Internet Mental Health

AMPHETAMINE USE DISORDER


WARNING:



President Trump is about to start a nuclear war with North Korea. New UN sanctions have cut North Korea's oil and money supply - hence its regime would soon fall without war. Both China and Russia have promised to defend North Korea if America attacks first. So America attacking North Korea could start a nuclear WW III. Nevertheless, Trump will attack North Korea as a distraction from his possible impeachment. US pro-war propaganda is becoming hysterical. This propaganda lies in stating that "food supplies would be decimated by radiation and up to 90% of the population would die within a year" after a nuclear bomb was exploded high in the atmosphere over America. The truth is that an electromagnetic pulse from such a high atmospheric nuclear explosion could destroy electronic devices for hundreds of miles beneath the blast. But the resulting electromagnetc pulse from such a blast is not lethal to humans. In the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of American soldiers were experimentally placed in trenches just a few miles from ground nuclear explosions, and the resulting electromagnetic pulse did not kill one of these American soldier "guinea pigs". However, this high radiation exposure decades later caused a dramatic increase in cancer in these human guinea pigs. The high radiation exposure from the Chernobyl Disaster did not kill the surrounding vegetation or animals.

By 2020 Climate Change Will Be Irreversible

By 2030 60% Of Tropical Rainforest Will Be Destroyed

Climate Change This Century Will Destroy India and Pakistan

Why Is This Warning On A Mental Health Website?

No such warning has ever been published on this website since its creation in 1995. However, the very high probability of a nuclear WW III, and the certainty of irreversible climate change in the next few years requires that this warning be posted. If Trump starts WW III, or does nothing to stop climate change, mental illness will be the least of our worries.


  • Amphetamine use disorder is the continued use of amphetamine despite clinically significant distress or impairment.

  • Typically includes a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and a physical withdrawal state.

Prediction

    Episodic or continuous for years

Problems

Occupational-Economic Problems:

  • Causes significant impairment in academic or occupational functioning

Critical, Quarrelsome (Antagonism):

  • Suspiciousness, social withdrawal

Impulsive, Disorderly (Disinhibition):

  • Intoxicated (sometimes violent) behavior, impaired driving

  • Impulsivity, dangerous risk taking, irresponsibility

  • Prostitution or drug-dealing, theft, other law-breaking, violence

  • Marital (or child) abuse/neglect

Psychotic (Impaired Intellect):

  • Intoxication sometimes causes psychosis with delusions and/or hallucinations

  • Intoxication sometimes causes delirium:

    • Disturbance in attention (ie, reduced ability to direct focus, sustain, and shift attention) and awareness (reduced orientation to the environment)

    • Disturbance in cognition (ie, memory deficit, disorientation, language, visuospatial ability, or perception)

Enthusiastic, Assertive (High Extraversion):

  • Intoxication causes:

    • Increased alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality

    • Individuals to go for long periods without food or sleep, followed by exhaustion and fatigue, giving way to long periods of sleep and periods of extreme hunger

Distressed, Easily Upset (Negative Emotion):

  • Can cause anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, anger

Medical:

  • Intoxication can cause sudden death, even in first time users

  • Causes denial of addiction and denial of the physical illnesses it causes

  • Can cause HIV (if using needles); weight loss & malnutrition; seizures; heart attack, stroke



Explanation Of Terms And Symbols



Internet Mental Health Quality of Life Scale


Dr. Gardere: Addiction


Documentary: Methamphetamine - The World's Most Dangerous Drug


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Click Here For Free Diagnosis

Limitations of Self-Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis of this disorder is often inaccurate. Accurate diagnosis of this disorder requires assessment by a qualified practitioner trained in psychiatric diagnosis and evidence-based treatment.

However, if no such professional is available, our free computerized diagnosis is usually accurate when completed by an informant who knows the patient well. Computerized diagnosis is less accurate when done by patients (because they often lack insight).

Example Of Our Computer Generated Diagnostic Assessment

Stimulant Use Disorder (Amphetamine-Type) 304.40

This diagnosis is based on the following findings:
  • Abused "crystal meth" (methamphetamine) in the past 5 years (still present)
  • Greater use of a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug than intended (still present)
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use of a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug (still present)
  • A great deal of time is spent in obtaining a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug, using it, or recovering from its effects (still present)
  • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug (still present)
  • Recurrent use of a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home (still present)
  • Continued use of a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug despite having persistent social problems that it made worse (still present)
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug (still present)
  • Developed tolerance to a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug (still present)
  • Developed withdrawal symptoms to a stimulant (amphetamine-like) drug (still present)

Treatment Goals:

  • Goal: stop stimulant use because using more than intended.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use because it is getting out of control.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in order to prevent wasting so much time using a stimulant, or recovering from its use.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in order to decrease craving for this stimulant.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use so that she can better fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in order to improve the stimulant-related social problems.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in order to increase time spent on important social, occupational, or recreational activities.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in hazardous situations in order to prevent injury.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use in order to prevent further worsening of current stimulant-related physical or emotional problems.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use because tolerance to this stimulant is developing.

  • Goal: stop stimulant use because withdrawal symptoms are developing.


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Dependence Syndrome Due To Amphetamines F15 - ICD10 Description, World Health Organization
Repeated amphetamine use that typically includes a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and a physical withdrawal state.
Stimulant Use Disorder - Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association

An individual diagnosed with stimulant use disorder needs to meet all of the following criteria:

  • A problematic pattern of amphetamine-type substance, cocaine, or other stimulant use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

    • The stimulant is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.

    • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control stimulant use.

    • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the stimulant, use the stimulant, or recover from its effects.

    • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the stimulant.

    • Recurrent stimulant use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.

    • Continued stimulant use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the stimulant.

    • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of stimulant use.

    • Recurrent stimulant use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.

    • Stimulant use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the stimulant.

    • Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

      • A need for markedly increased amounts of the stimulant to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

      • A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the stimulant.

        Note: This criterion is not considered to be met for those taking stimulant medications solely under appropriate medical supervision, such as medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy.

    • Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:

      • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the stimulant:

        • Cessation of (or reduction in) prolonged amphetamine-type substance, cocaine, or other stimulant use.

        • Dysphoric mood and two (or more) of the following physiological changes, developing within a few hours to several days after the cessation of (or reduction in) stimulant use:

          • Fatigue.

