We lost our friend, Translator aka Dr. David Smith, five years ago last January. He suffered from depression and his untimely death left those of us in the blog communities who knew him wondering if we could have done more to help him through his struggles. The holidays are rough on people who suffer from …
Tag: Mental Health
Oct 08 2014
Among the of current links of interest are Suggested Links between discrimination and suicide attempts by transgender people, which delves into a Williams Institute study from much earlier in the year and the Movement Advancement Project’s A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers, which was published about a year ago.
These were woven together in the story of the recent suicide of Kate Von Roeder
One of the most commonly voiced perceptions about transgender people is that because we are transgender we are of necessity also mentally deficient.
This is not a new belief.
When an individual fails to mature according to his (or her) proper biological and sexological status, such an individual is psychologically (mentall deficient). The psychological condition is in reality the disease.
When an individual who is unfavorably affected psychologically determines to live and appear as a member of the sex to which he or she does not belong, such an individual is what may be called a psychopathic transexual.
–David O. Caldwell, Psychopathis Transexualis, Sexology: Sex Science Magazine vol. 16 (1949)
Oct 25 2013
A recent rash of 911 calls for assistance for people with medical and mental health emergencies that resulted in the patient being shot and killed by the responding police has sparked lawsuits for ending the drone wars and concerns for how police are trained to deal with the emotional disturbed.
Police Brutality, Mental Illness and ‘The Memphis Model’
by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan, Democracy Now!
Elsa Cruz filed a federal lawsuit in New York this week, months after police shot her husband dead. Last May, Cruz called 911 asking for help with her husband, Samuel. She feared he hadn’t taken his medication while she was on vacation in her native country, the Philippines. Eight months, almost to the day, before Cruz was killed, not far away in Harlem, Hawa Bah called 911 to ask for medical help for her son, Mohamed. Rather than getting medical help, Mohamed Bah was confronted by the New York City Police Department. Within hours, he, too, was shot dead by police, hit eight times, once in the head. Mohamed’s sister, Oumou Bah, is suing the City of New York and unnamed police officers. While neither lawsuit will bring back the dead, they may prevent future deaths by forcing the New Rochelle Police Department and the NYPD to adopt an increasingly mainstream police practice for dealing with emotionally distressed people, called “The Memphis Model.”
In an exclusive interview Tuesday on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, I had the chance to interview Hawa Bah and Elsa Cruz. They were meeting each other in our studios for the first time.[..]
This is where “The Memphis Model” comes in. Maj. Sam Cochran is a retired officer with the Memphis, Tenn., police. In 1987, police responded to a man who was harming himself, and threatening others, with a knife. The police killed the man. Community outcry prompted the mayor to call for a solution. They developed the Crisis Intervention Team. Sam Cochran explained to me, “It’s a community program [with] three main partnerships: law enforcement, local mental-health services providers and also advocacy.” CITs put a trained officer or mental-health professional on the scene, to de-escalate a situation. Since its inception in Memphis, it has been adopted in more than 2,500 communities in 40 states, as well as internationally.
Oct 27 2012
Maxwell Zachs is 25-years old and was born female. He is a citizen of London, England, has degrees in English literature, indigenous studies and constitutional law, and is a rabbinical student at a yeshiva in Sweden. Three years ago he began his transitioned to male. He began testosterone treatments in 2009 and had a double mastectomy and chest contouring in Thailand in 2010. He recently was one of the cast of England’s My Transsexual Summer
Maxwell recently filed a petition at Change.org calling for the World Health Organization to eliminate transsexualism from its list of mental disorders in the International Classification of Diseases. He says that the designation only contributes to discrimination.
I know there is concern about Change.org. I’m not the person who set up the petition, which last I checked had 46,814 supporters.
If you would like to get to know Max Zachs better, he has a blog.
There is nothing wrong with me. I am perfectly healthy, I just happen to be transgender.
Aug 02 2011
Cross-posted to CandyBullets.
– In any manga, anime, or pictures (most likely including games).
– That feature sexual acts or sexual like acts that would be illegal in real life OR any sexual acts or sexual like acts or implication of a sexual relationship between close relatives OR those who can not marry if they were real AND
– Where the depiction / representation of the relationship is presented in an unjustifiably glorified or overly emphasized manner.
=> Is considered harmful to a minor’s mental health regarding sexuality, and therefore the Tokyo Metropolitan Government shall have the power to unilaterally restrict the material. where the sexual or sexual like act is considered to be excessively disrupting of social order.
