Parental Alienation Syndrome

People say that kids will be kids but, in some families, kids are unwitting pawns in the war of parents. A condition cropped up in the 1990’s called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) that deals with the existential dynamics of parents and kids during marital breakups.

Children deal with alienation issues as orphans and victims of tragedies. In Parental Alienation Syndrome, children become the rope between two warring parents in custody disputes or internal conflicts. Kids are directly or indirectly forced into creating alliances with one parent or another, often at the expense of the child’s individual interests or well-being. Parental Alienation Syndrome is the deliberate attempt by one parent (birth/guardian/significant other) to distance his/her children from the other parent. Doing so, the parent engages the children as weapons in the process of destroying the connected affective ties and familial bonds that once existed. Children are likely to feel loss, insecurity, fear, confusion, sadness, hopelessness and despair but may be oblivious that they are being played with.

Parental Alienation Syndrome was introduced by Richard A. Gardner, a child psychiatrist and prolific author. The syndrome drew much controversy over therapeutic and legal circles. PAS was never included in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual produced by the American Psychiatric Association, so it is clinically not regarded as a condition. Yet, Gardner wrote:

“Inducing PAS in a child is a form of emotional abuse. In a way, it may be even more
detrimental than physically and/or sexually abusing a child. Although both of these forms
of abuse are abominations, they do not necessarily—although they certainly may—cause
lifelong psychiatric problems.”

Some may debate that the personality variances that may develop as a possible result of PAS may be learned or conditional responses. Divorce or parental conflict dynamics are not always explored thoroughly in most therapeutic processes. As possibly a source hypothesis, Parental Alienation Syndrome may be at the root of diabolic abuse that scars people throughout life, as a distorted act of love. The legal and psychological implications may even deliver deeper consequences.

PAS results may be akin to brainwashing. Brainwashing first came into psychological focus as a result of World War II and the Korean War. In The Manchurian Candidate was a cold-war tactic to control the mind of prisoners of war. The ease and ability of such political mind control instilled so much fear that millions of dollars in grants were allocated to brainwashing. In the Manchurian Candidate, the mother was used to control her adult child into killing a presidential candidate. Convinced otherwise, the child commits suicide.

The DSM-5 does not code PAS as a disorder itself. Instead, the editors chose to discuss it as Child Psychological Abuse. It is defined as non-accidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child. The acts of PAS may be seen as that abuse.

Suicide may be an extreme scenario to what may happen to most PAS cases but we really may not know how much PAS might be an influence if suicide did occur.

A 2013 British science study examined body inflammation of adults who were products of separated parents. The results cited evidence that psychosocial inflammation indicators were present. In 2012, a Canadian study cited evidence that men with divorced parents were more likely to suffer a stroke than men from intact families. Another study examined that children of divorced parents were more likely to modify or change religious views as adults than those that came from intact families.

The future impact of a person’s life and perspectives are often results of childhood choices. When a parent “programs” a young impressionable mind to alienate another parent or group of people, the impact can be explosive through growth.

Each child is an individual and responds differently. Some might be affected academically, socially, and mentally. They may have difficulty creating lasting relationships or keeping lasting relationships. They might also use personal alienation on their children. A rising incidence in criminal behavior may emerge in a few cases.

When it comes to parental alienation syndrome, many parents may not intentionally be trying to misguide their kids into sided alliances. Yet kids are easily brainwashed with little thought or action that abuse of any kind is taking place. Mothers may play a bigger role in brainwashing kids than fathers, in a traditional setting. Children are sensitive and susceptible to the parent they are more exposed to.

Kids becoming adults who might be products of Parental Alienation Syndrome may never be conscious of its presence. Further, outside of the DSM, traditional therapists may ignore its possibility. As emotional problems develop, one really can’t pinpoint what (if any) will be exhibited.

Parental alienation must be studied further. Yet, the consequences that effect the alienated parent, in the long run, and the child, may bear ticking monsters for future generations. When love goes awry, scorn takes many prisoners and victims. Parental alienation syndrome may be the prison for many.

Marijuana or anything may hazard your health

From the proliferation of large pharmacies across the country, we are a nation addicted to pills, lotions, powders, and creams of all kinds. We see ads extolling the benefits of these products but we also hear cautious words of possible and dire consequences. When in pain, faith often moves toward the quick-fix approach. In variances among individuals and homeostasis, sometimes there are consequences with anything you ingest or apply. Debate continues about the overwhelming attraction to marijuana benefits or consequences. A study, Cannabis Use is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users, raised eyebrows today.

