Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

I was shocked after hearing that young woman gave birth to a boy who had 2 promiles of alcohol in his blood. Few days after this news I could not stop thinking about it and started looking for information on what effects it might have to a child when he is older, then I found a name of a disorder that was caused by using alcohol during pregnancy – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Needed only few minutes to realise that this disorder is very popular these days.  In US and Europe, 1 in every 100 children is found to be born with this disorder. Every year, around 40 000 children are born with this health condition in the US.

As every disorder this one has its own symptoms: physical and mental impairments. First of all, children with this disease are born with smaller head circumference than healthy children. Not only their heads are smaller than usual, but also their height – they often grow smaller than average persons, accordingly their wight is lower than normal. Children with FAS also has some facial defects: Small eye width, flat cheekbones, flattened groove between nose and upper lip, thinned upper lip. Mental impairments are not so visible at early age, but when child is older he is hyperactive, fine motor skills are impaired with weak grasp, poor hand – eye coordination and tremors. Intelligence is diminished, an average IQ is in the 60s.

To identify this disorder, child must meet three main criteria : 1) Small head and weight before and after birth; 2) specific appearance of head and face with at least two of three listed signs ; 3) Brain involvement with evidence for delay in development, intellectual impairment, or neurological abnormalities.

Finally, every one knows that alcohol has a lot of negative effects on man, especially if he is very weak as a fetus. This is why none of pregnant women should drink any kind of alcohol.


Healthy looks or anorexia?

”Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder which is characterised by a pathological fear of gaining weight and a result of that is a health – threatening weight loss ”

What is more important health or wish to look slim and attractive to others? This is a really good question especially among adolescent females and males. Anorexia usually starts when young people want to look beautiful sexual to other, ant they think that only a slim body means that, but they are not 100% right. The definition of beauty  is very temporary, it changes maybe not every day but every year. What is nice today might not be next week. Same is and with looks, good appearance definition has changed a lot since our era started. At the beginning full – bodied person was held as symbol of good health, and slim one as a sick one, but all this has changed. Now that full – bodied person is not attractive, and has bad health, of course for that there are many reasons: low activity, fast food ect. Media has also a lot to do with it, actress, models, singers, they all are slim. Talking about models, they are held as symbols of beauty, but are they really beautiful? First of all most of them suffer from anorexia, second, all their photos are retouched by Photoshop. Most of girls looking at these pictures feel depressed that they do not look like those models and after that comes thoughts about diets. And everybody knows that the basic of diet is a little eating and sometimes even self – induced vomiting.

Now a little bit of history. The very first time anorexia was mentioned in The Middle Ages, there was a document found, which described a Hungary princesses life born in 1242. Her father wanted her to become a nun, but after some time he changed his mind and started looking for a husband for a princess. The princesses name was Margaret and she did not like any men that her father chose, she did everything to become more and more uglier so that all men would be scared of her. She started working hard and ate as less as she could. Margaret died when she was only 26 years old. Starvation, fear of normal weight and too big physical activity are the symptoms of anorexia.

Which of these two girls look happier and helthier? 🙂

  

Being slim not always mean that you are beautiful, especially if that beauty comes with too much stress for your organism. After that beauty disapprears from your face, skin does not look shiny, eyes does not smile. Every men in this world is beautiful, no metter how s/he looks like thin or full – bodied. The most important beauty is our health.


Gender and Colour

Looking from historical background woman was always held as a symbol of care – giver and empathsiser. They used to hand-pick berries; take care of home and children, while men were hunting. Nothing has changed much, except that nowadays man is not hunting anymore, he is working hard and bringing home money, while woman is still taking care of children and home.

From deep antique blue is held as symbol of natural. For example, water, that appears blue is more likely to be clean; blue is also an indicating colour of good weather. Everybody knows that if you got up and saw a bright blue sky, the weather outside is fine and enjoyable. Of course, sometimes people say, that blue hue is cold and unpleasant, but maybe this is why men like this colour, they are not like sweet Teddy Beer, they are men, have analytic thinking and etc. While woman is someone, who will always take care of you, if you are ill or just feel bad. Woman is a warm ‘creature’ this is why the tint of pink is perfect for her.

When woman finds out that she is pregnant she starts picking up names for both sexes: boy and girl, also she buys clothes, if it is going to be a boy, she buys blue rompers and if it is a girl – pink. Why is that? Is it possible to know what colour child will prefer? It is not possible, but still, it is some kind of tradition, that newborn boy is dressed in blue and newborn girl in pink.             

Cultural background has also a huge impact in prefered colour, for example, Chinese people prefer red colour, there is no difference is it a man or a woman. There comes a question ‘why?’. In China red colour symbolises luck and happiness. Cultural background cannot be held as unimportant. Hubert (2007) experiment results shows that Chinese men prefer red colour more that UK men. All this is just because of cultural agreement that red means luck.

Marry Christmas guys;)

References:

Anya C. Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling (2007)  Biological components of sex differences in color preference. Institute of Neuroscience and School of Biology and Psychology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.

Mark Henderson (2007) At last, science discovers why blue is for boys but girls really do prefer pink. The Times


Depression

This week I decided to write about one of the most popular illness – Depression. More and more people nowadays are suffering from this illness. People often say that it is not an illness, just the way to get more attention, but looking from medical and scientific prospect it is disease, that can have big consequences. Early diagnosed depression can help avoid them.

