Month: August 2013

Ten Signs You Are Depressed But Don’t Know It

Depression affects so many people that it is often called the common cold of mental illness. At some point in their lives, 10% to 25% of women and 5% to 12% of men will become clinically depressed.

Depression is not a fashionable affliction. However, it is real, insidious, and when in full bloom, debilitating. Yet far too many people are oblivious to their own deep sadness or simply refuse to recognize it. Emotional vulnerability? Verboten–especially among the achiever set.

Depression Hypnosis

Ignorance and denial are not cures for depression. They are guarantees that when you finally own up to your sadness, it will kick you a hell of a lot harder than when you started suppressing it.

Here are 10 ways to detect depression early and let the healing begin.

1. You are over-confident and fearless.

Many people, and especially high achievers, cope with depression by acting in ways opposite to how they feel. (Shrinks call this “escapism.”) Engaging in daredevil pursuits, be it mounting a takeover of a rival company or quitting your job to open a restaurant, makes you feel invincible, when you’re really in the dumps. There is a method to this madness: The major cause of depressions, those not born of biochemical imbalances, of which there are plenty, is feeling out of control or helpless. Achievers loathe that feeling and fight like hell to deny it through action. But that, ultimately, won’t work.

2. You’ve gone from one drink with dinner to three before appetizers.

“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” Bernard Shaw’s observation is as true now as it was then. Drinking alcohol is the most common tactic people take to self-medicate emotional pain. The problem with this strategy is that when you finally recognize the pain driving you to drink, you’ll have two disorders to contend with rather than one.

3. You’re obsessed with achievement in bed.

Have a limp libido? Going on a Hugh-Hefner-like tear may not lift your spirits. If you find you’ve traded serial monogamy for seducing any partner that will have you, there is a good chance you’re trying to keep depression at bay.

4. Conflicts quickly escalate into fights.

One common but exceedingly dumb way to dull the feeling of helplessness brought on by depression is to show people you’re nobody’s patsy. Get cut off on the highway? Run the bastard off the road. Have an idea shot down at a brainstorming session? Take the opinionated punk outside and pummel him. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll have enough bruises to distract you from your emotional pain.

5. You feel nothing.

Rather than be sad, many people would choose to forgo feeling altogether. But some people end up getting stuck in neutral, dooming them to invite the same pain again and again. Worse, this zombie-like approach creates anxiety in those around you and alienates those who care for you.

6. You can’t stop socializing.

Immersing yourself in group activities sounds healthy–and for many people it is. However, if the sole purpose is to keep you from wrestling with your thoughts and feelings, having a brimming social calendar is not the answer (and you probably won’t be all that fun a companion anyway).

7. You can’t concentrate.

Everyone suffers from scattered thoughts now and again. Those who are depressed but who possess too much control to act out recklessly may do so in fantasy. But how to distinguish a healthy daydream from potentially dangerous ones? Healthy dreams involve changes in your life that you can realize in a handful of steps. Unhealthy ones take you from middle-class to movie-stardom overnight.

8. You have trouble accepting praise or goodwill.

Martin Seligman, the psychologist who revolutionized our thinking about depression, studied the behavior of dogs that were given electric shocks. Eventually, they would lay helplessly in their cages, not responding to tugs on their leashes that would have moved them to safety from the shocks. The human corollary: If you find yourself ignoring favorable gestures or simple interpersonal warmth, chances are you’re not a malcontent. You’re depressed.

9. You work harder, not smarter.

When people are depressed, they have trouble seeing novel solutions to their problems. Instead, they do more of the same. The classic example is trying to exercise your way to happiness: If you already log a few hours a week at the gym, spending another 30 more minutes every day may briefly lift your spirits. But that relief is ephemeral. When it dissipates, get off the treadmill and get to the root of what’s bothering you.

10. You laugh and cry at times that don’t call for it.

In psychiatry, the concept “inappropriate affect” refers to behavior that is emotionally out of sync with the stimulus that prompted it. People who are depressed but do not know it exhibit a unique variant of this problem: They over-react to insignificant sadness, and ignore major league bad news.

