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Archive for June, 2011

 

By John M. Grohol, PsyD
Founder & Editor-in-Chief


Lots of people experience panic attacks. For some people, it can get so bad that they also get agoraphobia — the fear of leaving one’s house. So I’m happy to introduce Panic About Anxiety with Summer Beretsky, a blog that will explore panic, agoraphobia and even topics about general anxiety in upcoming entries.


If you’re not familiar with Summer, you can check out her archives at the World of Psychology blog. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Communication. She enjoys writing about her experiences with anxiety, panic, and Paxil. She contributes to the World of Psychology blog here on PsychCentral and has written for the Los Angeles Times. You can follow her on Twitter @summerberetsky. You can read more about her here.


We’re happy to have Summer join the Psych Central Blog Network. Please give her a warm welcome over on the new blog now, Panic About Anxiety.


Source:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/06/24/introducing-panic-about-anxiety/




 

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011) — People with Asperger syndrome have problems with social interaction and attentiveness, and are also sensitive to noise and light. Several of these characteristics were evident to parents during their child’s first two years, reveals Petra Dewrang’s thesis in psychology at the University of Gothenburg.


In her thesis, Dewrang investigated how individuals with Asperger syndrome aged 14-24 perceive themselves relative to their diagnosis. The thesis is based on interviews, tests and self-evaluations. A questionnaire for parents also resulted in important descriptions of these individuals’ behaviour and development from infancy onwards.


The results show first and foremost that the similarities are greater than the differences when the Asperger group and the comparison group describe their lives.


“But the differences that do exist are vital for understanding how people with Asperger syndrome stand the best chance of getting by,” says Dewrang.


The Asperger group were as content with themselves and their lives as the comparison group.


But they found it harder to build relationships with other people, and their plans for the future were less “adventurous.” Parents and siblings were more present in their lives than is normal for this age group, even after they had left home. On the other hand, they were just as good at social cognition as the comparison group when they had to explain why the key person in a story reacted in a certain way. However, the ability to theoretically understand other peoples’ thoughts and feelings are not always enough for making friends in real life.


Journal Reference:


  1. 1. Dewrang, P. & Dahlgren Sandberg, A. Repetitive behaviour and obsessive-compulsive features in Asperger syndrome: Parental and self-reports. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1176-1186

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111850.htm



 

Today, on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day, we recognize the millions of Americans who suffer from this debilitating condition. PTSD affects a wide range of people, from new mothers to our country’s service men and women.


PTSD affects about 5.2 million adult Americans, but women are more likely than men to develop it. PTSD occurs after an individual experiences a terrifying event such as an accident, an attack, military combat, or a natural disaster. Some people recover a few months after the event, but other people will suffer lasting or chronic PTSD.


HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a variety of resources to help people who suffer from PTSD and to help their families and friends better understand and deal with trauma and its aftermath.


We have a responsibility to help Americans who have lived through trauma, especially our nation’s service men and women who may be dealing with PTSD. We owe them the care and resources they need to get well.


One of our key programs is our partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide military veterans and service members, along with their families, assistance with the effects of PTSD through the confidential toll-free Veterans Crisis Hotline, a service that also offers support through a confidential one-on-one online chat service.


Read in Full:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/229767.php



Mr Peabody's Apples (Puffin Picture Story Books)

 

Simple fact. Most of what we needed to know to succeed in business we learned on the playground, but now ignore or forget.


Here are 7 childrens’ books that will teach you as much as any 7 bestselling business books about what it takes to succeed in business…and life. And, unlike most business books, they’re short and sweet, have large type and pictures.


1. The Lorax – On respecting people and natural resources along the way.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not….


Now all that was left ‘neath the bad-smelling sky was my big empty factory…


the Lorax… and I.


The Lorax said nothing just gave me a glance. Just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance.


He lifted himself by the seat of his pants and I’ll never forget the grim look on his face as he hoisted himself and took leave of this place through a hole in the smog without leaving a trace and all that the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks with one word.


UNLESS”



2. Winnie the Pooh – On the power of simplicity and serving needs.

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””


“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”


“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”


“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”


“Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.”



