Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life as I Imagined...

Just Because....

Hello Everyone! I'm back. After months of hiatus, i'm writing something in my blog again. Nope, i'm not going to post some dramatic rhetoric about my rebirth or reawakening because i know it ain't. I am not going to throw out some piece about how i'll be a better, consistent, and hard-working blogger this time because i know it will be just another empty promise. What i am going to post is something just like this. I'm posting this.......... just because!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Soulmate: A Valentine's Special

Its that time of the year again when everything red, sweet, and "heartsy" becomes a precious commodity.

No, it is not Christmas time (although the descriptor above may seem fit). It is what every modern day "caveman"cringe of and what every modern day lothario grabs on.... no, it is not breast cancer awareness week... it is VALENTINES!

Valentines Day. A day were conflict and differences is set aside and love is supposed to overcome all things. And, to the singles, it is a day to set their quest in finding their soulmate.

oh... so sweet right? well, think again because here is what an expert have to say about the peril of valentine fever and how looking for a "soulmate" can actually be harmful to you.

* Below is an article taken from

Danger: Beware of the Soul Mate Fallacy
How a destiny mentality could hurt you.

There are seven billion people in the world and one soul mate out there somewhere for you to find, right?

Research has quite clearly shown that a strong belief in destiny can actually be harmful to you and your relationship. Here's why. Having the mentality of believing that you've found your soul mate is related to all kinds of unhealthy thinking about your love life.

Let's illustrate. You fall in love and start a relationship. Relationships have processes and phases that they tend to follow. Infatuated love (when most of your time is spent thinking about that special person) will most likely only last a number of months(1). What really matters is what happens next!

How will you react when your soul mate starts looking a bit less perfect?

People who hold strong beliefs in destiny are prone to lose interest much faster in their partner and prone to give up much easier when the relationship looks a bit less rosy(2). Why? Look at it this way - if you believe that "we're either meant to be together or we're not" then you're more likely to see negative things in your relationship as an indicator that perhaps that "special one" actually isn't yourtrue soul mate after all. Perhaps you were simply mistaken: if you were meant for one another, then why should you have to work so hard at your relationship?

Do you have a 'work it through' mentality?

Are you the type of person who naturally faces hardships with a "work it through" mentality? In other words, do you see the good things and the bad things as equally part of the process of life? All relationships will go through hardship, and it's how you respond to that hardship that matters. The best predictor of whether your relationship will succeed in the long term is how you resolve disagreements(3). Research shows that people in relationships who have a "work it through" mentality will cope much better when trials come and that the relationship will stand a better chance of long-term survival(4).

My advice.

* Ask yourself what kind of general view you have: do you believe that things are either meant to happen or not OR do you believe that things happen as a consequence of how much effort and hard work you put in? Try to realize what you can control and what you can't. Understand that to get really good at anything (including relationships), thousands of hours of practice are needed.

* Start looking at "working on your relationship" as romantic! There is no predetermined soul mate waiting to be found. That said, over time, you can certainly experience the feeling of a specific person being your soul mate. That feeling comes from working on the relationship, compromising, and learning to understand your partner very well.

* Beware of the Soul Mate Fallacy. People who believe in fate are likely to also believe that a partner can read one's mind without the communication of needs ("if he's my soul mate, he'll understand what I need"), that men and women are extremely different in their relationship needs (not consistent with relationship science), or that sex in a relationship will always be good (evidence shows that sex will change as a relationship changes; a good sex life needs to be nourished and needs continous practice).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Depress? Stop Playing Video Games.

A Recent study has supported popular belief that playing too much video games may lead to the development psychological disorders.

Read the Article from Yahoo:

MONDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Video game addiction among children and teens may lead to the development of psychological disorders such as depression, researchers say.

The new study found that children who are more likely to become addicted to video games (which the researchers call "pathological" video gaming) are those who spend a lot of hours playing these games, have trouble fitting in with other kids and are more impulsive than children who aren't addicted. Once addicted to video games, children were more likely to become depressed, anxious or have other social phobias. Not surprisingly, children who were hooked on video games also saw their school performance suffer.

"What we've known from other studies is that video gaming addiction looks similar to other addictions. But what wasn't clear was what comes before what. Gaming might be a secondary problem. It might be that kids who are socially awkward, who aren't doing well in school, get depressed and then lose themselves into games. We haven't really known if gaming is important by itself, or what puts kids at risk for becoming addicted," said Douglas A. Gentile, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University in Ames.

