Archive for the 'self-harm' Category

Morning Faces Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Monday, May 16th, 2011

In 1995, I discovered that seeing faces in the morning improved my mood the next day. If I saw faces Monday morning I felt better on Tuesday — but not Monday. The delay was astonishing; so was the size of the effect. The faces not only made me cheerful, they also made me eager to do things (the opposite of procrastination) and serene. This is the opposite of depression. Depressed people feel unhappy, don’t want to do anything, and are irritable. Eventually I found that the mood improvement was part of a larger effect: morning faces produced an oscillation in mood (below neutral then above neutral) that began about 6 pm on the day I saw the faces and lasted about a day. As strange as this may sound, there was plenty of supporting data — the connection between depression and insomnia, for example.

After I had observed the effect on myself hundreds of time, I urged a friend with bipolar disorder to try it. Recently he wrote me about how it has helped him.

Here is the very short story of my experience with this treatment.

I have used your treatment since 1997. As an indication of its effectiveness, from 1999 to 2003 I was completely off of medications, and now I’ve been off again since August of last year. (more…)

The Corruption of Drug Trials

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

In a clinical trial of a new antipsychotic drug done at the University of Minnesota, a man named Dan Weiss was given a choice: be hospitalized in a psych ward or, shockingly, “take part in an industry-funded study of antipsychotic drugs”. The usual choice is between hospitalization or conventional treatment. Weiss chose to be in the clinical trial. During the trial he killed himself.

An FDA investigator named Sharon Matson decided that Weiss had not been coerced into participating! During a trial, Moira Keane, the head of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, which of course is meant to protect human subjects, claimed the purpose of the board was not to protect human subjects. The purpose of the board, Keane said, was “to make sure that Olson and the trial sponsor had a plan to protect subjects.” This is false. IRBs sometimes measure compliance, not just plans.

After Weiss’s mom sued the University of Minnesota and lost,

The university filed a legal action against Mary, demanding that she pay the university $57,000 to cover its legal expenses. Gale Pearson, one of Mary’s attorneys, says that while such suits are technically permissible, she had never seen one filed in her previous 14 years of legal practice. The university agreed to drop the lawsuit against Mary only when she agreed not to appeal the judge’s decision.

The article by Carl Elliott about this case also contains excellent discussion of how drug companies shape clinical trials to get the results they want — and when that fails, hide the results. The effect is that new drugs are approved that are worse than the drugs they replace.

Thanks to James Andrewartha.