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Graduate to Elevate

From the category Fast Facts

The current findings on high school dropout rates and their effect on quality of life and social issues cannot be ignored.  Consider that:

*Every 9 seconds there’s a dropout in America

*A 1% increase in high school graduation would save $1.4 billion in incarceration costs

*High school dropouts earn $500,000 less over their lifetime Continue Reading

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Faster Acting Drugs For Depression

From the category Fast Facts

Ketamine, known by the street name Special K, is one of the new fast acting drugs being tested for the treatment of depression. Because Ketamine interacts more directly with the receptors that are responsible for normal electrical signal transfer between neurons, it is an appealing alternative to the slower acting SSRI’s, such as Prozac and Zoloft, as well as SNRI’s like Effexor and Cymbalta. Continue Reading

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Marketing the Disease, Selling the Medication

From the category Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

The big business of drug revenue is constantly being fed by new and inventive ways of creating markets for drugs to affect.  This inventive marketing strategy was developed by SmithKline (today known as GlaxoSmithKline), a British pharmaceutical company, to market their depression drug Paxil in 1991.  It has since been adopted by many other pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer in marketing Viagra, and Merck in marketing Zostavax, their drug for Shingles.  It’s a very effective strategy, contributing to over 4 billion total prescriptions being written in 2012 and drug spending topping $320 billion. Continue Reading

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Self-reflection

From the category Concepts In Motion

A defining differentiation between us and all other living things on this planet is our extraordinary ability for self-reflection. This  trait allows us to look at ourselves and evaluate our emotional, physical, and metaphysical states. In its less obvious form, self-reflection strengthens our conscience by helping us identify and enforce our own moral awareness. In its more obvious form, it strengthens our ego by helping us define who we are and what we desire. Self-reflection, however, is not infallible. In his drawing, Hand With Reflecting Sphere, M.C. Escher,  Continue Reading

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A Call to Cultural Leadership

From the category Five Minute Articles For Your Consideration

Last year there were approximately 12,000 gun related homicides in the United States.  By now we’ve heard so many stories of senseless drive by shootings, office shootings, and domestic violence that we’ve become numb to their reports.  The grim ones hold our attention and then slowly fade away.  Aurora and Sandy Hook were different.  They held our attention longer and reminded us that Columbine wasn’t an isolated incident.  Continue Reading

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Stress Linked to Aging Chromosomes

From the category Fast Facts

New research shows that the length of the protective end buffers of our chromosomes (like the plastic tips on shoelaces), called telomeres, are linked to chronic stress and depression.  A study in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry (2012) concluded that subjects who reported chronic stress in their lives had significantly shorter telomeres than those who reported normal stress.  Continue Reading

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We Are Not Our Labels

From the category Concepts In Motion

Labels are useful in the mental health field but we often blur the line between a label and a “condition”. When the lines get blurred we become identified by our label. For some the label is ADHD, for others it’s bi-polar disorder and for the majority of people who experience normal bouts of sadness and pessimism it’s depression. Rene Magritte, the French painter, illustrates the struggle between meaning and language in his painting “This Is Not A Pipe.” Continue Reading

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