Not only did the study reveal risk factors for pathological gaming, "the real surprise came from looking at the outcomes, because we had assumed depression might be the real problem," explained Gentile. "But we found that in kids who started gaming pathologically, depression and anxiety got worse. And, when they stopped gaming, the depression lifted. It may be that these disorders [co-exist], but games seem to make the problem worse."

Results of the study were released online and will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

The study included 3,034 children and teens from Singapore; 743 were in 3rd grade, 711 in 4th grade, 916 in 7th grade and 664 in 8th grade. The children came from six primary schools and six secondary schools. Five of the schools participating were all-boys' schools. Almost 2,200 of the study participants were male.

The children -- although not their parents or teachers -- were surveyed annually from 2007 through 2009.

Eighty-three percent of the study volunteers reported playing video games sometimes, and another 10 percent said they had played video games in the past. The average time spent playing video games was around 20.5 to 22.5 hours a week.

But, Gentile pointed out, "A lot of video gaming isn't the same as an addiction. Some kids can play a lot without having an effect on their lives. It's when you see other areas of your child's life suffer that it may be addiction. Parents might notice that a child doesn't have the same friends any more, or that he's just sitting in his room playing video games all the time. Or, there might be a drop in school performance," he said.

In this study about 9 percent of the children surveyed qualified as being pathological video gamers, and Gentile said that number is fairly consistent with the U.S. population's rate of pathological gaming.

Playing video games more than 30 hours a week, lack of social competence, less-than-average empathy and greater impulsivity all contributed to the addiction, the researchers found.

Gentile said the researchers aren't sure how gaming is contributing to depression, anxiety and other social phobias, but in this study, "the gaming precedes the depression. We don't know if it's truly causal, but gaming has an effect on its own, and you can't just ignore gaming and treat depression," he said.

Although pathological video gaming appears to share a number of characteristics with other addictive behaviors, such as pathological gambling, the researchers noted that "pathological gaming" is not yet an established psychological disorder.

"Getting highly involved with video games can become addicting, and parents need to be cautious about how many hours kids play," said Dr. Richard Gallagher, director of the Parenting Institute at the New York University Child Study Center in New York City.

"In this study, it looks like kids with less than 19 hours a week didn't get involved in pathological gaming, so no more than two hours a day," he suggested.

But Gallagher also emphasized that time spent playing is less important than the effect that gaming is having on your child. "If they're attracted to games so much so that they don't get involved in other things, or they talk about gaming and don't talk about anything else, there may be a problem," he said.

Both Gallagher and Gentile said the finding that video games can lead to poorer school performance is likely due to the time spent gaming. "Gaming is taking away time that could be spent on activities that have educational benefit," Gentile said.

Gentile also recommends no more than two hours a day of "screen time," in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics' guidelines. And, screen time includes TV, computer, video games and even the newest music players and smart phones that have computer-like capabilities.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Headline news on Autism and Vaccination link.

The debate over the Vaccine and Autism link is once again up as todays headline at Yahoo reads:

LONDON – The first study to link a childhood vaccine to autism was based on doctored information about the children involved, according to a new report on the widely discredited research.

The conclusions of the 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was renounced by 10 of its 13 authors and later retracted by the medical journal Lancet, where it was published. Still, the suggestion the MMR shot was connected to autism spooked parents worldwide and immunization rates for measles, mumps and rubella have never fully recovered.

A new examination found, by comparing the reported diagnoses in the paper to hospital records, that Wakefield and colleagues altered facts about patients in their study.

The analysis, by British journalist Brian Deer, found that despite the claim in Wakefield's paper that the 12 children studied were normal until they had the MMR shot, five had previously documented developmental problems. Deer also found that all the cases were somehow misrepresented when he compared data from medical records and the children's parents.

Wakefield could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls and requests to the publisher of his recent book, which claims there is a connection between vaccines and autism that has been ignored by the medical establishment. Wakefield now lives in the U.S. where he enjoys a vocal following including celebrity supporters like Jenny McCarthy.

Deer's article was paid for by the Sunday Times of London and Britain's Channel 4 television network. It was published online Thursday in the medical journal, BMJ.

In an accompanying editorial, BMJ editor Fiona Godlee and colleagues called Wakefield's study "an elaborate fraud." They said Wakefield's work in other journals should be examined to see if it should be retracted.

Last May, Wakefield was stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain. Many other published studies have shown no connection between the MMR vaccination and autism.

