Guest Blog: Polyamory and BDSM researchers need your help!

by Chris Deaton

We are two graduate researchers out of Arizona State University who are working on BDSM related projects and are looking for additional input from the community. The projects have multiple phases depending on respondent’s status and desire for additional involvement.


There is a survey for the polyamorous community looking at various subculture intersections and some basic relationship structure and behavior information. There is also an additional interview component open to polyamorous couples that have been together for more than 10 years. There is a limited amount of participants allowed for this phase and it is focused on two distinct groups; self-identified BDSM members and those that are not. We want to know what you think makes you successful!


More information and the survey can be found at can be found at


The second project is related to the intersection of BDSM and yoga and the benefits of each. The project is looking at the perceived benefits of both yoga and BDSM; specifically, improved body image, reduced anxiety and depression, and altered states of consciousness. There is an additional interview component open to women who have been practicing yoga and/or BDSM for 2 years or more. 

The survey and contact information can be found at

Source: ncsf

Shushing Your Pessimistic Inner Voice

Some folks are obviously pessimistic. Others seem to be anything but – until you get a sneak peek at their inner voice. If you are one of those closet pessimists, don’t you wish you could wipe out every negative thought you have? Rid your brain of its tidal wave of worries?

Sorry, probably won’t happen; I’m not a magician. But, I do have some tricks up my sleeve that will help you become a more upbeat person. So, here goes. Five great ideas to shush your pessimistic inner voice:

  1. Instead of asking “what if” questions (i.e. “What if I fail the test?”), then jumping to the worst-case scenario, use the smart part of your beautiful mind to answer the question you just posed. Yes, what will you do if you fail the test? Life doesn’t end right there. There will be another avenue to follow. And who knows where that will take you – if you don’t paralyze yourself with pessimism.
  2. Instead of fuming that It’s not fair,” remind yourself that life isn’t fair. (You knew that, didn’t you?) So what are you going to do about it? If it’s a grave injustice, you may want to fight it. If it’s not, allow yourself to be bummed out for a while, then let it go. New challenges await, if you don’t let yourself get bogged down with yesterday’s disappointments.
  3. Instead of putting yourself in a powerless position by saying I “can’t”… (i.e. I can’t quit my job now”), shift your focus away from what you can’t do to what you can do. Change your helpless hypothesis (I have no choice, no power, no options, I’m screwed!) into a motivating muscle (what I can do is…..). You can research alternative career moves, speak to a head-hunter, transfer to another office. Yes, there’s always something positive you CAN do!
  4. Instead of obsessing on what went wrong, reflect on the positive (or neutral) happenings of the day. It’s tough for your brain to remain focused on nothing, since nothing is empty space. As with all empty space, something rushes in to fill it. So, instead of letting pessimistic thoughts overshadow your day, focus on something good, (even if it’s small) that happened today. Or, at least, something neutral. Instead of curbing your enthusiasm, curb your ruminations!
  5. Instead of being upset with change that’s forced on you, challenge yourself by doing what you’re uncomfortable doing. You’re expected to take on a responsibility or learn a skill that’s not of your choosing. You’re thinking, “I can’t do this; It’s too hard.” Rather than staying with your pessimistic thoughts, reframe. This might be an opportunity for you, a chance to learn something new, even if you’re uncomfortable doing it.

So, pessimists, I hope this has been helpful to you. Yes, these ideas might be tough to implement but keep in mind that an accumulation of small work-outs can create hefty muscles. So start the change process right now. If and when you lose your motivation, be sure to get back on track quickly. Here are a few upbeat affirmation, quotes, and music to keep you moving toward a more optimistic future.

1. Two of my favorite affirmations for pessimists:

“It’ll work out!”

“You can do it!”

2. Two of my favorite quotes for pessimists:

“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” – Bertrand Russell

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” – Robert Frost

3. Here is my all-time favorite motivational song for pessimists:

Three little birds by Bob Marley.

