Wednesday February 20, 2019

Online therapy: Help people with mental disorders

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mental disorder

London: A new study has found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a talk therapy that is based on the Internet, may help individuals affected by mental disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. If left untreated, it can lead to hospitalisation, substance dependence and suicide.

The CBT programme is significantly helpful and improves BDD’s symptom severity, depression, and the quality of life, the study said.

The CBT therapy, which helps people manage their problems by changing the way one thinks and behaves, could be particularly useful in a stepped care approach, the findings showed.

The CBT programme, “has the potential to increase access to evidence-based psychiatric care for this mental disorder”, said the researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mild to moderately affected patients can be offered CBT programme by their general practitioner, or other health professionals, thus freeing resources for more severe and complex patients to be treated in specialised settings, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal BMJ.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a therapist guided internet-based CBT programme for body dysmorphic disorder compared with online supportive therapy.

The study involved 94 adult patients with a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder who randomly received either CBT programme or supportive therapy for 12 weeks.

None of the participants had any face-to-face contact with a therapist during treatment and both groups were followed for 3 months after the end of treatment.

Patients who underwent CBT programme showed significant improvements in their severity of symptoms, depression level, and the quality of life compared with those who had supportive therapy. These gains were maintained for at least three months after the end of treatment.

Participants in the supportive therapy group who crossed over to CBT programme after six months also improved their symptom scores.(IANS)(image: mental.disorder.net)

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Russian Lawmakers Come Up In Support For Bill on ‘Sovereign’ Internet

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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Internet
The coat of arms of Russia is reflected in a laptop screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 12, 2019. Pixabay

Russian lawmakers backed tighter internet controls on Tuesday to defend against foreign meddling in draft legislation that critics warn could disrupt Russia’s internet and be used to stifle dissent.

The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament.

The bill seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

internet
The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament. Pixabay

The legislation was drafted in response to what its authors describe as an aggressive new U.S. national cybersecurity strategy passed last year.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.”

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has said the bill poses more of a risk to the functioning of the Russian internet segment than the alleged threats from foreign countries that the bill seeks to counter.

internet
The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.” Pixabay

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

The legislation, which can still be amended, but which is expected to pass, is part of a drive by officials to increase Russian “sovereignty” over its internet segment.

Also Read: Now Russian Telecom Watchdog To Direct Facebook, Twitter to Localise Users’ Database

Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services, and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.(VOA)