Archive: April 2010

Copycats in China 4/30/10

Three incidents of violence at elementary schools in China this week, all involving invasions of the schools by lone adult male assailants wielding sharp or blunt instruments (not guns, guns are harder to get in China than they are here).  In the first incident, the knife-wielding assailant, a former teacher with a history of mental problems, wounded over a dozen students and a teacher.  In the second and worst incident, another knife-wielding assailant wounded over two dozen kindergarten-age children, five critically, and several staff members.  In the third and most recent incident, a hammer-wielding assailant struck several students with his hammer and then committed suicide by setting himself on fire inside of the school.  Even in a country with a population as large as China’s it seems like a string of incidents that are too similar in nature to be completely unrelated.  Looks to me like a “copycat” phenomenon is in play.  That’s not to say that they were coordinated in any way, nor does it mean that the second and third assailants wouldn’t have harmed anyone had they not seen coverage of the previous attack(s).  It just means that sometimes an unusually-shocking attack and the coverage that it gets gives other unstable, disgruntled, seething people and idea of how to act out their rage in shocking, attention-grabbing ways.  After three incidents this week and two similar incidents earlier this month, the Chinese government has apparently caught on to the potential copycat phenomenon and has issued new security directives to tighten up access to that country’s schools.  Smart move.  The next steps are to think about whether/why increasing numbers of people who are on the unstable side to begin with are becoming disaffected enough to go into psychotic rages of this intensity and magnitude (just as we’ve seen an increase in psychologically-unstable Americans becoming disgruntled enough about their financial situations to turn violent, psychotically-violent in some cases, maybe the pace of cultural/economic change in China is fueling fatalistic desperation in some less-adaptable people who perceive that they’re being “left behind”) and to figure out how to identify these types of people and deal with them sooner (same problem we have here in the U.S. with all types of violent individuals — progressively-violent sociopathic criminals and gratuitously-violent psychopaths as well as psychotics.)

In other news, the body of Laura Garza was found this week.  Garza left a New York nightclub late in 2008 with a man she had just met that evening who turned out to be a paroled sex offender and hadn’t been seen since.  Her disappearance sparked a heated on-air debate between my friend Jane Velez-Mitchell and me about the need for women to be less trusting of strangers.  Jane felt that I was “blaming the victim,” but I was really just cautioning women not to put themselves in harm’s way and risk ending up like Natalee Holloway or Garza or one of the many other victims whom Jane and I have sadly had to cover.  Of course no one is to “blame” for what happened to Garza and to these other women except for the men who attacked them.  And yes, a woman should be able to go home from a nightclub with anyone she wants and not have to worry about her safety.  But unfortunately, that’s not the world we’re living in, and until it is (which won’t be anytime soon), I still recommend that you consciously under-estimate your ability to spot a dangerous individual, maintain a healthy suspicion of strangers’ motives, particularly in the nightclub/bar environment, and be ever-vigilant when it comes to potential threats to your and your friends’ safety.  You shouldn’t have to do any of those things, but they just might save your life.

And finally tonight, study this:  A new study found that people who have a tendency to feel depressed seem to crave chocolate more than other people do.  That actually fits nicely with another study that I reported on several months ago which found that chocolate seems to have a mild antidepressant effect in some people.  Maybe people who are somewhat dysthymic (chronically, mildly depressed) have unconsciously realized that effect and therefore experience cravings for chocolate with heightened frequency.

Catching up after Chicago 4/22/10

After spending the first part of this week in Chicago, it’s time to catch up.  Here goes…

There was a shooting/murder/suicide in the parking lot of a Tennessee hospital earlier in the week (shooter and one victim dead, two other victim’s wounded), and guess what?  That’s right, the shooter apparently had a long history of mental illness that should probably have had him off the streets at the time of these shootings.  He reportedly was involuntarily committed to a mental facility as recently as February of this year.  Yet somehow, he got out of there, got a .357 magnum, and showed up at this other hospital, where he reportedly believed, in a delusional paranoia, that staff had implanted a tracking device in him during an appendectomy.  Now maybe the family and authorities and institutional staff took all reasonable steps, it’s possible, not every violent incident involving a mentally-ill person is preventable, but wow, there appear to have been warning signs of violence all over the place and yet this dude still was free and in possession of a firearm.  How unusual this is (not).

