ice cream cone melting

Correlation vs. Causation

We've all heard the phrase, correlation does not imply causation. Unfortunately, we rarely understand this phenomenon and are often mistaken by what we often label as evidence after examining the data. Sometimes both are referred to as cause and effect, which is potentially misleading. What exactly do we mean by correlation and causation? Let's examine one interesting fact: In the United States, the number of ice cream cones sold is directly related to the amount of home burglaries. In other words, there is a correlation between the number of ice cream cones sold and the number of thefts from home residences. If...
great white shark

How to Swim with the “Difficult Sharks” in our Lives

No one WANTS to swim with sharks. However, difficult people are, by their very nature, sharks: Aggressive, territorial, and tribal. When we unexpectedly find ourselves dealing with a difficult person, we assume that they will "play fair". In our desire to "get along with others", we often make the situation worse. In reality, we have no choice but to learn how to identify and respond assertively without being "eaten alive". Swimming with sharks is like any other skill: It cannot be learned from books alone; the novice must practice in order to develop the skills. The RULES, if followed, will...
panic attack blur

What’s Wrong With Me? The Logic of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving us feeling out of control. You can feel your own heart beating in your chest, you start feeling numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, and you suddenly find yourself afraid of going crazy, dying or possibly losing control.  This cycle can grow and become a vicious circle from which it seems as if there's no escape. Understanding what is happening and the fears behind panic can help us to better control ourselves. So, what causes panic attacks? As hard is it is to hear, you cause it! Nothing outside of you causes...
Fibromyalgia impact

Fibromyalgia Treatment in the Primary Care Setting

This article discusses some of the different approaches in the treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) in the primary care setting. However, this approach can be adapted towards multiple clinical treatment settings, such as behavioral/mental health. Let's examine a hypothetical case history with a 42-year-old female with continuous pain following an automobile collision 18 months ago. She presents with the following: Seen multiple doctors Has tried acupuncture and chiropractic She is disabled and irritable You review her hand carried records showing an extensive work up including X-rays and MRI of C and LS spine Multiple failed drug trials; only Vicodin helps a little Her presenting...
stadium alone

Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Person?

We sometimes wonder why we get ourselves into difficult relationships that “turn out bad” when they seemed so “promising” at the beginning. Sometimes we notice ourselves continuing to “pick the wrong ones” over and over again and cannot figure out what is happening. Many times we attribute it to the other person and think that there are so many “wrong people out there” that we just better “stay away” or “put up with it.” Understanding a few issues will be of a great deal of help and assistance. Modeling of our Family Much as we might had to admit it, much...