Vol 6-3 Original Research Article

Psychological Impact of Vision Loss

Heather Boagey1,2, Jasleen K. Jolly1,3,4, Anne E. Ferrey5*

1Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

2School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

3Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK

4Vision and Eye Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

5Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

A diagnosis of conditions leading to vision loss can be devastating and often impacts mental health. Understanding this allows us to consider what provisions might help those who are impacted. We undertook 18 semi-structured interviews with patients diagnosed with eye disease leading to vision loss to explore its psychological impact. Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), providing a snapshot of their depression and anxiety levels at the time of interview. NVivo-12 software (QSR International Ltd, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA) was used to inductively analyse and code data to identify themes related to the psychological impact. Participants had a mean BDI score of 9.6, and thematic analysis generated five key themes and associated subthemes. Coming to terms with the diagnosis included discussion of subthemes of “denial” and moving towards “acceptance”. Effects on mental health included depression/low mood, anxiety, and stress-related worsening of vision. Loss included various losses following initial loss of vision. Effects on identity included facing a curtailed life, worry that visual impairment might define a person’s identity, and feelings of frustration with their own loss of function and with others’ reactions to their disability. The future included thoughts about long-term consequences, both negative and positive (e.g., maximizing experiences given the vision one has left). Although such a diagnosis will nearly always have a psychological impact and require work to move toward acceptance, support could mitigate impact on mental health, such as practical support (e.g., advice on low vision aids), and psychological support.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2021/3.1256 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-3 Original Research Article

Painting a Complete Picture of the Pathogenesis of Peptic Ulcers

Simon Xin Min Dong

International Institute of Consciousness Science®, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Peptic ulcers, including duodenal and gastric ulcers, were currently considered an infectious disease caused by Helicobacter pylori. However, this etiology cannot explain the major characteristics and observations/phenomena of the disease. To address the challenge, a Complex Causal Relationship with its accompanying methodologies was applied to analyze the existing data. Peptic ulcers were identified as a psychosomatic disease triggered by psychological stress, whereas Helicobacter pylori plays a secondary role in the late phase of peptic ulceration. This etiology addresses all the characteristics, observations/phenomena, controversies, and mysteries of peptic ulcers in a series of 6 articles. This third article discusses the etiology in-depth, painting a complete picture of the pathogenesis of peptic ulcers. The early phase is a long-term abstract psychopathological process, starting from early life when the impacts of multiple psychosomatic factors are transformed into hyperplasia and hypertrophy of gastrin and parietal cells and/or negative life-views via superposition mechanism. These pre-existing abnormalities potentiate the individual’s response to current psychological stress in the intermediate phase, resulting in hypersecretion of gastric acid and/or pre-ulcer lesions. The late phase is a corrosion process caused by gastric acid, Helicobacter pylori, and/or NSAIDs, resulting in duodenal and/or gastric ulcers. This complete picture highlights the importance of past life experience in peptic ulcers and visualizes the non-causal roles of gastric acid, Helicobacter pylori, and NSAIDs. Significantly, the holistic view provided by the complete picture suggests that life phenomena and diseases are highly complex, and an advanced way of thinking is indispensable for life science and medical studies.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/3.1261 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-3 Original Research Article

A Novel Psychopathological Model Explains the Pathogenesis of Gastric Ulcers

Simon Xin Min Dong

International Institute of Consciousness Science®, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The first detailed description of the morphology of gastric ulcer was reported ~230 years ago, but the mechanism has yet to be elucidated. Moreover, peptic ulcers, including duodenal and gastric ulcers, are currently considered an infectious disease caused by Helicobacter pylori, but how the infection leads to ulceration remains elusive. To address these challenges, a recently published Complex Causal Relationship was applied to analyze the existing data. Peptic ulcers were identified as a psychosomatic disease triggered by psychological stress, where Helicobacter pylori plays a secondary role in only the late phase of the disease. This etiology explained all the characteristics and observations/phenomena of peptic ulcers in a series of 6 articles. This second article focused on the pathogenesis of gastric ulcers. Based on hereditary predisposition, the accumulation of past life experiences incurs the formation of a negative lifeview. Consequently, the individual tends to negatively evaluate themselves or current life events, leading to acute psychological stress. The psychological stress triggers the release of aberrant neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which in turn cause the transmission of pathogenic nerve impulses to the stomach, resulting in a ‘pre-ulcer lesion’ in the gastric wall and eventually, gastric ulcer. This psychopathological model elucidated 12 characteristics and 24 observations/phenomena of gastric ulcer, along with the roles of gastric acid, Helicobacter pylori, and NSAIDs. The effectiveness suggests that theoretical research and empirical study are equally important in medical explorations, and the guiding roles of philosophy are indispensable for the major progress of life science and medicine.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/3.1259 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-2 Original Research Article