          • Vivid, unpleasant dreams.

          • Insomnia or hypersomnia.

          • Increased appetite.

          • Psychomotor retardation or agitation.

      • The stimulant (or closely related substance) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

        Note: This criterion is not considered to be met for those taking stimulant medications solely under appropriate medical supervision, such as medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy.

    • Specify if:

      • In early remission: After full criteria for stimulant use disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for stimulant use disorder have been met for at least 3 months but for less than 12 months (with the exception that the criterion, "Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the stimulant," may be met).

      • In sustained remission: After full criteria for stimulant use disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for stimulant use disorder have been met at any time during a period of 12 months or longer (with the exception that the criterion, "Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the stimulant," may be met).

    • Specify if:

      • In a controlled environment: This additional specifier is used if the individual is in an environment where access to stimulants is restricted.


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Diagnostic Features

Amphetamine-type substances include amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine ("speed" and "ice"), methylphenidate and agents used as "diet pills". These substances are usually taken orally or intravenously, although methamphetamine can be taken by the nasal route ("snorting") and the very pure form ("ice") can be smoked to produce an immediate and powerful stimulant effect. Most of the effects of amphetamine and amphetamine-like drugs are similar to those of cocaine, but their effects last longer than those of cocaine, thus are used fewer times per day.

Amphetamine Use Disorder is characterized by the harmful consequences of repeated use of amphetamine-like drugs, a pattern of compulsive use of amphetamine-like drugs, and (sometimes) physiological dependence on amphetamine-like drugs (i.e., tolerance and/or symptoms of withdrawal). This disorder is only diagnosed when use of amphetamine-like drugs becomes persistent and causes significant academic, occupational, social or medical impairment. Cocaine and amphetamine-like drugs have identical intoxication and withdrawal symptoms; hence are grouped together under the diagnosis of Stimulant Use Disorders.

Amphetamine Intoxication causes significant psychological and social impairment (e.g., euphoria or emotional blunting; gregariousness; hypervigilance; interpersonal sensitivity; anxiety, tension or anger; stereotyped behaviors; impaired judgment; or impaired social or occupational functioning). This intoxication has two or more of the following physical signs: rapid/slowed pulse, widening of the pupils, increased/decreased blood pressure, perspiration/chills, nausea/vomiting, weight loss, psychomotor agitation/slowing, muscular weakness/respiratory depression/chest pain/cardiac arrhythmias, confusion/seizures/dyskinesias/dystonias/coma. Intoxication or overdose causes individuals to go for long periods without food or sleep, followed by exhaustion and fatigue, giving way to long periods of sleep and periods of extreme hunger. Intoxication can cause death, even in first time users. Intoxication begins within minutes (and sometimes within seconds) after amphetamine-like drug use but may take up to 1 hour, depending on the specific drug and method of delivery. Virtually all amphetamine-like drug users develop tolerance to the drug; hence have to keep increasing their dose. Intense intoxication may cause paranoid ideation, auditory hallucinations in a clear sensorium, and tactile hallucinations (e.g., formication or a feeling of bugs under the skin). Extreme anger with violence may occur.

Amphetamine Withdrawal develops within a few hours to several days after the cessation of (or reduction in) heavy and prolonged cocaine use. This withdrawal syndrome is characterized by dysphoric mood (i.e., anxious, tense, depessed, or angry mood) and two or more of the following: fatigue; vivid, unpleasant dreams; insomnia/hypersomnia; increased appetite; psychomotor agitation/slowing. This withdrawal syndrome usually requires several days of rest. Depressive symptoms with suicidal ideation or behavior may last several days to weeks.

Psychological Complications

Chronic use can cause: chaotic behavior, social isolation, aggressive behavior, sexual dysfunction, legal problems, depression, social and occupational failure. High-dose use causes psychotic episodes.

Medical Complications

Users that snort amphetamine-like drugs often develop sinusitis, nose bleeds, and a perforated nasal septum. Users that smoke amphetamine-like drugs develop coughing, bronchitis, and pneumonitis. Users that inject amphetamine-like drugs have puncture marks ("tracks") on their forearms. Frequent injections and unsafe sex increases the risk of HIV. Other sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other lung infections are also seen. Chest pain, weight loss, malnutrition and impaired personal hygiene are common.

Traumatic injuries due to violent behavior are common among individuals trafficking drugs.

Psychological Comorbidity

Amphetamine Use Disorder has increased rates of other Substance Use Disorders (especially alcohol, marijuana, heroin, benzodiazepines), Major Depressive Disorder, repeated Panic Attacks, social phobic-like behavior, generalized anxiety-like syndromes, Eating Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Pathological Gambling.

Medical Comorbidity

Amphetamine Use Disorder has increased rates of hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonitis, and pneumothorax.

Associated Laboratory Findings

Amphetamine-like drugs are detected on routine urine toxicology testing. It remains in the urine for 1-3 days, and possibly up to 4 days. Hair samples can be used to detect amphetamine-like drugs for up to 3 months.

Prevalence

The 12-month prevalence in the American population is 0.2% among 12- to 17-year-olds and 0.2% among individuals 18 years and older. The male:female ratio is 3:1 or 4:1 for intravenous users, but is 1:1 for non-injecting users. Rates are highest among 18- to 29-year-olds (0.4%) and lowest among 45- to 64-year-olds (0.1%).

Course

Amphetamine Use Disorder can develop as rapidly as 1 week, although the onset is not always this rapid. With continued use, there is a loss of pleasurable effects (due to tolerance) and an increase in unpleasant effects (e.g., anxiety, depression, anger).

Outcome

The few long-term research studies available indicate that there is a tendency of individuals with Amphetamine Use Disorder to decrease or stop use after 8-10 years.

Familial Pattern

Part of the risk of developing Amphetamine Use Disorder is genetic; since many individuals with this disorder have behavioral disinhibition (a highly heritable tendency towards impulsivity, novelty-seeking, dangerous risk-taking and rule-breaking).

Effective Therapies

Acute toxicity is treated by giving activated charcoal within 1 hour of oral ingestion (but this is ineffective if the substance was snorted or smoked). Apart from treatment for acute toxicity, there is no effective psychosocial or pharmacological treatment for stimulant use disorder that has been proven effective in replicated, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Thus there are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for stmulant use disorder.