“Every little thing’s gonna be all right,” repetitively reverberating with the Marley beat is a perfect antidote for pessimistic worriers!


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Effort to Mainstream Kids with Intellectual Disabilities Stalls

A 1975 federal law mandates that children with intellectual disabilities are supposed to spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms. New research, however, finds that progress toward this goal has slowed and perhaps regressed.

The study is the first to look at national trends in education placement for students with intellectual disabilities — previously called mental retardation — for the entire 40 years since the law was enacted.

Findings show that over the past 40 years, 55 to 73 percent of students with intellectual disabilities spend most or all of the school day in self-contained classrooms or schools and not with their peers without disabilities.

“Given the legal mandate, it is surprising that such a large proportion of students are consistently placed in restrictive settings,” said Matthew Brock, author of the study and assistant professor of special education at The Ohio State University.

“I found historical trends of incremental progress toward less restrictive settings, but no evidence of such progress in recent years,” said Brock.

The study will appear in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (as the law is now called) has the aim of educating students with disabilities in what it calls the “least restrictive environment.”

That means they should be placed in general education classrooms alongside peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.

Decisions about what is appropriate for each child are made by an Individual Education Program team that includes the child’s parents, teachers and others.

Brock used several data sources to determine the proportion of students 6 to 21 years old with intellectual disability who were placed in each federally reported educational environment from 1976 to 2014.

The definitions of placement categories changed several times over the 40 years the study covered, so it is impossible to directly compare statistics over the entire time period, Brock said. But some general trends can be detected.

He found that in the first years following passage of the law, the proportion of students in less restrictive settings actually decreased. Students served in regular general education classrooms decreased from 38 percent in 1976 to 30 percent in 1983.

From 1984 to 1989 an overall trend is less clear.

From 1990 to 2014, the proportion of students in less restrictive placements initially increased and then plateaued, Brock said.

Researchers discovered the proportion of students who spent at least 80 percent of the school day in general education classrooms trended up to near 14 percent in 1998, dropped to 11 percent in 2002, hit a peak of 18 percent in 2010 and decreased slightly to 17 percent in 2014.

“Overall, the most rapid progress toward inclusive placements was in the 1990s, with more gradual progress in the 2000s and a plateau between 2010 and 2014,” Brock said.

He believes the rapid progress in the 90s occurred because advocacy for special education was strongest during this period, at least on a national level.

“There are still people working really hard toward the goal of inclusion in some parts of the country, but that doesn’t come through in this national data,” he said.

One argument could be that inclusion has plateaued in the United States because nearly all students are already in the least restrictive environments possible, as decided by their Individual Education Program teams, Brock said.

But state-by-state data suggests something else must be going on.

In 2014, students with intellectual disabilities in Iowa were 13.5 times more likely to spend most of the school day in a general education setting compared to students in the bordering state of Illinois.

These huge discrepancies in placements between states can’t be explained by differences in the students.

The issue is that states and even individual school districts follow different policies and ways of working with student with disabilities — and not all succeed at giving students the least restrictive environment, according to Brock.

“I don’t want to send the message that all kids with intellectual disabilities should spend 100 percent of their time in general education classrooms,” he said.

“But I think we need to find opportunities for all kids to spend some time with peers who don’t have disabilities if we are going to follow the spirit and letter of the law.”

Source: Ohio State University

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Depression in Older Adults Linked to Memory Problems

A new study finds that depression in older adults may be linked to memory problems. Researchers also discovered older people with greater symptoms of depression may have structural differences in the brain compared to people without symptoms.

“Since symptoms of depression can be treated, it may be possible that treatment may also reduce thinking and memory problems,” said study author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, PhD, MS, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida.

“With as many as 25 percent of older adults experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to better understand the relationship between depression and memory problems.”

