September 18, 2008
Senator Barack Obama is able to invoke emotion while John McCain addresses show signs of clinical depression, a scientific study has discovered.
Using ever more sophisticated software and mathematical algorithms, scientists are increasingly able to pick apart political speeches. They analyzed language, pitch, tone and facial expressions to get a clue as to whether politicians are being sincere. To prove the point David Skillicorn, a mathematics and computer science researcher at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, analyzed the speeches of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, during the election race.
His findings published in the New Scientist concluded that even though the candidates receive training and have their speeches written for them, personal traits still shine through. While each of the 150 speeches studied varied no matter who was delivering them. McCain’s speeches fall flat and even showed signs of someone with clinical depression. His voice changes little in pitch as he speaks, and so conveys very little emotion or impact, it was said. Clinton was more neutral.
Mr. Skillicorn has developed an algorithm that evaluates word usage within the text of a conversation or speech to determine when a person “presents themselves or their content in a way that does not necessarily reflect what they know to be true”. “The important thing to recognize is that politicians aren’t typically good at out-and-out lies, but they are very adept at dancing around the truth,” Mr. Skillicorn concluded.
Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst said she recently sought treatment at Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah earlier this year for depression, not substance abuse as was rumored. Ironically, Mrs. Dunst is working on a film entitled “All Good Things” in New York. “I didn’t go to Cirque Lodge for alcohol abuse or drug abuse,” Dunst said, “I went there for depression. … It was a good six months before I decided to go away. I was struggling and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself. I was fortunate to have the resources to do it. My friends and family thought it was a good idea, too. But I didn’t know where to go. My doctor recommended Cirque Lodge.”
Dunst, 26, has starred in “Wag the Dog,” “The Virgin Suicides,” the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Marie Antoinette” and “Elizabethtown.” Opening up about her stay Kirsten revealed that she was mulling over whether or not to seek professional help for “a good six months. “I was struggling, and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself,” she says. When news first broke of her stint at Cirque Lodge, rumors were rampant that the 26-year-old was caught in a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs after her split from Johnny Borrell. It’s these types of rumors that compelled her to come forth with her depression, Kirsten says. “There’s been a lot of misrepresentation about what is going on in my life, and it’s been very painful for my friends and family,” she explains. “Everyone feels like they have to defend me. They hear the rumors, and it puts them in a defensive position. I’m feeling much stronger now.” Kirsten, AKA “Kiki” set the record straight on another report (that she’s dating her All Good Things co-star Ryan Gosling) “I am not dating Ryan Gosling.”
Kirsten will be gracing the October cover of Harper’s Bazaar. She can also be seen next playing a celebrity journalist in the comedy “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,” out Oct. 3, based on the hit memoir by a British writer who goes to work for Vanity Fair.
Regarding her depression treatment at Utah’s Cirque Lodge:
“When you spend your entire life as a child actress, being told where to go and where to stand, you’re performing constantly for people. It definitely breeds the kind of person who’s dependent on other people’s approval. If I’d trusted myself and listened to myself all the times that I ignored myself, I would have been fine. But everyone has to learn their lesson, and now I’ve got it… I don’t want to go into too much detail because I give a quote and the it’s blogged about for the rest of my life on the Internet.”
On the Beatrice Inn being a favorite New York hangout:
“They keep people out who will write stuff and blog about it. But I’m not going to go there if what I do is written about. I’m very aware. I’m like an eagle eye. I’m not free as a bird (when I’m there) but I love to dance. And I literally have gone up to people and said, ‘Did you just take my picture?’ I have to protect myself.”
And rumors like the one linking her to Mac guy and Drew Barrymore ex Justin Long,
“They are the funniest thing on planet Earth. I don’t know him from Adam. I met him once and he and his friend were kind enough to walk me home. I’ve never seen him since.”
On her future:
“I can’t wait to have kids one day. I want to have kids and a farm with lots of animals on a lake.”