It is possible to stop using amphetamine-like drugs. To do this you must: (1) totally divorce yourself from drug-using or drug-supplying people, (2) not use alcohol or any other illegal drug, (3) be socially active and help others, (4) talk to other people who have successfully stayed off drugs, (5) devote yourself to important activities that give meaning and purpose to life (e.g., family, friends, sports, work, helping others, church etc.). Therapists know that these 5 steps work, but our therapies often are ineffective in motivating patients to complete these essential steps to recovery.



Top 20 Most Harmful Drugs In Britain In 2008

Professor David Nutt published in the Lancet the following rating of Britain's most dangerous drugs. They are listed in descending order from the most harmful.

1. Heroin

Class A drug. Originally used as a painkiller and derived from the opium poppy. There were 897 deaths recorded from heroin and morphine use in 2008 in England and Wales, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). There were around 13,000 seizures, amounting to 1.6m tonnes of heroin.

2. Cocaine

Class A. Stimulant produced from the South American coca leaf. Accounted for 235 deaths -- a sharp rise on the previous year's fatalities. Nearly 25,000 seizures were made, amounting to 2.9 tonnes of the drug.

3. Barbiturates

Class B. Synthetic sedatives used for anaesthetic purposes. Blamed for 13 deaths.

4. Street methadone

Class A. A synthetic opioid, commonly used as a substitute for treating heroin patients. Accounted for 378 deaths and there were more than 1,000 seizures of the drug.

5. Alcohol

Subject to increasing concern from the medical profession about its damage to health. According to the ONS, there were 8,724 alcohol deaths in the UK in 2007. Other sources claim the true figure is far higher.

6. Ketamine

Class C. A hallucinogenic dance drug for clubbers. There were 23 ketamine-related deaths in the UK between 1993 and 2006. Last year there were 1,266 seizures.

7. Benzodiazepines

Class C. A hypnotic relaxant used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Includes drugs such as diazepam, temazepam and nitrazepam. Caused 230 deaths and 1.8m doses were confiscated in more than 4,000 seizure operations.

8. Amphetamine

Class B. A psychostimulant that combats fatigue and suppresses hunger. Associated with 99 deaths, although this tally includes some ecstasy deaths. Nearly 8,000 seizures, adding up to almost three tonnes of confiscated amphetamines.

9. Tobacco

A stimulant that is highly addictive due to its nicotine content. More than 100,000 people a year die from smoking and tobacco-related diseases, including cancer, respiratory diseases and heart disease.

10. Buprenorphine

An opiate used for pain control, and sometimes as a substitute to wean addicts off heroin. Said to have caused 43 deaths in the UK between 1980 and 2002.

11. Cannabis

Class B. A psychoactive drug recently appearing in stronger forms such as "skunk". [Since this video was made; there is now conclusive proof that cannabis causes a 6.7 fold increase in the risk of developing schizophrenia.] Caused 19 deaths and there were 186,000 seizures, netting 65 tonnes of the drug and 640,000 cannabis plants.

12. Solvents

Fumes inhaled to produce a sense of intoxication. Usually abused by teenagers. Derived from commonly available products such as glue and aerosol sprays. Causes around 50 deaths a year.

13. 4-MTA

Class A. Originally designed for laboratory research. Releases serotonin in the body. Only four deaths reported in the UK between 1997 and 2004.

14. LSD

Class A. Hallucinogenic drug originally synthesised by a German chemist in 1938. Very few deaths recorded.

15. Methylphenidate

Class B drug. Brand name of Ritalin. A psychostimulant sometimes used in the treatment of attention deficit disorders.

16. Anabolic steroids

Class C. Used to develop muscles, notably in competitive sports. Also alleged to induce aggression. Have been blamed for causing deaths among bodybuilders. More than 800 seizures.

17. GHB

Class C drug. A clear liquid dance drug said to induce euphoria, also described as a date rape drug. Can trigger comas and suppress breathing. Caused 20 deaths and 47 seizures were recorded.

18. Ecstasy

Class A. Psychoactive dance drug. Caused 44 deaths, with around 5,000 seizures made.

19. Alykl nitrites

Known as "poppers". Inhaled for their role as a muscle relaxant and supposed sexual stimulant. Reduce blood pressure, which can cause fainting and in some cases death.

20. Khat

A psychoactive plant, the leaves of which are chewed in east Africa and Yemen. Also known as qat. Produces mild psychological dependence. Its derivatives, cathinone and cathine, are Class C drugs in the UK.

Ineffective therapies

Some argue that illegal use of amphetamine-like drugs should be decriminalized, and that this stimulant addiction should be treated "like any other medical disorder". They forget that there is no treatment for Amphetamine Use Disorder that has been proven effective.

Should Illicit Drugs Be Legalized?

The leading causes of death in USA in 2000 were tobacco (435 000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (365 000 deaths; 15.2%), and alcohol consumption (85 000 deaths; 3.5%).

Some people argue that illicit drugs should be legalized to decrease the crime associated with these drugs. Historically, tobacco and alcohol were once illegal drugs. Tobacco smoking is now the leading cause of death in America, and alcoholism is the third leading cause of death.

Thus legalizing illicit drugs does not make them any less medically and socially harmful. In fact the opposite is true; legalizing illicit drugs increases their use and the harm they cause. The Government of Finland is passing legislation that will gradually ban all tobacco use by 2040.


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Crystal Methamphetamine Addiction In Vancouver, Canada
- Odd Squad Productions



The Drug Scene In Vancouver, Canada in 2003 (It Is 100 Times Worse Today)
- Odd Squad Productions




  • Amphetamine Use Disorder - Google


  • Amphetamine Abuse - Epocrates Online
  • Overview of substance abuse and overdose - Epocrates Online
  • Amphetamine overdose - Epocrates Online
  • Amphetamine Dependence - Wikipedia
  • Amphetamine Abuse - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine Dependence - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine Intoxication - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine Intoxication Delirium - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine Withdrawal - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine-Induced Anxiety Disorder - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine-Induced Mood Disorder - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sexual Dysfunction - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sleep Disorder - DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria, American Psychiatric Association
  • The Horrors of Methamphetamines - Before-and-after pictures of methamphetamine addicts' faces (Warning: these pictures are disturbing.)
  • Bath Salts - It's Not A Fad; It's A Nightmare - U.S. Navy
  • Turkey seized 11 million pills of a stimulant that's helping to fuel the Syrian civil war - BusinessInsider.com
  • 5 Myths About Addiction - CBC
  • Stories

    Rating Scales

    Stages of Learned Behavior

    Our survival involves learning what to avoid (i.e., fear) and what to approach (i.e., crave). Both fear and craving are essential for our survival, but both can spiral out of control.