The study involved 1,111 people averaging 71 years of age who were all stroke-free. The majority were Caribbean Hispanic. At the beginning of the study, all participants had brain scans, a psychological exam and memory and thinking skills assessments. Their memory and thinking skills were tested again an average of five years later.

As part of the psychological exam, participants reported how often in the past week they agreed with statements such as “I was bothered by things that usually don’t bother me” and “I did not feel like eating.”

To be defined as at risk for clinical depression, participants needed a score of 16 or higher on a test with a range of 0-60. At the start of the study, researchers found that 22 percent of participants had greater symptoms of depression.

Researchers also found after adjusting for age, race, anti-depressive medications, and other variables, greater symptoms of depression were linked to worse episodic memory, a person’s ability to remember specific experiences and events.

Memory scores for participants with greater symptoms of depression were lower by 0.21 of the standard deviation compared to those without symptoms. Researchers also found those with greater symptoms of depression had differences in the brain, including smaller brain volume as well as a 55 percent greater chance of small vascular lesions in the brain.

Researchers found no evidence of a relationship between greater symptoms of depression and changes in thinking skills over five years.

“Small vascular lesions in the brain are markers of small vessel disease, a condition in which the walls in the small blood vessels are damaged,” said Zeki Al Hazzouri.

“Our research suggests that depression and brain aging may occur simultaneously, and greater symptoms of depression may affect brain health through small vessel disease.”

Zeki Al Hazzouri noted that this particular study also provides information about depression and memory and thinking skills among people who identify as Hispanic, who have been underrepresented in previous studies on the topic even though they can be at increased risk of dementia in late life.

Limitations of the study include that participants had to be healthy enough to have an MRI, so they may have been healthier than the general population.

Also, the study was over a five-year period, which may not have been long enough to capture meaningful changes in thinking and memory abilities over time.

Source: American Academy of Neurology/EurekAlert

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Best of Our Blogs: May 11, 2018

I was at the hospital and heard a boy scream. He was getting his hand stitched. Over and over again, the nurses and his mom said, “You have to do this.”

There’s one thing I learned from kids that can make anything harder. Feeling forced.

Believing we don’t have a choice can make us feel helpless, terrified and victimized.

Although they were only trying to help, the mindset of, “You can do this,” instead of, “You have to,” can go along way empowering someone especially in a situation where they feel helpless and out of control.

If you’re feeling forced about your situation, you can breathe easier with the following tips to help you see narcissism, fear and your destructive habit differently.

Are You a Narcissist?
(The Exhausted Woman) – If you’ve ever saw yourself in a description of narcissism, answering these questions will alleviate your fears.

Four Ways You May Experience Fear and Anxiety
(Fearless: Breaking Anxiety Down) – This will take some of the fear out of your fear and anxiety. Read this to understand both better.

15 Tips on Parenting Budding Borderline Behavior
(The Exhausted Woman) – The normal parenting tips like parenting books and being direct won’t work if you have a child with borderline personality disorder.

How Mom Became Narcissistic; What She Didn’t Get in Childhood
(The Good Daughter Syndrome) – This will help you understand why your mother can’t tolerate criticism, is always unhappy and wants everyone to think she’s perfect all the time.

Why We Fear Ending Destructive Habits (Try this Experiment)
(NLP Discoveries) – If the idea of ending your habit makes you afraid, you need to read this.

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A Filmmaker Finds Her Freedom: A Tale of Resilience

Flora Zanfrisco is a multi-tattooed, outspoken social activist who wears her heart and art on her sleeve both in front of and behind the camera. She is one of those people whose energy precedes her when she enters a room. She is a talented storyteller whose tales unfold when she turns on her camera. Our paths crossed several years ago via a mutual friend, and I was astonished by the resilience exhibited by this filmmaker and mother of twin 16-year-old daughters.