A former “dot-com” millionaire who went bankrupt and then became a drug courier has been arrested again in Washington (state), and guess what for?  Ok, you’ll never guess what business he went into after the drug thing went bad.  He allegedly started a farm where “tourists” could pay to engage in…bestiality…sex with animals that is…felonious too…not making this up folks, don’t need to, non-fictional people are strange enough.

An Oregon man is facing a battery charge and is free on the condition that he reside away from his wife for the time being after he violently attacked her during the night.  His defense?  REM Sleep Disorder.  He says that he was basically “sleep walking” at the time and had neither intent to hurt his wife nor any knowledge of what he was doing.  He also says he doesn’t remember any of it.  And the wife?  She believes him.  In fact, when she called 911, she even said that she needed help because her husband was attacking her while asleep.  Both spouses reportedly say that there’s never been any domestic violence in their home, that they have a happy marriage, and that this incident was a first.  Ok, you know I’m probably about the most skeptical expert out there when it comes to people disavowing personal responsibility based on mental conditions, but in this case, my mind is particularly open to it given the context.  There is such a thing as the disorder with which this guy has been diagnosed, and if he truly didn’t know what he was doing, then he couldn’t have known that it was wrong, so he’s not guilty by reason of insanity.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case involving “sexting” — a police officer, his wife, and his “mistress” (yeah, great guy this is, and he actually got two women believe it or not), all of whom worked for the same police department, were using their department-provided cell phones to circulate sexually-explicit text messages between them.  The issue is whether the police department, as their employer, had the right to monitor the content of their messages and discipline them for using the phones inappropriately.  I say yes — I pay for your phone, I get to watch what you do with it, whether I’m your employer or your parent.  I even think there’s probably going to end up being not just a right but a responsibility to do so in many cases because I think that cyberspace (employer-provided/supported electronic and social-networking technology) is poised to become the most prevalent venue in which sexual harassment occurs.

Celebrity Rehab‘s Dr. Drew Pinsky reportedly said that the family of actress Lindsay Lohan should drop a dime and report her to the cops when she’s in possession of drugs so that a judge with the authority to lock her up can get involved in her life and use that leverage to get her into “rehab.”  I don’t agree with Dr. Drew on everything — like I don’t agree with the “disease” conceptualization of addiction, and I don’t think that “rehab” works very well — but I do agree on this.  Sometimes, parents need to get the broader society, in the form of the legal system, involved in their kids’ lives, even if it might result in criminal charges, in order to do everything possible to save the kids from self-destructing, and it sounds like Miss Lohan is well on her way there.

Finally, study this:  On a related note, a new “study” found that tanning in indoor tanning beds (i.e. at tanning salons) might be…you guessed it…”addictive.”  The researchers found that tanning stimulated the same brain structures that get activated when people use intoxicating substances.  Ok, pretty much anything that’s experienced as pleasurable stimulates those same brain structures, so this study simply supports what I’ve been saying for years now:  all together now, all over the world, ANYTHING can be “addictive” if a person likes it a lot and is willing to keep doing it to the detriment of him/herself and of others (I seem to be the only one ever talking about the narcissism of “addicts”) about whom he/she is supposed to care!

Cry me a river! 4/15/10

Some in the national media are lamenting the fact that budget cuts have caused counseling programs (drug and alcohol programs mostly) in many states’ prisons to be reduced significantly or eliminated.  And in many of those states, including my home state of Kansas, that means prisoners who would otherwise use participation in such programs to get early release will have to…gasp…stay in prison longer!  Oh no!  Wait — oh yes!  These “treatment” programs for alcoholics, drug addicts, sex offenders, etc., don’t work very well anyway.  The best way to make sure that a three-time drunk driver doesn’t kill another innocent person on the road is to keep the three-time drunk driver in prison, and the best way to make sure that a child molester doesn’t molest another child is to keep the child molester in prison.  No counseling for criminals?  Cry me a river!

All kinds of new studies! 4/13/10

If you like studies, this post is for you.  There are a ton of new ones out plus one old one with a new twist.  Here’s a rundown:

Study #1:  found that spanking kids makes them more aggressive later in life.  Yawn, this one’s been done before (I’ve written about it here before).  There’s also research showing that most kids who were spanked (but not seriously injured) turn out to be responsible, productive adults.  I’m not recommending spanking, just saying that I think there’s a difference between spanking and violent child abuse, and I’m skeptical that spanking alone is probably going to make kids into violent criminals later in life.

