“If you think divorcing and marrying another will bring you happiness, know this: 74% of second marriages AFTER a divorce end in divorce.” Rick Warren
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
A new Swedish study suggests that a person with bipolar disorder is not at increased risk of aggression. However, substance abuse associated with bipolar does increase the chance of violent crime.
The public debate on violent crime usually assumes that violence in the mentally ill is a direct result of the perpetrator’s illness.
Previous research has also suggested that patients with bipolar disorder – also known as manic-depressive disorder – are more likely to behave violently.
However, it has been unclear if the violence is due to the bipolar disorder per se, or caused by other aspects of the individual’s personality or lifestyle.
The new study, carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Oxford University, is presented in the scientific journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
Researchers compared the rate of violent crime in over 3,700 patients with bipolar disorder cared for in Swedish hospitals between 1973 and 2004 with that of 37,000 control individuals from the general public.
Twenty-one percent of patients with bipolar disorder and a concurrent diagnosis of severe substance abuse (alcohol or illegal drugs) were convicted of violent crimes, compared to five percent of those with bipolar disorder but without substance abuse, and three percent among general public control individuals.
The differences remained when accounting for age, gender, immigrant background, socioeconomic status, and whether the most recent presentation of the bipolar disorder was manic or depressed.
“Interestingly, this concurs with our group’s previous findings in schizophrenia, another serious psychiatric disorder, which found that individuals with schizophrenia are not more violent than members of the general public, provided there is no substance abuse,” says professor Niklas Långström, head of the Centre for Violence Prevention at Karolinska Institutet.
According to the researchers, the findings support the need for initiatives to prevent, identify and treat substance abuse when fighting violent crime. Additionally, Långström hopes that the results will help challenge overly simplistic explanations of the causes of violent crime.
“Unwarranted fear and stigmatization of mental illness increases the alienation of people with psychiatric disorder and makes them less inclined to seek the care they need,” Långström comments.
[Source: Karolinska Institutet, by Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor, Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D., Psych Central News]
A study of UK parents suggests a significant number of parents develop depression during the first twelve months of a child’s life.
Researchers discovered more than 30 percent of mothers and about 20 percent of fathers experience an episode of depression — with the risk of depression greatest during the first year after birth.
The report will appear in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
“Depression in parents is associated with adverse behavioral, developmental and cognitive outcomes in their children,” the authors write as background information in the article. “While the maternal depression and child outcome literature is well established, there are fewer studies on paternal depression. There is evidence that paternal depression is not uncommon, with rates higher than those in the general adult male population; however, a wide range of prevalence rates for paternal depression have been reported.”
Shreya Davé, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc., of the Medical Research Council, London, England, and colleagues examined incidence, trends and correlates of parental depression in 86,957 families seen in U.K. primary care facilities between 1993 and 2007.
Mothers and fathers with depression were identified using diagnostic codes and pharmacy records.
Overall, between their children’s birth and age 12, 19,286 mothers had a total of 25,176 episodes of depression and 8,012 fathers had a total of 9,683 episodes of depression.
The depression rate was 7.53 per 100 mothers per year and 2.69 per 100 fathers per year. The highest rates were observed in the first year after the birth of a child, with 13.93 per 100 mothers and 3.56 per 100 fathers experiencing depression in that period.
“These high rates of depression in the postpartum period are not surprising owing to the potential stress associated with the birth of a baby, e.g., poor parental sleep, the demands made on parents and the change in their responsibilities, and the pressure this could place on the couple’s relationship,” the authors write.
“The high rate of parental depression in the first year after delivery may also be partly due to a resumption of antidepressant use following a break during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”
Parents who had a history of depression, who were younger (ages 15 to 24, compared with 25 and older) when their child was born and who were more socially deprived were more likely to develop depression.
“There is a well-established link between depression and social and economic deprivation both in the general population and among parents. This finding may reflect the stresses of poverty, unemployment, low employment grade and lower social support among people of lower socioeconomic status,” the authors write.
In addition, “younger parents may be less prepared for parenthood with more unplanned pregnancies and may be less able to deal with the stresses of parenthood compared with older parents.”
The findings suggest that there is a need for appropriate detection of depression among mothers and fathers, and that clinicians should be aware of the risk factors for depression in parents and assess individuals who possess those characteristics.
In addition, the authors note, future research should examine other factors associated with parental depression, such as the couple’s relationship quality and stressful life events, as well as the separate and cumulative effects of maternal and paternal depression on children’s health and development.
[by Rick Nauert, PhD, Senior News Editor, Psych Central News, Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.]
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Your partner may come up with a dozen excuses to say “Not tonight, dear, I have a ____,” but how many reasons can the two of you name for seeking sex?
One? Two? Twenty? How about 200? Some college students have cited as many as 237 different reasons for having sex.