Mental Health Education, Awareness and Stigma Regarding Mental Illness Among College Students

Young R. Shim1*, Rebecca Eaker1, Junkoo Park2

1Department of Psychology, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia, USA

2Department of Mathematics, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia, USA

Objective: The present study examined whether psychoeducational tools are beneficial in improving awareness and reducing stigma regarding mental health. This study aims to increase mental health awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

Methods: The study is quantitative research. In this study, 147 students registered in the Abnormal Psychology course, which focuses on mental illness, were recruited. Students signed informed consent and participated in the study voluntarily. Students completed the demographic questions, Beliefs Toward Mental Illness Scale (BTMI), and Stig-9 questionnaire (stig-9).

Results: Our findings revealed a significant difference in beliefs and awareness about mental health and a decrease in stigma after students completed the Abnormal Psychology course. The statistical analysis revealed that students believe mental health is more curable and less embarrassing after taking mental health education. Finally, our findings demonstrated a direct impact of the educational experience on student attitudes toward mental health.

Conclusion: Our finding indicates that mental health education is a promising tool to raise awareness and understanding and reduce the stigma regarding mental health. Providing students with mental health education and training enabled students to learn and understand issues with mental illness. This study demonstrated a direct impact on the educational experience on student attitudes toward mental health.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/2.1258 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-3 Original Research Article

Body Composition Changes in Psychiatric Patients Treated with Lithium and Valproate

Seyed-Shahab Banihashem1, Sahar Ashrafzadeh2, Mehrshad Poursaied Esfahani3, Zeinab Morsalivachin4, Alireza Shamsi5, Somaye Motazedian6, Mohammadreza Mousavipour7*

1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Taleghani Hospital Research Development Committee, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

3Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4Department of Surgery School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences. Tehran, Iran

5Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Taleghani Hospital

6Taleghani Hospital, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Purpose: To compare the effects of lithium and valproate on the body composition of psychiatric patients.

Methods: This prospective cohort study evaluated the effects of lithium and valproate on body composition. Twenty-eight patients with type I bipolar disorder aged 23-54 years who just had started monotherapy were recruited. Body weight, percent body fat (PBF), soft lean mass, body mass index (BMI), and total body water were measured at baseline, one month, and six months. Changes in the body composition parameters between patients taking lithium (n=14) versus valproate (n=14) were compared.

Findings: Overall mean age of study participants was 37.21 (±8) years, and 53.5% of patients were female. Average body weight gains in the first month were 1.3 kg and 2.2 kg for the lithium and valproate groups, respectively (p-value = 0.042). Mean body weight gain in the six months compared to the baseline was only 0.6 kg for the lithium group, while it was 4.3 kg for the valproate group (p-value < 0.001). The average increase in PBF at six months among patients treated with lithium versus valproate was 0.07% versus 2.2% respectively (p-value = 0.018). Patients treated with lithium had a smaller increase in their BMI in the sixth month of the study compared to the valproate group, with a mean change of 0.2 versus 2.3 kg/m2, respectively (p-value = 0.019).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that in patients with type I bipolar disorder, valproate leads to greater weight gain, BMI, and increase in PBF compared to lithium.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/3.1255 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-3 Original Research Article

The Hyperplasia and Hypertrophy of Gastrin and Parietal Cells Induced by Chronic Stress Explain the Pathogenesis of Duodenal Ulcers

Simon Xin Min Dong*

International Institute of Consciousness Science®, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Peptic ulcers, including duodenal and gastric ulcers, are currently studied as an infectious disease caused by Helicobacter pylori. However, this etiology cannot elucidate the major characteristics and observations/phenomena of the disease, as well as the roles of gastric acid and NSAIDs. Additionally, many patients with severe ulcer symptoms have no infection, suggesting bacterial eradication cannot prevent relapses in all ulcer patients. To address these challenges, a recently published Complex Causal Relationship with its accompanying methodologies was applied to analyze the existing data. Peptic ulcers were identified as a psychosomatic disease triggered by psychological stress, where Helicobacter pylori plays a secondary role in only the late phase of ulceration. An integration of five major etiological theories in history illustrated the entire pathogenesis of peptic ulcers, which addressed all the characteristics, observations/phenomena, controversies, and mysteries of the disease in a series of 6 articles. This first article focuses on the pathogenesis of duodenal ulcers. The hyperplasia and hypertrophy of gastrin and parietal cells induced by chronic stress potentiate the individual’s response to immediate stress, resulting in the hypersecretion of gastric acid and eventually, duodenal ulceration. This psychopathological mechanism resolved all the controversies associated with Helicobacter pylori and explicitly elucidated 7 characteristics of duodenal ulcers, as well as 42 observations/phenomena. The roles of gastric acid, Helicobacter pylori, and NSAIDs in duodenal ulcers were also identified. The effectiveness validated the etiology of duodenal ulcers identified by the Complex Causal Relationship, indicating stress management is essential for a complete cure of the disease without relapse.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/3.1257 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-2 Research Article

