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May 2011



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Archive for May 5th, 2011


By Therese J. Borchard
Associate Editor

Stress is like dark chocolate. A little of it won’t kill you. In fact, small blocks here and there can be good for you, or at least give you a reason to get of bed in the morning.

But chronic and severe stress can damage your body and mind, blocking the fluid communication to and from most organs — especially in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and in the limbic system, the brain’s emotional center. Believe me, you want these two systems–much like the House and Senate — running as smoothly as possible, with low levels of the delinquent stress hormones in your bloodstream.

Which is why I have handy some tress busters. I use an average of five a day. Today I’m using all ten. Here they are, and good luck!

1. Simplify.

Cut your to-do list in half. How? Ask yourself this question after every item: Will I die tomorrow if this doesn’t get accomplished? I’m guessing you’ll get a lot of no’s. I’m sure Franklin Covey has a more efficient and elaborate system. But here’s mine: Every morning I immediately jot down my to-do list. Once I experience the first heart palpitation, the list gets cut in half.

2. Prioritize.

Let’s say you’ve got five huge work projects due next week, two Cub Scout commitments you promised your son, your mom’s overdue taxes on your desk, your wife’s 40th birthday celebration to plan, and your sister’s computer to fix. What do you do? You record all the tasks on a sheet of paper or on your computer and you give each one a number between 1 and 10: 10 being the most important (life threatening) to one (stupid bloody thing I signed up for). Start with the 10s. If you never get beyond the 8s, that’s okay!

3. Use pencil, not pen.

If you rely on your to-do list as much as I do, then you’ll want to start using pencil instead of pen. Because one important stress buster is to try to stay as flexible as you can. Things change! And change is not our enemy, even though our brain categorizes it as such. You want to be able to erase a task or reminder at any time, because who the heck knows what your day will be like.

4. Give away your cape.

If you haven’t already guessed by now, you are not a superpower and don’t possess supernatural qualities and capabilities. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to join the race … the human race. Which means surrendering to limitations and conditions–like the number of hours in a day (24) and the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B. In your car. Not in your bat mobile.

5. Collaborate and cooperate.

There are lots of people out there with to-do lists that look very similar to yours. Why not let them do some of your tasks so that you all don’t have to do them? The moms around me have mastered this concept, as they have set up a babysitting co-op: one mom volunteers to watches a neighbor’s kid and by doing so earns babysitting points that she can redeem when a neighbor watches her kids. In the blogging world, I have begun to collaborate with some other mental-health writers so that we all don’t have to scan the same media outlets for depression-related stories. If I catch something I send it to them, and vice versa. It’s an effective system.

6. Laugh.

Just as chronic and severe stress can damage organic systems in our body, humor can heal. When people laugh, the autonomic nervous system mellows out and the heart is allowed to relax. Laughter can also boost the immune system, as it has been found to increase a person’s ability to fight viruses and foreign cells, and reduce the levels of three stress hormones: cortisol, epinephrine, and dopac. Plus it’s just fun to laugh. And having fun is it’s own stress buster.

Read in Full: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/04/28/10-quick-stress-busters/


By Brandi-Ann Uyemura
Associate Editor

Health psychologists have a dual mission: to help prevent mental and physical illness and disease and to promote healthy living. From cancer to diabetes, health psychologists deal with a wide variety of issues underlying physical illness and chronic disease. According to Maureen Lyon, Ph.D, clinical health psychologist and associate research professor in pediatrics at George Washington University, health psychologists use their knowledge to “enhance the quality of life of individuals.”

Interestingly, much of what health psychologists teach (deep breathing, mindfulness, stress reduction, etc.) works for everyone. Our fast-paced life and increased dependency on technology often results in disconnection, stress and lack of sleep, which all wreak havoc on our health. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take today to begin living a healthier life.

Here, two health psychologists offer tips for living more happily, peacefully and mindfully.

  1. 1. Breathe deeply. Want to do something in the next five minutes that will change your life? Breathe deeply. Clinical health psychologist Amanda Withrow, Ph.D said that unconsciously “we breathe into our chest.”

  2. 2. The way we should be breathing, however, is diaphragmatically. “Diaphragmatic breathing is slow, deep breathing into our bellies.” It is an important stress management tool and great because it’s free, can be done anywhere and at any time. “What’s really cool these days is that there are smartphone applications that can guide you through deep breathing and help you to practice properly.” In fact, one of our World of Psychology bloggers, Summer Beretsky, covered three of them here.

  3. 3. Give and get a hug. According to Lyon, “Give and receive four hugs a day.” Why? Research shows that hugging makes you live longer. Human beings need touch. It “soothes and calms us,” Lyon said. “It brings down that reactive arousal system that can get activated when we feel threatened in any way and especially in stressful situations.” And hugs don’t have to be just of the human type — dogs and cats count too.

  4. 4. Be mindful. Forget about that mounting to-do list, the fight you had with your best pal, or your Facebook update or Twitter account. Take time out to get back to the present moment. Withrow uses this exercise to help patients be more mindful. She asks them to list five things they see, hear, feel, smell or taste. Doing this helps pause worrying and refocuses attention on the present moment.Another way Withrow suggests we be more mindful is by paying attention to our inner dialogue. A lot of our thoughts are like the acronym for FEAR: false evidence appearing real. If you can learn to be mindful of your thoughts and think more objectively, it can have a positive impact on your behavior and your life.

  5. 5. Stop the cruel talk. What’s one way you can start being kinder to yourself? Learn to be more self-compassionate. “I think this whole thing about being cruel to oneself, judgmental, attacking one’s self is really endemic in our culture and is really a problem,” said Lyon. And it is not indicative of how much money you have, the house you own or your job. People in other cultures who are not financially wealthy have more social support and are nicer to themselves and each other. Why? Because of the thoughts and beliefs they have about themselves.Lyon said that negative thinking about one’s self is a contributing factor to a lot of depression and anxiety. Depression is often anger turned back onto one’s self. Labeling and name-calling yourself stupid, for example, can have a negative impact on your life. Health psychologists like Lyon work with people to “stop the war with themselves” through helping individuals recognize negative self-talk when it happens and showing them the link with depressive symptoms.

  6. 6. Create your own family of choice. You cannot control the family you’ve been given. But you can create your own. Lyon said that she has many clients who come from a difficult childhood where family members were abusive, physically dangerous and emotionally harmful. She said longitudinal studies show people who have been humiliated, abused or neglected “are at a much higher risk of dying at a younger age and developing a complex chronic condition.”So how do you reap the benefits of having a supportive family if your own family continues to be abusive or toxic? Create your own. Find friends and even older people who can act as parental figures for you. “Rather than encouraging you to, let’s say, drink to excess or use drugs, they would actually support you making healthier choices for yourself. Instead of holding you up for ridicule, this would actually be about doing something good for yourself.”

  7. 7. Love yourself and then love your neighbor. In their pre-flight instructions, flight attendants demonstrate how to use the oxygen mask if needed, and tell passengers to put on their own mask first before helping others with theirs. The same applies to self-care.“It’s a distortion to think that self-care is selfish,” Lyon said. Realistically, you will not be able to help anyone else unless you first take care of yourself.

  8. 8. Take care of your physical health. This may be a shocker, but Lyon said that the optimum recommendation for physical activity (including aerobic exercise and strength training) is 90 minutes a day. That might seem overwhelming for most. But the good news is that 20 minutes three times a week or ten thousand steps a day is enough to help you increase longevity.

Read in Full: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/04/25/10-tips-for-healthy-living/


By Jennifer Gibson, PharmD | Editor Shaheen E Lakhan

Headache disorders can be painful and debilitating conditions. Ranging from infrequent tension-type headaches to cluster headaches to migraines, headaches affect nearly every individual at one time or another. Pain – particularly of the neck and back – accompany many headaches. Traditional pharmacological treatment begins with acetaminophen (Tylenol), but this is not effective for all headache sufferers. More potent pain-killers are used in a step-wise manner to treat pain associated with headache, and preventive and abortive treatments are available and effective for certain types of headache. The most alarming headache treatment option to emerge is the use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin (a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms).