From pleasure to procreation, insecurity to inquisitiveness – today’s reasons for taking a roll in the hay seem to vary as much as the terms for the deed itself. A 2010 Sexuality & Culture review of sex motivation studies states that people are offering “far more reasons for choosing to engage in sexual activity than in former times.” And we’re doing it more often, too. It is a stark contrast from historical assumptions, which tend to cite only three sexual motivators: To make babies, to feel good, or because you’re in love.
Today, sexual behaviors seem to have taken on many different psychological, social, cultural, even religious meanings. Yet, some sexologists say, at the most basic level, there is only one true reason people seek sex.
Wired for Sex
“We are programmed to do so. Asking why people have sex is akin to asking why we eat. Our brains are designed to motivate us toward that behavior,” says Richard A. Carroll, PhD, a sex therapist and associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The idea that humans are hard-wired for sex reflects an evolutionary perspective, says Elaine Hatfield, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and author of that 2010 review examining sexual motives from cross-cultural, historical, and evolutionary viewpoints.
“Evolutionary theorists point out that a desire for sexual relations is ‘wired in’ in order to promote species survival,” she tells WebMD in an email. “Cultural theorists tend to focus on the cultural and personal reasons people have (or avoid) sex. Cultures differ markedly in what are considered to be ‘appropriate’ reasons for having or avoiding sex.”
("Wired" can also mean - designed this way by the Creator.)
What’s Your Motive?
Why do you seek sex? Motivations generally fall into four main categories, according to psychologists at UT-Austin, who asked more than 1,500 undergraduate college students about their sexual attitudes and experiences.
- Physical reasons: Pleasure, stress relief, exercise, sexual curiosity, or attraction to a person.
- Goal-based reasons: To make a baby, improve social status (for example, to become popular), or seek revenge.
- Emotional reasons: Love, commitment, and gratitude.
- Insecurity reasons: To boost self-esteem, keep a partner from seeking sex elsewhere, or because of a feeling of duty or pressure (for example, a partner insists on having sex).
The Difference Between the Sexes
Generally speaking, men seek sex because they like how it feels. Women, although they very well may also derive pleasure from the act, are generally more interested in the relationship enhancement aspects of sex. Researchers describe these differences as body-centered versus person-centered sex.
Body-centered sex is when you have sex because you like the way it makes your body feel. You are not really caring about the emotions of your partner.
Person-centered sex is when you have sex to connect with the other person. You care about the emotions involved and the relationship.
“Men often start out being body centered,” says Janell Carroll, PhD, adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Hartford and author of a human sexuality textbook (no relation to Richard Carroll). “But that changes later on. As men reach their 40s, 50s, and 60s, their relationship becomes more important.”
Richard Carroll has been counseling couples with sexual issues for more than two decades. “Women actually become more like men over time, in the sense that often early on, sex is about initiating, developing, strengthening, and maintaining relationships, but in a long-term relationship they can actually begin to focus on the pleasure of it.”
Despite the generalities, research suggests that there has been a big convergence in sexual attitudes among men and women in recent years. In 1985, Janell Carroll and colleagues found that most college-aged males had casual sex for physical reasons, without emotional attachments. She repeated many of the same study questions to a new audience in 2006, and is working toward publishing her results.
“Instead of men and women being at opposite ends of the sexual spectrum, they are now coming together,” she tells WebMD. “More women might be having sex for physical reasons, but many more men were more likely to say they had sex for emotional reasons.”
20 Reasons People Have Sex
Stressed out? Have sex. Stress reduction is one of the leading reasons Americans, particularly men, say they have sex, says Richard Caroll. The review, published online in Sexuality & Culture, shows other most frequently cited reasons for having sex include:
- Boosting mood and relieving depression
- Enhancement of power
- Enhancement of self-concept
- Experiencing the power of one’s partner
- Feeling loved by your partner
- Fostering jealousy
- Improve reputation or social status
- Making money
- Making babies (procreation)
- Need for affection
- Partner novelty
- Peer pressure or pressure from partner
- Reduce sex drive
- Sexual curiosity
- Showing love to your partner
- Spiritual transcendence
Why Study Sex?
Understanding why people seek sex is not always a simple task. Most studies have involved college undergraduates, a “sample of convenience” for university researchers, but one that is often very limiting. Such young men and women typically haven’t been in very committed relationships and are in the process of discovering their sexuality. Their answers to “why do you have sex” are often greatly tied to the image of themselves and their social relationships, says Richard Carroll. This can change over time.
But such knowledge can improve a couple’s sex life.
“Understanding these differences in motivations is very important. It helps us understand what’s going on in the sexual relationship and treat sexual disorders. Very often you find the source of the problem can be traced to the particular motivation,” says Richard Carroll.
If you need help, you can find a qualified counselor or sex therapist in your area through organizations such as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapist (AASECT) or The Society for Sex Therapy and Research.
[By Kelli Miller Stacy - WebMD Feature]