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March 2006
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May 2006

Being treated for depression could be a problem if applying to the bar for attorneys in Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Delaware, and Kentucky.

Connecticut's State Bar Examining committee is now asking attorney applicants to the state bar if they have been treated for depression along with other major psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, and bi-polar illness acording to an article on This is already done in Colorado, Florida, Delaware, and Kentucky.

If Abraham Lincoln were alive, he would encounter several difficulties gaining admittance to the Connecticut Bar -- assuming he deserved his reputation both for honesty and for 'melancholia.'

That's because the state's Bar Examining Committee has re-introduced depression as one of the conditions listed on the mental health section of the bar application. Depression made the list in July 2000, but public outcry led to its removal -- until now.

The amended question 35 for the July 2006 application is one of several changes that has reignited a fiery reaction from opponents, who view the wording of the CBEC's mental health inquiry -- which includes a request for psychiatric records -- as an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

"I was really shocked when I saw these new questions," said Jon Bauer, a clinical law professor at the University of Connecticut. "This could be a major disincentive for people to seek treatment" for health matters, out of fear of repercussions following disclosure.

Link: - Being Treated for Depression? Another State Bar Wants to Know.

Unhappy marriage may harm older adults' health

Reuters reported on April 18, 2006 on a study which appeared in the March, 2006 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior which found that troubled marriages in older adults have a negative impact on their health.

While marriage seems to be a protective factor contributing to longer life and happiness, troubled marriages are the exception and seem to have a toxic influence hastening health problems and death.

Overall, the study found, men and women who reported more marital strain also reported a steeper decline in their health over time. But when the researchers separated study participants into three age groups - those ages 30, 50 and 70 at the study's start - only the oldest group showed negative health effects.

Similarly, only older adults showed health benefits from a happy marriage.

"Unhappily married individuals have yet another reason to identify marital difficulties and seek to improve marital quality," Umberson and her colleagues conclude. "Their very health may depend on it."

Professional counseling is one of the best options for addressing marital woes, according to Umberson. But, she noted, older adults may be less open to marriage counseling, and they might be more comfortable speaking with someone they trust, such as a minister or pastor.

As a marriage and couple counselor I believe that committed intimate relationships are very important for human growth and development, and can be a huge contributer to human satisfaction and fulfillment. I also witness on a weekly basis the devastating effects which destructive, abusive, and unjust relationships can have on people as well. So, there is a cost benefit ratio in our intimate relationships, and sometimes it is better for a person to be alone than to be abused and maltreated.
Link: MedlinePlus: Unhappy marriage may harm older adults' health.

Retirement satisfaction not just about income

Reuters reported on April 18, 2006 on a study which appears in the April, 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry on findings about men in retirement age who have been followed by Dr. George Vaillant since the 1940s.

Satisfaction in retirement has not so much to do with the size of one's retirement income, but more to do with purposeful and enjoyable activity and warm relationships.

Another interesting finding was that men who were not that happy earlier in their lives still went on to have happy retirements.

What's more, men categorized as the most happily retired at age 70 - 75, included those who during their midlife years had poor work histories, depression and were unable to make friends, the researchers note.

Men who considered their retirement satisfying were up to three times as likely as the others to say they had enjoyable relationships, that they volunteered and that they participated in play, or hobbies, the report indicates.

Further, the most "outstanding differences" between the men who were satisfied with their retirement and those who were unsatisfied was that the satisfied retirees were more likely to cite prosocial or creative activities such as "watching grandchildren" or "playing piano" when asked what gave their life a sense of purpose. The unsatisfied retirees, in contrast, were more likely to say "nothing" gave their life purpose, or to cite activities such as "watching TV," the report indicates.

"In summary, the very risk factors associated with bleak young adulthood and the very risk factors associated with bleak midlife adjustment appeared to exert relatively little effect on whether the men, followed since 1940, currently enjoyed retirement," the authors write.

According to Vaillant, the findings imply "that play is very important at the end of life (and) that love is more important than money at the end of life."

Link: MedlinePlus: Retirement satisfaction not just about income.

Quote of the day

"I would like my son to grow up to be an honorable gentleman of character who is fulfilled."

Dr. Rodney Daniels about his son, Atticus, who was about 10 weeks old at the time that the wish was expressed on Easter Sunday, 2006.

Quote of the day

“If we watch what we are doing during our childhood – if, as author Robert Fulghum suggests, we look both ways before crossing, if we learn to share, if we hold hands and keep track of each other, if we walk and don’t run, if we quit pushing and say we’re sorry when we do, if we clean up our messes, and if we stop fighting with our brothers and sisters, we’ll get to grow up, and our future can be spectacular.” 

Neale Donald Walsch, What God Wants, P. 7

Don't let your conditioning interfere with your awareness.

Schools are very good at conditioning but not so good at facilitating consciousness. Conditioning requires memorization, and consciousness requires insight and contextualization. Most institutions do not want its members to develop greater consciousness than its leaders and managers. These leaders and managers punish or discredit those members who would question their authority and undermine the obedience to their power and control. Therefore, institutions prefer "stupid" or unaware members and will deliberately take steps to keep their members "in the dark" so they can maintain control over them.

As people gain in consciousness they are more difficult to control by the powers that be and while the more conscious people have become liberated from the shackles and oppression of their own ignorance because they are no longer "in the dark" but rather, "have seen the light", they are open to punishment and control by those who want to maintain their control over the institution to have their way.

This fundamental difference between conditioning and awareness is not widely understood by most people and is not taught in schools, churches, corporations, or in other social institutions who require conditioned subjects for their survival. But it is perennially taught by religious traditions which have a mystical component, and it is also being discovered by science, especially in physics, where scientists observe that atomic particles respond and behave differently if they are being observed. It is as if they are aware that we are aware and we suddenly realize that the universe is all of one thing.

In the homeschooling community there is a wonderful slogan "Don't let schooling interfere with your education." We might modify that slogan to say "Don't let your conditioning interfere with your awareness"

Quote of the day

"A human being is born unconscious and becomes more and more conscious as awareness grows.  Can a person attain enlightenment and cosmic consciousness in a lifetime? Some have, most don't, what about you?'

Harry Holleywood