Tag Archives | Mental Illness

Grave-Robbing Cannibal Brothers Arrested – Again

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

Pakistani brothers Arif and Farman can’t seem to be able to control their ghoulish appetites. They were arrested in 2011 for disinterring and eating parts of 150 corpses, and after a stay in a psychiatric hospital, they’re back at it again. While it wasn’t reported in any of the press, I’ve heard that between feasts they’re doing some modeling for a promising Bostonian artist named Richard Upton Pickman

Via The Express Tribune:

BHAKKAR: Two brothers who were previously found guilty of cannibalism and detained by the police have now returned to eating human flesh and an FIR has been registered against them on the charges of terrorism, Express News reported on Monday.

Arif and Farman, who are from the small town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar district, were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.

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Moroccan Mentally Ill Imprisoned At Mausoleum To Await Cure from ‘Demons’

PIC: (CC)

PIC: (CC)

Being diagnosed with a mental illness is stigmatizing just about anywhere in the world (The United States only got around to forcing insurance companies to cover mental health treatment less than two decades ago.) but some places are worse than others. In Morocco, the belief that the mentally ill and drug addicted are possessed by evil spirits is a fairly common one. The Bouya Omar mausoleum is a particularly heinous last stop for families looking for spiritual cures for their loved ones’ psychiatric illnesses. The residents are chained, beaten, robbed and left to the mercy of a small group of religious acolytes who supposedly run the place.

Via Yahoo! News:

…A thin mist hangs in the air as a handful of troubled souls wander aimlessly around the Bouya Omar mausoleum in central Morocco, the occasional chilling cry rising from behind its walls.

These are Morocco’s “possessed” — from violent schizophrenics to hard drug users — who are believed to be tormented by evil spirits and whose relatives bring them here to await deliverance.

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Indian College Student Jumps Into Tiger Enclosure Looking For a Fight

PIC: Uncredited tourist/CoverAsiaPress

PIC: Uncredited tourist/CoverAsiaPress

Intoxication and/or psychiatric illness are suspected to have played a role in the man’s decision to challenge two tigers to a cage fight. (You think?) Thankfully, the tigers seemed to have been spooked by the man and left him unharmed.

Via Oddity Central:

College students are known to do the stupidest things at times, but this one just takes the cake. Yashonandan Kaushik, a 23-year-old student of Engineering from Madhya Pradesh, India, actually jumped into a tiger’s enclosure at Gwalior Zoo. The bizarre incident that took place around 5pm on Monday stunned spectators and zoo staff alike. Kaushik completely ignored their cries to come out. He took off his shirt, challenged the tigers to a fight and tried to chase one of the beasts into its cave. Surprisingly, he made it out of the enclosure unharmed.

 

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The U.S. Goverment Lobotomized Thousands Of World War II Soldiers With PTSD

margraten-cemeteryThe Wall Street Journal on a forced frontal lobotomy as a grim cure for the horrors of war:

The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Roman Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot, to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday. This time, the doctors got their way.

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.

The VA’s practice sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons.

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The Dangers of Openly Identifying with Mental Illness

Detail of Self portrait with Bandaged Ear painted by Vincent van Gogh 1889 Courtauld Institute Gallery interior Somerset HouseS.e. smith, writing at Bitch Media:

Fighting the stigma against mental illness is an ongoing battle, and often an uphill one, as illustrated by many of the posts in this series. Sometimes it seems like we make two strides backward for every stride we take forward in terms of reframing the way people think, talk about, and handle mental illness. A slew of stigma-fighting campaigns have erupted in the last few years: Stamp Out Stigma in the UK, a US version, Bring Change 2 Mind, Time to Change, and many others. Despite the efforts of such campaigns, stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness continue to be problems, illustrating that we have a long way to go.

These campaigns approach public outreach and education from a number of perspectives, but many of them focus heavily on the coming out model. The queer community deserves all due credit for popularizing this approach to fighting social attitudes; by reminding people that we’re here, we’re queer, and they may as well get used to it, we weaponize the stigma against our identities and force people to confront their internalized attitudes about queerness.

