All Young Cannabis Users Face Psychosis Risk

I used marijuana in order to open the doors of perception, not medicinally, but experimentally, looking for the symptoms (in college, learning other more extreme methods to bring on hallucinations, to disassociate, discover more about myself as spiritual exploration. So the state of being high was grandiose escape from the tangible world to access subconscious inner self. Using marijuana brings on effects I would later learn could be mistaken for psychotic symptoms. It’s the feature, not a bug.

All Young Cannabis Users Face Psychosis Risk

Pauline Anderson – June 15, 2018

Cannabis use directly increases the risk for psychosis in teens, new research suggests.

A large prospective study of teens shows that “in adolescents, cannabis use is harmful” with respect to psychosis risk, study author Patricia J. Conrod, PhD, professor of psychiatry, University of Montreal, Canada, told Medscape Medical News.

The effect was observed for the entire cohort. This finding, said Conrod, means that all young cannabis users face psychosis risk, not just those with a family history of schizophrenia or a biological factor that increases their susceptibility to the effects of cannabis.”The whole population is prone to have this risk,” she said.The study was published online June 6 in JAMA

Psychiatry.Rigorous Causality Test

To date, the evidence with respect to causality has been limited, as studies typically assess psychosis symptoms at only a single follow-up and rely on analytic models that might confound intra-individual processes with initial between-person differences.

Determining causality is especially important during adolescence, a period when both psychosis and cannabis use typically start.

For the study, researchers used random intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs), use a multilevel approach to test for within-person differences that inform on the extent to which an individual’s increase in cannabis use precedes an increase in that individual’s psychosis symptoms, and vice versa.

“…Is it that people who are prone to mental health problems are more attracted to cannabis, or is it something about the onset of cannabis use that influences the acceleration of psychosis symptoms?” she said.

The study included 3720 adolescents from the Co-Venture cohort, which represents 76% of all grade 7 students attending 31 secondary schools in the greater Montreal area.

For 4 years, students completed an annual Web-based survey in which they provided self-reports of past-year cannabis use and psychosis symptoms.

Such symptoms were assessed with the Adolescent Psychotic-Like Symptoms Screener; frequency of cannabis use was assessed with a six-point scale (0 indicated never, and 5 indicated every day).

Survey information was confidential, and there were no consequences of reporting cannabis use.”Once you make those guarantees, students are quite comfortable about reporting, and they become used to doing it,” said Conrod.

Marijuana Use Highly Prevalent

The first time point occurred at a mean age of 12.8 years. Twelve months separated each assessment. In total, 86.7% and 94.4% of participants had a minimum of two time points out of four on psychosis symptoms and cannabis use, respectively.

Cannabis use, in any given year, predicted an increase in psychosis symptoms a year later, said Conrod.

This type of analysis is more reliable than biological measures, such as blood tests, said Conrod.

“Biological measures aren’t sensitive enough to the infrequent and low level of use that we tend to see in young adolescents,” she said.

In light of these results, Conrod called for increased access by high school students to evidence-based cannabis prevention programs.

Such programs exist, but there are no systematic efforts to make them available to high school students across the country, she said.

“It’s extremely important that governments dramatically step up their efforts around access to evidence-based cannabis prevention programs,” she said.

Currently, marijuana use in teens is “very prevalent,” she said. Surveys suggest that about 30% of older high school students in the Canadian province of Ontario use cannabis.

Source: All Young Cannabis Users Face Psychosis Risk

Trauma, Psychosis, and Dissociation – Mad In America

People who are symptomatic are suffering from a lack of treatment or acknowledgement of the gravity of their symptoms. I have been told many times that psychotic symptoms are not necessarily diagnostic proof that a person is psychotic.

PTSD symptoms seem psychotic to me but its a different diagnosis, non-psychotic.

Trauma: Trauma is technically defined as an event that provokes death-related fears in an individual. It is also agreed upon that trauma is defined by the person’s response to such an event, rather than the event itself. But, what of the child whose parents are cold and over-protective? Or the child who is “only” bullied verbally? Or the child who is chronically invalidated? Or poverty? Or the person in existential crisis? Are these not a form of “trauma”? Certainly, they are shown to be chronically stressful which, physiologically, is not any different than “trauma” defined in the DSM-sense. Although it is understood that trauma is subjective, the DSM insists on narrowly defining it anyways.