    For example, an individual can develop a phobia about snakes in which the fear becomes excessive. This phobia can develop into an obsession in which the individual spends much of the time thinking about snakes, and how to avoid them.

    This obsession can develop into a compulsion in which the individual spends much of the time doing superstitious, compulsive, ritual behaviors aimed at avoiding snakes.

    Likewise, an individual can develop an excessive craving for alcohol which causes significant distress or disability.

    This excessive craving for alcohol can develop into an obsession in which the individual spends much of the time thinking about alcohol, and how to get it.

    This obsession can develop into a compulsion in which the individual spends much of the time compulsively drinking, and feeling powerless to resist this craving.

    Four Stages of Fear and Craving

    4 STAGES OF FEAR 4 STAGES OF CRAVING
    Normal Fear:
    Is in proportion to the actual danger, and doesn't cause significant distress or disability.
    Normal Craving:
    Doesn't cause significant distress or disability.
    Excessive Fear (Phobia):
    Is out of proportion to the actual danger posed, and causes significant distress or disability.
    Excessive Craving:
    Is not socially acceptable, and causes significant distress or disability (e.g., "I'm drinking too much").
    Obsessional Fear:
    Persistent, unwanted or obsessional thoughts about the fear develop, which cause significant distress or disability.
    Obsessional Craving:
    Persistent, unwanted or obsessional thoughts about the craving develop, which cause significant distress or disability (e.g., "I spend much of my time thinking about alcohol, and how to get it").
    Compulsive Fear:
    Compulsive behaviors develop (aimed at reducing the anxiety associated with the obsession), which the individual finds very hard to resist doing.
    Compulsive Craving:
    Compulsive behaviors develop (aimed at satisfying the craving), which the individual finds very hard to resist doing (e.g., "I can't stop myself from drinking").

    Which Behavioral Dimensions Are Involved?

    Research has shown that there are 5 major dimensions (the "Big 5 Factors") of personality disorders and other mental disorders. There are two free online personality tests that assess your personality in terms of the "Big 5 dimensions of personality.

    This website uses these 5 major dimensions of human behavior to describe all mental disorders. (This website adds one more dimension, "Physical Health", but our discussion will focus on the first 5 major dimensions.)

    These 5 major dimensions of human behavior seem to represent 5 major dimensions whereby our early ancestors chose their hunting companions or spouse. To maximize their chance for survival, our ancestors wanted companions who were agreeable, conscientious, intelligent, enthusiastic, and calm.

    Which Dimensions of Human Behavior are Impaired in Alcohol Use Disorder?

    THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE "BIG 5" PERSONALITY DIMENSIONS THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THE "BIG 5" PERSONALITY DIMENSIONS DESCRIPTION (Where red = this disorder)
    Agreeableness Antagonism       Sympathetic, Kind vs. Critical, Quarrelsome
    Conscientiousness Disinhibition       Industrious, Orderly vs. Impulsive, Disorderly
    Openness To Experience Impaired Intellect       Open-Minded, Creative vs. Psychotic
    Sociability (Extraversion) Detachment       Enthusiastic, Assertive vs. Reserved, Quiet
    Emotional Stability Negative Emotion       Calm, Emotionally Stable vs. Distressed, Easily Upset


    The 5 Major Dimensions of Mental Illness

    Our website uses the "Big 5 Factors" of personality as major dimensions of mental illness. Each of these 5 dimensions has a healthy side and an unhealthy side. The Big 5 Factors are: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, Sociability (Extraversion), and Emotional Stability. Our website adds an additional factor, Physical Health. However, our discussion will primarily focus on the traditional "Big 5 Factors".