3. The Little Prince – On the role of compassion and intuition.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”


“Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”


“All men have the stars,” he answered, “but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them–“



4. Where the Wild Things Are – On the dance between quest, emotion, fear and solace. But one of the biggest business lessons—perseverance—comes from what happened to the book when it first came out.

“According to Sendak, at first the book was banned in libraries and received negative reviews. It took about two years for librarians and teachers to realize that children were flocking to the book, checking it out over and over again, and for critics to relax their views. Since then, it has received high critical acclaim. Francis Spufford suggests that the book is ‘one of the very few picture books to make an entirely deliberate, and beautiful, use of the psychoanalytic story of anger.’ Mary Pols of Time magazine wrote that ‘[w]hat makes Sendak’s book so compelling is its grounding effect: Max has a tantrum and in a flight of fancy visits his wild side, but he is pulled back by a belief in parental love to a supper ‘still hot,’ balancing the seesaw of fear and comfort.'” – Wikipedia.



5. The Giving Tree – On giving without expectation of reciprocation.

Ben Jackson, professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University shared: “Is this a sad tale? Well, it is sad in the same way that life is depressing. We are all needy, and, if we are lucky and any good, we grow old using others and getting used up. Tears fall in our lives like leaves from a tree. Our finitude is not something to be regretted or despised, however; it is what makes giving (and receiving) possible.


The more you blame the boy, the more you have to fault human existence. The more you blame the tree, the more you have to fault the very idea of parenting. Should the tree’s giving be contingent on the boy’s gratitude? If it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed.”


Read in Full:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/awake-the-wheel/201106/the-7-childrens-book-mba



 

A neurobiologist explores the amazing capacity of the brain to rewire itself at any age.


 

Article Date: 30 Jun 2011 – 2:00 PDT


Millions of people with severe, treatment-resistant depression could get their lives back by adding an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin to their anti-depressant medication, a leading consortium of UK researchers in biological psychiatry, the Psychiatric Research into Inflammation, Immunity and Mood Effects (PRIME), reported at the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Brighton.


Dr Carmine Pariante, Reader in Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, told the Congress that a series of studies published over the last five years now provides sufficiently clear evidence to justify the use of anti inflammatory drugs alongside antidepressant medication.


“This is the first new approach to antidepressant medication for more than 20 years. Despite the urgent need for better drugs for this devastating and disabling disorder, we’ve only had me-too drugs since Prozac, the first SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) was licensed.”


It’s well known that long-term illness is a trigger for depression and that people who suffer from these chronic disorders also have high levels of inflammatory markers known as cytokines. These links have now been shown by clinical trials carried out by PRIME researchers from Brighton, Glasgow and Bristol as well as King’s College, London.


Read in Full:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/230065.php



David Downes artwork of St. Pancras

 

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Revered architectural artist David Downes brings London’s iconic St Pancras to life from an imagined bird’s eye view and working in vivid BiC® Cristal®


Contact:
Quickstep PR: Stephanie Bretherton
020 7485 4832 / stephanie@qspr.com


– Commissioned by The National Autistic Society (NAS), this astonishing work is by an artist with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism and will be auctioned in aid of the NAS.
– NOW LIVE: Public online auction bidding at http://auction.andersonfoundation.co.uk open from June 13th to July 8th
– Artwork unveiling ceremony with the artist, David Downes, on July 7th 6-8pm at Wragge & Co, 3 Waterhouse Square, 142 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW. (By invitation only. Press wishing to attend please RSVP to rsvp@qspr.com)
– The Artwork can be viewed by the public at the offices of Go Figurative, 1 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7DQ by appointment only. Contact David Downes’ agent: sallyperry@gofigurative.com T: 0207 956 2819
– Auction held at the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball in aid of the National Autistic Society, at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, July 9th


David Downes is an artist with a distinctive and extraordinary talent. Not only highly technically skilled, David also has a ‘visionary’ gift – he is able to look from ground level at a city scape and mentally visualise the view from the rooftops with mind-boggling architectural accuracy. But it’s not just the perspective he gets so remarkably right and is able to translate to the canvas by working from memory, it’s the mood, the ambience, the character of the location.