Her company is called Freedom Films. She chose the name for her business after leaving a full-time job and she felt such a sense of emancipation from the stress involved. She describes it in this way, “I worked as a database admin at SEI investments in Oaks, PA, making lots of money but left it all. With a mortgage, car, bills and two kids, to follow my guidance. I ended up losing my house after my savings ran out but again I was feeling freedom and happiness during foreclosure, too.”

This was not the first time she faced adversity and overcome the odds to succeed magnificently.

Although she expertly films milestone events in the lives of others, it is her own biopic entitled This Is My Reality. What’s Yours? that is at the core of her creativity. She has invested a decade in its development and it remains a work in progress. In it, she seeks to open a window into her world and explain the emotional roller coaster ride she was on that culminated in a spontaneous Kundalini Awakening, which is a spiritual concept related to yoga and meditation. For some who experience this state, it resembles psychosis, with its accompanying sleeplessness, hallucinations and paranoia. When this happened to her, she was not prepared for the major changes it would bring about, but she has integrated the event and has emerged more open to life as it unfolds.

What were some pivotal occurrences early on in your life that created the person you are now?

Geez, so many! I have many pivotal events that many may see as “negative” events. These include being molested, beaten, humiliated, raped, years of drug abuse and promiscuity, which led to agoraphobia and not believing in God, just death. 

What resiliency skills and supports kept you afloat during such tumultuous seas?

 My parents, and sister, although they never knew what was going on. They could only assume. They were always there, even though I pushed them all away. I even left home and didn’t speak to them for a couple of years. But, I always knew they were there, always.

Looking back, what would you like to tell your younger self to encourage her?

Truthfully, not a thing. I am here because of how everything played itself out. If I wasn’t a believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. I would say to my younger self, “Keep going, don’t give up on life, all will be okay, remain positive in all situations.” “The Universe has you!”  

What led you to become a filmmaker?

I had a mystical experience with the Universe. Some call it a Spontaneous Kundalini Awakening. I just know one night I was agoraphobic believing in death only and the next day you couldn’t keep me in the house. I started coloring, dancing, writing, speaking and just doing things I have never done or wanted to do. All things in my life shifted, just like that. It was crazy, and many thought I lost my mind. But, I was being guided at a very fast pace. 24/7 for three months, being spoken to by the Universe. It’s hard to explain and I guess for reasons. The universe put a camera in my hand, asked me to quit my high paying job and to follow my guidance and tell my story through film. Until I can get the funds and crew to make this film. I make videos to help others, showcase others, and help myself.

How did creativity help you heal? 

I love editing. I love filming. Being creative keeps my mind moving forward and not become stagnant. The Universe wants to create, and I allow it to create through me. If I stop and just go get a “job” for money. I will just become depressed. So being creative helps me in a big way. Even doing puzzles, coloring, painting, writing, all these things keep me moving forward.

Are you still working on your film?

EVERY DAY! I will not stop until it is made and in the movie theaters. I am here to share my story. This is my purpose being here at this time. Not that I am anymore special. Not that I have had the hardest life. I am just here to speak and tell my story through film. 

What are some of your greatest joys?

 To me right now it’s just helping people in any way I can. Spreading messages of hope and love to all. It brings me the greatest joy ever.

What do you like about being a mama?

I smile reading this question. Watching them from birth until now and seeing their struggles and joys. Just watching them come into who they are meant to be, while gently guiding them. They keep me going and guide me as well, and I am so thankful for them in my life. They also let me know how thankful they are for me. They are the best. We are all very close because of our experiences.

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A Mother’s Day Guide to Cultivating a Better Mother-Child Relationship

An Emotion- and Trauma-Informed Perspective

I am a psychotherapist specializing in emotions, trauma and relationships. Over the years I have been in practice, I have really come to appreciate the complexity of feelings around family, especially mothers. I know that personally, before I learned to work with my emotions, I had a very limited capacity to deal with conflicts other than to blame my parents for the ways they failed me or blame myself for not being a better daughter. Now, I view blame as a way to avoid the underlying core emotions like sadness and anger, which naturally arise from being hurt by one’s mother. Unfortunately, avoiding emotions makes people feel worse (anxious, depressed, disconnected) in the long run.

