1500 Gateway Blvd. Suite 220. Boynton Beach, Fl 33426

Phone: 561-739-7952

Helpful Resources, Articles and Links

Normal Aging and Dementia

What is considered normal aging and when we should be concerned about changes in cognition and behavior? Communication problems are some of the symptoms typically indicative of a progressive dementia. However, some symptoms might be part of normal aging like lapses of attention and memory, benign forgetfulness. Distinguishing what is normal age related changes from more pathological changes is very important for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and related disorders. Early detection is equally important for the afflicted individual and the caregivers as well.

Research from the Alzheimer Foundation of America (AFA) concluded that about 64% of caregivers thought behavioral changes were part of normal aging and 67% of caregivers believed diagnosis was delayed because they considered changes were part of aging.

As part of a national effort to promote early detection and appropriate interventions the AFA had initiated a National Memory Screening Day with the mission to promote “optimal care and services to individual confronting dementia and their caregivers”.

Who should be screened?

As per AFA anybody that answers “yes” to any of the following questions might benefit from a memory screening:

  • Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again?
  • Do I have difficulties performing familiar tasks?
  • Problems recalling words or names in conversations?
  • Am I becoming more forgetful?
  • Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going?
  • Am I misplacing things more often?
  • Have I become lost when walking or driving?
  • Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality or desire to do things?
  • Do I have problems concentrating?

This office will be conducting a free memory screening on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by appointment only. This is a free and confidential memory screening for those who are concerned about changes in memory and need further consultations with medical providers who will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and intervention. This screening is also expected to help those individuals with fears they might have a severe problem when actually this is not supported by test results.

Note: Memory screening will not be used to diagnose any cognitive condition or illness and it will not replace your consultations with a qualified physician or other specialized provider according to your specific needs.


The Role of Economic Hardships and Worry and Increased Vulnerability to Pain

There is consistent evidence that people at the lower socio-economic levels experience the most stressful life events compared with those from a higher socio-economic status. Further research shows great morbidity and mortality across diseases for those individuals with the least financial resources. Economic hardships has proven to have a significant negative effect on health and adaptation to chronic pain in particular for women suffering with chronic musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and also fibromyalgia.

Studies had found day-to-day financial worries and individuals reporting exacerbation of chronic pain. Interestingly, the detrimental effects of day-to-day financial worries were limited to those who were not working. Participation in a work environment even as a part-time or volunteer apparently was a psychological resource and these persons were less vulnerable to increases in chronic pain.

Socioeconomic Disparities in Pain: The Role of Economic Hardship and Daily Financial Worry

Drinking problems prior to marriage and predictors of alcohol problems in the first 4 years of marriage.

At the time of marriage many young men and women have been drinking for a long time sometimes a decade or more and often they already have developed drinking patterns and preferences. Research on alcohol problem usually had focused on the person and the interaction with the environment; most recently it had been a shift to a model focusing on the biological, psychological, social processes impacting addiction, in particular developmental factors and specific transitional events like marriage. Marriage is one of the most important psychosocial events in life. Different studies had demonstrated that the rate of alcohol problems among married men and women is substantially less than the rate among single or divorced men or women. This finding initially assumed that the transition to marriage might have a protective function not only on cases of heavy drinking but alcohol problems or disorder.

Factors like marital satisfaction was associated with a decreased risk of alcohol problems in men and women post-marriage; however marital satisfaction did not have an impact for heavy drinking individual regardless or gender on the contrary they were found at greater risk or continued heavy drinking over time. Research consistently found that gains from alcohol treatment programs are more effective when treatment focuses on improving marital functioning.

Predictors of Heavy Drinking and Drinking Problems Over the First 4 Years of Marriage

Sexual Violence in Academic Institutions

A college student Lizzy Seeberg a 19 years old freshman at Saint Mary’s College reported being sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance in a campus dormitory. The assault did not happen in her dormitory but in her companions’ dormitory a football player from a nearby school the University of Notre Dame. After Lizzy’s report to the police she was interviewed several times including some witnesses but they did not interview the accused student until two weeks had passed.

What followed is not an isolated tragedy neither and uncommon experience to many adult college women. Intense feelings of doubts followed her decision to report the abuse. Fears of damaging her ties and the ties her family has over the years to Notre Dame University. Ten days after her report to authorities Lizzy committed suicide. Her parents expected unsuccessfully for an answer from the school, access to records was also denied and six months later the accused student was found “not responsible” of sexual misconduct.

Lizzy’s doubts about making the decision to report sexual violence met with unsupportive law enforcement and an unhelpful legal system often described as a “second trauma” for rape victims who feel blamed and further stigmatized when they seek help. Furthermore, what is more striking about Lizzy’s story is that school administrators whose apparent objective was to protect the institutional reputation overlooked her experience. This is what the Seeberg’s family and many others view as a betrayal by Notre Dame University and the core factor to understand Lizzy’s tragedy.

Betrayal trauma theory as described by researchers Carly Parnitzke Smith and Jennifer Freyd states abuse perpetrated within close relationships is more harmful than abuse perpetrated by strangers because of the violation of trust within a relationship. The field of traumatic stress had traditionally focused on the individual’s experience of trauma, usually more reactive than preventative, however new research began to departure from this venue and instead they are examining the actions and inactions of institutions that exacerbate the impact of a traumatic experience or what the above mentioned authors call institutional betrayal.

Parnitzke Smith, C., Freyd, J. (2014) Institutional Betrayal. American Psychologist, 69, 575-587.

Unreported Rapes in College Campuses

Extensive research on sexual violence found that between 64 % and 96% of all rapes are never reported to the police indicating most of these crimes go undetected. More research on unreported rapes in college samples suggested that between 6% and 14.9% of men admitted acts consistent with what legally is described as rape or attempted rape (Lisak & Miller). Further studies from incarcerated rapists and undetected rapists had revealed multiple similarities between these two groups like, anger towards women, a need to dominate among others.

Taking into consideration that convicted rapists admitted committing multiple acts or sexual violence researchers were asking the following questions about undetected rapists (college students):

Are they also repeated offenders? and/or
Are they involved in other acts of interpersonal violence?

Another question emerging is How it is possible for these perpetrators to elude justice? The answer might be linked first to the wrong perception among authorities either law enforcement, institutional and legal courts that rapes committed by acquaintances are less serious than rapes perpetrated by a stranger; furthermore the victims are within the perpetrator’s social network, the victims do not show physical injuries, usually not weapons were used leading to the assumption that victims consented to the sexual encounter.

Repeated Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists

American Psychological Association

Florida Psychological Association

About Addiction: AFAR American Foundation for Addiction Research

Dr Patrick Carnes Website with information & references on sex addiction

International Institute for Trauma & Addictions Professionals

Sexual Recovery Institute

Childhood Trauma and Suicide

Cyber Sexual Addiction

Sexual Addiction Screening Test

Women Sexual Addiction Screening Test

Christ-centered recovery groups that meet in churches