That is the criteria for censorship for the scary new Tokyo Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. This is a list of what marriages are currently illegal in Japan today;
1) Marrying to one’s self or anyone of the same sex.
2) Marrying an immediate blood relative. (Children and parent, grandchild and grandmother, etc.)
3) Marriage between a relative by affinity within the third degree. (Siblings, uncle and nephew, etc.)
4) Marriage between two relatives formed by marriage in a parental relationship. (A husband and his wife’s mother or his mother-in-law.) This holds true even after divorce or if the spouse has died.
5) Marriage between an adopted child or adopted child’s spouse with his or her adopting parents, their immediate siblings, their blood relatives, etc. (An adopted son’s divorced wife and the father of one of the adopting parents, etc.) This holds true even after divorce or if the adoption is nullified.
As you can see problems begin to arise quickly. To start with the most glaring problem, the bill gives power to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to censor material that “glorifies” same-sex relationships, this should be an immediate warning bell. The bills stated purpose (“… promoting the healthy development of people under the age of 18 by restricting their access to material that is carefully considered harmful by the Government.) was a warning bell (i.e. terrifying) from the start. The bill slipped in under the radar however do in large part to its author and champion, the Tokyo Metropolitan Governor, an ex-tv personality famous for his snake oil charm, Shintaro Ishihara assured worries with claims he intended to merely go after so-called rorikon (lolicon) and shotacon titles, given that the bill didn’t even aim to censor them entirely per se but merely keep them from minors the bill appeared benign. It wasn’t. The first problems that began to appear were with the claims of “Restriction of Access”, this was a convenient story cooked up by Ishihara’s teem that did a lot to stave off criticism, the idea was that titles “censored” by the government would reappear under an “Adults Only” label, but this was immediately proven to be a sort of impossible catch-22; in the very first batch of manga the government announced it was censoring, Masahiro Itosugi, the mangaka of Aki-Sora (one of the titles being censored), announced the manga was going out of print because it didn’t qualify for the adult label… and it wasn’t allowed to be published without the adult label. Check mate. Furthermore, in Japan, if a manga series is relegated to the adult section, it will destroy the sales. This means publishers will no longer try to confront controversial or hot button issues, because even if they are one of the lucky ones and they aren’t removed from the market entirely they’ll end up deep in the red by being regulated to to the adult section under the absurdly vague parameters of this law.
Jul 24 2011
It happened last night. As I reflect, I realize it has happened all along. Each day, in most every moment I have an opportunity to look at life and learn. Yet I become consumed with more immediate concerns. He said. She said. The system, situation, or some other entity supplants a deeper assessment. Years ago, I came to understand that I create my own chaos, calm, or shades of what will be. As an Educator, I speak of this often. My students often quote me on the subject of choices. Yet, until yesterday, I never fully grasped how true my words might be. I am unsure why the events of the evening took me where they did. I share the story.
Jan 16 2011
Once again, Americans are up in arms or perchance, better armed and dangerous. Only little more than a week into 2011, citizens have had to confront their fears, feelings, all at gunpoint. It began on a calm, clear Saturday. In a Safeway Store Tucson parking lot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords held one of her customary Congress on the Corner events. It was January 8, 2011. Friends and admirers from each political Party turned out. Suddenly, cordial chatter turned icy cold. gunshots shattered the calm. People were slaughtered. Some survived. However, as a nation, we were all wounded.
Retorts followed. Seemingly, a culture was changed, or was it? Just as has occurred, many times in the recent past, people quickly took sides. Blame was ballied about. Solutions were also presented. Some argued for stricter gun control laws. Others used the occasion to validate a need for less restrictive restraints on gun ownership. Persons who held a position similar to the most prominent victim proposed a need to protect themselves.
Jan 13 2010
This past week a conference opened, from the 10th to the 14th of January 2010, to discuss the growing suicide rate among our military and veterans community.
This is an extremely important issue, the Mental Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress as to War, that should be right up there along side never starting one except as a Very Last Resort when all else fails and to always plan an exit strategy as we should have done in Afghanistan after 9/11. Bringing in any and all support functions, promised rebuilding monies, NGO’s, government agencies gear to help rebuild including those in the military, in Afghanistan’s case after toppling the government that supported the criminal terrorist who carried out the devastating attacks on our country. Iraq should never had been allowed to happen!
Sep 18 2009
Cross posted at DailyKos, ePluribus Media and Tikkun Daily.