Take Courtney, for example. Her relationship with her mother had always been fraught, but with Mother’s Day coming soon and her mother, Ruth, starting to decline with age, Courtney wanted them to learn to communicate more authentically. Like many children who are mistreated, abused or neglected, she had internalized a belief that she did something wrong when she had not. I encouraged Courtney to interview her aunts and uncle to learn how her mother had been before Courtney was born. Courtney learned that Ruth had always struggled to maintain relationships. People got fed up with Ruth so she either lost friends or cut them off to save face. This new knowledge was relieving to Courtney.

I helped Courtney by sharing some tips to understand emotions as she worked to connect more closely and confidently with her mother. I hope they help you too, whether you are healing from trauma of your own or helping your child to heal.

  1. Know that your feelings just are — they are not good or bad — so try not to judge them. Feelings are hard-wired, automatic programs that tell us how the environment is affecting us. We need to listen to them, validate them and use them wisely. Judging yourself doesn’t help. For example, when Courtney thought about talking to her mom about some of the things that bothered her from the past, she got anxious. When Courtney noticed the anxiety in her body, she learned deep belly breathing to calm it. It made sense that anxiety came up because just the idea of talking to her mom in a new way brought up many core emotions including fear (of what would happen) and anger (for all the harm done to her in the past). Many feelings all at once cause anxiety. When we slow down to name each emotion, one at a time, anxiety tends to go down.
  2. Know that you can have two opposite feelings at the same time. When my mom irritates me because she gives me unsolicited advice, I honor both my annoyance and my love for her simultaneously. My internal voice might say this, I love my mom AND I’m so irritated by her right now. Courtney had to hold many feelings: the fear of her mom’s wrath, her love for her mom, her anger at her mom for being harsh, and her longing to improve their relationship. That’s a lot to hold.
  3. Give yourself compassion. Many people feel guilty or ashamed when they have a difficult relationship, especially with their mother. They feel they should have more patience, may internalize a sense that they are bad, or suffer emptiness. I have learned, with practice, to validate my feelings when I have them, and then immediately and purposely give myself compassion. I even give myself compassion when I am angry, because anger hurts too. Courtney was working hard to have compassion for herself although it was a struggle not to beat herself up when she had hard feelings and felt bad in her body.
  4. Resist the temptation to blame (especially yourself). Speak your truth instead. Courtney felt virtuous taking her mother to brunch on Mother’s Day and she wanted the gesture to be appreciated. Sadly, Ruth complained about the food, had an angry look on her face and criticized Courtney for not being more dressed up. Typically, that would trigger racing thoughts and anger directed at both herself and her mother like, I can’t do anything right! You’re such a bitch! I wish I was dead then you’d really appreciate me! But instead Courtney validated how disappointing her mother’s behavior was and how angry and sad it made her. Then Courtney took that anger, imagined putting it in her back bone, and spoke her truth looking Ruth straight in the eye, “Mom, I really wanted to please you today. I hear you don’t like the food or my outfit and I sense you are angry. That makes me sad because I wish you could just be happy to see me.” Then she was silent, feeling her feet on the floor and breathing to deal with the anxiety of speaking so directly to her mom.
  5. It takes two to tango. You can directly ask the person with whom you’re in conflict if she is interested in having better and kinder communication. If she doesn’t want to work on better communication, try to accept that and maybe even let it free you. Allow yourself to feel sad — that’s a real loss to be mourned. But if the other person tells you she is willing to work on the relationship, go back to moments when positive communication breaks down and see where you misunderstood each other. For example, when Courtney told Ruth she wished she looked happy to see her, Ruth replied, I am happy to see you! But Courtney was confused because Ruth said it with a harsh and hurtful tone. Courtney responded, I am glad about that mom and I still sense you are angry with me because your tone is harsh. Are you angry with me? No, Ruth replied, I just don’t feel so well today. This interaction helped Courtney understand that her mom wasn’t always angry at her. Her anxiety made her seem angry when she was just irritable.