A long time London resident and graduate of the Royal College of Art, David has an instinctive connection to the city – and its skylines are one of his favourite subjects. The St. Pancras pen-painting is not only the first artwork to capture the recently renovated landmark, it’s one of the most moving expressions of this beloved building within its setting.


David, who is represented by art business GoFigurative.com, was commissioned to create the image for the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball in aid of The National Autistic Society, which will be held at the newly opened St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. David, through his own understanding of Asperger syndrome, was particularly inspired to work in support of the NAS. Choosing to create the image in a very particular medium, David was sponsored for this piece by leading stationery supplier BIC and the drawing is mainly rendered using the BiC® Cristal® (which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year) to magnificent effect.


The historic, red-brick building was originally designed and built by foremost Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, opening as the Midland Grand Hotel in 1873. Its Victorian Gothic splendours have recently been revived with a £200 million pound restoration with the building now comprising 67 private, residential apartments on the upper floors of the building and a luxurious new 245 bedroom hotel, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, on the lower floors. The opening of the hotel also marks the completion of the regeneration of St Pancras International Station, now the home of Eurostar.


David was delighted by the commission and the process for several reasons: “As an artist with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism, I have been involved with The National Autistic Society for many years and when they commissioned me to draw the St. Pancras Renaissance for the Anderson Foundation Summer Ball, I was inspired and excited, as having the resources available to draw this magnificent building has long been a dream of mine. Seeing my drawing develop has been very fulfilling, and by using a BiC® Cristal®, I am able to create the effect I want to achieve. I have been using BIC pens for a long time in my drawings, and so I am very proud that BIC has been generous enough to sponsor this piece. Working in ball point pen is challenging as it can’t be erased, but also good fun as they help to create a continuous flow when drawing.”


The picture, which is 100cm x 145cm and framed with UV glass to prevent light damage, will be unveiled during a private reception for the artist on July 7th at international law firm Wragge & Co’s London office (Waterhouse Square, Holborn), and then auctioned at The Anderson Foundation Summer Ball at The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel on 9th July in aid of The National Autistic Society. Founder of The Anderson Foundation, Mark Anderson is positive that the drawing will generate significant interest and will increase the number of bidders by opening it up to a wider market via an online preview. Bids can be made via the web site up to 5pm on the 8th July, and will be carried over to the live auction taking place the following evening: http://auction.andersonfoundation.co.uk


Delighted, once again to be raising much needed funds for the National Autistic Society in 2011, Mark Anderson said: “This is the third fundraiser that the Anderson Foundation has hosted on behalf of the National Autistic Society and we are thrilled that David has given his time and expertise to produce this outstanding piece of art for us to auction. The dedication and enthusiasm of the entire team at the NAS is clearly apparent and we know that every penny of the funds raised will be put to good use by the charity.”


The artwork will be available to view by the interested public, by appointment only, from June 17th to July 8th, during office hours at, 1 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7DQ.
Contact David Downes’ agent: sallyperry@gofigurative.com T: 0207 956 2819


Read in Full:

http://www.responsesource.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=65415



 

French blamed for measles outbreak in Britain as cases across Europe soar by 550% in a year

 

  • *Families holidaying on the continent could be spreading the illness
  • *496 confirmed cases in England and Wales between January and May
  • *MMR jab not preventing the increase in the disease

 

By Sophie Borland

Last updated at 7:07 PM on 24th June 2011


Measles rates in Britain are more than five times higher than last year prompting concerns that an epidemic is spreading across Europe.


There have been nearly 500 cases so far since January – mainly in children and university students – compared to the same period in 2010 when there were just 90 cases. The figure is more an increase of 550 per cent.


Health officials believe the disease is being spread by families holidaying on the continent, particularly France, which is currently in the grip of a major epidemic.


Cases have soared in Britain in recent despite the fact the numbers of children being given the MMR vaccine has also increased.


Figures show that 90 per cent of toddlers have had the jab – the highest level since the MMR scandal of the late 1990s when a study claimed the vaccine caused autism.