Abraham Maslow, one of America’s most influential psychologists, observed: “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” Fess up to how you feel so you can fight on.

You’ll be amazed at how relieved you’ll feel when you do.

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Do Parallel Universes Exist?

The Many Worlds Theory

In 1954, a young Princeton University doctoral candidate named Hugh Everett III came up with a radical idea: That there exist parallel universes, exactly like our ­universe. These universes are all related to ours; indeed, they branch off from ours, and our universe is branched off of others. Within these parallel universes, our wars have had different outcomes than the ones we know. Species that are extinct in our universe have evolved and adapted in others. In other universes, we humans may have become extinct.

This thought boggles the mind and yet, it is still comprehensible. Notions of parallel universes or dimensions that resemble our own have appeared in works of science fiction and have been used as explanations for metaphysics. But why would a young up-and-coming physicist possibly risk his future career by posing a theory about parallel universes?

parallel universes

With his Many-Worlds theory, Everett was attempting to answer a rather sticky question related to quantum physics: Why does quantum matter behave erratically? The quantum level is the smallest one science has detected so far. The study of quantum physics began in 1900, when the physicist Max Planck first introduced the concept to the scientific world. Planck’s study of radiation yielded some unusual findings that contradicted classical physical laws. These findings suggested that there are other laws at work in the universe, operating on a deeper level than the one we know.

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

In fairly short order, physicists studying the quantum level noticed some peculiar things about this tiny world. For one, the particles that exist on this level have a way of taking different forms arbitrarily. For example, scientists have observed photons — tiny packets of light — acting as particles and waves. Even a single photon exhibits this shape-shifting [source: Brown University]. Imagine if you looked and acted like a solid human being when a friend glanced at you, but when he looked back again, you’d taken a gaseous form.

This has come to be known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The physicist Werner Heisenberg suggested that just by observing quantum matter, we affect the behavior of that matter. Thus, we can never be fully certain of the nature of a quantum object or its attributes, like velocity and location.

This idea is supported by the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Posed by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, this interpretation says that all quantum particles don’t exist in one state or the other, but in all of its possible states at once. The sum total of possible states of a quantum object is called its wave function. The state of an object existing in all of its possible states at once is called its superposition.

According to Bohr, when we observe a quantum object, we affect its behavior. Observation breaks an object’s superposition and essentially forces the object to choose one state from its wave function. This theory accounts for why physicists have taken opposite measurements from the same quantum object: The object “chose” different states during different measurements.

Bohr’s interpretation was widely accepted, and still is by much of the quantum community. But lately, Everett’s Many-Worlds theory has been getting some serious attention. Read the next page to find out how the Many-Worlds interpretation works.

Many Worlds Theory

Young Hugh Everett agreed with much of what the highly respected physicist Niels Bohr had suggested about the quantum world. He agreed with the idea of superposition, as well as with the notion of wave functions. But Everett disagreed with Bohr in one vital respect.

To Everett, measuring a quantum object does not force it into one comprehensible state or another. Instead, a measurement taken of a quantum object causes an actual split in the universe. The universe is literally duplicated, splitting into one universe for each possible outcome from the measurement. For example, say an object’s wave function is both a particle and a wave. When a physicist measures the particle, there are two possible outcomes: It will either be measured as a particle or a wave. This distinction makes Everett’s Many-Worlds theory a competitor of the Copenhagen interpretation as an explanation for quantum mechanics.

When a physicist measures the object, the universe splits into two distinct universes to accommodate each of the possible outcomes. So a scientist in one universe finds that the object has been measured in wave form. The same scientist in the other universe measures the object as a particle. This also explains how one particle can be measured in more than one state.

As unsettling as it may sound, Everett’s Many-Worlds interpretation has implications beyond the quantum level. If an action has more than one possible outcome, then — if Everett’s theory is correct — the universe splits when that action is taken. This holds true even when a person chooses not to take an action.