Angelina Jolie may be suffering from post-partum depression. 3-Question Scale for uncovering Postpartum Depression
Angelina Jolie may have some baby blues. Rumors are swirling that Angelina Jolie is overwhelmed and suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of twins Vivienne and Knox two months ago. The Enquirer is reporting that the twins suffer from colic, making for sleep-deprived nights for Jolie, who is also breastfeeding. In Touch is reporting that Jolie suffers mood swings. Throw in the other four kids, and, even life with Brad Pitt on a country estate in France can be a bit gloomy.
3-Question Scale for uncovering Postpartum Depression
A new study found that asking a new mother 3 simple questions as routine screening for postpartum depression may be just as effective as a longer survey.
Karolyn Kabir, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program, University of Colorado and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado and colleagues asked 199 young women, aged 14 to 26 years, to complete the 10-question Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale during well-child visits to the paediatrician during the first 6 postpartum months. Three subscales of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale were examined as ultrabrief alternatives: the anxiety subscale (3 items; Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-3), the depressive symptoms subscale (7 items; Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-7), and 2 questions that resemble the Patient Health Questionnaire (Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2).
The reliability, stability, and construct validity of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and 3 subscales were compared. Criterion validity was assessed by comparison with a score of >=10 on the full, 10-item Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. Researchers found that answers to the 3 questions of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale that focus on anxiety — a prominent feature of postpartum depression — identified 95% of depressed mothers. It also identified 16% more mothers as depressed than the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale did.
The performance of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2 was markedly inferior, with sensitivity at 48% to 80%. Moreover, the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2 was unreliable for mothers who had not been depressed in the past. In clinical situations where a very short screening tool may be necessary, using the 3-item anxiety subscale of the Edinburgh PostpartumDepression Scale is a useful and brief screening tool for a primary healthcare setting in which the goal is to detect postpartum depression, not to assess its severity. The study is published in the September issue of Pediatrics.
In one of the biggest upsets at the Beijing Olympics, out diver Matthew Mitcham won a gold metal in the 10m platform. The Chinese were heavily favored in the event, and Mitcham was behind Zhou Luxin by about 35 points going into the final dive. But Mitcham hit an unbelievable score of 112.10 on his sixth and final dive to win by just over three points.
Los Angeles Times: “Not only did he quit diving, but he battled depression and then took a big step, coming out in an interview…”
“It’s absolutely surreal. I never thought that this would be possible,” Mitcham said. “I wasn’t even sure of my medal chances at all. After I did my last dive and I saw I was in first, I thought, “That’s it, it’s a silver medal, I am so happy with this’ and then I won. I can’t believe it, I’m so happy.” The win capped an amazing journey for Mitcham, who had quit diving two years ago battling depression and burnout.“Coming back and doing everything I did was to win an Olympic gold medal,” Mitcham said. “When I was training every single day, twice a day, eleven sessions a week, thirty hours a week before every single dive I said to myself; ‘I want to win an Olympic gold’. “It was all worth it.”
Mitcham’s win denied China a sweep of the men’s and women’s diving gold medals. On his final dive, Mitcham to decided to go for broke, attempting a routine with a high degree of difficulty — a back 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists. He nailed it and scored a stunning 112.10 points, getting perfect 10s from four of the seven judges. The door to the gold was left open when the previous diver and leader, China’s Zhou Luxin, flubbed his last dive, a reverse 3-1/2 somersault in the tuck position. He got a quite low 74.80 score, which put Mitcham in front by only 4.8 points. How close was it? Zhou’s score on his last dive was seven points less than his second-lowest scoring dive of the round. In the crowd watching his day for ages were members of his family and friends and his partner, Lachlan. Mitcham celebrated, cried and laughed as the results were announced. Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times described the scene after: “Not only did he quit diving, but he battled depression and then took a big step, coming out in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year. The first thing he did in the mixed zone with print journalists was hug the reporter who handled the story with particular sensitivity.”
“Being gay and diving are completely separate parts of my life,” he told journalists. “I’m happy with myself the way I am.” Exhausted, Mitcham let the moment sink in. “My cheeks hurt from smiling, my face hurts from the chlorine, my legs are sore from jumping up and down,” Mitcham said. “I’m in pain and I’m tired, but I’m so happy.”
NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel has issued an apology for his reporting team not mentioning on air that gold-medal diver Matthew Mitcham is gay and has a partner: “We regret that we missed the opportunity to tell Matthew Mitcham’s story. We apologize for this unintentional omission.”
Gay sporting website Outsports compiled the list of the gay athletes, which consists of nine lesbians and Mitcham, who has said that he just wants to be known as a good diver, not as a gay man, and that his homosexuality should not be an issue. “It’s everybody else who thinks it’s special when homosexuality and elite sport go together,” Mitcham said in the lead-up to Beijing. Mitcham, who grew up in Brisbane but now lives and trains in Sydney, recently talked to Who Magazine about being the first openly gay Australian to go to an Olympics.
Along with being a trailblazer for the gay community, Mitcham proved to be a model athlete after his 10m platform gold medal, giving interviews in fluent French and Mandarin.
Researchers from Chiang Mai University have a new means of fighting phobias and depression. Pachaderms. Dr. Audomsark Haesungcharern, the dean of CMU believes their voice has therapeutic qualities citing studies which have found elephant calls containing both infra sound, a relaxing tone, and ultra sound, which creates active emotions.
Just last year an elephant study with autistic children suggested an improvement in a number of areas, such as self-reliance and social reactions. This has encouraged us to continue the study into how the elephants can help relieve the symptoms [of certain mental disorders],” said Dr Audomsark.
Many medical researchers worldwide have found animal-assisted therapy to be of benefit to autistic people. Horses, dogs and dolphins are considered to have potential in this regard. Prasop Tipprasert, the FIO’s elephant specialist, said the centre had trained 20 elephants to work with children and that safety is the most important concern, so all elephants are tamed and kept under close supervision.
A new study dubbed “The Effects of Antidepressants on Cognitive and Driving Performance,” by Holly J. Dannewitz, Ph.D., and Thomas Petros, Ph.D., psychologists at the University of North Dakota, measured the driving skills of 60 people; 29 who were not medicated (other than contraceptives in some cases) and 31 who were taking at least one type of antidepressant. The group taking antidepressants was further divided into those who scored higher or lower on a test of depression. The researchers observed the participants’ steering, concentration, and scanning abilities as they made a series of common driving decisions, such as reacting to brake lights, stop signs or traffic signals while being distracted by animals, other cars, pylons, speed limit signs, helicopters or bicyclists.
The group that was both depressed (scoring high on the depression test) and taking antidepressants performed far worse than the control group on several tasks. They were found to lack concentration, as well as the overall ability to control the car. But participants who were taking antidepressants and were not depressed (scoring in the normal range on the test) performed about the same as those who were not medicated. The team believes it could be either the medication itself or the condition that caused the problems. “We already know that depression causes concentration problems,” said study author Holly J. Dannewitz, according to HealthDay News. “And now it appears that people taking antidepressants who also have relatively higher depression scores fare significantly worse when attempting to perform a computerized simulation of driving.”
This research is significant considering that the number of Americans taking antidepressants has tripled over the past decade. According to government statistics, 1 in 10 women currently takes some form of antidepressant medication. Dr. Dannewitz said that while there needs to be a larger study on the issue, “there certainly seems to be some sort of link” between depression, antidepressants and driving. “I think people who are depressed, especially those on antidepressants, should be aware of this if they are driving or doing anything that relies on concentration and reaction skills,” Dr. Dannewitz said.
The study findings were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Boston on August 17.
I’d heard about oxytocin a few years ago in the context that it was the “magical” hormone that bonded a couple together. The oxytocin effect, from the little I knew about it, was that indefinable something that made it more difficult for a woman to leave a lover after they’d done the deed. It seemed to me to be quite mysterious and alluring. Between all the hormones that Nature gave us, there was oxytocin…the “fun” hormone. It didn’t carry the baggage of estrogen or the brute force of testosterone. It wasn’t responsible for putting you to sleep like melatonin, stressing you out like cortisol or causing controversy like human growth hormone. Oxytocin was all about pleasure, love, bonding, empathy and trust.