Study #2:  found that people who take anticonvulsants for their mood-stabilizing properties (e.g. to treat bipolar disorder) have an elevated risk of suicide.  I know suicide’s serious, but this study is another yawn because it, too, has been done before (I’ve written about it here before as well).  I’m no fan of pharmaceutical companies pushing psych meds in spite of serious reasons to be concerned about their side effects, and I especially worry about it when the patients are kids (in whom the side effects haven’t been as extensively studied and in whom it’s difficult to even diagnose certain disorders like bipolar in the first place due to developmentally-related mood fluctuations).  Having said that, people with bipolar disorder have the highest rate of suicide among all psychiatric/psychological diagnostic groups, so I have to admit that it’s tough to know whether the drugs are actually adding to that rate or whether the patients in question likely would’ve committed suicide even without the drugs.  I’d like to see more research involving the suicide rates among large numbers of patients with the same diagnosis who did and did not take mood stabilizers.

Study #3:  found that girls who consume significant amounts of alcohol (-ic beverages) in their teen years are at elevated risk of developing breast cancer in later years.  Just one more good reason to curtail teenage drinking.

Study #4:  found that kids with “Williams Syndrome” (a rare genetic disorder), when exposed to people of different races, didn’t exhibit the inhibitory (fear) responses that many other kids exhibit.  In other words, the kids with Williams Syndrome didn’t perceive physical differences as threatening while other kids did.  The study’s being touted for identifying a fear response as the root of racism and the kids with Williams Syndrome as essentially “model” kids.  While I certainly agree that it would be good if all kids could grow up with zero fear of people of different races, I think it’s important to make a distinction between wanting kids to have weak or nonexistent fear responses specific to race and wanting kids to have weak or nonexistent fear responses in general.  Fear helps people avoid a lot of hazards in life, so we want the former — kids to be able to not fear others purely due to race — but we wouldn’t really want to achieve that by also reducing other, potentially-adaptive, fear responses (e.g. behavior-based fear responses) to the levels observed in kids with Williams Syndrome

Study #5:  found that older people who’ve consumed primarily Mediterranean-style diets that include ample amounts of “omega-3” fatty acids seem to be at reduced risk of dementia.  Just one more good reason to eat healthily.

Study #6:  found that an alarming number of contestants on a fake game show in France were willing, with encouragement from audience members and the host, to administer electric shocks that could’ve done serious damage, had they been real, to fellow contestants who answered questions incorrectly.  There was a big flap about this last month when some news organizations reported that the game show involved was a real new game show in France (i.e. that people were really going to be shocking each other mercilessly on French t.v. for the amusement of the audience).  I wasn’t so sure, so I waited to comment on it until I could learn more about it.  Turns out it was a study designed to see whether the results of similar experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram in the 1960’s (in which an authority figure — e.g. a “scientist” in a lab coat — directed unwitting participants to administer increasingly painful electric shocks to people in an adjacent room, and alarming numbers of participants did it, all the way up to lethal voltages, despite blood-curdling screams coming from the unharmed actors on the other side of the wall) could be replicated in 2010.  Apparently so.

(Finally, this is neither psych-related nor law-related, but since I opined recently that there seemed to be some kind of instability going on in the Earth’s crust given the string of major earthquakes occurring around the world lately, two more major quakes have happened.  I’m not saying it’s a human-caused phenomenon or that there’s anything we probably can do about it other than perhaps to save lives by predicting subsequent quakes better.  I’m just saying that it seems like we’re in a particularly-active seismic cycle even though geologists’ on t.v. keep saying we’re not.)

Jon & kate plus…a shooting, nuclear naivete, a still-missing mom, and another “sex addict” 4/11/10

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Here’s the lawpsyc low-down on a few things that happened or were talked about over this weekend:

1)  Jon & Kate (Jon & Kate Plus 8) reportedly are headed back to divorce court with Jon seeking a change in custody of their eight children due to Kate’s alleged absentee parenting.  As you know if you’re a regular reader, I have little use for Jon & Kate, and I don’t think that either one has exhibited a strong tendency to put his/her kids above personal pursuits, relationships, fame, career, etc.  However, some people are saying that a shift in custodial time from a mom who’s working a lot to a dad who’s available a lot would somehow be “anti-woman” or “anti-working-woman.”  As an expert in child custody cases, I can tell you that the reverse has been happening for decades — moms getting more custody time than dads when the dads provide the bulk of the financial support for the kids and are thus less available, especially during the work week, than the moms.  I don’t know Jon & Kate’s situation well enough to say what their custody arrangement should be, but parental availability is an appropriate factor to consider when crafting child custody arrangements regardless of which parent is working more and which is home more.  The goal is to serve the best interests of the children, not the best interests of the parents, not the best interests of feminism, the best interests of the children, period.

