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Thoughts from the Brain of Dr. Mitch

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Posted by Sadarpsych on May 18, 2017

Should kindergarten children be reading or playing?

In a  new study, a comprehensive 20-year examination of 800 children from kindergarten through their mid-20s published  in the American Journal of Public Health, found a link between a child’s social skills in kindergarten and how well they were doing in early adulthood.
Children who were helpful and shared in kindergarten were more likely to have graduated college and have a full-time job at age 25. The children who had problems resolving conflicts, sharing, cooperating and listening as kindergartners were less likely to have finished high school and college, and were more likely to have substance abuse problems and run-ins with the law.
The findings are “huge” when it comes to the thinking about how brain health impacts a person’s overall health, said Kristin Schubert, program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research.
Here are some things you can do to help your child if they are having problems in pre-school or kindergarten:
  • Ask the teacher to pair them with compatible peers
  • Encourage your child to share
  • Do not “punish” them by keeping them away from play time; rather :”teach” them by having them work on a project with a peer
  • Don’t worry about the academics; most kids catch up before long
  • Old fashioned games like: Red Light/Green Light, Simon Says and Freeze tag are great for teaching emotional and physical control

For every one-point increase in a child’s social competency score in kindergarten, they were twice as likely to obtain a college degree, and 46% more likely to have a full-time job by age 25.

Posted by Sadarpsych on March 18, 2016

How Treatment for Chronic and Acute Pain Should Differ

I had previously written about the distinction between illness and disease and why that distinction is an important one to make. I want to now apply that distinction to chronic pain.

Defining Chronic and Acute Pain

I would argue that acute pain is related to disease, and chronic pain is related to illness. Pain as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is: “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage…”. Chronic pain is typically differentiated from acute pain based on its persistence. Generally, pain that persists beyond (more…)

Posted by Sadarpsych on February 11, 2016

Illness Vs. Disease

Defining Illness and Disease

There is a distinction that is being made in some medical circles (e.g., the treatment of pain) that, in my opinion, should be more widely known and circulated. The distinction hearkens back to a differentiation made by Eric Cassell in the late 1970’s: “Disease, then, is something an organ has, illness is something a man has.” According to this way of thinking, disease is something that needs to be cured, such as infection, injury, toxic exposure, cell degeneration, etc. Illness is something that needs to be managed such as feelings of pain, discomfort, distress, weakness, fatigue, etc. Obviously, these two things are not mutually exclusive, and they often occur together. Fully understanding the difference between illness and disease, as well as how they can be treated, will help you understand how alternative treatments such as EEG biofeedback fit into a holistic treatment plan for disease and illness. (more…)