Colorado was one of the first places in the USA to legalize the sale of marijuana, a popular, recreational, feel-good drug. The added tax revenue is a major bonus. The publication of a study in the Journal of Neuroscience (4/16/2014) spread over the news media. The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke/don’t-smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to the new study.

The study compared a group of 20 college-age people who claim never to have used marijuana and 20 college-age people who use marijuana at least once a week. This sample is rather small when one considers that close to 20 million people in the USA admit to recent use of marijuana. The study showed, through MRI studies, deviations in a certain brain region among marijuana users over non-users. The primary differences were in the amygdala region, found in the limbic system of the midbrain, Studies of this region have demonstrated significant evidence that associate the amygdala as a multi-channel area of emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation.

The amygdala, through neurotransmitters and other regions, also aids in the retention of long-term memories. It may play a role in why you enjoy certain flavors or certain colors and dislike others. This all sound simple enough but the amygdala has proven itself to be a very sophisticated little portion of the brain.

Past studies have in inferred that the amygdala may play a role in gender attraction/orientation, criminality, and all sorts of conditions. A product of many studies, there is still very little known about the amygdala and its role in the neural development of the brain. Furthermore, even less is known about the variations of the brain and why one might be talented as a butcher, or a baker, or a candlestick maker. There have been few MRI or fMRI generalized studies among the “normal” population in large-enough scale to make reliable determinations.

The amygdala may be prone to disease or associated with illnesses like Urbach-Wiethe Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, depression, stress, and pain.

This marijuana study was done with the collective minds of these established institutions – Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. It makes for a good news story. Yet, like many studies, few are large enough to infer causality and provide a solid link to what actually has been tested and found. Even the most academic e3xperiments suffer the pratfalls of a quasi-experiment design. Does marijuana use alter the amygdala or does an abnormality in the amygdala result in increasing the possible use of marijuana?

Also, among those 18-25 year old students who claim not using marijuana, how many were truly honest?

If you overeat you can become fat, develop diabetes or cardio-vascular disease. If you smoke, you are more likely to develop respiratory illness. If you consume too much alcohol, you can damage your liver. If you consume too much water, you may damage your renal system. A retrospective observation may show (that apart from genetics) anything you do excessively may be hazardous to your health.

This MRI Marijuana study was well written and an enjoyable read. There will continue to be advocates and opponents of marijuana use and this observation will do next to nothing to impact these thoughts and desires,

Marijuana may be more pleasurable to some than to others. Though reported non-addictive, some may need more marijuana than others. As to the role of the amygdala, there might be something there. Normal is only a perceived statistic. Further studies and larger samples need to be tested. When it comes to pleasure or pain, the amygdala may be involved.

Paralyzed Patients Move with Spinal Stimulation

The early 19th-century was fascinated with electricity. Dr. Frankenstein used electricity to restore life to a lifeless body. Many people suffer from paralysis, the inability to move limbs or bend the torso. Research into Neuro-electric impulses and spinal stimulation seem to help some patients regain movement.

Being paralyzed is among the biggest and most disabling nightmares. For many years, if paralyzed, you were bed-ridden or immobilized in wheelchairs. Of ambulatory disorders, the inability to control legs, arms, feet, neck, and other things, paralysis was among the worst. Whether it was due from disease, traumas, or bullets, being paralyzed was often perceived as death. For decades, it was near hopeless.

In an article in Brain (April 8), a study was published that show how 4 men, paralyzed for over two years, regained movement with the aid of implanted electro-stimulators in the spine. Patients could move by use of a remote control device. The research was covered by the National Institutes of Health. Subjects were paraplegic patients who lost sensation and movement in arms and legs.

The bioengineering institute at United States’ National Institutes of Health is funding research to develop noninvasive stimulators. That way, the electrical pulses can be delivered through the skin rather than requiring surgery to implant a device.

The unique clinical research approach was developed by V. Reggie Edgerton, Ph.D., a professor at the UCLA Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology. Edgerton is notably connected with the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Michael J. Fox foundation.