    The Following Pictures Are of The International Space Station

    AGREEABLENESS VS. ANTAGONISM
    .
    Agreeableness (Sympathetic, Kind)
    .
    Description: Agreeableness is synonymous with cooperation and social harmony; whereas Antagonism is synonymous with competition and aggression. The Agreeableness dimension measures the "good vs. bad" behaviors that are central to the concept of LOVE and JUSTICE.
    Descriptors: Sympathetic, kind, appreciative, affectionate, soft-hearted, warm, generous, trusting, helpful, forgiving, pleasant, good-natured, friendly, cooperative, gentle, unselfish, praising, sensitive
    MRI Research*: Agreeableness was associated with increased volume in regions that process information about the intentions and mental states of other individuals.
    "I am helpful and unselfish with others."
    "I have a forgiving nature."
    "I am generally trusting."
    "I am considerate and kind to almost everyone."
    "I like to cooperate with others."
    "I don't find fault with others."
    "I don't start quarrels with others."
    "I am not cold and aloof."
    "I am not rude to others."
    "I feel other's emotions."
    "I inquire about others' well-being."
    "I sympathize with others' feelings."
    "I take an interest in other people's lives."
    "I like to do things for others."
    "I respect authority."
    "I hate to seem pushy."
    "I avoid imposing my will on others."
    "I rarely put people under pressure."
    .
    Antagonism (Critical, Quarrelsome)
    .
    * Callousness:
    "It's no big deal if I hurt other people's feelings."
    "Being rude and unfriendly is just a part of who I am."
    "I often get into physical fights."
    "I enjoy making people in control look stupid."
    "I am not interested in other people's problems."
    "I can't be bothered with other's needs."
    "I am indifferent to the feelings of others."
    "I don't have a soft side."
    "I take no time for others."
    .
    * Deceitfulness:
    "I don't hesitate to cheat if it gets me ahead."
    "Lying comes easily to me."
    "I use people to get what I want."
    "People don't realize that I'm flattering them to get something."
    .
    * Manipulativeness:
    "I use people to get what I want."
    "It is easy for me to take advantage of others."
    "I'm good at conning people."
    "I am out for my own personal gain."
    .
    * Grandiosity:
    "I'm better than almost everyone else."
    "I often have to deal with people who are less important than me."
    "To be honest, I'm just more important than other people."
    "I deserve special treatment."
    .
    * Suspiciousness:
    "It seems like I'm always getting a “raw deal” from others."
    "I suspect that even my so-called 'friends' betray me a lot."
    "Others would take advantage of me if they could."
    "Plenty of people are out to get me."
    "I'm always on my guard for someone trying to trick or harm me."
    .
    * Hostility:
    "I am easily angered."
    "I get irritated easily by all sorts of things."
    "I am usually pretty hostile."
    "I always make sure I get back at people who wrong me."
    "I resent being told what to do, even by people in charge."
    "I insult people."
    "I seek conflict."
    "I love a good fight."
    .
    ("Agreeableness vs. Antagonism" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    CONSCIENTIOUSNESS VS. DISINHIBITION
    .
    Conscientiousness (Industrious, Orderly)
    .
    Description: Conscientiousness is synonymous with being industrious and orderly; whereas Disinhibition is synonymous with being impulsive and disorderly. The Conscientiousness dimension measures the "self-controlled vs. disinhibited" behaviors that are central to the concept of SELF-CONTROL.
    Descriptors: Self-disciplined, achievement-oriented, industrious, competent, reliable, responsible, orderly, deliberate, decisive
    MRI Research*: Conscientiousness was associated with increased volume in the lateral prefrontal cortex, a region involved in planning and the voluntary control of behavior.
    "I do a thorough job. I want everything to be 'just right'. I want every detail taken care of."
    "I am careful."
    "I am a reliable hard-worker."
    "I am organized. I follow a schedule and always know what I am doing."
    "I like order. I keep things tidy."
    "I see that rules are observed."
    "I do things efficiently. I get things done quickly."
    "I carry out my plans and finish what I start."
    "I am not easily distracted."
    .
    Rigid Perfectionism (Excessive Conscientiousness)
    .
    "Even though it drives other people crazy, I insist on absolute perfection in everything I do."
    "I simply won't put up with things being out of their proper places."
    "People complain about my need to have everything all arranged."
    "People tell me that I focus too much on minor details."
    "I have a strict way of doing things."
    "I postpone decisions."
    .
    Disinhibition (Impulsive, Disorderly)
    .
    * Irresponsibility:
    "I've skipped town to avoid responsibilities."
    "I just skip appointments or meetings if I'm not in the mood."
    "I'm often pretty careless with my own and others' things."
    "Others see me as irresponsible."
    "I make promises that I don't really intend to keep."
    "I often forget to pay my bills."
    .
    * Impulsivity:
    "I usually do things on impulse without thinking about what might happen as a result."
    "Even though I know better, I can't stop making rash decisions."
    "I feel like I act totally on impulse."
    "I'm not good at planning ahead."
    .
    * Distractibility:
    "I can't focus on things for very long."
    "I am easily distracted."
    "I have trouble pursuing specific goals even for short periods of time."
    "I can't achieve goals because other things capture my attention."
    "I often make mistakes because I don't pay close attention."
    "I waste my time ."
    "I find it difficult to get down to work."
    "I mess things up."
    "I don't put my mind on the task at hand."
    .
    * Risk Taking:
    "I like to take risks."
    "I have no limits when it comes to doing dangerous things."
    "People would describe me as reckless."
    "I don't think about getting hurt when I'm doing things that might be dangerous."
    .
    * Hyperactivity:
    "I move excessively (e.g., can't sit still; restless; always on the go)."
    "I'm starting lots more projects than usual or doing more risky things than usual."
    .
    * Over-Talkativeness:
    "I talk excessively (e.g., I butt into conversations; I complete people's sentences)."
    "Often I talk constantly and cannot be interrupted."
    .
    * Elation:
    "I feel much more happy, cheerful, or self-confident than usual."
    "I'm sleeping a lot less than usual, but I still have a lot of energy."
    .
    ("Conscientiousness vs. Disinhibition" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE vs. IMPAIRED INTELLECT
    .
    Open To Experience (Open-Minded, Creative)
    .
    Description: Open to Experience is synonymous with being open-minded and creative; whereas Closed to Experience is synonymous with being closed-minded and uncreative. The Openness to Experience dimension measures the "open-minded vs. closed-minded" behaviors that are central to the concept of WISDOM. Open-minded people ask why, are willing to challenge something that doesn't seem right, to listen to other people's opinions, and to be ever-ready to accept new truths, if the evidence is there. They are creative, flexible, and holistic in their thinking. They never stop questioning.
    Descriptors: Wide interests, imaginative, intelligent, original, insightful, curious, sophisticated, artistic, clever, inventive, sharp-witted, wise
    MRI Research*: Openness To Experience did not have any significant correlation with the volume of any brain structures. (This could suggest that "Openness To Experience", as defined here, is more a function of culture rather than of brain neurobiology.)
    Example: This video shows how we see what we want to see. What we pay attention to (or what we believe about the world) blinds us to reality. (Exit YouTube after first video.)
    "I am original, and come up with new ideas."
    "I am curious about many different things."
    "I am quick to understand things."
    "I can handle a lot of information."
    "I like to solve complex problems."
    "I have a rich vocabulary."
    "I think quickly and formulate ideas clearly."
    "I enjoy the beauty of nature."
    "I believe in the importance of art."
    "I love to reflect on things."
    "I get deeply immersed in music."
    "I see beauty in things that others might not notice."
    "I need a creative outlet."
    .
    Closed To Experience (Closed-Minded, Uncreative)
    .
    "I prefer work that is routine."
    "I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas."
    "I avoid philosophical discussions."
    "I avoid difficult reading material."
    "I learn things slowly."
    "I have few artistic interests."
    "I seldom notice the emotional aspects of paintings and pictures."
    "I do not like poetry."
    "I seldom get lost in thought."
    "I seldom daydream."
    .
    Cognitive Impairment
    .
    * Memory Impairment:
    "I have difficulty learning new things, or remembering things that happened a few days ago."
    "I often forget a conversation I had the day before."
    "I often forget to take my medications, or to keep my appointments."
    .
    .
    * Impaired Reasoning or Problem-Solving:
    "My judgment, planning, or problem-solving isn't good."
    "I lack creativity or curiosity."
    .
    Psychoticism
    .
    * Eccentricity:
    "I often have thoughts that make sense to me but that other people say are strange."
    "Others seem to think I'm quite odd or unusual."
    "My thoughts are strange and unpredictable."
    "My thoughts often don’t make sense to others."
    "Other people seem to think my behavior is weird."
    "I have several habits that others find eccentric or strange."
    "My thoughts often go off in odd or unusual directions."
    .
    * Unusual Beliefs and Experiences:
    "I often have unusual experiences, such as sensing the presence of someone who isn't actually there."
    "I've had some really weird experiences that are very difficult to explain."
    "I have seen things that weren’t really there."
    "I have some unusual abilities, like sometimes knowing exactly what someone is thinking."
    "I sometimes have heard things that others couldn’t hear."
    "Sometimes I can influence other people just by sending my thoughts to them."
    "I often see unusual connections between things that most people miss."
    .
    * Perceptual Dysregulation:
    "Things around me often feel unreal, or more real than usual."
    "Sometimes I get this weird feeling that parts of my body feel like they're dead or not really me."
    "It's weird, but sometimes ordinary objects seem to be a different shape than usual."
    "Sometimes I feel 'controlled' by thoughts that belong to someone else."
    "Sometimes I think someone else is removing thoughts from my head."
    "I have periods in which I feel disconnected from the world or from myself."
    "I can have trouble telling the difference between dreams and waking life."
    "I often 'zone out' and then suddenly come to and realize that a lot of time has passed."
    "Sometimes when I look at a familiar object, it's somehow like I'm seeing it for the first time."
    "People often talk about me doing things I don't remember at all."
    "I often can't control what I think about."
    "I often see vivid dream-like images when I’m falling asleep or waking up."
    .
    ("OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE vs. BEING CLOSED TO EXPERIENCE" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    SOCIABILITY (EXTRAVERSION) vs. DETACHMENT
    .
    Sociability (Enthusiastic, Assertive)
    .
    Description: Sociability is synonymous with being outgoing, enthusiastic and assertive; whereas Detachment is synonymous with being reserved and quiet. The Sociability (Extraversion) dimension measures the "approach vs. avoidance" behaviors that are central to the concept of SOCIABILITY and LEADERSHIP.
    Descriptors: Enthusiastic, assertive, active, energetic, outgoing, outspoken, dominant, forceful, show-off, sociable, spunky, adventurous, noisy, bossy
    MRI Research*: Sociability (extraversion) was associated with increased volume of medial orbitofrontal cortex, a region involved in processing reward information.
    "I'm talkative"
    "I'm not reserved."
    "I'm full of energy."
    "I generate a lot of enthusiasm."
    "I'm not quiet."
    "I have an assertive personality."
    "I'm not shy or inhibited."
    "I am outgoing and sociable."
    "I make friends easily."
    "I warm up quickly to others."
    "I show my feelings when I'm happy."
    "I have a lot of fun."
    "I laugh a lot."
    "I take charge."
    "I have a strong personality."
    "I know how to captivate people."
    "I see myself as a good leader."
    "I can talk others into doing things."
    "I am the first to act."
    .
    Attention Seeking (Excessive Sociability)
    .
    "I like to draw attention to myself."
    "I crave attention."
    "I do things to make sure people notice me."
    "I do things so that people just have to admire me."
    "My behavior is often bold and grabs peoples' attention."
    .
    Detachment (Reserved, Quiet)
    .
    * Social Withdrawal:
    "I don’t like to get too close to people."
    "I don't deal with people unless I have to."
    "I'm not interested in making friends."
    "I don’t like spending time with others."
    "I say as little as possible when dealing with people."
    "I keep to myself."
    "I am hard to get to know."
    "I reveal little about myself."
    "I do not have an assertive personality."
    "I lack the talent for influencing people."
    "I wait for others to lead the way."
    "I hold back my opinions."
    .
    * Intimacy Avoidance:
    "I steer clear of romantic relationships."
    "I prefer to keep romance out of my life."
    "I prefer being alone to having a close romantic partner."
    "I'm just not very interested in having sexual relationships."
    "II break off relationships if they start to get close."
    .
    * Anhedonia (Lack of Pleasure):
    "I often feel like nothing I do really matters."
    "I almost never enjoy life."
    "Nothing seems to make me feel good."
    "Nothing seems to interest me very much."
    "I almost never feel happy about my day-to-day activities."
    "I rarely get enthusiastic about anything."
    "I don't get as much pleasure out of things as others seem to."
    .
    * Restricted Affectivity:
    "I don't show emotions strongly."
    "I don't get emotional."
    "I never show emotions to others."
    "I don't have very long-lasting emotional reactions to things."
    "People tell me it's difficult to know what I'm feeling."
    "I am not a very enthusiastic person."
    .
    ("Sociability vs. Detachment" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.