Abstract: Current research in the cognitive sciences and neurology abounds in astounding theories on the locus of long-term memory; the ability of the brain to repurpose sections to recreate neural pathways totally destroyed by strokes, head injuries, or severe mental disabilities; and the intricate interplay of powerful emotions and complex neural coding in ‘reliving’ past traumas.
Drawing upon findings on the use of mirror boxes to threat phantom limb pain, on the role of our senses in unconsciously triggering highly emotive memories capable of transporting our consciousness beyond time/place constrictions, and the always miraculous studies of neurologist Oliver Sachs, herein is a different take on treatment for conditions such as chronic pain, strokes, and mental and affective disabilities.(Note: if possible, go to diary end to play music as you read)
There is this one story in Oliver Sach’s Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain which remains readily retrievable in my memory. A story so utterly mind-boggling, so counter-intuitive, so, as it were, against the grain, that it has hunkered down in my hippocampus, leaving an indelible imprint in the very cellular structure of my brain.
The Chapter “Pitch Imperfect: Cochlear Amusia” begins with a quote from Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida: “Untune that string/And hark, what discord follows!”
Here’s a paraphrase.
An aging renowned composer and conductor visits Sachs to discuss the ever-increasing difficulties in his music pursuant to his increasing hearing loss, accompanied by the loss of absolute pitch. Sachs, along with auditory specialists, concur that the problem is irreversible, due to the natural die off of some of the 4500-odd hair cells within the ear’s Organ of Corti. The musician learns to compensate, composing and directing in lower registers (even when these variations grow from 1/4 to over 1 full octave in discrepancies) and soon discovers he can make contextual ‘auditory’ corrections when working in full orchestra as opposed to with solo cellos, violas, or trombones. He begins to entertain the notion that his problem may be more in his brain. Some time goes by before Sachs receives a letter from the composer, informing him that he has regained his sense of absolute pitch, that once again he can accurately compose, hear and direct music. The change occurred after he received a commission which involved his total immersion in the composition of complex orchestral pieces. Sachs concludes that, despite the non-functionality of significant parts of the musician’s auditory processing facilities, becoming totally immersed in music for an extended time, reactivated his cellular musical memory, which resides inside the brain.
For some people, music can actually change the structure of the brain. Researchers have found that an area of the brain called the corpus callosum is enlarged in professional musicians.
Another part of the brain is enlarged in musicians with absolute pitch. A person with absolute pitch can identify or recreate a musical note without the help of a musical instrument.Link
May 13 2009
The day after the shooting at a combat stress clinic in Iraq, new data released to Salon shows soldiers committing suicide at a record-setting pace. Is combat stress the reason?
The Army is on a pace this year to shatter the record suicide rate set among soldiers in 2008, according to data released by the Army to Salon. And the numbers, obtained a day after a patient at a combat stress clinic in Iraq killed five, suggest that combat stress may be contributing to the spike in suicides.
Oct 24 2008
With other recent news on Veterans and still active Military Personal following this Shout Out for not only Veterans participation but for those not Sacrificing, civilian population, to get more involved with the issues, it’s past your time, that face those who Serve You when serving in our Military and especially after Their Service is over!
Sep 06 2008
Since no one over at the main Kos site seems to care about anything other than Palin, here’s a cross post…
For those interested in the Native Americans of Southern LA, I’ll post on that tomorrow…however, this is another issue that burns me up, so here’s the rant on this…
It’s a complex issue, but I’ll try to make it short and bittersweet. Mental health issues are not treated like physical health issues by insurance companies. Despite the fact that neuroscience has now clearly linked many mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD, etc. to genetic issues or chemical imbalances, these are still considered conditions that do not merit the same level of coverage as physical health issues like cancer. Why? Because it would cost more money…the helath insurers generally treat these as they did in the 1970’s, offering limited..if any…coverage.
You can go to the National Institute of Mental Health website for the stats..I won’t bore anyone with them here. However, they indicate that 13 million Americans have some form of debilitating mental health issue and nearly 60 million have a mental health issue of any form. As with other forms of health care, minorities and the poor suffer more fro m these issues–often due to a lack of care–than other population groups.
Further, this should not be a Red or Blue issue, as anyone, from any background can develop a disorder. For example, I have a good friend who developed schizophrenia while in college. He was from a well-off family, had attended a very good private college prep school and was enrolled in one of the top universities. He started developing symptoms in his sophomore year. He dropped out, and fell into a spiral that eventually found him homeless or in jail. He was eventually able to get help, and now lives a precarious, though stable, life on disability. He is one of the lucky ones, as he had family and friends who gave a shit. Others aren’t so lucky in their support.