Dissociation: As stated previously, very few professionals in psychiatry agree on what this term means. Instead of just saying “absorption”, “feeling unreal”, “feeling one’s surroundings are not real”, “lack of integrated sense of self”, or “detachment” (all considered in different circles as varied forms of dissociation), scholars instead argue over its meaning until it has no meaning at all. Often, it is an ideological term that is used to say “trauma” vs. “not trauma”, whether this is explicitly acknowledged or not. Therefore, when one’s “symptoms” are considered non-dissociative, the assumption generally tends to be that they also are not trauma-based.

Dissociative symptoms: Although dissociative symptoms are acknowledged as existing in a multitude of different DSM categories, they mostly are usurped by the dissociative disorder classifications. In this case, as I will discuss in a moment, dissociative symptoms often seem to take on the meaning of “not psychotic” rather than having any distinct meaning in and of themselves.

Psychosis: Psychosis is another technical term with no precise meaning. It tends to refer to a state in which a person appears to not be aware of or in touch with consensual reality. This can be for 5 minutes or 5 years, but the term itself is non-time specific. In practice, it tends to be used when the professional comes to a point where they say “I don’t understand you or agree with your interpretation of reality.

”Psychotic symptoms: Most people tend to think that psychotic symptoms clearly refer to things such as hearing voices, seeing visions, having strange beliefs, or disorganized thinking/speech. However, “psychotic symptoms” specifically refers to symptoms of psychosis. What is psychosis? Having psychotic symptoms. If you don’t have psychosis, then you may have “psychotic-like” symptoms or “quasi-” insert what you like here. What makes these symptoms psychotic-like instead of truly psychotic? Whether or not your therapist understands you.

Dissociative disorders: While there are 5 dissociative disorders, the one that is most intertwined with the idea of psychosis is dissociative identity disorder (DID). People who might meet the criteria for DID often experience what is inarguably the core of the term “dissociation”; namely, having a fragmented sense of self. In addition, they also experience periods where they cannot remember large gaps of time. This amnesia is certainly not an experience that is universal to many or even most individuals suffering extreme states; however, the other experiences common in DID are definitely non-specific to this classification. These include: hallucinations in all senses, incoherence, bizarre beliefs, impaired reality testing, lack of awareness of the present moment, paranoia, and paranormal experiences. However, these are reframed as: hearing voices of an “alter”, body memories, flashbacks, intrusions of trauma and/or “alters”, beliefs attributed to “alters”, not being grounded, and hypervigilence. These words do not necessarily indicate any difference in the lived-experience, but rather a difference in how psychiatry interprets the experience. And who wouldn’t rather say “I have body memories and intrusions” then “I have hallucinations and delusions”?

Schizophrenia: The category of schizophrenia, and all its sister disorders, is one that is assumed to be a largely biological, genetic brain disease. What differentiates it from DID? No one seems to be able to define where this distinction lies, but those in the dissociative disorder field will state that the difference is based on the existence of “delusions” and/or “thought disorder”. A delusion, of course, is a belief that society deems unacceptable. Yet, nobody seems to be able to explain where the line is separating a delusion from an acceptable belief. More specifically, nobody will explain what the difference is between believing “I have a bunch of people living inside of my body who are not me” (DID) and “I am God” (psychotic).

But questionnaires that measure dissociation use this very distinction to say whether one has dissociation or not. And then they say “delusions are not related to dissociation” because they just ruled out dissociation by the fact that a person did not endorse an interpretation of their experience that the questionnaire makers deemed dissociative.

“Thought disorder” has been convincingly described by Richard Bentall as a problem in communication, rather than an indication of any true cognitive impairment (Bentall, 2003). Yet, the theory adopted by mainstream psychiatry remains that “thought disorder” is a neurological disease. And so, if one is considered to have DID, any indication of thought disorder is instead interpreted as “intrusions” or “rapid-switching” of altered identity states. Only those with “real” psychosis have a “real” thought disorder.