    EMOTIONAL STABILITY VS. NEGATIVE EMOTION
    .
    Emotional Stability (Calm, Emotionally Stable)
    .
    Description: Emotional Stability is synonymous with being calm and emotionally stable; whereas Negative Emotion is synonymous with being distressed and easily upset. The Emotional Stability dimension measures the "safety vs. danger" behaviors that are central to the concept of COURAGE.
    Descriptors: Stable, calm, relaxed, contented
    "I am relaxed, and I handle stress well."
    "I am emotionally stable, and not easily upset."
    "I remain calm in tense situations."
    "I rarely get irritated."
    "I keep my emotions under control."
    "I rarely lose my composure."
    "I am not easily annoyed."
    "I seldom feel blue."
    "I feel comfortable with myself."
    "I rarely feel depressed."
    "I am not embarrassed easily."
    .
    Negative Emotion (Distressed, Easily Upset)
    .
    Description: Degree to which people experience persistent negative emotions (anxiety, anger, or depression) and are easily upset. (This could be thought of as high threat sensitivity or low stress tolerance.)
    Descriptors: Emotional instability, anxiety, irritability, depression, rumination-compulsiveness, self-consciousness, vulnerability
    MRI Research*: Negative Emotion was associated with increased volume of brain regions associated with threat, punishment, and negative emotions.
    .
    * Emotional Instability:
    "I get emotional easily, often for very little reason."
    "I get emotional over every little thing."
    "My emotions are unpredictable."
    "I never know where my emotions will go from moment to moment."
    "I am a highly emotional person."
    "I have much stronger emotional reactions than almost everyone else."
    "My emotions sometimes change for no good reason."
    "I get angry easily."
    "I get upset easily."
    "I change my mood a lot."
    "I am a person whose moods go up and down easily."
    "I get easily agitated."
    "I can be stirred up easily."
    .
    * Anxiousness:
    "I worry about almost everything."
    "I'm always fearful or on edge about bad things that might happen."
    "I always expect the worst to happen."
    "I am a very anxious person."
    "I get very nervous when I think about the future."
    "I often worry that something bad will happen due to mistakes I made in the past."
    "I am filled with doubts about things."
    "I feel threatened easily."
    "I am afraid of many things."
    .
    * Separation Insecurity:
    "I fear being alone in life more than anything else."
    "I can't stand being left alone, even for a few hours."
    "I’d rather be in a bad relationship than be alone."
    "I'll do just about anything to keep someone from abandoning me."
    "I dread being without someone to love me."
    .
    * Submissiveness:
    "I usually do what others think I should do."
    "I do what other people tell me to do."
    "I change what I do depending on what others want."
    .
    * Perseveration:
    "I get stuck on one way of doing things, even when it's clear it won't work."
    "I get stuck on things a lot."
    "It is hard for me to shift from one activity to another."
    "I get fixated on certain things and can’t stop."
    "I feel compelled to go on with things even when it makes little sense to do so."
    "I keep approaching things the same way, even when it isn’t working."
    .
    * Depression:
    "I have no worth as a person."
    "Everything seems pointless to me."
    "I often feel like a failure."
    "The world would be better off if I were dead."
    "The future looks really hopeless to me."
    "I often feel just miserable."
    "I'm very dissatisfied with myself."
    "I often feel like nothing I do really matters."
    "I know I'll commit suicide sooner or later."
    "I talk about suicide a lot."
    "I feel guilty much of the time."
    "I'm so ashamed by how I've let people down in lots of little ways."
    "I am easily discouraged."
    "I become overwhelmed by events."
    .
    ("Emotional Stability vs. Negative Emotion" modified from "PID-5" by Kreuger RF, Derringer J, Markon KE, Watson D, Skodol AE and Between facets and domains: 10 aspects of the Big Five)
    *MRI Research: Testing predictions from personality neuroscience. Brain structure and the big five.


