Bipolar Disorder continues to be difficult to assess and diagnose accurately given that there has not been any recognized blood test or easily sampled biomarker. While there are some iphone apps to help document mood swings, recent small study in Italy has demonstrated how technology may be used to help with monitoring the characteristic swing of moods. The study used a very small sample size of 12 patients over the course of 12 weeks but it illustrates a potential way that technology might be used to track some of the behaviors that are often associated with bipolar mood swings such as hyperactivity and rapid speech that was operationalized as increased iphone use, Accurate assessment and diagnosis continues to rely on accurate self reports and reports by friends or family members but perhaps technological approaches with new sensors and tracking approaches can help to better monitor and plan treatment.
We know that pets can improve people’s lives in many ways. Often anxious or depressed people will turn to their pets for emotional support and motivations to go for walks and maintain their health. Sometimes pets can be reasons to continue the fight through a difficult phase of someone’s life or provide social support. Here is a story of how a cat helped to persuade a man from committing suicide.
Here is a fascinating collection of videos of people talking about their experiences being “over 50 and out of work.” It has been shown through many studies that many unemployed seniors often have depression and anxiety as they face an uncertain future. With the aging population, many designers are revising their products for an aging workforce to help keep the elderly productive. Hopefully high tech will continue to turn it’s creative energies to provide both a profitable and valuable service.
From this interview years later of Juan Romero, the man who had held Robert Kennedy’s head after being shot, we can see one of the lingering effects of trauma. He speaks of his experience as a 17 year old bus boy who was shaking Kennedy’s hand just as he was shot. Juan speaks of his lingering guilt believing that he was partially to blame for the death. This is a kind of hindsight bias that is common in traumatic situations where someone can create self blame, inserting oneself into a traumatic set of events, whose trajectory could only be known after the fact. Therapy can help to unravel this self imposed bind to greater acceptance and self-forgiveness for survivors of trauma.