On the other hand, psychosis researchers solve the problem by simply saying DID just does not exist. People who present with altered identity states and memory problems (not attributed to an actual neurological problem) are considered as just “borderline” or “attention-seeking”. I honestly cannot think of much that is worse than experiencing such emotional turmoil and distress to the point of a break-down and then being told I am making it up for attention. But, then, of course, that is just my perspective.

In spite of these ideological battles, studies still have shown that individuals meeting criteria for schizophrenia endorse a greater level of dissociative symptoms than any other clinical group, discounting PTSD and dissociative disorders (Ross, Heber, Norton, & Anderson, 1989). Approximately two-thirds of individuals diagnosed with DID who are hospitalized also meet structured interview criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (Ross, 2007), 25-50% of anybody diagnosed with DID has received a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia (Ross & Keyes, 2004), and approximately 60% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia meet criteria for a dissociative disorder (Ross & Keyes, 2004). Up to 20% of individuals diagnosed with DID have been found to exhibit communication styles indicative of thought disorder (Putnam, Guroff, Silberman, Barban, & Post, 1986), and levels of dissociation are highly correlated with thought disorder (Allen, Coyne, & Console, 1997). Bizarre explanations for anomalous experiences are not rare in those diagnosed with DID; indeed, one study discovered that 41% of individuals diagnosed with DID have been found to believe they were possessed by demons, and 36% experienced possession by some other outer power or force not attributed to part of the self (Ross, 2011). In addition, the original concept of ‘schizophrenia’ (as it was discussed by Kurt Schneider, Eugen Bleuler, Harry Stack Sullivan, and Harold Searles) appears to emphasize presentations indicative of a dissociative disorder.

On the other hand, it has been found that dissociatively detached individuals are not necessarily chronically psychotic and can function at a high level (Allen et al., 1997). Individuals diagnosed with DID are often able to maintain reality testing despite experiencing “psychotic” phenomena (Howell, 2008). Another difference is that persons diagnosed with DID also report higher levels of dissociation, and more child, angry, persecutory, and commenting voices (Dorahy et al., 2009; Laddis & Dell, 2012). They also generally report a higher rate of more severe childhood trauma than any other clinical group (Putnam et al., 1986).

Source: Trauma, Psychosis, and Dissociation – Mad In America

Physicians Experience Highest Suicide Rate of Any Profession

I never get to know the doctor who provides my psych medication. If he wants to heal people, he would be very disappointed. Most of the treatment received is provided by mental healthcare providers who are not the actual prescribing psychiatric physician, Never met the man. That does sound like a shitty thankless job. So thanks, doc, keep yo head up

The findings were presented here at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2018 annual meeting.Stigma, Access to Lethal MeansUsing MEDLINE and PubMed, the investigators conducted a systematic literature review of physician suicide that included articles published in peer-reviewed journals during the past 10 years.The review showed that the physician suicide rate was 28 to 40 per 100,000; in the general population, the overall rate was 12.3 per 100,000.

The results also showed that although female physicians attempt suicide far less often than women in the general population, the completion rate for female physicians exceeds that of the general population by 2.5 to 4 times and equals that of male physicians.

Experts are trying to understand why physician suicide rates are so high, said Tanwar. She pointed out that their review shows that some of the most common diagnoses were mood disorders, alcoholism, and substance abuse.

One study showed that depression affects an estimated 12% of male physicians and up to 19.5% of female physicians, a prevalence that is on par with that of the general population.

Depression is more common in medical students and residents, with 15% to 30% screening positive for depressive symptoms.The investigators note that mood disorders in the medical profession is not restricted to North America. Studies from Finland, Norway, Australia, Singapore, China, and elsewhere have shown an increase in the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and suicidality among medical students and practitioners alike.

Stigma, said Tanwar, is a major obstacle to seeking medical treatment. She pointed to a study in which 50% of 2106 female physicians who completed a Facebook questionnaire reported meeting criteria for a mental disorder but were reluctant to seek professional help because of the fear of stigma.

The new review showed that poisoning and hanging are among the most common means of physician suicide. The findings also suggest that greater knowledge of and easier access to lethal means account for the higher rate of suicide completion in physicians.