Read in Full: http://brainblogger.com/2011/04/21/headache-treatment-alternative-or-illicit/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GNIFBrainBlogger+%28Brain+Blogger%29


Bathurst Lighthouse, Rottnest Island, Western Australia



“Jeffrey Clarke murdered girlfriend by burning her alive”:

“Que. Police mount final search for autistic boy”:

“Little hope that missing boy will be found alive”:

“Father of missing boy pleads for help”:

“New GPS bracelet tracks autistic children who wander off”:

“Police: Assistant ‘caged’ student in chair”:

Adelaide, Australia “$130m for disabled in Budget”:

UK “Councils cut back on free social care”:

“Birmingham City Council disabled care limits ‘unlawful”:

“NAS: Protest against cuts to benefits and services for disabled people”:

“Nurse gives toddler MMR jab without mother’s consent in order to meet government targets”:

“Measles cases prompt talk of vaccines”:

“Immunisation warning after measles cases in city”:

USA Today “Most parents vaccinate kids, trust docs’ advice on shots”:

ASAN “PRESS RELEASE: Autistic Adult Community Condemns PBS NewsHour for Ignorant Remarks”:

NAS “Support our Young Campaigners’ Group Charter”:

“Helping more disabled people get into politics”:

“Scott defends autism gag”:

“Tributes have been paid to a “free spirited” 20-year-old woman from Bath who died unexpectedly in her sleep from a suspected heart condition”:


“Autism epidemic challenged by UK study”:

“Most adults with autism go undiagnosed’ – New findings, UK”:

“Study estimates rate of autism spectrum disorder in adults in England”:

“For first time ever, study proves common genetic roots for autism, epilepsy/Gene linked to severity of autism found”:

“Simple checklist may spot signs of autism by age 1”:

“What’s on the baby screening test for autism?”:

“Identifying autism and asperger’s syndrome in teens”:

“A compelling theory about introversion, extroversion, and autism”:

“CiteULike: Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders”:

“Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders”:

“Download – Building relationships with kids on the autism spectrum … If you are the parent of a child or adolescent on the spectrum, you have probably tried ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) to help your child develop social skills. If you are like most parents, you’ve realized that ABA does not do a good job of helping your child understand how others think, or how to start and develop a friendship. You’re probably looking for a better approach. Current therapies center on a “relationship-based” approach.”:

“Treatment-resistant epilepsy common in autism”:

“Death rates higher in persons having both autism and epilepsy”:

“Bullying alters brain chemistry, leads to anxiety, study finds”:

Depression “Depressed staff in tolerance battle”:

“In the lab, stress harms gut bacteria”:

“Dr. Jon LaPook: Living with OCD”:

“The brain lock of obsessional thinking”:

“Does inability to express emotions predispose to auto-immune disease?”:

“Heart Health: Why high blood pressure really is a silent killer”:

Heart Health “Morning heart attacks are more serious”:

“Patient’s own cells used to probe schizophrenia”:

Clare Allan “As a person with borderline personality disorder, apparently I have no empathy”:

“New approach to Bipolar mood swings & Latest Bipolar News”:

“Possible brain biomarkers for Bipolar Disorder”:

“Bipolar, Sober, and Spiritual: New Film Hero”:

“Women with mood disorders more prone to Osteoporosis”:

Self Harm “Why do people injure themselves?/ NICE consults on draft recommendations for the longer term management of self-harm”:

Self Harm “Self harm rise among young in Wales alarming”:

“Deaf charity warns teenagers about loud music”:

“Alleviating surgical anxiety and pain in children”:

“Spanish Study: Self-medication on the rise”:

“The importance of control in people’s lives”:

“Willpower, self-control can be learned”:

“World’s first computerized brain map created”:

“Relationships: Forbidding Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, Idealize Your Partner For a Happier Marriage, Forbidden Fruit, Attraction, Closure, Snow White, Online Love, Abusive Relationships, Getting the Love You Want Over and Over Again & More”:

“Now is Not Forever”:

“Virtual Hospital”:


NAS “New AET research into outcomes for autistic people”:

“Brookfield teacher with asperger’s awaits word on possible firing”:

“Fairbanks schools accused of discrimination”:

Australia “Help for Ballarat’s kids in the middle”:

“Windsor School students see science in everything”:

“A county school has been heaped with praise – even though it has only been open for four terms”:

Advocacy “School can be gruelling for someone like me”:

Motivation “The words that could unlock your child … As children face their final month of revision before the exam season starts, many parents are looking for the words to motivate their offspring. But could they be mistakenly praising the value of ability over effort, asks Matthew Syed.”:


“NAS: Upcoming event: Autism and employment info day, Bristol – Wednesday 18th May”:

“20 year old with learning disabilities runs successful business”:

“Man sets out to raise autism awareness … It’s tough for the average job seeker to find or retain employment in a rocky economy and even harder for adults with developmental disabilities.”:

“NapervilleWorks connects special needs workers to jobs”:

“Careers working with autistic children”:

“Disabled but looking for work”:

“D02Learn.com offers job tips for those on the autism spectrum”:

“Should you tell your employer you are autistic?”:

“Training available for employers”:

Asperger Informatik AG “Professionelles Webdesign und Software Testing in Zurich”:

“Creative Support Ltd”:

“Autelligent Laboratories
We believe all people have a contribution to make and deserve an opportunity to be productive.
With your caring and excellent help, we are creating jobs for the 40 million people worldwide who are diagnosed with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Today less than one in five of us are currently employed. We are motivated and competent and we deserve equal employment. Help make this a reality.
Autelligent Laboratories is dedicated to creating a space where autistic software engineers can more than contribute, we can excel.”:

Luxury Quality Scented Candles “Humbolt Candles – Autism & Disability Employment Company”:

Individuality, Diversity, Equality, Achievement
Auties..org is an Aspie & Autie friendly site for all people on the Autistic Spectrum who are ready to dare reach out to occupation and employment, open the doors to the community and market their abilities directly to the public and for those interested in supporting these pioneers.


Linking job seekers with vacancies in work related to autism, Aspergers and ASDs

“Employment within the NAS”:

For further employment information, please view”:

“Ashington lad rewarded for outstanding service”:

“Knowing I have Asperger’s is a relief … Award-winning actor Paddy Considine talks for the first time about being diagnosed with Asperger’s – at the age of 36. ”:

Nicole D’Angelo “Four things you probably didn’t know about autistic people”:

“Finding out our children had Asperger’s was GOOD news, reveal couple”:

“Feeling your way through the dark”:

“Community, family help autistic man realize he’s great … just the way he is”:

“Boys to men: an uneasy transition”:

“Children diagnosed with autism and asperger’s syndrome learning karate in Herne bay from Joe Ellis”:

Nicole D’Angelo “Life with autism means learning greater self-control”:

“Don’t get caught without the MMR shot”:

“Jimmy and Me: Mom of autistic son reflects on craft avoidance”:

“Protesters don’t bother animal science doctor”:

“Are mommy blogs relevant?”:


“ADHD Diagnostic Quiz for Women”:

“Understanding the impact of nature and nurture on ADHD behavior”:

“Diagnosis and treatment of ADHD varies significantly across countries”:

“ADHD Comorbidities: Handbook for ADHD Complications in Children and Adults”:

“Helpful strategies for teaching ADHD children”:

“Diagnosing ADD”:

“ADHD presenting as recurrent epistaxis: a case report”:

“Dealing with common problems and issues with ADHD medicine”:

“7 tips to help a distracted child”:

“Infants with persistent crying problems more likely to have behavior problems in childhood, study finds”:

“Go Girls Summit empowers girls with ADHD and ADD”:

“Is ADHD medication a permanent solution or a permanent damage?”:

ADRES “Adverse Drug Reaction Electronic System(Adverse Drug Reactions Website)”- This website provides patients, doctors, and other medical professionals with a comprehensive examination of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), side effects, and other safety information for both prescription and over-the-counter medications.. Our goal is to allow users of our website make informed decisions when taking (patients) or prescribing (doctors) drugs. We are providing unmatched information and analysis tools.

Our objective is to promote awareness to AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and to provide information and as much free practical help as we can to those affected by the condition, both adults and children, their families in the UK and around the World via this website.