2)  There was a shootout at an Oklahoma shopping mall this weekend in which several suspected gang members were involved.  One apparently-intended victim was killed, and four others, including a 13-year-old girl who apparently was caught in the crossfire, were wounded.  Three shooters have been identified but remain at large at this hour.  While this isn’t a typical “mass shooting” case — it doesn’t appear that a bunch of innocent people were nevertheless intended victims — this part of my analysis of it will sound very familiar:  I guarantee you right now that none of the shooters should have been running around loose on the streets when this happened.  I guarantee you that each of them will turn out to have a record that should’ve kept him out of the mall and behind bars this weekend and the next many, many weekends.  That would’ve been better for the dead guy, the little girl, the other wounded victims, the general public, and even the shooters, who used their freedom this weekend to effectively, if not literally, end their own lives, also at very young ages.  It’s sad all around, and it’s got to end with society getting much tougher, much sooner in the lives of young criminals.

3)  Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is concerned that the U.S.A. is giving up too much in the nuclear disarmament treaty negotiated recently between the Obama Administration and Russia.  I think Lieberman has a point.  It seems to me that the Obama Administration has a tendency to be overly optimistic about the psychology of world leaders who have the potential to threaten the U.S.A. and its interests.  I think that the Administration assumes good intentions and desires for peace and mutual security that cannot be assumed.  I think that most of the people who comprise the Administration are of a mindset wherein there’s no such thing as a “bad” person, no one who actually would choose unprovoked aggression over peaceful coexistence.  As a forensic psychologist, I can tell you that there are “bad” people, and sometimes they end up as leaders of nations, and while it’s fine to hope for the best from them, I think it’s wise to remain prepared for the worst.

4)  Remember Susan Powell, the Utah mother who disappeared while her husband was supposedly on a last-minute, late-night camp-out with their two small children on one of the coldest nights of last winter?  She remains missing, and it was reported last week that the husband was out partying at a strip club Casey-Anthony style while others searched for his wife.  Well, here’s an example of why it’s important not to jump to conclusions and sensationalize things for ratings/circulation purposes before the facts are in.  Turns out that the folks at the strip club in question cannot definitively place Mr. Powell there since his wife’s disappearance.  I believe there are real reasons to be looking at this guy as the prime suspect, and it bugs me when people take their “eyes (and the public’s eyes) off the ball” in a case like this just so they have something fresh to talk about.

5)  Woods didn’t win the Master’s.  Could it be that some things other than golf were on his mind?  Yes, of course it could also be that the winner just played better this time around.  (And Sandra Bullock’s cheating soon-to-be ex-husband Jesse James reportedly is now claiming to be a “sex addict,” which is just as big of a crock as it was when Woods said it!)

P.S.  I’ll be on the Laura Ingraham Show on the radio Monday morning at about 11:10 a.m. eastern, 10:10 a.m. central — check the show’s web site for your local station, and tune in along with eight million of your fellow Americans as Laura and I talk about people increasingly turning to shrinks for moral guidance.

2 outrageous stories to wrap up the week 4/9/10

1)  So a bunch of teenage boys are in custody in New Jersey after allegedly gang-raping a seven-year-old girl — that’s right, a SEVEN-year-old girl.  And it gets even MORE disgusting!  A FEMALE attorney representing multiple defendants in the case actually said THIS:  “These boys are victims of their own hormones.”  That’s right, VICTIMS of their own hormones.  A few moments please — I’ll finish this post after I get done throwing up.  OK, I’m back.  Now, the attorney says there’s no forensic evidence of rape and that the little girl’s account of what happened to her is tainted because she was given a stuffed animal or something like that by the cops.  The cops reportedly say that there is forensic evidence and apparently believe that the girl’s story, which reportedly was corroborated by at least one witness, is credible.  Fine, there either is forensic evidence or there isn’t.  If there’s not, then there are very real issues that must be explored and to which my mind is open as an expert about confabulation (filling in memory gaps with made-up events and details) in children’s witness/victim statements.  BUT, if scientific and other credible evidence convicts these defendants as charged, and if this attorney then argues for reduced sentences because THEY were VICTIMS, I sooooooo hope that the prosecutors look me up and call me as an expert to slam dunk that one right into the toilet and flush it!

