Tagged: mental health

Can we play to address violence? Feeling vulnerable while free (at school) with LOVE

“Terroriste: This word resonated in my 5th grade ears during lunch. A girl who I had barely talked to began calling me this. It wasn’t just the 5 boys in my class would come up to me shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as if it were a joke.” — Notebook entry of youth participant in LOVE program LOVE Quebec is a non-profit organization that offers programming to youth, through a social development approach with artistic means such as writing, photography, and drawing....

Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy

Happy Friday everyone! Actually, when was the last time that you experienced pure happiness? Real unrestrained joy? Many of us, sadly, are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. During Mental Health Awareness Week recently, leading figures including Alastair Campbell bravely discussed their experiences of depression; raising awareness, with a view to generating a collective understanding of, and sympathy for, those experiencing mental health issues. So, the new book by Lynne Segal, Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy representing ‘a passionate call...

To What Is A Prisoner Entitled?

The New York Times recently published an article about one of Norway’s maximum security prisons, Halden Fengsel – i.e. the “world’s most humane” prison.  The article doesn’t seem real.  Flowers, barley, open fields, live cows.  Since 1998, Norway’s sentencing has focused on rehabilitation.  This particular prison model – one that is designed from its inception for rehabilitation – was the first of its kind in Norway.  Even I, with my bright-eyed naiveté and mid-20s progressive agenda can’t help – just...

In Defense of Trigger Warnings (… as a Practice, not a Policy)

Over the past few months, numerous publications have discussed – and mostly: dismissed – the trend to incorporate so-called trigger warnings into the college classroom and syllabus. Trigger warnings have become a standard practice for articles in feminist blogs and other online media that discuss incidences of violence, sexual assault and that may contain other potentially ‘triggering’ material, with the purpose of giving readers a way to opt-out of exposing themselves to said material. As some college professors have started...

If a depression begets depression, will the concept of mental illness be altered?

For the last several decades, depression rates have been on the rise at a rapid pace. At the same time, the economy was in a boom. Socioeconomic status is a variable that has been shown over and over again to affect the likelihood to experience depression; there is an inverse relationship between income/wealth and depression. If the economy was better a few years ago and depression rates were up, it is imperative that we think about what is happening and...

Questions about antidepressant efficacy: But is mild depression really depression at all?

A new and highly controversial article in the Journal of the American Medical Association addresses the possible ineffectiveness of antidepressant medications (Paxil and Imipramine) on people who suffer from mild forms of depression (a more complete summary from NPR below). The JAMA article, Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity, suggests that the population that has actually become the most common users of the antidepressant – those with mild or moderate symptoms of depression – are actually those who benefit the...

Creating or Identifying Mental Illness: what American psychiatric definitions of illness do

The New York Times Sunday Magazine featured an article (a preview of a book) by Ethan Watters about the globalization of American concepts of mental illness (linked below). In short, along with our flavored lattes, burgers and GAP jeans, American concepts of illness are spreading across the globe. I would argue they have spread and are relatively well-integrated into the majority of societies’ understandings of a wide range of symptoms. There are very few places untouched by American conceptualizations of...

When Heroes Become Villains

by paulabowles For criminologists and sociologists, prison has for many decades provided a fertile environment for research. In recent decades, the focus has been on overcrowding, together with attempts to identify the composition of the prison population. As at 25 September 2009, Her Majesty’s Prisons contain some 84,382 incarcerated men and women. On the same date the BBC reported that as many as 8,500 of these prisoners are former veterans of the British army, navy and air force. Moreover, this...

Comparing the role of government in self-control problems from behavioural and neoclassical economic perspectives

This post has moved to http://williampaulbell.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/comparing-the-role-of-government-in-self-control-problems-from-behavioural-and-neoclassical-economic-perspectives/ <About>  <Portfolio>  <Academia>  <LinkedIn>  <Twitter>  <Blog> Member of the World Economics Association – promoting ethics, openness, diversity of thought and democracy within the economics profession

Nature or Nurture as a complex interplay: the debate over the depression gene

By Dena T. Smith In the last several decades, the field of medicine has become increasingly dominated by biological thinking. Psychiatry, a sub-field aimed at treating mental illness is largely focused on the genetic causes of a wide range of conditions. This perspective stands in opposition to the notion that environmental factors cause symptoms – that changes in biology and/or neurochemistry are dictated by certain situations and conditions to which an organism is exposed. Depression is one illness category under...

‘The Barbaric Theology of “Evil” Children’

by paulabowles British news has reported that two young brothers (aged 10 and 11) have been arrested in South Yorkshire for their alleged torture and assault of two younger boys. This case has once again raised the many emotive issues surrounding children who behave violently. Johann Hari of The Independent takes the opportunity to revisit the case of Mary Bell – as well as a brief reminder of the murder of James Bulger – concluding that ‘[t]he child who kills...

“It's time to get liberal – or get mugged”

by paulabowles Johann Hari’s recent article in the Independent focuses on the ‘credit crunch’ and crime, in the UK. He states that ‘[i]t is an iron law of sociology that when the economy falls, crime spikes.’ However, Hari is keen to put forward three ideas for tackling crime. In brief these are: • Move all mentally ill prisoners to hospital where they can be treated appropriately • Stop trying to enforce a policy of abstinence for users of illegal drugs...