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Man Who Set Self on Fire in DC Was Mentally Ill, Not Political Protester

MALL2

PIcture: Raw Story (C)

The family of John Constantino, the man who set himself on fire at the National Mall, says that he was mentally ill, not a government protester. Meanwhile, rumors persist that there was another man on the scene with a tripod and camera who fled during the event. Some say that the man may have known about the event in advance.

Via Raw Story:

Police have identified a man who apparently set himself on fire last week in the National Mall, and his family members said his fatal actions were not politically motivated.

Washington, D.C., authorities identified the man as 64-year-old John Constantino, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Constantino died Friday night, hours after witnesses said he doused himself with gasoline, saluted the Capitol and used a lighter to set himself on fire.

An attorney for his family released a statement Monday night that described Constantino as a “loving father and husband” who had not acted out of political motives but after “a long battle with mental illness.”

Read more.

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Driver Killed After Ramming White House Gates Believed Obama Was Electronically Monitoring Her

miriam careyThe tragic death of a young woman struggling with mental health issues apparently was inspired by a chilling, very contemporary schizophrenic delusion: that she was trapped in a reality television show under the surveillance of Barack Obama. ABC News writes:

The woman who led police on a high-speed chase near the U.S. Capitol before being shot dead had a history of mental illness and believed President Obama was electronically monitoring her Connecticut home in order to broadcast her life on television, sources said.

Miriam Carey, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn., was killed by police [a week ago] after trying to ram a White House gate and leading cops on a chase down Pennsylvania Avenue with her 1-year-old daughter in the car.

According to sources Carey believed she was capable of communicating with Obama. According to sources, Carey had a family history of schizophrenia and was taking medication for a mental illness.

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Norwegian Scientists Say Psychedelic Drugs Linked To Mental Health Benefits

psychedelic drugsHave you had your dose for maintenance today? Via Healthline:

Debunking decades of myths, new research says psychedelics are not linked to mental illness and may in fact have positive residual effects on users.

According to a new study published PLOS One, there is no link between the use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and peyote and a range of mental health problems. In fact, psychedelic use is associated with a lower risk of mental health problems like psychosis, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and general psychological distress.

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Neuroscience examined data on more than 130,000 Americans in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

They found that people who used psilocybin or mescaline throughout their lives, as well as people who used LSD in the past year, had lower rates of serious psychological distress, outpatient mental health treatment, and prescriptions for psychiatric medications.

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Living in America Will Drive You Insane

tilt-shift-van-gogh-prisoners-exercising-detailI know you’re never going to believe this, but apparently life in 21st century America will make you a little nutty. Okay, that’s no surprise, but I’m confused by the difference between a “real” mental illness caused by social pressures and a “fake” mental illness that people use to rebel against the society that is driving them crazy.

Via Salon:

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

A June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have “checked out” of them. Life may or may not suck any more than it did a generation ago, but our belief in “progress” has increased expectations that life should be more satisfying, resulting in mass disappointment.

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Back Alley Jinn Exorcism in the UK

jinnLast year, the BBC reported on a case where four family members were found guilty of murder.  The victim, Naila Mumtaz, an expectant mother, was found smothered in the home she shared with her husband, Mohammed, in Birmingham, England.  Mohammed and his parents, Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslan, along with his brother-in-law, Hammad Hassan, denied the allegations and defended themselves by claiming that Naila’s injuries were self-inflicted, and that she was possessed by a jinn (djinn), an Islamic evil spirit, similar to the Christian concept of a demon.

Although it received some media attention, this was not an isolated case.  Catrin Nye (BBC) reported a rise of criminal abuse in the UK related to the exorcism of jinn (a practice called “Ruqyah”) in recent years.  Some of these cases have resulted in the victims’ death, with the so-called “healer” (“raaqi”) often escaping punishment, being hidden by members of their communities.  Even in the majority of cases, where death does not occur, we find victims of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues being denied the proper medical treatment in favor of exorcism.… Read the rest

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