Conflict in families, especially between mothers and children, is part of the natural order of things. Maybe this Mother’s Day you or your child will take a chance and share something hard. When a mother cannot be there physically or emotionally for her child, it is a terrible loss. But, amazingly, humans are inherently resilient. If we allow ourselves to feel our full range of feelings, even anger and sadness, without blocking them with guilt, blame, or obsessional thinking, we can heal. And as do, we can work towards being our own kind, consistent, and soothing mother on Mother’s Day and beyond.

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Review Aims to Pave The Way to Better PTSD Care

New research has advanced scientific understanding of how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops and persists. Experts believe the new findings will improve care and perhaps aid prevention of the disorder.

A special issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry reviews the growing body of evidence that will enhance the way psychiatrists understand brain structure and function involved in PTSD. Experts believe the new knowledge will augment efforts to interrupt the processes leading to the development of PTSD symptoms in traumatized individuals.

“PTSD, while one of the most recently defined syndromes in psychiatry, may also be one of the earliest to benefit from progress in neurobiology and advances in translational approaches to brain function and behavior,” said guest editor Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D. Ressler is with McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Ressler noted that patients with PTSD have “characteristic re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms,” which can persist for months or years after exposure to traumatic events.

Posttraumatic stress disorder affects about 6 percent of the population, but the rate is much higher in groups exposed to severe trauma, such as combat veterans, refugees, and assault victims.

Although PTSD is at least partly genetic, it also depends on personal history of trauma in childhood and adulthood, as well as psychological factors linked to mediation of fear and regulation of emotions.

“Therefore, PTSD is among the most likely of psychiatric disorders to be understood from the perspective of environmental influences interacting with biological vulnerability,” Ressler said.

The special issue provides expert updates in four key areas related to the development, diagnosis, and management of PTSD:

  • Neurophysiology. Scientific understanding of human fear responses provides important insights into how PTSD develop and persists. The mechanism of “fear extinction” — in which learned fear is suppressed by new learning — is highly relevant to PTSD and its treatment. Ressler said effective treatments for PTSD, particularly exposure therapy, are based on the mechanisms of fear extinction.
  • Neuroimaging. Research has also made strides in identifying the brain structures and functions involved in emotion dysregulation of PTSD. New findings have identified biomarkers of these dysregulated processes — including abnormal functioning of the body’s stress responses, and dysfunction of brain areas called the hippocampus and amygdala. These brain regions are involved in memory and emotional responses. These discoveries may point toward treatments targeting stress hormones and functioning of these brain regions.
  • Resilience. The concept of resilience — the ability to adapt successfully to trauma or threat — is being studied to explain why some traumatized individuals develop PTSD symptoms while others do not. Interventions to promote resilience have potential not only as a treatment for people with PTSD, but for also preventing it in populations at risk of trauma.
  • Evidence-based treatments. The special issue concludes with a review and update of evidence behind the range of “reasonably effective” treatments for PTSD. Psychotherapy approaches address the underlying dysfunctions of fear extinction and emotion regulation. A class of antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the only FDA-approved medications for PTSD, but many other drugs may be used off-label to treat specific symptoms.

Although current treatments do address the underlying mechanisms of PTSD, many patients do not improve or continue having symptoms. Moreover, others might have a better response to individualized treatment approaches.

“Advances in neurobiology and behavioral science are needed for truly targeted, innovative, robust treatments and preventions,” Ressler concluded.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health/EurekAlert

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Keys to Boosting Quality of Life for People with Dementia

In a new analysis, researchers identify the key factors associated with a better quality of life in people with dementia. The findings are published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Exeter in the U.K., found that good relationships, social engagement, better everyday functioning, good physical and mental health, and high-quality care were all tied to a higher quality of life for people with dementia.

