in gene transcription in the human brain, for many genes, is in the prenatal period. […] if gendered differences in brain and behavior are primarily a social construct, and not hardwired — then we ought to see zero differences between the female brain and the male brain in the prenatal period […] Now we have another, even more, striking study of the human brain prior to birth. In this study, American researchers managed to do MRI scans of pregnant mothers in the second and third trimesters, with sufficient resolution to image the brains of the babies inside the uterus. They found dramatic differences between female and male fetuses. […] They note that others have found, for example, that female infants have significantly greater brain volume in the prefrontal cortex compared with males. They conclude that “It seems likely that these volumetric differences [found after birth] are mirrored by [the] differences observed in the present study.”