2)  Guess what?  Another potential violent criminal in the world of “reality” TV.  A current producer of Pimp My Ride who formerly was a producer ofSurvivor is in custody in Mexico on suspicion that he murdered his wife while the couple vacationed there and tried to make it look like she was a victim of random crime.  Is there something of a dangerous trend involving a disproportionate number of unstable individuals working in “reality” TV?  Someone from So You Think You Can Dance faces multiple counts of raping aspiring young dancers; a male contestant from Megan Wants to Marry a Millionaire apparently murders his ex-wife/girlfriend, dismembers her, and stuffs her in a suitcase before committing suicide, and now this case.  Hmmm, let’s let the folks at home judge!

(And before I go, I know this isn’t my area of expertise, but I’m going to weigh in on it anyway:  Geological “experts” have been saying in the media this week that the recent major earthquakes occurring around the world in what seems like fairly rapid succession really don’t represent an unusual pattern of seismic activity.  OK, personally, I think there’s some causal connection.  Maybe the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and other developed countries is finally putting too much weight on the Earth’s crust? Just kidding!  I know, there have been extremely tragic disasters in which many people have been killed, and I’m not making light of that.  It just seems like the scientific community is usually all about trying to find human causes for everything — SUV drivers like me supposedly warming up the world for example.  I’m actually glad that the geologist-types don’t seem to be doing that in this case, and I don’t know what natural phenomena could explain this recent string of major quakes, but seriously, I think there’s something going on.

Have a good weekend!

Did Michael Jackson commit suicide? 4/5/10

Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend.  Over that weekend, reports were circulating about Dr. Conrad Murray’s account of the events leading up to the death of Michael Jackson (Murray is charged with manslaughter for administering the surgical-strength sedative thought to have sent Jackson into cardiac arrest).  Reportedly, Murray’s defense will be that Jackson was addicted to the sedative and administered an overdose of it to himself while the good doctor was using the restroom.  It’s unclear whether, in this scenario, Jackson is meant to have killed himself accidentally or intentionally (i.e. is it that he supposedly just wanted to sleep and the dose approved/administered by Murray wasn’t doing the job, so he added to it surreptitiously, fully intending to wake up later, or is it that he actually wanted to die, so he surreptitiously injected enough of the sedative into his IV that he’d go to sleep permanently?).  If the story about Jackson administering the lethal dose of the sedative to himself is the truth, then Murray should tell it in court, but if it’s not, then telling it is risking more than a perjury charge/conviction.  Jurors are likely to be skeptical that Jackson wanted to leave his three children, and if they aren’t convinced of it, and if they think Murray’s willing, in order to save his own skin, to let Jackson’s kids believe it, those may be some very angry jurors.  Since reports of Murray’s potential defense argument surfaced, his attorney has cautioned the media against believing what amounts to mere rumor and speculation, so it’s possible that we haven’t really learned anything here.  (Interestingly though, if Jackson was addicted to this particular sedative prior to employing Murray to prescribe and administer it, we have to revisit the question of where he was getting it previously, which prompts me to remind everyone of a hypothesis that I generated when I discussed this on t.v. months ago — the same sedative is used in veterinary medicine, and many animals were kept on Jackson’s “Neverland” ranch, so it seems possible that shipments of the sedative could have been ordered ostensibly for veterinary purposes and ended up being used by Jackson.  I recommend that the authorities investigating this case look into that possibility.)

