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Computer, Video Games and Psychosis: Cause for Concern

“I hear voices at night, and sometimes I think someone’s outside my window,” the 19-year-old young man informed me. “I know no one’s really there, but it’s still scary.”

In my practice in the past six months, no less than 5 youths have reported psychotic symptoms that were attributed to, or exacerbated by, electronic screens. As per my protocol, I always get an “e-screen” history:

  • video games
  • computer/internet use
  • cell phone use (talking, texting, streaming, and internet).

Not surprisingly, all five of these patients, ranging from 15-22 years old, were “plugged in” for six or more hours each day. Three were female and two male. After discussing e-screen’s toxic influence on the brain, I recommended to each of these patients that they forego all electronic screens for at least four weeks.

Results? The three females all went cold turkey and gave up their games, laptops, and phones. All three saw their symptoms resolve completely within a month. Of the two males, one cut down screen use significantly and his hallucinations disappeared. His paranoia remained but was less severe and caused less dysfunction. The other male turned out to be severely addicted to electronic games and refused to give up video games and computers (a subject for another article entirely! Needless to say, unfortunately he continues to suffer from psychosis).

Importantly, the therapeutic effects were achieved without using medication!

Electronic screens, particularly interactive ones (as opposed to passive ones, like television), increase dopamine in the brain. This effect has been demonstrated by brain scan (Koepp, 1998). This neurotransmitter is a chemical signaler in the brain’s reward system, and its release is why games can be so addicting. Perhaps more disturbing, dopamine excess in certain parts of the brain can lead to psychotic symptoms-voices, delusions, paranoia, or confusion.

Psychosis is defined by abnormal thoughts. This can involve thought content, such as hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia, or thought process (highly disorganized thinking, or feeling thoughts are “blocked”). It is typically attributed to the severely mentally ill, like schizophrenics, but can also be seen in “normal” people under extreme stress. Children in particular are more likely to hallucinate when traumatized, sleep-deprived, or over-stimulated. E-screens cause or mimic all three of these!

Take home point: Children, teens, and young adults who have unexplained hallucinations or delusions should have ALL electronic screens removed for at least 3 weeks, as part of the diagnostic process. This includes cell phones, as cell phone texting and internet use can quickly rack up hours, and most teens cannot control their usage. While this may seem extreme, drastic times cause for drastic measures. Psychosis–and treatment thereof–is serious and has long-lasting effects.

As psychiatric disorders in young people continue to explode, and evidence mounts about the toxic effects of e-screens on the developing brain, parents and clinicians would be prudent to remove this offending environmental trigger from the child’s life, as part of the diagnostic process, and as one “arm” of the treatment plan.

When you start to feel conflicted about removing screens-they are so ingrained in our lives, after all-this is what I tell my patients and their parents:

“You will never regret removing video games and computer use, but you may sorely regret leaving them in place.”

Tips When Shopping For a Gaming Laptop Computer

For the serious gamer any old laptop will not do, you should have a gaming laptop computer. How do you buy the right laptop? What specifications should the laptop have? It is always best to know what you want and have a clear objective before you go shopping. On of the best ways of finding out what is available open the market is to research the products on the internet, read reviews and visit forum sites to discuss the models you are interested in.

Why do you need to buy a special laptop for your gaming? If you are puzzled about this aspect of gaming keep reading to learn why. These laptops are specially designed to support high definition gaming requirements that video games place on machines. The new game versions all require machines that can read high end graphics, pushing computers to the maximum limits. There are games that are so challenging they exceed the highest definition computer’s ability to play them.

You need to rule out any laptop offering integrated graphics. Even if the processor is very fast and the design very good, it will not give you the necessary frame rates that the game requires.

The graphics processing (GPU) unit is the heart of your laptop and will either make or break your gaming experience. Simply put, if the GPU is not up to speed your games will not play! When you choose your GPU make sure there is no resource sharing with the computer; laptops for gaming need a video card with its own memory board.

Buying a laptop specifically for your gaming is an investment in the most advanced technology available at present and also caters to some future developments as well. A regular laptop is not designed to play high end games and will crash.

You need to stuff the laptop chock full with RAM; this will determine the number of graphics your laptop will be able to handle at any given time. Obviously more is better! 1GB of RAM is good but 2 GB of RAM is even better; Windows Vista requires 3 GB of RAM. Less means placing limitations on your system’s ability to play certain games or else the game may play but the graphics will be hazy at best.

A high resolution minimum 17 inch LCD screen is required and the resolution should be at least 1280×1024 at least. What good is a laptop without the right screen? Some features you may want to concentrate on include: native resolution, aspect ratio, contrast, viewing angle, size and rise and fall times.

The hard drive is yet another important component in a laptop used for gaming. Hard drives come in a wide variety of speeds and capacities that range from 40 to over 100 GBs. Normally user preference dictates the RPMs and GBs you choose for your hard drive.

In the end it all comes down to power; always remember that more is better in the case of a gaming laptop computer.

All About Second Mortgage Home Loans and Avoiding a Foreclosure

If you own a home and need additional funds, you can take a loan against home in addition to your primary mortgage. A second mortgage loan has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure that that you can afford one financially, to avoid the possibility of a foreclosure. It may be beneficial to improve your credit score but do a cost benefit analysis before you decide to take it.

Before taking up a second mortgage loan, make sure you have proper reasons. Make a detailed study on the tax that you’ll have to pay to own a second home. Also, find out the most suitable mortgage rate that you can afford. Never stretch your income so that you live in a tight budget. A little planning will help you to manage your finances better.

Economic downturn leads to many foreclosures. As a result, prices drop significantly. Various deals are offered by the real estate companies and many people look to get a second home mortgage. Even if your credit score is good, ensure that you can afford a second loan. Affordability is the key. Calculate how much the loan will cost every month. If the loan you want to take is for investment, estimate your profits each month.

If your financial position is good and you want to get a second home mortgage, check out the various deals available in the market. Slightly lower interest rates can save you huge amounts of money. Never jump into the first offer that you get. A thorough research online can get you plenty of good deals. Make a comparison between at least 3 loan companies to find the best interest rates.

Refinance Second Mortgages

Refinancing a second mortgage can be a great way to reduce interest rates on second mortgages, pay off their complete mortgage or decrease the monthly loan repayment. Even if you have a bad credit score, you can get a refinance. Refinancing lets you get a lower interest rate thereby decreasing your costs substantially.

Second Mortgage Lenders

Various types of lenders are available. Check out different schemes and offers they have before finalizing a lender. There are lenders that offer instant loans to people who have a bad credit score. However, you should be careful in selecting such lenders as most of these offer loans at low introductory interest and after a few years’ hikes interest rates. Subprime lending crisis is the result of such loans. Good and credible lenders always take into account the credit score and lend money on the basis of your home equity. They use your home equity as collateral.

Second Mortgage Quote

Second mortgage quotes helps to know the interest rates on second mortgage loans. So, getting a second mortgage loan will help you find the best possible deals.

So, second mortgage loans are beneficial to those who are looking for financing and already have a primary mortgage. A second mortgage might have lower interest rates and help you pay off current debts or even ward off a foreclosure. But think carefully before opting for second mortgages.