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    World Health Organization Drug Use Disorder Treatment Guidelines

    Treatment Guidelines

    Treatment Research

    Treatment Evaluation

    Crime


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    Overcoming Drug Addiction


    Self-Help Groups for Drug Addiction


    Improving Positive Behavior

    Philosophers for the past 2,500 years have taught that it is very beneficial to start the day with goal-setting, and end the day with a brief review.

    This habit of planning the day in the morning, then assessing these plans in the evening has been shown to increase health and happiness. There is an additional benefit from doing a weekly review of your life satisfaction.

    Note: When each of the following videos finishes; you must exit YouTube (by manually closing the window) in order to return to this webpage.



    International Space Station (For Meditation)



    Planning My Day (5-Minute Meditation Video)

    Planning My Day (Picture)



    Reviewing My Day Or Week (5-Minute Meditation Video)



    Life Satisfaction Scale (Video)



    Healthy Social Behaviors Scale (Video)



    Mental Health Scale (Video)

    Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid



    The Philosophy Of Stoicism (5 minute video)

    Stoicism 101 (52 minute video)



    The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 to 180 A.D.

    An Example Of Mindfulness Meditation (10 minute video)

    In the 5th century BCE, Buddha spent 6 years of his life mastering mindfulness meditation. He then decided to look beyond meditation. Buddha concluded that simply emptying the mind of thought is calming, but otherwise it accomplishes little - since "You return to the same world". Instead, Buddha taught that we should change our world by seeking enlightenment through practicing compassion, and living a calm, peaceful, happy life.



    7-Minute Workout Is All You Need To Get Back Into Physical Shape


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    • The best summary on bad research is given by Laura Arnold in this Tedx lecture. If you read nothing else about research, you owe it to yourself to watch this short video - it is excellent!

    • Criteria For High Quality Research Studies

    • It is imperative that medical researchers conduct high quality research studies, otherwise the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refuses to licence their new drug or therapy. In 2009, the cost of successfully licensing one new drug or therapy under the FDA scheme was estimated to be US$1,000 million. Thus psychiatric research which leads to FDA approval of a new drug or therapy has to be of the highest quality; however the majority of psychological research studies on new therapies fail to reach these high standards for research. This could explain why two-thirds of psychological research studies can't be replicated. High quality research must meet the following criteria:

      • Randomized Controlled Trial:
        Ask: Was the trial randomized? Was the randomization procedure described and was it appropriate? The best research design is to have research subjects randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. It is essential that confounding factors be controlled for by having a control group or comparator condition (no intervention, placebo, care as usual etc.).

      • Representative Sample:
        Ask: Do the research subjects represent a normal cross-section of the population being studied? Many psychological research studies using university students are flawed because their subjects are not representative of the normal population since they are all W.E.I.R.D. (White, Educated, Intelligent, Rich, and living in a Democracy).

      • Single Blind Trial:
        Ask: Was the treatment allocation concealed? It is essential that the research subjects are kept "blind" as to whether they are in the experimental or control group (in order to control for any placebo effects).

      • Double Blind Trial (Better Than Single Blind Trial):
        Ask: Were blind outcome assessments conducted? In a double blind study, neither the research subjects nor the outcome assessors know if the research subject is in the experimental or control group. This controls for both the placebo effect and assessor bias.

      • Baseline Comparability:
        Ask: Were groups similar at baseline on prognostic indicators? The experimental and control groups must be shown to be comparable at the beginning of the study.

      • Confounding Factors:
        Ask: Were there factors, that weren't controlled for, that could have seriously distorted the study's results? For example, research studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness cognitive therapy in preventing depressive relapse forgot to control for whether the research subjects were also simultaneously receiving antidepressant medication or other psychological treatments for depression.