“ADDISS” The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service…


“hi2u ADHD Pages”:



“Bassist shares art of improvisation in program for autistic kids”:


“The AutisMusic Project”:


Haley Moss “Artwork reveals the souls of those with autism disorders”:

“Exhibition hosts visionary display of sight loss artists”:

“Using art to process feelings, emotions”:

GLIMPSE – the talents of the autism community
They are painters, sculptors and photographers; poets and storytellers; musicians and creators of amazing video games. They are kids, teens and adults. Last year, a new online publication arose to celebrate the talents of autistic individuals and other developmental disabilities: GLIMPSE, offered by ICDL (The Interdisciplinary Council of Developmental and Learning Disorders). In late 2008, Volume 2 of GLIMPSE was released, and was expanded into a print book and notecards. The works are serious, humourous, deeply personal and illuminating. See it for yourself, share it with others, submit your own/your child’s work for inclusion in Volume 3, to release later this year. Find information and ordering details at www.icdl.com

“Artisancam: an award winning interactive website that gives an insight into the lives of contemporary visual artists(aimed at school-aged children, parents/teachers)”:

“ARTROOM ………where under 17s can make and display art online”:


“Thresher, Bissonnette are traveling the world urging autism rights … Bissonnette, 52, and Thresher, 42, are now the subjects of the feature-length documentary “Wretches & Jabberers.” The movie follows the men as they travel from their home state of Vermont to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to change attitudes about people with autism – by showing just how intelligent, communicative and social they can be when given a voice.”:

“Autistic students to show off talents at expo”:

“Autism on film: can cinema get it right?”:

“Autism as depicted in film, documentaries”:

“Asperger’s syndrome’s link to autism often baffles parents … Besides “Rain Man,” other movies about people with Asperger’s syndrome are “Adam,” which was given the Alfred P. Sloan prize at last year’s Sundance Festival for outstanding feature film focusing on science and technology, and the animated feature “Mary and Max.”:

“London Theatre tells teenagers’ stories … A 13-year-old with a learning disability and a 16-year-old victim of bullying are among the vulnerable teenagers who have inspired an arts project that tackles the emotional traumas of adolescence.”:

“Durbin’s ‘Idol’ success giving parents of autistic children hope”:

“James Durbin and Paddy Considine: Asperger idols … The entertainment industry gives a wide berth to stars who behave differently than most. Being unconventional or just a little off center has never stood in the way of stardom. But acting different is one thing. Being different has, traditionally, been a whole other kettle of fish. And nothing makes a person different in quite the way Asperger syndrome does.”:

“Actors for Autism”:


John Elder Robison “Marching to beat of ‘Different”:

Travis Breeding “Author with Asperger’s visits Marion Public Library”:

“Book: Mad, Bad and Sad – A History of Women & The Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present”:

Coming Soon “From Anxiety to Meltdown: How Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Deal with Anxiety, Experience Meltdowns, Manifest Tantrums, and How You Can Intervene Effectively”
Deborah Lipsky

Coming Soon “60 Social Situations and Discussion Starters to Help Teens on the Autism Spectrum Deal with Friendships, Feelings, Conflict and More: Seeing the Big Picture”
Lisa A. Timms

“Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults”
Zosia Zaks, M.S. , M.Ed.

“Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues”
Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., Katherine Cook, Lisa A. Robbins M.Ed., Louann Rinner and Nancy E. Miller

“Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism – Updated and Expanded Edition”
Kate Duffy Ms.Ed. And Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

“Diary of a Social Detective – Real-life tales of mystery, intrigue and interpersonal adventure”
Jeffrey E. Jessum, Ph.D.

“Everyday Solutions: A Practical Guide for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders”
Lisa Kontente, ACSW and Mindy Small, M.A.

“Show Me The Data! Data-Based Instructional Decisions Made Simple and Easy”
Chris Matsumoto, Jaime Martin and RinaMarie Leon-Guerrero

“Trainman: Gaining Acceptance … and Friends … Through Special Interests
New England Book Festival Honorable Mention (2010)
Barbara Kavan

“Foreign Language Books re Autism”:

“Personal Accounts”:

Take Care,
Quokka, Rottnest Island, WA
Quokka, Rottnest Island, WA(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quokka)