Monday, April 30, 2012

The psychosis cannabis link

There seems so be something wrong with the titles of my posts.  My huge computer screen refuses to show them to me. My laptop proves to be more willing. Anybody else experiencing trouble reading the titles of my posts?
Anyhow, here is an interesting article about the link between psychosis and cannabis use. I am currently doing an internship in a psychotic ward, and it is quite unnerving to watch the struggle of young people. A struggle (partially?) caused by substance abuse.

"Marijuana doesn’t count, does it?” Clinicians are familiar with this common reply when screening for drug use. Cannabis—the most common illicit substance—has managed to exempt itself from the hazardous reputation held by other illicit drugs.1 As mental health practitioners, it is our duty to educate our patients about the potential harms and consequences of cannabis use. This important task is complicated by the disagreement and uncertainty surrounding the nature of the interaction between cannabis and psychotic disorders.

While research suggests that cannabis use can induce an acute psychotic state, there is controversy about whether it may precipitate psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. In this article, we provide an update on the literature on this important issue, emphasize areas in need of research, and provide clinically useful recommendations.

More than 16 million Americans use cannabis on a regular basis, typically beginning in adolescence. Notably, it is estimated that approximately 4% of the population have a diagnosis of either cannabis abuse or dependence.1 A history of cannabis misuse is even more common in patients who are schizophrenic than in the general population; 25% of patients with schizophrenia have a comorbid cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorders are especially common in younger and first-episode patient samples and in samples with high proportions of males."

Continue reading here.


From The Guardian, 27 April 2012:

"This week, with the help of national treasure Joanna Lumley, Marks & Spencer launched its Shwopping campaign. The idea is to encourage people to bring old garments into stores when they buy new ones, to reduce the 1bn items chucked into UK landfill each year. The old clothes will be sold or recycled by Oxfam, which already offers a £5 voucher to people bringing old M&S clothes into its charity shops.
Lumley is no fool. "We women, I think, know in our hearts that we shouldn't chuck stuff away," she told the Telegraph. "I think young people have been encouraged to buy something, wear it for months and throw it out."
One is tempted to suggest M&S would achieve its aims better if it discouraged feckless clothes-buying, by specialising in more expensive investment items, made in Britain, like it used to. Or refrained from selling so much of its food in plastic packaging.
But all retailers want consumers to keep consuming. If they can market the idea that it's green to do so, they will. And "Shwopping"? It's an ugly word for a mildly dubious enterprise. I don't suppose there's much harm in it. But I can't help feeling it's not good enough for such enthusiastic endorsement from Lumley."

The Human Body

Yes, it has been a while... During my absence the Blogger user interface has totally changed. As a result it has taken me about twenty minutes to find the button which allows me to add new stuff.  What I would like to share today is a link to a book about the human anatomy. If only that book would have served as my manual last year... My exam results would have been much better. I am sure of it. Hell, what am I blathering about? "The human body, what it is and how it works". Just look at the illustrations. Wonderful! Absolutely stunning.

And there is more:

Originally published in 1959, this colorful gem was inspired by German artist and researcher Fritz Kahn, who in his 1926 classic Man as Industrial Palace described the human body as “the highest performance machine in the world” and used industrial metaphors to illustrate its remarkable capacities.

From the nine systems of the body — skeletal, muscle, nervous, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine, and reproductive — to the intricacies of the different organs and senses, the tantalizing tome demonstrates, in delightfully illustrated detail, just how magnificent our physical complexity is.
You can find more information about it here. Of course, you can also buy it. Check Amazon.