The review also showed that of all medical specialties, psychiatry is near the top in terms of suicide rates.

There is growing awareness of physician suicide, and initiatives to prevent it are increasing.

Tanwar noted that several sessions at this year’s APA meeting address physician wellness and burnout, which may help reduce suicide rates.

Source: Physicians Experience Highest Suicide Rate of Any Profession

Putin Said in Helsinki He Wanted Trump to Win – The Atlantic

But Putin, you personally didn’t do shit. Right, but answer the questions addressing the evidence. I would love to hear how he, by procedure, influences the actors involved in the major criminal behavior, international foreign policy, those who control russia’s allies, and all the loony home-grown russian fascists too.

He has a procedure for influencing these actors. He makes it known he wouldn’t mind if so and so got run over by a truck, or he says isn’t this trump guy great for russia? There is no argument that the majority of international ops from russia are known to putin, but he could say they aren’t., if he wants, in helsinki, to a bunch of friendly press, and make trump look smart?

If you listen to the English translation that was broadcast during the press conference, the Russian leader said, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.” This rendering of Putin’s remarks leaves open the possibility that he’s stating “Yes, I did” in reference not just to wanting Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential race, but also to ordering Russian officials to help Trump win, even though Putin repeatedly denied Russian interference in the election and collusion with the Trump campaign throughout the rest of the news conference.

Source: Putin Said in Helsinki He Wanted Trump to Win – The Atlantic

Come home to Cape Breton



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I’m so happy you decided to visit us! (online anyway).  But the truth is, we welcome all, no matter who you support, be it Democrat, Republican or Donald Trump.

If you want to see our island through ‘American’ eyes, check out Sher’s photo-blog.

Take a look around the site, there is a lot of great info here about moving, visiting, working, or the living on Cape Breton Island.  For more detailed information, you can check out the new online hub for all things CB!


Obama Warns In Mandela Speech
Obama by nature is a superior being. He’s so charming, he’s like chicago slim turning me out on the skreets. I would give him anything he asked with that golden voice. Someday, Barack, do a speech in the surfer accent you know you had before college. Barack, you can be the black Keanu Reeves.

07/17/2018 11:38 am ET

Obama Warns In Mandela Speech That ‘Strongman Politics Are Ascendant’

The former U.S. president spoke in South Africa the day after Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former President Barack Obama offered a sobering and alarming view of the state of the world in what appeared to be a rebuke of President Donald Trump, warning that nationalist and populist sentiments are making their way into the mainstream.

“Look around. Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning,” Obama said Tuesday during a speech in South Africa honoring Nelson Mandela.

He lamented the rise of populist movements that are being funded “by right-wing billionaires intent on reducing governmental constraints on their business interests.” These movements, Obama said, have struck a chord among “people living outside the urban core who feel like security is slipping away, their social status and privileges eroding, their cultural identities threatened by outsiders.

”Many Western countries are experiencing the rise of far-right parties, he said, adding that these parties “oftentimes are based not just on platforms of protectionism and of closed borders but also barely hidden racial nationalism.”

“You have to believe in facts. Without facts, there’s no basis for cooperation. If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it’s going to be hard for us to cooperate,” he said.

He applied the analogy to the U.S. withdrawal of the Paris Climate Accord, noting that if American leaders deny the existence of climate change, even though most scientists around the world have reached consensus on the issue, it will be hard to cooperate with other countries on the issue.

He implored the audience to work toward democracy, a pillar of which should be truth-telling. The denial of facts could be the “undoing” of democracy, he cautioned.

“People just make stuff up,” he said. “They just double down and lie some more. Politicians have always lied, but it used to be that if you caught them lying, they’d be like, ‘Oh, man.’ Now they just keep on lying!”He has refrained from calling out Trump by name, but Obama hasn’t shied away from expressing his opposition. He has often taken to social media to make himself heard, penning a long Facebook post last September to speak out against Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Source: Obama Warns In Mandela Speech That ‘Strongman Politics Are Ascendant’ | HuffPost Continue reading “Obama Warns In Mandela Speech”