There are few cardinal symptoms of depression, main of them are sadness and/or inability to experience pleasure. However, feeling sadness cannot be interpreted only as depression, everyone experience sadness during life time. Also there are some physical symptoms showing start of depression. Biggest one is feeling fatigue and low of energy, sometimes even physical aches and pains. Sleeping problems, like difficult to fall asleep or frequent waking up, might also be identified as depression symptoms. Some depressed people say that they had lost appetite, and even sexual interest disappears.

At least 4 symptoms must be at present for minimum 2 weeks, so the person could be identified as having depression. untreated depression might last for 5 months or even more. Sometimes it becomes chronic depression, but it happens for a very small percentage of people.

People with depression often start thinking that nobody cares about them and there come thoughts about suicide. Depression is very wily illness, this is why the symptoms should not be avoided.

 

References:

Kring, A. M., Johnson, A. L., Davison, G. C., Neale, J. M. (2010) Abnormal Psychology (11th  ed.)Asia: John Wiley & Sons


Labelling

Labelling is well spread in nowadays world, everywhere at school, at work, in scientific and health institutions people have their own unique labels. At school and at work it is just to make some fun of friends with no intention of doing harm to them, and in scientific and health institutions labelling is for identifying people’s disorders. Sometimes new and inexperienced scientists are unable to label correctly a mental disorder. Correct labelling is the most important thing in science, especially psychology, because psychological label is being handy for the rest of labelled person’s life. At this point the APA manual might be very useful. If the label is incorrect, for example, patient is labelled as ’’schizophrenic’’ other people in his social background is going to treat him as a schizophrenic, but not as a person with schizophrenia. There is big difference between schizophrenic and person with schizophrenia, because this person still has an identity, value, and dignity. Hinshaw in 2007 (as cited in Psychology 8th ed.) stated that mental disorders are marked with considerable stigma, and both, person with mental disorder and his family members are often viewed negatively. This is view point is made by media usually they portray the person with mental disorder as looser, hopeless and even violent criminal. Nowadays society is very dependant on media, especially the younger generation this is why it is not strange and inappropriate anymore for children and even young man or young woman to bully people with mental illness. It is very important to destroy these ill-conceived stereotypes and to humanize the face of mental illness, correct scientific labelling might be the start of it.

References:

APA manual (2010) Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association.Washington,DC: American Psychological Association

Gleitman, H., Gross, J., Reisberg, D. (2011) Psychology (8th ed.).Canada: W. W. Norton & company.


How unethical research can be done once again,and is it necessary?

Bearing in mind that not just world changes but also people, their behaviour. We should to take account of researches done in the past, because nowadays they might not be accurate. There are lot’s of unethical researches done in the past, so now they are not allowed to be repeated. For example Stanley Milgram’sresearch done in 1963. The aim of this research, as everyone know, was to prove obedience to  authority figures. Of course researchers came up with results that 65% of participants fully obeyed to authority. But it was almost 50 years ago, maybe everything has changed? And no familiar research has been done, because it is unethical. BUT in 2010 in France started new  TV game show called ‘Game of Death’, there contestants had to torture their fellow players with electric shocks – zapping one man until he cries for mercy and apparently drops dead – in a controversial programme that has drown comparisons with Nazi atrocities.  The aim of this experiment was to show to show how the manipulative power of television can push people to ever more outrageous limits. After this experiment researchers came up with result, that 81% of contestants zipped a man in electric shocks up to 240 voltage. It shows that not only authority can force to do unethical things the audience can have the same power. And also it raises a question? The research done by a scientist, by Milgram was unethical, and people were shocked about it, but same thing done in TV show was absolutely normal. What is unethical:psychological research, or TV show, where the same thing was done? It was the same experiment, except that, that people didn’t know about the research. It’s the same, so again which one is unethical? Research, or game, where people ‘die’?

There are a bit more told about that experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1pZOtkRYjc

 

And there is an extract from the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUg0xCMQzL4&feature=related

 


How does politics affect the science of psychology?

Everything is dependent on law, so it means on  politics. Psychology is not an exception, especially, when it is talking about researches in psychology. In my opinion, there are three main things, that aggravate researchers job.

First of all is sponsorship, the government commit not enough money. They give a certain amount of money, and it must be distributed to all research institutions. And usually this is not enough. Then Universities have to find money other ways, for example, finding a sponsor, an enterprise is the best choice. But there comes the second problem. If previous researches were not shown publicly then potential sponsor will restrain from giving his money to unknown researcher. There I come up with a question: whose fault is it? Most of the time it is the political problem. Research area is untoward for national government, for example,in Paul Lutus’  ‘Is psychology a Science?’ (2009) was stated that,  homosexuality was until recently listed as a mental illness, one believed to be amenable to treatment, in spite of the total absence of clinical evidence. Then a combination of research findings from fields other than psychology, and simple political pressure, resulted in the belated removal of homosexuality from psychology’s official list of mental illnesses. A lot of psychologists would agree that, homosexuality is a mental illness, it is not normal behaviour, but there come some political party, which does not agree with that. They just make a simple pressure ( wag not to commit money anymore) and psychology society is inducted to remove homosexuality from list of mental illnesses.Third thing is religion, even if it is not a real politic it has a huge influence in community and also in politics. For example, in Islam countries religion is a politic. And there no psychological researches could be done, that may contradict to Koran.

All in all, politics affect everything, including science. And main problems are: financing, unacceptable research area and religion. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be at least last 2 problems, religion and different interests shouldn’t affect science.