This means that if you have ever found yourself in a situation where death was a possible outcome, then in a universe parallel to ours, you are dead. This is just one reason that some find the Many-Worlds interpretation disturbing.

Another disturbing aspect of the Many-Worlds interpretation is that it undermines our concept of time as linear. Imagine a time line showing the history of the Vietnam War. Rather than a straight line showing noteworthy events progressing onward, a time line based on the Many-Worlds interpretation would show each possible outcome of each action taken. From there, each possible outcome of the actions taken (as a result of the original outcome) would be further chronicled.

But a person cannot be aware of his other selves — or even his death — that exist in parallel universes. So how could we ever know if the Many-Worlds theory is correct? Assurance that the interpretation is theoretically possible came in the late 1990s from a thought experiment — an imagined experiment used to theoretically prove or disprove an idea — called quantum suicide. (You can learn more about it in How Quantum Suicide Works.)

This thought experiment renewed interest in Everett’s theory, which was for many years considered rubbish. Since Many-Worlds was proven possible, physicists and mathematicians have aimed to investigate the implications of the theory in depth. But the Many-Worlds interpretation is not the only theory that seeks to explain the universe. Nor is it the only one that suggests there are universes parallel to our own.

Parallel Universes: Split or String?

The Many-Worlds theory and the Copenhagen interpretation aren’t the only competitors ­trying to explain the basic level of the universe. In fact, quantum mechanics isn’t even the only field within physics searching for such an explanation. The theories that have emerged from the study of subatomic physics still remain theories. This has caused the field of study to be divided in much the same way as the world of psychology. Theories have adherents and critics, as do the psychological frameworks proposed by Carl Jung, Albert Ellis and Sigmund Freud.

Since their science was developed, physicists have been engaged in reverse engineering the universe — they have studied what they could observe and worked backward toward smaller and smaller levels of the physical world. By doing this, physicists are attempting to reach the final and most basic level. It is this level, they hope, that will serve as the foundation for understanding everything else.

Following his famous Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein spent the rest of his life looking for the one final level that would answer all physical questions. Physicists refer to this phantom theory as the Theory of Everything. Quantum physicists believe that they are on the trail of finding that final theory. But another field of physics believes that the quantum level is not the smallest level, so it therefore could not provide the Theory of Everything.

These physicists turn instead to a theoretical subquantum level called string theory for the answers to all of life. What’s amazing is that through their theoretical investigation, these physicists, like Everett, have also concluded that there are parallel universes.

String theory was originated by the Japanese-American physicist Michio Kaku. His theory says that the essential building blocks of all matter as well as all of the physical forces in the universe — like gravity — exist on a subquantum level. These building blocks resemble tiny rubber bands — or strings — that make up quarks (quantum particles), and in turn electrons, and atoms, and cells and so on. Exactly what kind of matter is created by the strings and how that matter behaves depends on the vibration of these strings. It is in this manner that our entire universe is composed. And according to string theory, this composition takes place across 11 separate dimensions.

Like the Many-Worlds theory, string theory demonstrates that parallel universes exist. According to the theory, our own universe is like a bubble that exists alongside similar parallel universes. Unlike the Many-Worlds theory, string theory supposes that these universes can come into contact with one another. String theory says that gravity can flow between these parallel universes. When these universes interact, a Big Bang like the one that created our universe occurs.

While physicists have managed to create machines that can detect quantum matter, the subquantum strings are yet to be observed, which makes them — and the theory on which they’re built — entirely theoretical. It has been discredited by some, although others believe it is correct.

So do parallel universes really exist? According to the Many-Worlds theory, we can’t truly be certain, since we cannot be aware of them. The string theory has already been tested at least once — with negative results. Dr. Kaku still believes parallel dimensions do exist, however [source: The Guardian].

