Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are Elecronic Devices Ruining Sleep for Americans?

One of my favourite sections of the newspaper is the Health section. I particularly enjoy reading articles about interesting scientific studies that reveal fruitful information about mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, journalism and science are not always a match made in heaven, and it is not uncommon to read headlines and articles that are biased and poorly represent the practice of science. Hence, I was pretty disappointed by a recent article that made all the rounds in the media on Tuesday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Underestimating Mental Illness in Canada: Response from PHAC Only Validates "Orphan" Status

As I wrote in an earlier post, it is common for health organizations in Canada (or even corporations involved in mental health awareness, such as Bell Canada), to use the statistic of "1 in 5" when describing lifetime prevalence of mental illness. I thought this estimate was too low because it is nowhere close to the U.S. data, and after a little reading, I presumed that the 20% figure originated from an error in interpreting a report from 2002. I subsequently contacted Bell Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Health Canada to seek information.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen's Behaviour: A Case of Cognitive Dissonance?

I am compelled to start this post by stating that I am not in the business of speculating on the mental health of strangers, nor am I interested in providing pseudo-psychological assessments of celebrities in the news. It is important to make this clear because I don't want readers fooled by the title of this post. Indeed, there are enough armchair psychologists in the media offering analysis of celebrities' behaviour. Rather, the recent attention that Mr. Sheen has garnered made me think of a psychological process that can significantly impact mental health, including substance abuse. Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance.