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Unusual Signs of Depression, One Billion Pills Seized in SE Asia, and Suing for Social Media Addiction
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
An Unusual Sign of Depression
Thrills and depression are seemingly unrelated. However, in 2002, researchers found that patients with kleptomania and pyromania had significant numbers of depressive episodes. In fact, there's a body of research concerning gambling, stealing, and fighting being highly correlated with, and even encouraged by, depression.
Relationship experts such as David Ley, Ph.D., have written about how infidelity, for some, evolves as a remedy for depression. The people Dr. Ley has dealt with reported excitement and higher self-esteem. Ley also explained how someone pursuing an affair is more apt to take care of themselves for appearance’s sake and may take to exercise and better self-care, which in themselves may be antidotes to depression.
The following considerations can help understand the nature of the relationship to depression in evaluating people presenting for impulse control matters, fighting, or infidelity.
Make sure the behavior does not coincide with a head injury or other physical complication, or initiating a medication.
Is this an occasional burst of behavior, or a long-standing, baseline problematic activity? If sporadic, that may be indicative of occurrence only during mood episodes. If the latter, it is more likely related to things like obtaining drugs or personality disorders.
After the above, evaluating for the presence of depression is the foremost consideration. If depression is extant, it is essential to survey if the periods of concerning activity coincide with the confines of the episode(s).
If depression is present, is it part of a mixed mood state? If so, referral to psychiatry for a mood stabilizer medication as used in bipolar illnesses may be helpful in controlling the matter, as the hypomanic or manic components would be the culprit.
1 billion pills: The number of seized drugs reaches ominous record in Asia
The number of methamphetamine tablets seized in East and Southeast Asia exceeded a billion last year for the first time, highlighting the scale of illegal drug production and trafficking in the region and the challenges of fighting it, the U.N. said.
The 1.008 billion tablets were part of a regionwide haul of almost 172 tons of methamphetamine in all forms and were seven times higher than the amount seized 10 years earlier.
Methamphetamine is easy to make and has supplanted opium and its derivative heroin to become the dominant illegal drug in Southeast Asia for both use and export.
"There's lots and lots of seizures being made and no impact being made on the business itself. Organized crime just keeps cranking out the volume, replacing seizures with more product," said Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia regional representative for the U.N. agency.
"The chemical situation is highly complex and there are no essential chemicals being seized and they just continue to flow unabated, primarily through Laos into (Myanmar's) Shan State," Douglas added. "We also have huge money laundering operations at play in the region. We have no attempt fundamentally at the end of the day to address demand which is seemingly growing and can continue to grow because the price point of the drug is so cheap."
California parents could soon sue for social media addiction
California could soon hold social media companies responsible for harming children who have become addicted to their products, permitting parents to sue platforms like Instagram and TikTok for up to $25,000 per violation under a bill that passed the state Assembly.
The bill defines “addiction” as kids under 18 who are both harmed, either physically, mentally, emotionally, developmentally, or materially, and who want to stop or reduce how much time they spend on social media but can’t because they are preoccupied or obsessed with it.
Business groups have warned that if the bill passes, social media companies would most likely cease operations for children in California rather than face the legal risk.
The proposal would only apply to social media companies that had at least $100 million in gross revenue in the past year, appearing to take aim at social media giants like Facebook and others that dominate the marketplace.
“The era of unfettered social experimentation on children is over, and we will protect kids,” said Assembly member Jordan Cunningham, a Republican from San Luis Obispo County and author of the bill.
The bill gives social media companies two paths to escape liability in the courts. If the bill becomes law, it would take effect on Jan. 1. Companies that remove features deemed addictive to children by April 1 would not be responsible for damages.
Also, companies that conduct regular audits of their practices to identify and remove features that could be addictive to children would be immune from lawsuits.
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