Tag Archives | Mental Health

The True Love Story of the Neurotic Christian and the Bipolar Secular Humanist

AnonMoos (CC)

Shawn Maxam writes at the Good Men Project:

I am of the opinion that nothing contributes to optimum mental health than a wonderful partner. Can the single individual be happy? Of course! One shouldn’t rely on others for happiness but also one should never deny that someone can help make you happy. Here are a few words about my story:

Rewind to the past: So five years ago is when I first met her. She looked nothing like I expected since we had only initially corresponded via email. She was smiling when I went to shake her hand and said “you thought I was a guy didn’t you?”. Truthfully I didn’t know what gender this person who had sent me an angry email was. I knew they were Black of course hence the outrage. I could expound upon on what are our disagreement was about…but it’s inconsequential to this story.

We decided to sit in the college’s cafe and discuss our differences.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Criminalization of the Mentally Ill

David Gonzalez is the recipient of the 1999 NYAPRS Brendan Nugent Leadership Award, the first person with a mental illness to receive the National AAPD Paul G. Hearne Award for People with Disabilities, and the recipient of the New York State Department of Mental Health’s Office of Consumer Affairs 2000 Consumer Advocacy Award. He writes at The American Mental Disability Clemency Organization:

Accurately identifying the various causes behind the criminalization of the mentally ill can only be accomplished by an impartial examination of our society’s preconceived notions of the mentally ill. This can be done by examining society’s treatment of the mentally ill throughout the course of history. Stigma clearly plays a major role in the criminalization of the mentally ill because of society’s inability to accept the dualistic and sometimes vile impulses of human nature inherent in all human beings. Therefore, society seeks to explain away unjustified acts of violence and aggression as symptoms of a mental illness, in effect scapegoating the mentally ill.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Suicide Has Killed More Troops Than the War in Afghanistan This Year

Writes Alexander Abad-Santos on the Atlantic Wire:
This is a pretty terrible statistic: 154 active duty troops have committed suicide in the first 155 days of the new year--a rate alarmingly close to one per day. The number dead from suicides eclipses the U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan by about 50 percent. For comparison, there were around 130 suicide deaths during the same time last year, reports The Associated Press' Robert Burns. It's difficult to wrap our brains around that number and that rate, and of course that statistic is just one more troubling recent finding from our troops. (Remember the reports that found that sexual assaults among members of the army were up 64 percent from 2006? Or the rise in alcohol abuse?) "It's a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war," Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a psychiatrist and retired Army general told Burns. "We've seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison."...
Continue Reading

Why Some People Blame Themselves for Everything

Writes Stephanie Pappas on LiveScience:
People prone to depression may struggle to organize information about guilt and blame in the brain, new neuroimaging research suggests. Crushing guilt is a common symptom of depression, an observation that dates back to Sigmund Freud. Now, a new study finds a communication breakdown between two guilt-associated brain regions in people who have had depression. This so-called "decoupling" of the regions may be why depressed people take small faux pas as evidence that they are complete failures. "If brain areas don't communicate well, that would explain why you have the tendency to blame yourself for everything and not be able to tie that into specifics," study researcher Roland Zahn, a neruoscientist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, told LiveScience...
Continue Reading

Ron Paul on The Real Costs Of War

Ron Paul PeaceRon Paul writes on the Daily Bell:

This month Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of some 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff in attempt to get a handle on the epidemic of suicides among combat veterans. Unfortunately, when presidents misuse our military on an unprecedented scale – and Congress lets them get away with it – the resulting stress causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide far outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times this month, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year.

Considering the multiple deployments service members are forced to endure as the war in Afghanistan stretches into its second decade, these figures are sadly unsurprising.

Ironically, the same VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to retire from the Army by President Bush for daring to suggest that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would not be the cakewalk that neoconservatives promised.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Is War Porn A Natural By-Product of War?

Lynndie EnglandJoanna Schroeder wonders whether war porn is deviant, or a natural by-product of teaching young people to kill, on the Good Men Project:

The nation was shocked when we learned of more supposed bad behavior by US troops overseas, in the form of posing with the bodies of dead enemy combatants. This isn’t shocking news though, is it? It’s been happening since the beginning of this war, and as far as we know, as long as war has been happening, in one form or the other.

In a fascinating Salon.com piece, former infantry soldier and combat veteran John Rico an insider’s perspective on the function of so-called war porn, and wonders what it is about society that makes us so shocked to learn that young people who’ve been trained to fight and kill since they were 18 years old have reveled in the death of their enemies:

I have to say that I find all the political and polite posturing to be quite amusing.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Talking to Yourself Makes You Smarter

Taxi DriverJamie Condliffe writes on Gizmodo:

Talking to yourself is the preserve of mad men, right? Not according to a new study, which reveals that the seemingly irrational act of chatting to oneself actually improves cognitive function.

The research, carried out by Gary Lupyan and Daniel Swingley, was inspired the pair’s experiences of seeing people audibly muttering to themselves when trying to find items on supermarket shelves. To test whether speaking to oneself was actually beneficial, Lupyan and Swingley devised a set of experiments.

In one experiment, volunteers were shown 20 pictures of everyday objects of the same kind and asked to search out a specific one. Initially participants were shown a piece of text telling them which object to find and left to complete the task in silence. Then, in subsequent tests involving different objects, the participants were asked to repeatedly say the name of the object they were searching for.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

U.S. Soldiers Pose With Bodies Of Suicide Bombers In Afghanistan

AirborneDavid Zucchino writes in the Los Angeles Times:
The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification. The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan's Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse's severed legs. A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.
Continue Reading

Living with Bipolar Disorder: Andy Behrman’s ‘Electroboy’

2behrman

Living with Bipolar Disorder: Andy Behrman's 'Electroboy' | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 05

iTunes | Download (mp3) | RSS

Andy Behrman is the author of Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania. At first, Andy Behrman's manic episodes gave him an edge among the young professional elite of 1980s New York City: thousands of ideas tumbled out of his super-charged brain and he slept only a couple of hours a night, leaving him plenty of time to pursue them all. Soon, though, the dizzying highs and crushing lows of his undiagnosed bipolar disorder grew too strong, and Andy's life spun out of control. He developed a taste for drugs, quick money and risky sex. He grew delusional and grandiose, spending thousands of dollars on impulsive trips around the world and luxury goods. His mania-fueled joyride ended in a federal court, an accused embezzler and forger of modern art. It took almost 20 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy to bring some degree of normalcy to Andy's life, but his story doesn't end there. He became a spokesperson for a powerful pharmaceutical company, ultimately betraying his corporate paymasters to become one of their harshest critics. Big pharma critic, author and mental health advocate Andy Behrman is my guest on this episode of The DisinfoCast.
Continue Reading

American Military Veterans Now Kill Themselves At A Rate of One Every 80 Minutes

US Dept Of Veterans AffairsNicholas D. Kristof writes in the New York Times:
Here's a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands. An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
Continue Reading