But measles has surged since Wakefield's paper was published and there are sporadic outbreaks in Europe and the U.S. In 2008, measles was deemed endemic in England and Wales.


If this is true, then id be damn. I spent my nth year doing (or not doing) my thesis just because i found myself in an impasse but then there goes Mr. Wakefield announcing to the whole world about his incredible discovery when it was actually manipulated.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Loose the Amygdala and never fear again.

Recent studies on one of the most important part of he limbic system, the amygdala, found that these little almond shaped organs located within each side of the temporal lobes can actually have a significant impact on future treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other anxiety conditions.

In an article released last week, a group of scientist from the University of Iowa described of a female adult patient who had an extremely uncommon condition in which her amygdala was destroyed. The patient was not able to experience fear, even after being placed in situations she once loathe of (haunted house, having snakes and spiders placed near her, watching horror films, and talking about life-threatening things). The researchers believe that the reason for her lack of fear was that her amygdala did not function.

The amygdala is known to play a key role in triggering fear reactions, as various studies have concluded. These studies, however, are done on animals. "This study is the first to show that it is also the case in humans," wrote the authors. Daniel Tranel, Ph.D, senior study author, states that their findings may impact how health care professionals will treat patients with PTSD and anxiety disorder. Tranel wrote:
    "This finding points us to a specific brain area that might underlie PTSD. Psychotherapy and medications are the current treatment options for PTSD and could be refined and further developed with the aim of targeting the amygdala."
Lead study author, Justin Feinstein, believes that safe and non-invasive ways of diminishing amygdala activity might prove effective in treating PTSD patients.Feinstein said:
    "This past year, I've been treating veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD. Their lives are marred by fear, and they are oftentimes unable to even leave their home due to the ever-present feeling of danger. In striking contrast, the patient in this study is immune to these states of fear and shows no symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The horrors of life are unable to penetrate her emotional core. In essence, traumatic events leave no emotional imprint on her brain."
    "Taken together, these findings suggest that the human amygdala is a pivotal area of the brain for triggering a state of fear. While the patient is able to experience other emotions, such as happiness and sadness, she is unable to feel fear. This suggests that the brain is organized in such a way that a specific brain region - the amygdala - is specialized for processing a specific emotion - fear."
    "Without our amygdala, the alarm in our brain that pushes us to avoid danger is missing. The patient approaches the very things she should be avoiding, yet, strikingly, appears to be totally aware of the fact that she should be avoiding these things. It is quite remarkable that she is still alive."
"The Human Amygdala and the Induction and Experience of Fear"
Justin S. Feinsteinsend, Ralph Adolphs, Antonio Damasio, Daniel Tranel
Current Biology, 16 December 2010. 10.1016/j.cub.2010.11.042

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pacemaker for the Brain

I was surfing about health and mental illnesses when i found an interesting article from It is about a new method for treating depression. It is still in its experimental phase though.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) using implants is an emerging research frontier in psychiatry and neuromedicine. DBS technique blocks tremors using implants in brain has already been tried on Parkinson’s patients. More than 40,000 Parkinson’s patients worldwide have these implants and have shown positive results. Now scientists are exploring options to manipulate brain circuits with these implants for other illnesses such as chronic depression and obsessive compulsive disorder as well. The idea is to explore whether these implants can act as antidepressant by changing how the basic brain circuitry fires in patients with severe untreatable symptoms.

The brain is a complex and exciting area of research. Mental illnesses such as severe depression and obsessive compulsion disorder have challenged psychiatrists for decades. Chances of cure by medicinal and surgical intervention are thin for many patients. So brain pace-makers, if they do give positive results, will give hope for many to return to normal life. Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS using implants for treating mental illnesses is still in an initial experimental state. Results are being monitored closely.

Human Brain is a sensitive complex area for invasive research. In Parkinson’s affected brain areas have been mapped and wire implants are inserted in particular thalamus area. But such areas are yet to be identified and marked in other mental illnesses. Scientists do have a fair idea and are exploring focus areas for depression patients. But such research, which is largely funded by implant manufacturers and with little government intervention, is totally like blind men exploring an elephant. Manipulating nerve circuits in brain can have immense unimaginable behavourial side effects. Each brain is uniquely wired which makes all of distinct individuals. Scientists must tread carefully. DBS cannot be called successful and viable unless psychiatric patients show marked improvement. Experiments till now have shown patients do respond to the treatment but they are far from cured. These experimental studies are being carried out by teams at the Cleveland Clinic, Brown University, and Belgium’s University of Leuven.