“This research supports the identification of national priorities for supporting people to live as well as possible with dementia. While many investigations focus on prevention and better treatments, it’s equally vital that we understand how we can optimize quality of life for the 50 million people worldwide who have dementia,” said Professor Linda Clare from the University of Exeter.

“We now need to develop ways to put these findings into action to make a difference to people’s lives by supporting relationships, social engagement and everyday functioning, addressing poor physical and mental health, and ensuring high-quality care.”

For the study, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate all available evidence regarding the factors associated with quality of life for people with dementia. This included 198 studies, which incorporated data from more than 37,000 people.

Factors linked with better quality of life include having good relationships with family and friends, being included and involved in social activities, being able to manage everyday activities and having religious beliefs.

Factors not found to be associated with quality of life in dementia include gender, education, marital status, income, age or type of dementia.

Factors tied to a poor quality of life included poor mental or physical health, difficulties such as agitation or apathy, and unmet needs.

Many other factors showed small but statistically significant associations with quality of life. This suggests that quality of life may be associated with many aspects of our lives, each of which has a modest influence. In addition, the aspects that are deemed most important may be different for each person.

Evidence from longitudinal studies about what predicts whether or not someone will experience a good quality of life at later stages was limited. The best indicator was the person’s initial rating of quality of life. This emphasizes the importance of optimizing quality of life from the earliest stages of living with dementia.

“Maintaining a healthy social life and doing things you enjoy is important for everyone’s quality of life. As this Alzheimer’s Society-funded study highlights, people living with dementia are no exception,” said Dr. Doug Brown, chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer’s Society.

“Someone develops dementia every three minutes but too many are facing it alone and feel socially isolated, a factor that researchers pinpoint contributing to a lower quality of life.”

Source: University of Exeter



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Podcast: Undertanding and Preventing “Not In My Back Yard” Opposition

In this second installment of a two-part feature on NIMBYism, guest Steve Fields of The Progress Foundation shares his views and experiences in dealing with community opposition to facilities like The PEER Center, featured in the previous episode. In addition to offering his views on the Center’s situation, he also shares his method for preventing community opposition before the opening of a facility. He also offers his opinions on why people are so afraid of such facilities, how to minimize or eliminate that fear, and reflects on the emotional impact of such opposition, which often can’t help being interpreted as a personal attack.


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NIMBY Show Highlights:

“[It’s about] fear and money – and righteousness doesn’t make it work. It makes the services work, but not the politics.” ~ Steve Fields

[4:00]   The problem with “NIMBY” as a name.

[6:07]   Steve’s observations about The PEER Center’s situation.

[8:42]   How can a non-profit prevent NIMBY opposition?

[15:15] Why are people and communities so afraid?

[25:39] The emotional impact of NIMBY.



About Our Guest

Steve Fields, MPA, has served as the Executive Director of Progress Foundation, a non-profit mental health agency since 1969. Progress Foundation provides a range of residential treatment services as alternatives to institutional care for persons with severe mental disabilities in San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa counties in California. Mr. Fields has been involved in the development of social rehabilitation programs for over 40 years. Progress Foundation pioneered the development of acute residential alternatives to hospitalization, and opened the first social model residential treatment programs for geriatric clients in the country and the first social model residential treatment program for women and their children. Under the leadership of the Executive Director, Progress Foundation has also taken a lead role in developing supported housing for persons with disabilities.

About The Psych Central Show Hosts

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. In addition to hosting The Psych Central Show, Gabe is an associate editor for He also runs an online Facebook community, The Positive Depression/Bipolar Happy Place, and invites you to join. To work with Gabe, please visit his website,





Vincent M. Wales is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. In addition to co-hosting The Psych Central Show, Vincent is the author of several award-winning novels and the creator of costumed hero Dynamistress. Visit his websites at and







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