Few people realize that in virtually most ways our body is an electric powerhouse. A normal, functioning body uses transduction to convert what we eat and think about into a complex living network. All living organisms are made of individual and identifiable cells, whose number, together with their size and type, ultimately defines the structure and functions of an organism. Cells are involved in helping to preserve and create energy in our bodies. Nerves and neurons behave like cells as well. When a disease or injury forms, the normal flow of energy is blocked.

In small cases, like burning your finger when touching hot cookware, the perceived pain sets off a response through releasing a set of chemicals called endorphins that reduce perceived pain.

People who suffer major injuries that sever nerve and cellular connections block the smooth flow of transductive actions. Many things can happen when this occurs. One of these may be paralysis of a region, large or small. The electrical energy flow is blocked.

In Asia, that electrical body energy is called Chi. Chi is the internal energy that circulates through the body, according to many eastern martial arts and medical traditions. These practitioners believe when chi is blocked, either through natural causes or more nefarious means, it can stop us from being able to function physically, mentally and emotionally for a small amount of time or permanently. Through various methods, the goal is to free the flow of natural chi.

A paralyzed limb may be blocked by various means. Through an understanding of the electrical impulses the body uses, a paralyzed limb may be activated by implanting an electrical pulse generator at the core of the blocked location. In many cases, based on our limited knowledge, it is somewhat speculative. In the NIH study, it worked with those 4 paralyzed men.

Of course the unblocking and reactivation of those neuromuscular areas are only the beginning. Physical therapy and/or prosthetics may be required to possibly help restore more full functioning.

What makes this study so interesting is how those pulses work to help mobilize what was thought to be immobile, virtually lifeless. Sometimes what is not known may just require the restimulation of the blocked chi.

It takes innovative approaches to help combat and treat disorders. Some of those are seen as ancient alternative methods.

Current medical education is pushing vast numbers of doctors and medical professionals that are paralyzed when it comes to what is perceived as new approaches to medical problems. Sometimes modern and accepted traditional methods do not work for those rare cases that are beyond average.

Fortunately, there are some thinkers that explore through the dark, curvy tunnels and come up with novel approaches. Long term results may be speculative. Having a light at the tunnel’s end is a remarkable thing at the very least.

One can’t surmise that all paralyzed people may one day move again, walk and dance. This research means there is hope. The fictional Dr. Frankenstein wasn’t all that wrong. He just wasn’t ready to understand that electricity can be therapeutic to those that have life. Seeming lifeless paralyzed patients may one day move with spinal stimulation. You are the body electric.

Kissing can cause dental cavities

We’ve heard about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. Microorganisms found in body fluids are prone to infect one or another. Dental cavities are primarily the result of a communicable disease spread through the transmission of bacteria, whether it’s sugar or some unclean appliance like sticking a pen between your teeth while working. Subsequently, kissing may cause dental cavities through the transmission of bacteria from one person to another.

When people kiss, it is possible to exchange about as many as 10 million to 1 billion bacteria (representing up to 278 different species). Interacting in your mouth, some of these bacteria may be attracted to plaque and start attacking teeth. Isn’t it romantic?

Does that mean that kissing should be avoided? As an early stage of intimacy, kissing serves a useful mate-assessment function and is one of the preferred forms of greeting and foreplay.

Yet the Academy of General Dentistry believes that kissing poses severe risks. “Not knowing who you are kissing could be as dangerous to your health as having multiple sexual partners,” says AGD spokesperson Connie White, DDS, FAGD.

Kissing isn’t the only form of infection. Germs are transmitted through colds and touching surfaces that you didn’t realize had communities of those imperceptible microorganisms. While some may be the culprits behind oral diseases, they can result in many other things.

Overuse of antibiotics also leaves people more immune to harmful bacterial effects. Progressive resistance to antibiotics is becoming a major concern. Yet bacteria shouldn’t be an antagonist exclusively. Certain bacteria aid the digestive system.

As kisses are sweeter than wine, there are few socially acceptable preventatives to practice after a kiss. Perhaps, after a kissing session, you should excuse yourself for a few moments and rinse your mouth, brush teeth, or use some portable floss.

Overall, kissing is a primary form of communicable communication. The pleasure often overrides the faint possibilities of developing tooth decay. Realizing how many possible causes there are in developing tooth decay and gum disease, kissing may be worth the risk. After all, a gloveless handshake and a blown kiss may be equally dangerous.

Kiss away the blues and try to protect your pearly whites by pursuing a routine dental hygiene program. It’s part of responsible love. It’s one sexually transmitted disease source that is easily manageable.