Erin Andrews’ death threats 4/3/10

Weekend update:  Sports reporter and Dancing with the Stars contestant Erin Andrews (you remember her, someone’s spending 2+ years in prison right now for placing a hidden camera in her hotel room and posting photos of her undressed on the Internet), reportedly has been receiving death threats by email.  The messages reportedly started out sexual in nature and then became progressively threatening.  Sounds like a possible case of an “erotomanic” delusional disorder, in which the disordered individual becomes obsessed with someone, sometimes a celebrity, develops a delusion that they have a romantic relationship, and then becomes increasingly upset when the object of the affection doesn’t respond to them, often trying to get close to the person by engaging in “stalking” behavior, sometimes threatening the person, sometimes actually assaulting the person, which is why it’s good that Andrews, law enforcement, and the network reportedly are taking it seriously.  Using email, which the authorities usually can trace back to its source (I’ve had threats by email that FBI agents — who were above-and-beyond professional in their handling of that problem as I’m sure they are now with Erin — easily traced), is just another indication to me that the stalker in this case is more psychotic than psychopathic (a psychotic person would generally be less likely than a cold, calculated psychopath to think about ways to avoid being identified).  That does not mean, however, that the stalker, when caught, should be found not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity.  If he knows what he’s doing and that it’s wrong (meaning illegal), which I’ll bet he does know (even if he thinks they’re in love, I’ll bet he knows it’s illegal to threaten murder), then he can be delusional all day long and still be guilty.

4/2/10Wrapping up the Tiller saga, and the week 4/2/10

Scott Roeder, the man who murdered abortion doctor George Tiller (I participated in the coverage of his trial for truTV’s In Session back in January), has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years, which practically guarantees that the 52-year-old will die in prison.  Interestingly, Roeder told the court at his sentencing that he had spent years thinking about killing Tiller before he actually did it, which confirms exactly what I said during the trial — he didn’t really believe that hehad to act to protect someone from imminent bodily harm when he shot Tiller in a Wichita, Kansas church on a Sunday morning last summer.  Roeder further explained that he shot Tiller to stop an ongoing practice of abortion that had ended the lives of many unborn babies over the years and was expected to end the lives of many more unborn babies in the years ahead.  That’s exactly what I had opined back in January was the real motive, which effectively took the “justified defense of another” argument off the table because the law on using deadly force to defend someone else requires that the someone else be in imminent danger at the moment when the force is used.  As is often the case, you heard it here first.

Four people were killed and five others wounded in a drive-by shooting in Washington, D.C. Three people are in custody — their very first brushes with the law for sure, right?  Haha, of course not!  One of them was wanted at the time for a previous murder.  Another, age…get this…14…yes,14…the driver…yes, the driver…reportedly has nine prior convictions for various crimes and was supposedly under the “supervision” of the juvenile corrections system in D.C. at the time.  Hmm, that’s some supervision they do there.  As I’m always saying, until we get a lot tougher a lot sooner in criminals’ lives, their crimes are going to keep escalating, period.  The 14-year-old, young or not, should have been locked up, not just being “supervised,” after nine offenses, or even a couple of offenses, and I don’t even care if they were minor offenses.  The 20-year-old murder suspect should’ve been in custody already as well, if not for the suspected prior murder (police and prosecutors are now pointing fingers at one another about whether there was enough evidence to have arrested the guy for the prior murder before the mass drive-by) then for one of the myriad of prior offenses that I’m sure he committed and got slapped on the wrist for, at most.  Sure, we’ll get tough on these guys now, but now four people are dead.  The idea is to get tough on criminals before anybody’s dead.

The FAA has approved antidepressant drugs for use by commercial airline pilots while on duty.  Apparently studies commissioned by the FAA showed that the approved drugs did not cause drowsiness in pilots significantly enough to cause concern about pilots flying under their influence.  The drugs in question are Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, and the generic counterparts of the first three, all in the class called “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors” (SSRI’s), which increase the volume of the neurotransmitter serotonin that’s active in the brains of depressed patients.  Pilots taking these drugs will have to demonstrate consistent use with no dangerous side effects for a least one year before being approved to fly while using them.  Sounds like a basically-reasonable policy, but the estimate that there may be as many as 10,000 pilots affected by it is, I think, further evidence that we have way too many people from all walks of life on psychoactive drugs in this country these days.

And finally tonight, study this:  Self-help apparently works to combat binge eating.  That’s right, ground-breaking new research has found that people who habitually overeat might actually be able to help themselves!  Shocking!  You mean, people might actually be able to gain some control over their own food intake?  Why yes, according to this new study, that may, amazingly, be the case.  (Once again of course, you heard that here first, quite some time ago in fact, and guess what else?  Binge eating isn’t the only dysfunctional behavior for which self-help is available!)

Have a good weekend!

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