Can mental illness make people less prone to cognitive biases?

One of the usual methods of attack against me and my effectiveness is to attack my mental health status. The left wing, and more recently the ferals on the West Coast, like to say that because I suffer from a mental illness then somehow what I say can be discounted as the mad rambling of a mental idiot.

I have never hidden or shied away from honesty around my depression. My belief is that other can learn from it and they do. Several times a month people email me or phone to discuss my past posts on depression and medication. That honesty and openess though is often held against me.

However there is some evidence to suggest that sufferers from mental illness are less prone to cognitive biases.

Madness and irrationality may seem inextricably related. ?You are crazy!? we say, when someone tells us about their risk-taking behaviour or their self-defeating actions. The?International Classification of Diseases?(ICD-10) and the?Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?(DSM-5) describe people with depression, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, and personality disorders as people who infringe norms of rationality. But not all people diagnosed with a mental disorder behave irrationally, and not all people who behave irrationally are diagnosed with a mental disorder.? Read more »

Is homosexuality a kind of “sexual dyslexia”?

Interesting what you can find on the last day of 2013. ?Have a look at this:


My first reaction was “eugenics is alive and well”, but then I noticed the Ph.D. bit. ?Can this be dismissed, or is this hard scientific data that we simply can’t speak of in public? ? Read more »

Luke Finn talks about schizophrenia and depression

Schizophrenia switches, fascinating

An interesting video about finding the switch that can turn off schizophrenia.

Magnetic stimulation and quiet meditation.?The ol? front brain ? mid brain problem.

Schizophrenia is one of the most complex and least understood of all psychological disorders. But now scientists have found a switch of sorts that could change everything.

Saturday nightCap

To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn’t know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive.

HBDHB report – Part 1

The report into the HBDHB governance issues has been released and as predicted it is a whitewash, glossing over substantial conflicts of interest.

The Herald gives it a once over lightly in their coverage as does Stuff.

I am at page 8 and several questions have raised their head.

2.17 A draft report was provided to the parties? solicitors on 23 November 2007. The Panel received written submissions on that draft in December 2007, with submissions from the Board within eight days, on 2 December.

2.18 The Panel carefully considered all submissions and continued its own deliberations and review of the evidence. This resulted in substantial changes to the draft report. Because of these substantial changes and the complexity of the review, the Panel took the unusual step of issuing a second draft report to the parties for further submissions.

2.19 Both draft reports were working documents, provided to the parties for the purpose of fulfilling natural justice requirements and enabling parties to respond to comments and views expressed in the draft reports.

2.20 As such, the views contained in the draft reports were preliminary views expressed at the time that the drafts were provided. The Panel now considers that a number of these preliminary views were wrong. Further, the view taken of the framework within which the HBDHB operates, particularly with respect to handling of conflicts of interest, has evolved into that contained in this report.

Interesting comments those.
There wasn’t one draft report there were two!
There were substantial changes to both of those.
Where are the draft reports and what are the changes?
It was unusual to issue a second draft.
The Panel got its initial view “wrong”.

How did all that happen?, we now have an unusual report into the unusual goings on at the Health Board. Not only that but the review panel was wrong? How can a review panel be wrong? The only they could have been wrong is if one or more parties got litigious on the reviews. Clause 2.20 is virtually a “mea culpa” apology. Are alarm bells ringing with you?, they certainly are where I am. To make matter worse the reviewers go to some length to explain that they were pressured and even include a butt covering statement for the minister.

2.23 The Panel received strong submissions from the parties on both draft reports.

2.24 However, it wishes to record that there has been no pressure placed on it, outside submissions by parties, to amend its report to support any particular view. In particular, it has not received any request or suggestion to do so from the Ministry of Health or the Minister (past and present). The Panel has been particularly careful to make its findings independently of the Ministry of Health and the Minister.

See how they cover Annette King as well as Cunliffe. Now why on earth would the reviewers make such statements? It simply draws attention to them by having them there.

So who did pressure the reviewers?

We also find out that apart from the previous board attempting to injunct the review, other un-named parties also tried to sue the reviewers.

2.33 As well as the difficulties already noted, the Panel has faced various Official Information Act requests, some of which were referred to the Ombudsman, threats of legal proceedings, and then the issue of proceedings by the Board to try and injunct our review. These proceedings, and the referral to the Ombudsman, were withdrawn after the appointment of the Commissioner.

Who were the people threatening to issue legal proceedings on the reviewers? It wasn’t the board else the reviewers would have mentioned that in clause 2.33 as they specifically mentioned in regard to the injunction. Who issued OIA requests?

Clearly there is much unsaid in this report and I have only reviewed Sections 1 and 2.