Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Shrink Rappers Go To APA

First, congratulations to Clink on her new job and her new appointment to a professional society's board. Way to go, girl!

I learned a lot at
APA this year, some of it useful, some of it simply interesting (but useless).

Where do I start?
ClinkShrink already told you that we met some readers.....Hi, Sophizo, Hi, "Shrink Rap," and if you read the comments to Clink's post, well, there were others in the audience. It was fun. I didn't freak and faint. Thanks to Roy for setting this up and for including me. When is he coming to organize the rest of my life? Who is TigerMom?

So at our presentation: I learned about the Psycho-babble bulletin board and met Dr. Bob. I've always wondered about this because when I've Googled myself I've come upon posts to this psycho-babble board by someone with my name. Sort of a weird coincidence, and this funny idea that people (my patients included) who would think this was me posting...stuff I can't control, and the poster has my exact full name. Very weird, but there's nothing I can do about this, and now I know what Psycho-babble is. I, like Clink, loved hearing the very brave patients talk about how this on-line community has provided support, encouragement, and healing. And then the third part of our workshop included a talk about on-line virtual gaming. I wasn't sure what to make of this-- I have a kid who sometimes plays sports on-line, but I'm not aware that anyone I know lives an average of 8 hours a day (3000 hrs/year) in a virtual world with millions of players, hierarchies of players, the exchange of money for virtual 'property.' I'll have to start asking.

I heard Oliver Sacks talk about musical hallucinations. Dr. Sachs has been in twice a week psychoanalysis for 42 years (or was it 46). I had the sense that it was with the same analyst. This probably deserves it's own blog post.

Greist talked about OCD--- I'm not sure I learned much new, but it was good to know I wasn't totally out of touch. Dr. Greist is an amateur race car driver.

I went to a very good symposium on treatment for substance abuse. For cocaine addiction, people are using
antabuse (disulfuram), modafinil (I hope I have that right) and d-amphetamine: this brought the predicted questions from the audience about addiction. Marijuana dependence is a rapidly growing reason for seeking treatment-- especially in older folks (meaning people in their late 40's, and 50's) as well as adolescents. Marinol is the pill-derivative form of THC. There were talks on methadone and buprenorphine, and on motivational interviewing.

I didn't learn as much as I wanted to about the metabolic syndrome. One studied showed that people gained less weight (on average) on
zyprexa if they also took modafinil (provigil). They still gained weight, and the study only went 3 weeks out.

Max missed me, the judge enjoyed coffee with my husband, and everyone liked the wind-up walking brain I brought home. I had lunch and dinner and cocktails and overall I felt like The Bernstein Bears and Too Much Conference. Happy to be home.