Einstein didn’t live long enough to see his quest for the Theory of Everything taken up by others. Then again, if Many-Worlds is correct, Einstein’s still alive in a parallel universe. Perhaps in that universe, physicists have already found the Theory of Everything.

Sources

Deutsch, David. “The Structure of the Multiverse.” Oxford University. April 2001. http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/quant-ph/papers/0104/0104033.pdf
Greene, Brian. “A Theory of Everything?” PBS. July 2003. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/everything.html
Shikhovetsev, Eugene. “Biographical sketch of Hugh Everett, III.” MIT. 2003. http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:6SF4pHm3R1UJ:space.mit.edu/ home/tegmark/everett/everettbio.doc+hugh+everett+iii& hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us
“Max Planck.” Nobel Prize. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1918/planck-bio.html
“Michio Kaku: Mr. Parallel Universe.” The Guardian. February 2005. http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,1419422,00.html
“Parallel Universes Exist – Study.” The Press Association. September 23, 2007. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=paUniverse_sun14_parallel_ universes&show_article=1&cat=0
“Single Photon Interference.” Brown University. http://www.physics.brown.edu/physics/demopages/Demo/modern/ ­demo/7a5520.htm

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Is Your Emotional Baggage Holding You Back?

Are you your own worst enemy? Do you always find reasons to procrastinate, hesitate or simply change course just before your project is about to pay off?


Then chances are your suppressed emotions are holding you back.

To understand the power of suppressed emotions we first need to acknowledge that everything we do is driven by emotional needs.

We buy expensive clothes, fast cars and exotic holidays not for their practical benefits but for the emotional needs they satisfy. Actually, when your really think about it, everything we do is driven by our desire for pleasure and our need to avoid pain.

All of our decision making is determined by our perception of pleasure and pain. We choose the alternative that we believe will give us more pleasure and less pain. Often this decision making process occurs outside our conscious awareness. We come up with all sorts of stories to justify our daily choices but when we look closely and honestly we realize that we are always driven by pleasure and pain.

Sometimes we experience more emotional pain than we can cope with. Something or someone triggers us to experience large amounts of anger or sadness or some other unpleasant emotion.

When we hit our emotional pain threshold we stop processing the painful emotion and shut down emotionally, at least temporarily. The result is suppressed or unprocessed emotion. Since we don’t want to experience this pain on an ongoing basis we drive it deeper into our unconscious, the invisible part of our mind.

Avoiding the emotional pain is only a short term solution however. Driving the pain into our unconscious makes it invisible to us and hence more dangerous.

What we fail to realize is that unprocessed emotions stored in our unconscious sabotage all of our decision making by skewing our perception of pleasure and pain. The result is constant self-sabotage.

This self-sabotage can be largely invisible to us for long periods of time because it takes place at the unconscious level.

Very few people realize the enormous cost of their suppressed emotions. Suppressed emotions are responsible for many unfulfilled relationships, missed financial opportunities and untold health problems.

Suppressed emotions are a major blind spot for most individuals and for society as a whole. We pay a very high price for avoiding and hiding our emotional pain.

Once we understand the source of our “bad luck” we are able to take constructive steps to resolve the underlying issues.

The good news is that we live in a time where many wonderful therapies are available to assist us in clearing our emotional baggage quickly and easily.

Next time you find the world conspiring against you take a deep breath, a healthy dose of self honesty and see if you can catch a glimpse of your emotional self sabotage that is the real culprit of your self inflicted misfortune.

Isn’t it time you lightened your load and did a spring cleaning on your emotional baggage?

YOU DESERVE TO LIVE A HEALTHIER MORE FULFILLING LIFE!

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Hypnosis Can Help Women Trying To Conceive

Fertility and stress

Our thoughts and emotions play a part in what happens in our body. When we feel anxious and stressed it can make it more difficult to conceive by:

  • Suppressing luteinizing hormone
  • Increasing serum cortisol levels
  • Inhibiting hypothalamic Gnrh function
  • Preventing implantation of a fertilised egg
  • Reducing egg quality
  • Delaying release of eggs
  • Elevating prolactin levels

What the experts say about Fertility Hypnosis

Hypnosis can double the success of IVF treatment, researchers have claimed.

