Our Best Drug

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:45
Positive Health MagazineJuly 2004 Our Best Drug Dorothy Rowe Research in psychiatry over the last 50 years has been largely concerned with comparing one drug with another. Pharmaceutical companies have always been well aware that drugs used in psychiatry could produce vast profits, and so there has always been much competition between drug companies to produce the most effective drugs in the treatment of mental disorder. Many different drugs appear in the research literature, but one drug keeps appearing, a simple drug called placebo. It does remarkably well compared with drugs that contain active ingredients but the authors such of research reports have always preferred not to draw too much attention to these findings. How can a drug company make money out of a sugar pill whose effectiveness resides solely in the how the person taking the drug sees it? If the person thinks it will make him well, it will; if he doesn’t, it won’t. However, recent research in physical medicine is putting placebo centre stage because researchers are using methods very different from those used in psychiatry. Psychiatric research simply counted the number of people taking a drug and, of these, how many got better. Recent research in…

Extreme Ideas

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:44
Positive Health MagazineDecember, 2005 Extreme Ideas Dorothy Rowe Last July and August our television news programmes were full of pictures of young people who were desperately trying to make the world over into what they thought it ought to be. First there were the young men who believed they could change the world by planting bombs and killing people. They were followed by the crowds of young people, some as young as fourteen, trying to stop Israeli soldiers from expelling them from the Jewish settlements in Gaza. While these events were going on Channel Four was showing a series called Hitler’s Children about how the Nazi leaders forced every German child to join a youth movement, one for boys and one for girls, which appeared to give them great benefits but which was intended to prepare them to fight Hitler’s war and, for the girls, to breed a race of Aryan heroes. Newsreels from that time show these girls and boys demonstrating their intense loyalty to their Führer and promising to do whatever he ordered. All of these young people were acting on the extreme ideas which had been taught to them by their elders. The young men who were…

Being Listened To

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:44
Positive Health Magazine February, 2004 Being Listened To Dorothy Rowe When I was in my early sixties I was sure that I would continue being the person I knew myself to be. My passion for my work and my curiosity about the world and everything in it would not diminish. Ten years on I am just the same. However, I hadn’t anticipated that other people would change in how they see me. I’ve now discovered that for many people being old means being incapable of speaking for oneself. They believe that all old people don’t keep up with progress and that they easily get confused. Since you’re not capable of speaking for yourself there’s no point in asking you what it is that you need. Instead, your would-be helpers give you what they think you need. Thus a friend of mine, a contemporary, came home from hospital to find that her would-be helpers had decided to refurbish her kitchen. Gone was the stove where she had cooked the family meals. She knew its every quirk and foible. It was a family friend, a storehouse of memories. Now it was gone, and in its place a smaller object with buttons, mysterious…

Review- My Dearest Enemy

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:43
My Dearest Enemy, My Dangerous Friend: Making and Breaking Sibling Bonds Reviewed by Sandra Goodman PhD I am a Number One fan of Dorothy Rowe. I admire her straight-talking way of discussing the inner world of individuals in light of their family circumstances and experiences, including our fear of annihilation due to perceived threats to our sense of being a person. In this her most recent book, she sheds light on the fruitful and pivotal roles played by our siblings in our growing up, and in our present life, workplace and even the wider world. It is astonishing that perhaps the most important and endearing relationships we ever form - that with our siblings, i.e. brothers and sisters - have never been the proper investigation or study of Psychologists, Psychiatrists or Therapists. This is despite the passage of a century of becoming familiar with many forms of Psychotherapy and the notions of talking about how our life situations, behaviour and attitudes may stem from our early childhood, or our parents, or indeed life-changing events. People talk about their relationships with their sisters and brothers with an intensity that far supersedes that of their friends or even their parents. Relationships between…