Establishing Applied Forensic Psychology in Palestine: Legal and Psychological Issues

Fayez Mahamid*, Denise Ziya Berte, Naeem Salameh

An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine

Forensic Psychology is the branch of psychology focused on the production and application of psychological principles to the legal process including competency, validity of defenses based on mental health behavior, predicting violent behavior, assessing injury and child custody1. Forensic Psychology has evolved in the United States since 2001 when it was recognized as a specialty of the American Psychological Association (APA) and psychologists are now serving the court systems in a wide variety of tasks2. Unfortunately, in developing nations such as Palestine both access to and understanding of the specialty of Forensic Psychology is minimal, leaving critical functions of legal systems where psychological data is needed, unserved and uninformed3.

The following study was conducted in Nablus, West Bank Palestine where the first Master of Clinical Psychology program has produced a cohort of mental health professionals with an expertise in Forensic Psychology. The intervention focused on the training of lawyers (with a specialty in domestic violence and family protection) on the general principles and uses of psychology in the legal system and an introduction of how they could use forensic psychologists to the benefit of the court. The data determined that participants in the one-day training module gain significant understanding and motivation to use forensic psychologists in their practice (.002 level of significance) and that the effect was undifferentiated by age, gender, place of residence or education level).

The current study determines that with a minimal effort legal professionals can gain both understanding and a motivation to use psychological professionals, even in systems where there was no previous exposure to the field. Such openings can change the practice of law and legal systems in a positive way to include the expertise of mental health professionals at every level of governance and jurisdiction. Having access to and incorporating psychological data from qualified professionals into developing legal institutions is critical in insuring human rights and scienced based evidence at every level of societal systems.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/2.1254 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-2 Review Article

Emotional Wellbeing and The Healthcare Workforce: A Review

Kalsang Tshering

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, NY, USA

Healthcare systems have long recognized the impact of adverse health events on patients and families, and in recent years have gone further to identify the resulting emotional strains on the healthcare workforce. This attention to emotional health, which has been described as the overall state of one's emotions and the ability to manage and adapt to stressors, is also referred to as "emotional wellness" or "wellbeing." As this concept of wellness expands and evolves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic into a priority on the wellbeing of those in the helping professions, the current review explores the existing literature on the impact of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and their relationship to occupational burnout, with the conclusion that the emotional wellness of healthcare stakeholders and the health of an organization itself are not mutually exclusive. A review of these identified areas of occupational wellness is conducted, as well as a summary of findings emphasizing its significant implications for the healthcare workforce moving forward, both in relation to tangible costs to the healthcare industry and its reach to the bedside in the form of reported patient experience.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/2.1150 View / Download Pdf
Vol 6-2 Research Article

Comparison of Methamphetamine Induced Psychosis and Primary Psychotic Disorder: Scoping Review of Social Cognition

Felix Diotte1, Stephane Potvin2, Donna Lang3, Amal Abdel-Baki4, Alicia Spidel5, Marie Villeneuve6, Tania Lecomte1*

1Departement of psychology, University of Montréal

2Departement of psychiatry and addiction, University of Montréal, Canada,

3Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia, Canada,

4Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Canada,

5University of Fraser Valley, Fraser Health, Canada,

6Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, Canada

As many as 43% of methamphetamine users will have a psychotic episode in their lifetime. Of these, 30% will develop a primary psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. The current state of the literature does not currently allow us to determine who will develop a primary psychotic disorder following a methamphetamine-induced psychosis (MIPD). This distinction is important, since people with a first episode of a psychotic disorder need specific and rapid treatments to ensure optimal recovery. Social cognition could help predict distinct profiles. The aim of this scoping review is to evaluate the literature in order to extract the differences between MIPD and primary psychotic disorders in the domain of social cognition. Articles were recovered from PsychINFO, Medline and Web of science and were retained if they met the following inclusion criteria: (a) original research or meta-analyses, (b) complete or partial sample with a psychotic disorder diagnosis with comorbid methamphetamine use, or MIPD, (c) studies focusing on the difference between a methamphetamine-induced psychosis and a primary psychotic disorder, and (d) studies focusing on social cognition in psychotic or methamphetamine using population. A total of 17 articles were identified, with none directly aiming at distinguishing MIPD and primary psychotic disorder using social cognition. Future studies on social cognition are needed in order to determine differences in the severity of deficits between the two profiles.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2022/2.1144 View / Download Pdf