A team from Soroka University, Israel, found 28% of women in the group who were hypnotised became pregnant, compared with 14% of those who were not.

The study of 185 women was presented to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin.

Hypnosis increases fertility by controlling hormones

In an article by Suzy Greaves entitled Can Hypnosis Help to Make You Pregnant? Dr. Elizabeth Muir, a clinical psychologist working with hypnotherapy for infertility explains that hypnosis affects the hypothalamus—the neural centre at the base of the brain linked to the pituitary gland—and controls the flow of hormones in the body. The hypothalamus is sensitive to stress and acts as a bridge between the emotional and physical, turning emotional messages into physical responses that affect hormone levels. Dr Muir believes that the psychological issues surrounding pregnancy are not sufficiently well addressed for many women with fertility problems.

Hypnotherapy can increase Fertility

Studies conducted by Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Behavioural Medicine Program for Infertility in Boston support Muir’s theory that unresolved issues about having a baby can be removed with counselling and mind/body techniques such as hypnotherapy. In the first study published in 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 42% of 132 infertile women in the program conceived within six months of completing it. In the second study, published in 2000 in the journal Fertility and Sterility, 55% of the previously infertile women who met regularly in a mind/body program conceived, compared with 20% of the control group who used no mind/body techniques and who did not attend meetings.

Fertility is influenced by psychological and emotional factors

Dr. Christiane Northrup in her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom says: “The mind/body approach to fertility is based on the premise that knowledge is power and that a change in perception based on new information is powerful enough to effect subtle changes in your endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Regardless of what you’ve been told about your fertility, you need to know that your ability to conceive is profoundly influenced by the complex interaction among psychosocial, psychological, and emotional factors, and that you can consciously work with this to enhance your ability to have a baby.”

Negative emotional experiences can contribute to infertility

Niravi Payne, a psychotherapist and pioneer of mind-body fertility therapy in America, believes that stress is only one of the factors that can prevent conception. “Our endocrine, immune and nervous systems are all intimately connected and influenced by every thought we think and every emotion we feel,” she says. “When something significant happens in our lives, the emotionally charged experience gets stored in our brain. Memories and experiences are also simultaneously stored biochemically and electromagnetically in various organ systems. Negative emotional experiences can throw off the finely tuned hormonal balance necessary for ovulation and sperm production”

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The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief

What is the Placebo Effect?

Did you know that we can change our biology simply by what we believe to be true? The placebo effect is defined as the measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health or behaviour not attributable to a medication or invasive treatment that has been administered. It suggests that one can treat various ailments by using the mind to heal. For example, if two people have a head ache and one takes tylenol while the other is given a pill that contains nothing (sugar), both could report that the pill was successful and the headache is gone. The difference is, the one that was given the pill which contained nothing still believed that they were given a tylenol that would alleviate their headache. In doing so, their headache was cured because of what they believed to be true. This has happened on numerous occasions, many studies have shown that the placebo effect is real and highly effective.

Placebo Effect

The placebo practice is known, but widely dismissed in medicine. The placebo effect should be a major topic of study in medical schools. Unfortunately drug companies study patients who respond to the placebo effect with the goal of eliminating them from early clinical trials. It bothers pharmaceutical manufacturers that in most of their clinical trials the placebos prove to be just as effective as their chemical ridden drugs. Examining the placebo effect would give rise to a whole new category under science, which would probably be consciousness. This is why it’s not examined thoroughly, the power of our perception and its ability to create our reality and even change our biology would open the door to a multitude of other questions, possibilities and potentialities for the human race. These potentialities would most likely wipe out many industries on the planet, from health all the way down to energy. These concepts are also heavily examined and illustrated by quantum physics.

