Nov 06

New Mental Health Headlines That Caught My Eye

Recent mental health headlines (November 2017) that caught my eye:

I. The lucrative, but dubious, business of treating sex addiction. Irina Ivanova, CBS News

In this current climate of frequently and publicly reported sexual offenses, some pertinent info:

Here are three things to know about sex addiction. First, a growing body of research suggests compulsive sexual behavior affects between 3 and 6 percent of the U.S. population. Second, celebrities who often blame the condition for sexual improprieties probably don’t have it, therapists say. Third, it doesn’t feature much in the medical literature, making it hard to track and leaving the growing network of sex addiction treatment centers in a medical gray area lacking the formal clinical protocols found with more standard diagnoses.

To the last point, there is debate over whether the condition qualifies as an addiction. No reference to sex addiction or compulsive sexual behavior appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), considered the definitive guide to mental health disorders. That makes diagnosing and treating it especially difficult—and makes it doubly challenging to tell legitimate practitioners from quacks.

II. How #MeToo could move from social campaign to social change. Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Recognizing that sexual harassment and assault of women is mostly a men’s issue, “A Call to Men, a violence prevention and male socialization group, is hoping the launch of its new campaign, #IWillSpeakUp, will help the cause.” Another hashtag of interest: #SupportSurvivors.

Watch their new PSA below. “I’ll say something next time” is the theme. Ending line: “Most men are not abusive. But they are far too often silent about the abuse committed by other men. Their silence is as much of the problem as the abuse.”

III. Places Influence Well-being More Than Possessions. Jamie Littlefield, Psychology Today

An excerpt:

Want to feel calm and connected? Rather than rummaging through your box of beloved trinkets, you may want to consider visiting a place that holds meaning to you….

The most meaningful places were found to be connected with participants’ formative years, cherished relationships (i.e., experiences with family members and friends), and the here and now. Simply living in a city or a town can help you begin creating meaning in the places around you.

IV. What Is “Swedish Death Cleaning” and Should You Be Doing It? Sarah DiGiulio, NBC News.

Finally, someone’s naming a process on the minds, if not yet in the actions, of those of us in a later stage of life.

Once you reach the end of middle age (or sooner if you feel like it, or later if you’re late to the exercise), you get rid of all the stuff you’ve accumulated that you don’t need anymore — so that no one else has to do it for you after you pass. That’s according to Margareta Magnusson, author of the new book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your Own Life More Pleasant,” which releases in the U.S. in January.

Apparently it will have a different subtitle in the U.S.: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.

V. Sick as a Doc? Doctors Are Burning Out — and It’s Serious. Nicole Spector, NBC News.

A key series of sentences contained in the article: “And burnout can be fatal. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among medical residents and the most common cause of death among male residents. Increasingly, doctors are understanding that we need to open up about this issue if we’re ever going to make a difference.”