The outbreak is believed to have started in France where there have been at least 7,000 cases so far this year. Across Europe there have so far been more than 11,000 cases.


The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 496 confirmed cases in England and Wales between January and May.


But this is likely to be an underestimate as many cases will not have been reported.


The illness is highly infectious and will spread very quickly in schools, nurseries and university halls of residences if high numbers haven’t been vaccinated.


Health officials believe that children are catching the disease in holiday clubs and campsites in Europe and then bringing it back to school.


At one small private school near near Newton Abbott, Devon, nearly a third of pupils have been struck down.


So far 20 of the 70 children attending Sands school, a small secondary school in Ashburton have caught measles this year and letters have been sent home to parents warning them about symptoms and the importance of being vaccinated.


Dr Mary Ramsay, head of the immunisation department at the HPA, said: ‘We’re very encouraged to see that UK MMR uptake has reached 90 per cent in children aged two indicating increasing levels of trust by parents in the immunisation programme. We’re on the way to reaching our goal of 95 per cent uptake.


Read in Full:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2007849/Fears-measles-epidemic-sweeping-Europe-number-cases-soars-550-year.html?ito=feeds-newsxml



Parliament, UK

 

The assessment for a new benefit for disabled people will be piloted among adults with autism, the Government has announced. The Government is looking for volunteers to take part in this process.


In March this year, we launched our Who Benefits? campaign in response to the Government’s proposed reforms to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Among the proposed reforms is the replacement in 2013 of adult DLA with a benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


One of the key demands of Who Benefits? is that the assessment for PIP be fair and accessible for adults with autism. The Government has therefore asked us to find volunteers to test the draft criteria for the new benefit.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering in this important process, please email policy@nas.org.uk (Note: The NAS is not directly involved in the testing.) We need to submit the names of potential volunteers by the end of June.


The campaign so far


Over 3,000 of you emailed your MP about Who Benefits? We organised for a group of people with autism and parents to meet with their MPs to talk about their concerns with the reforms, and have also met with a range of MPs and peers to brief them on the changes. A debate on the impact of the changes on people with autism was even held in the House of Lords.


As a result, the Government Minister for Disabilities, Maria Miller, has made the following commitments:

 

  • *Not everyone will have to go through a face-to-face assessment for the new benefit, if this is inappropriate. We are trying to find out what criteria would be applied to determine who would be exempt from a face-to-face assessment.
  • *Assessors will receive appropriate training. We will be pressing further to ensure that assessors have a comprehensive understanding of autism.
  • *Advocates/parents/carers can attend the face-to-face assessment as well and contribute.

 
We will continue to work to ensure that the criteria for PIP cover the needs of people with autism.


We will also continue to work closely with other organisations to press the Government to reverse the proposal to abolish the mobility component of DLA/PIP for those in residential care, an issue which has been widely debated in Parliament.


Source:

http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/news-from-the-nas/campaign-win-on-dla-reforms.aspx





On Saturday 9 July, the Anderson Foundation is hosting a magnificent summer ball in the stunning new St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, with The National Autistic Society as the chosen beneficiary.


As part of the evening’s fundraising activities, there will be a grand auction with a prize to suit every interest. Even if you cannot attend the event itself, you can view and bid online now.


Lots include:


  • *a sleepover in Hamleys
  • *an original drawing of the Renaissance St. Pancras in Bic by artist David Downes
  • *tickets to a Take That gig
  • *Paddock Club tickets to the 2012 SIlverstone Grand Prix

 
The Anderson Foundation has supported the NAS by way of hosting two fundraisers, the first a Gala Dinner at The Dorchester and more recently a Christmas Luncheon at Plaisterer’s Hall, together raising over £260,000.


The National Autistic Society is proud to once again be the Anderson Foundation’s chosen beneficiary, working in partnership to ensure children, young people and adults with autism continue to receive the very best in specialist support which, as the UK’s leading autism charity, we are able to provide.


Source:

http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/news-from-the-nas/grand-auction-raises-funds-for-nas.aspx