      • Intervention Integrity:
        Ask: Was the research study protocal strictly followed? The research subjects must be shown to be compliant (e.g., taking their pills, attending therapy) and the therapists must be shown to be reliably delivering the intervention (e.g., staying on the research protocol).

      • Statistical analysis:
        Ask: Was a statistical power calculation described? The study should discuss its statistical power analysis; that is whether the study size is large enough to statistically detect a difference between the experimental and control group (should it occur) and usually this requires at least 50 research subjects in the study.

        Ask: Are the results both statistically significant and clinically significant? The results should be both statistically significant (with a p-value <0.05) and clinically significant using some measure of Effect Size such as Standardized Mean Difference (e.g., Cohen's d >= 0.33). The summary statistics should report what percentage of the total variance of the dependent variable (e.g., outcome) can be explained by the independent variable (e.g., intervention). In clinical studies, the study should report the number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB), and the number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH).

          Number Needed To Benefit (NNTB): This is defined as the number of patients that need to be treated for one of them to benefit compared with a control in a clinical trial. (It is defined as the inverse of the absolute risk reduction.) Note: Statistically, the NNTB depends on which control group is used for comparison - e.g., active treatment vs. placebo treatment, or active treatment vs. no treatment.

          Number Needed To Harm (NNTH): This is defined as the number of patients that need to be treated for one of them to be harmed compared with a control in a clinical trial. (It is defined as the inverse of the absolute increase in risk of harm.)

          Tomlinson found “an NNTB of 5 or less was probably associated with a meaningful health benefit,” while “an NNTB of 15 or more was quite certain to be associated with at most a small net health benefit.”

        Ask: Does the researcher accept full responsibility for the study's statistical analysis? The researcher should not just hand over the study's raw data to a corporation (that may have $1,000 million invested in the study) to do the statistical analysis.

      • Completeness of follow-up data:
        Ask: Was the number of withdrawals or dropouts in each group mentioned, and were reasons given for these withdrawals or dropouts? Less than 20% of the research subjects should drop out of the study. The intervention effect should persist over an adequate length of time.

      • Handling of missing data:
        Ask: Was the statistical analysis conducted on the intention-to-treat sample? There must be use of intention-to-treat analysis (as opposed to a completers-only analysis). In this way, all of the research subjects that started the study are included in the final statistical analysis. A completers-only analysis would disregard those research subjects that dropped out.

      • Replication of Findings:
        Ask: Can other researchers replicate this study's results? The research study's methodology should be clearly described so that the study can be easily replicated. The researcher's raw data should be available to other researchers to review (in order to detect errors or fraud).

      • Fraud:
        Ask: Is there a suspicion of fraud? In a research study, examine the independent and dependent variables that are always measured as a positive whole number (e.g., a variable measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from "1 = definitely false to 5 = definitely true" etc.). For each of these variables, look at their sample size (n), mean (M) and standard deviation (SD) before they undergo statistical analysis. There is a high suspicion of fraud in a study's statistics:

        • If the M is mathematically impossible (online calculator): This is one of the easiest ways to mathematically detect fraud. The mean (M) is defined as "the sum (Sum) of the values of each observation divided by the total number (n) of observations". So: M = Sum/n. Thus: (Sum) = (M) multiplied by (n). We know that, if a variable is always measured as a positive whole number, the sum of these observations always has to be a whole number. For these variables to test for fraud: calculate (M) multiplied by (n). This calculates the Sum which MUST be a positive whole number. If the calculated Sum isn't a positive whole number; the reported mean (M) is mathematically impossible - thus the researcher either cooked the data or made a mistake. A recent study of 260 research papers published in highly reputable psychological journals found that 1 in 2 of these research papers reported at least one impossible value, and 1 in 5 of these research papers reported multiple impossible values. When the authors of the 21 worst offending research papers were asked for their raw data (so that its reliability could be checked) - 57% angrily refused. Yet such release of raw data to other researchers is required by most scientific journals. (Here is an example of a research paper filled with mathematically impossible means.)

        • If the SD is mathematically impossible (online calculator): When researchers fraudulently "cook" their data, they may accidently give their data a mean and standard deviation that is mathematically impossible for a (normally distributed) strictly positive variable (because the "cooked" M and SD would mathematically require the strictly positive variable's range of data to include negative numbers). For a normally distributed sample of size of 25-70, this occurs when the SD is greater than one-half of the M; for a sample size of 70+, this occurs when the SD is greater than one-third of the M [using these formulas].

        • If the SD/M is very small (i.e., the variable's standard deviation is very small compared to the mean suggesting data smoothing).

        • If the SD's are almost identical (i.e., the variables have different means but almost identical standard deviations).

        • If the 4th digit of the values of the variables aren't uniformly distributed - since each should occur 10% of the time (Benford's Law).

        • If the researcher is legally prevented from publishing negative findings about a drug or therapy because that would violate the "nondisclosure of trade secrets" clause in the research contract (i.e., it is a "trade secret" that the drug or therapy is ineffective - hence this can not be "disclosed"). Approximately half of all registered clinical trials fail to publish their results.

        • If the researcher refuses to release his raw data to fellow researchers (so that they can check its validity). In order to be published in most scientific journals, a researcher must promise to share his raw data with fellow researchers. Thus a researcher's refusal to do so is almost a sure indicator of fraud.

        • If the research study's data contradicts the study's own conclusions - surprisingly, this often occurs.

    • Calling Bullshit In The Age of Big Data - "Bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence." Reading the syllabus of this university course should be required reading for every student of mental health. This syllabus is absolutely fantastic!

    • Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals: Guidelines and Explanations - American Psychologist 1999

    • Not All Scientific Studies Are Created Equal - video

    • The efficacy of psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment

    • Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science

    • Psychologists grapple with validity of research

    • Industry sponsorship and research outcome (Review) - Cochrane Library

    • 'We've been deceived': Many clinical trial results are never published - (text and video)

    • Junk science misleading doctors and researchers

    • Junk science under spotlight after controversial firm buys Canadian journals

    • Medicine with a side of mysticism: Top hospitals promote unproven therapies - Are some doctors becoming modern witchdoctors?

    • When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes


    • Cochrane Reviews (the best evidence-based, standardized reviews available)


    Research Topics




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