Where was the struggle in that? Where was the stress? Where was the built in fear? Could it be that Nature had provided a hormone that activated all the magnificent things in life that made us feel good about waking up and walking into the day with renewed energy and adventure? Was it really possible that, through oxytocin, we could tap into the most beautiful, life-affirming sensation imaginable? The answer is yes. A resounding yes.
I didn’t think much more about this exceptional hormone until I was doing research for another book and I ran across an article quite by accident that touted natural ways to induce oxytocin in the body. Sexual intercourse, massage and meditation were top on the list. Reading further, I learned that a few very ingenious companies were investigating the use of oxytocin in a homeopathic form. Since injectable oxytocin has a short lifespan in the body (and because injecting anything in my body is not something I would relish) and since ingesting oxytocin in a pill is worthless since the hormone is destroyed by stomach acid, I surmised that the homeopathic delivery was an interesting possibility. As someone who has studied homeopathy for some time, I understand the “like cures like” approach and have personally experienced many positive resolutions to health problems using homeopathic remedies. So, yes, homeopathic oxytocin made sense to me. If anything, I wanted to try it and see if it could be used as an accelerant — a non-toxic, natural way to wake up my body’s reserves of oxytocin.
So, I gave it the ol’ college try. I’ve got an adventurous spirit and I’m always up for trying anything once. I experimented with various low potency homeopathic forms of oxytocin until I found one that really worked for me. I knew it worked because I felt this gentle shift happening inside of me. Low potency homeopathic medicines never shout their effects; rather, they kindly remind you where your body is supposed to be focusing and then your body gradually moves in that direction. That’s exactly what happened with the homeopathic oxytocin.
But I’m just one person. Maybe it was a placebo effect. That’s when I turned to my husband. What’s a good researcher without a reliable test subject? Since the man has been on the receiving end of countless natural remedies and professes to be a “professional guinea pig,” he agreed to give the oxytocin a trial. Now I could observe, like any good researcher, and watch for any subtle changes that the homeopathic oxytocin might produce.
It didn’t take long. Within days, I noticed a profound deepening of my husband’s feelings toward me. It was as if he was re-connecting with a part of his senses that had been napping for a long time. Now they were suddenly reawakened. It wasn’t that he became the dreaded “New Age Sensitive Male.” Instead, the truest, best and most honest part that belonged only to him emerged and blossomed. All the static around his fears and concerns dialed down big time. I watched as he was able to explore new and creative solutions to resolve problems in his life.
It motivated both of us to explore how to naturally activate oxytocin in our bodies. There was a renewed bond to life, love and the future. The closer bond we shared reminded both of us why we came together and why, with all the stress and uncertainty in our daily worlds, at the core of it all is the grace and power of love.
If that sounds woo-woo, so be it. When you begin to reconnect with your heart, it’s a powerful and life-affirming experience. The fact that Nature in her infinite wisdom saw fit to provide all of us with the hormone that could lead us in that direction is awe-inspiring. Use this book to find out how to experience this feeling for yourself and see how others have benefited from oxytocin.
Because here’s the best part of all: When you learn how to generate more oxytocin in your body, the glass isn’t just half full, it’s overflowing.
Click here to read about a sublingual Homeopatic formulation designed to enable the body to release and Accelerate its own Natural Oxytocin.
- John McCain’s speeches show signs of clinical depression, study finds
- My Experience with Oxytocin
- Oxytocin and infidelity – By Laurel Dewey
- Kirsten Dunst talks about depression
- Angelina Jolie may be suffering from post-partum depression. 3-Question Scale for uncovering Postpartum Depression
- Matthew Mitcham battles back from depression to win Olympic gold.
- Elephant therapy for depression?
- Depression Meds May Be Prescription for Bad Driving
- The Oxytocin Connection – Part 1
- Oxytocin makes love blind?
- Prior exposure to oxytocin mimics the effects of social contact and facilitates sexual behaviour in females
- Oxytocin may mediate the benefits of positive social interaction and emotions
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