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“Texts Rather than Apps for Mental Health Care”

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This January 30, 2015 article on the Psych Central website talks about emerging data  in a recent study that seems to show that mental health professionals prefer text messaging over apps when it comes to mobile communication from their clients mainly because the data suggests that people with mental illnesses are more likely to use text messaging then they are to use an app.

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Get A Life: Are people becoming robots?”

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This September 15, 2014 post on Echo-Pilot, talks about one person’s observation with regards to a connection between our addiction to technology and or feelings of being disconnected from the world around us.

“For Kids On The Autism Spectrum, This Little Robot Could Make A Big Difference”


Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This April 22, 2014 article on the WESA Pittsburgh NPR Station’s website includes an audio version also, but talks about a robot named Romibo that is designed to help kids who have Autism learn to communicate better.  The robot is controlled by the therapist, and in my opinion kind of looks like a colorful imitation of Cousin It the idea behind Romibo is to encourage communication while decreasing the need for children with Autism to need to interpret facial expressions as well as the words they are hearing.  Romibo has digitized eyes that have some animation to them but compared to the human face, the expressiveness of Romibo is very minimal.  The designer is hoping that this little robot will help bridge the communication gap between therapists and kids with Autism.


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“Elders Think Slowly But More Accurately”




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This January 3, 2012 article on the BrainPhysics.com website talks about a study done on the elderly and on children.  The study looked to see if there was a difference in the accuracy of responses based on age.  The study found that children tended to be slow and not as accurate in their responses, but the elderly who were also slow to respond were actually quite accurate and that the slower response time in the elderly was probably because they were trying to be perfect and not make any mistakes.


Humor can be a useful tool

I have a little story for you from my own life that pertains to the item below.  I was struggling immensely with mistakes I was making at work, losing things I needed to do my job or get ready to go to work, or for that matter anything that had to do with organizing my day to day life.  I was in for one of my regular medchecks with my psychiatrist and he asked how things were going, so I began to fumble with describing what I was experiencing.  He pulls a piece of paper that was taped to the wall off and hands it to me as he asks me to tell him if it sounded familiar.   This is what I read …

This is how it goes: I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice the mail on the table. OK, I’m going to wash the car. But first I’m going to go through the mail. I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail and I notice the trash can is full. OK, I’ll just put the bills on my desk and take the trash can out, but since I’m going to be near the mailbox anyway, I’ll pay these few bills first. Now, where is my checkbook? Oops, there’s only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk. Oh, there’s the coke I was drinking. I’m going to look for those checks. But first I need to put my coke further away from the computer, or maybe I’ll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while. I head towards the kitchen and my flowers catch my eye. They need some water. I set the coke on the counter and uh oh! There are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning! I’d better put them away first. I fill a container with water and head for the flowerpots – –

Aaaaaagh! Someone left the TV remote in the kitchen. We will never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to watch television, so I’d better put it back in the family room where it belongs. I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor, I throw the remote onto a soft cushion on the sofa and I head back down the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do? End of Day: The car isn’t washed, the bills are unpaid, the coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers are half watered, the checkbook still only has one check in it and I can’t seem to find my car keys! When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I’m baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG!!! I realize this is a serious condition and I WILL get help, but FIRST I think I’ll check my e-mail…

I started reading and chuckled through the first couple sentences, but the more I read the more I felt connected to the person in the story I was looking in a mirror of my typical day … different activities, but still the same distractability and jarring of my brain reminding me things based on what I see or hear as I try to complete a given task.  I was in tears by the time I got to the end of it and told my psychiatrist that it was like looking in a mirror.  There was more discussion, and he asked if I would be willing to try something to help with the issues I was having.  He said that he was pretty confident that I had Adult AD/HD, and that if I was interested he would be willing to try me on Straterra.  My life is improving and slowly I’m feeling like I’m regaining control over my inability to get anything done.  Who would have guessed that a silly story that in some people’s eyes is nothing more then spam could actually be useful inhelping my psychiatrist understand what I was trying to convey to him but failed miserably  to come up with the words and ultimately useful as a tool for diagnosing me with Adult ADHD.

I guess the moral of this is that even spam can be usefull sometimes as a tool for helping a patient communicate with their doctor.  Don’t hesitate to use things that seem to describe what you feel but can’t explain sometimes it can help you get your life back.

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