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Comment Re:Foundation question (Score 1) 260

There is a marked difference in how psychiatry and psychology see mental illnesses, epistemologically speaking. This leads to how each area decides to best handle and offer potential solutions to the client's problem. It also shapes and defines the training curriculum for both areas, whereby psychiatry spends much more time on the psychopharmacological and biological perspectives than studying psychotherapy interventions. That does not mean there aren't psychiatrists who do not employ some form of psychotherapy, but they are not as common as you think.

Comment Re:Foundation question (Score 3, Informative) 260

There's a base assumption at play here that makes the addressing the issue at hand much more murkier than it should be.

Psychiatry sees all mental health problems as, in root, organic in nature. In other words, there is a chemical imbalance, a brain trauma, or a genetic component that creates the symptoms. These mental health issues can be seen as "cured" through medical regimes, but, many other illnesses, considered under remission, since a chemical imbalance caused by a genetic component cannot be "cured". The DSM (V is the latest incarnation) uses symptomatic observations as base criteria - not necessarily biological markers, but medical therapy is based on biomarkers (for example, a regulation in serotonin uptake). While this is a gross oversimplification of the matter, it paints a general picture of what happens with the organic position of mental illnesses. In a very simple word, psychiatry views mental illnesses as a nature problem.

Psychology, on the other hand, does not see all "mental illnesses" (as defined in the DSM) as organic in nature. As swillden mentioned, psychotherapy (of which there are many intervention methods) assist in managing the situation. Much of it takes root in mindfulness - not only in a social perspective, but also a reframing and re-internalization of current and past events. Others might take a family based approach, not only in dealing with the specific issues the primary client is dealing with, but also how their immediate social structure responds to their condition. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) *might* go a step further and integrate neuroscience to determine if there is a biological component to their client's condition (but this tendency is still far and few between, considering the cost, the protocols required, and the length of time). Depending of the epistemological perspective of psychology, psychologists don't "cure", because the client isn't sick, they are maladjusted (through previous rationalizations or emotional internalizations of events and situations). Using a similar oversimplification, psychology sees many mental illnesses (note: not all) as a nurture problem (a learning/behavioral problem that has both an individual and social/cultural component).

There is a grey point in between these two, apparently competing points of view, which come up often in these discussions. What happens with schizophrenia? Or with a catatonic patient? A medical regime may assist in managing the symptoms, but without some measure of psychotherapy, the person will have a much harder time dealing with their inner situation. I doubt that something like psychoanalysis (or tools from psychodynamics) will work well, but perhaps a cognitive behavioral intervention might have a better success rate. Or even some of the tools from the Humanistic school of thought can help.

Comment Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (Score 1) 361

Android has 80% of the market because it's on everything. It's a reduced cost alternative for handset manufacturers that no longer have to develop and maintain their own OS (or pay for someone else's OS and wrap an interface around it). In "emerging markets", it's on phones that are practically given away with even pre-paid SIMs. Those lower end markets have very few options that the regional operators carry, and they make up a considerable chunk of that 80%. So let's not confuse ease of implementation for the handset manufacturer and/or carrier to that of consumer choice.


Submission + - New USPTO Exec Left Taxpayers $154M Lighter

theodp writes: Some employers might hold it against you if you once slapped them with a $154 million lawsuit. Not so the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which last week appointed Sharon Barner to the post of Deputy Director. 'Sharon is a deeply qualified IP attorney and her experience is an important addition to the USPTO senior leadership,' said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. What experience, you ask? Well, Barner was part of a 30-attorney team that represented Hughes Aircraft in the aerospace firm's patent claim that the U.S. government stole technology that enabled the communications satellite revolution. A judge ordered Uncle Sam to write Hughes a $154 million check to settle the case, which centered on a device to control the attitude of a satellite that was invented by Donald Williams, a brilliant young Harvard-educated engineer who was paid $22,000-a-year by Hughes. So how did Williams celebrate the largest-ever patent infringement judgment against the U.S.? Sorry kids, this one doesn't have a happy ending — Williams put a revolver to his head in 1966 (reg.) and committed suicide 33 years before Hughes' big payday.

Submission + - Taliban winning the new media War 2.0? (

Sharky2009 writes: The skilful use of old and new media technologies by terrorist organisations threaten to undermine the efforts of Coalition armed forces in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a researcher. Internet video, Jihadi rap songs, mobile shortwave and FM radio are all problems but mobile phones, which are a radio, a camera, a phone, GPS, and listening device all in one are the major challenge for the Coalition — "The challenge is now that everyone is potentially a source of pictures and information, but you don't know where it has come from and how accurate it is. The more of these sources point a finger at the Coalition and provide a video to prove it, the more the Coalition has its back to the wall," the researcher argues.

Submission + - IBM aims for personalized medicine with DNA chip (

angry tapir writes: IBM aims to expand the life span of humans by developing a chip that could make personalized medicine affordable and quick. The company plans to develop a chip that can quickly map out genetic code contained within the biological structures of organisms. The chip will try to understand genetic code by sequencing strands of DNA — the basic building block of life — to help individualize courses of medical treatment for patients

Submission + - AT&T Censors Pearl Jam's Anti-Bush Lyrics (

VE3OGG writes: "Numerous news agencies are reporting that Pearl Jam's recent Lollapalooza concert has met with some controversy. According to the news reports, when Eddie Vedder sang: "George Bush leave this world alone. George Bush find yourself another home." AT&T censored the lyrics on its webcast. AT&T has said that this was an accident on the part of Davie-Brown Entertainment and should never have happened as it is against their policies of editing political messages out of webcasts and has posted an apology and is taking steps to publish the songs in their entirety on its Blue Room website, however Pearl Jam has gone on record as saying "AT&T's actions strikes at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.""

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