The placebo effect should be the subject of major, funded research efforts. If medical researchers could figure out how to leverage the placebo effect, they would hand doctors an efficient,energy-based, side effect-free tool to treat disease. Energy healers say they already have such tools, but I am a scientist, and I believe the more we know about sceince of the placebo, the better we’ll be able to use it in clinical settings – Bruce Lipton, Ph.D (3)

Research into the Placebo Effect

A Baylor School of Medicine study, published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine, (1) looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries people go through who have severe arthritic knees. The third group received a “fake” surgery, the patients were only sedated and tricked that they actually had the knee surgery. For the patients not really receiving the surgery, the doctors made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery. They then sewed up the incisions like the real thing and the process was complete. All three groups went through the same rehab process, and the results were astonishing. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had surgery.

My skill as a surgeon had no benefit on these patients. The entire benefit of surgery for osteoarthritis of the kneww was the placebo effect – Dr. Moseley (Surgeon involved in the study)(3)

Another great example of the placebo effect came from the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1999. The report discovered that half of severely depressed patients taking drugs improve compared to the thirty-two percent taking a placebo. Don’t forget about all of the side effects and dangers that have been associated with antidepressants every year. Don’t forget that the ‘depression industry’ alone is a multi billion dollar one(3).

A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s prevention & treatment, by University of Connecticut psychology professor Irving Kirsch titled, “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” made some more shocking discoveries(5)(4). He found that 80 perecent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. This professor even had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants.

The difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on average on this clinical scale that goes from fifty to sixty points. That’s a very small difference, that difference is clinically meaningless – Professor Kirsch

Researchers all over the world have found that placebo treatments can stimulate real biological and physiological responses. Everything from changes in heart rate to blood pressure and even chemical activity in the brain. It’s been effective with a number of different ailments from arthritis, depression, fatigue, anxiety, Parkinson’s and more (2)

So what does this mean?

It means that through the power of belief, your biological body can react in a necessary way to target whatever ailment you are experiencing. Thoughts, feelings, and emotions are directly responsible for changing your biology. If we look at depression for example, we are told the main cause of it is a chemical deficit in the brain. But if thoughts, feelings and emotions can release different chemicals in the brain, why not just work on the patients feelings to induce a different chemical state? If our feelings, emotions and thoughts are directly correlated with our biology, why aren’t we putting more resources into this research? Why is this not practiced by the medical industry? Why do we completely turn a blind eye to it?

Leveraging the Placebo Effect

The human race has been trained, and programmed to believe that external medicines are necessary for all ailments. I’m not saying that some medical applications are not valid, I’m just saying the human race completely ignores the power of non-physical phenomenon. We continue to believe that we need something outside of ourselves to heal, when everything points to the fact that this is not entirely true. Our own biological system and the human being is very capable of healing itself. We just don’t know how, we don’t believe it, we are not exposed to it.

Changing your biology with belief is not an easy process, because most of us don’t truly believe we can. We are going up against years of perceptual manipulation that have formed our thoughts and beliefs. Your beliefs shape your perception, and your perception is what creates real phenomenon. If you change the way you perceive things, the things you perceive change. We are powerful beings, and have abilities that have yet to be unlocked. I believe that these types of realities will continue to emerge and will be implemented in the future. The placebo effect demonstrates, from a biological standpoint, that what you believe indeed becomes your reality. For one to be able to use this, they must believe it. One must perceive it as real as the perceive their own hand real, the sun real, the stars real. It’s not about believing, it’s about knowing.

The true nature of reality has yet to be discovered, but we continue to progress in our understanding. As we progress we realize how obsolete our current way of functioning really is. It’s time to evolve past our archaic ideas and false beliefs, and step into a new understanding of reality. We are capable of so much more, or potential is limitless.

Sources:

(1)http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa013259

(2)http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon

(3)Lipton, Bruce. The Biology of Belief. Hay House, Inc, 2005

(4)http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mind-reviews-the-emperors-new-drugs

(5)http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/1522-3736.5.1.523a

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