will brady's ruminations
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
international human rights day
In honor and recognition of International Human Rights Day's emphasis on the rights of people with psychiatric disabilties, I am posting my own answers to a meme started on Joel Sax's website
. Although perhaps against the unwritten rules of meme-dom I have modified the meme slightly.
Briefly, my own street creds in this department: I was institutionalized at age 9 in a "home for emotionally disturbed children
." Later, I sent some time going to an inpatient adolescent facility. Both times my father removed me from the places. The second, I suspect, because he though I was having sex with the other kids in the program. Not that I would have minded, but I wasn't. I have written about both of these experiences, but thus far, have not wanted to share these experiences online. I still don't. Don't ask.
When I was in my last year at college I began seeking a therapist of my choosing. My wife [we're now divorced by many years] disagreed with my choice, though agreed that I should be seeing a psychiatrist. That part of my life began a messy couple of years. I was probably a real pain for others to deal with. I was put on meds during that period. I supplemented the meds by self-medicating with alcohol, copious amounts of marijuana and hallucinogens. Eventually, I fled from where folks knew me and hid, sort of, in the inner recesses of the Adirondak Mountain region. I do not wish to share specifics about it online. Again, don't ask.
After this I did my best to stay as far away from the mental health system [if one could call the disparate, not clearly connected treatment services a "system"
] as possible. I came back to deal with the service system in the middle 1980s, after getting pissed off at what I saw being done to one friend. From there it grew. I now work advocating for the rights of individuals caught up in that panalopy of agencies known as "the system."
For people with mental illnesses
* What is your diagnosis?: I have never been curious about seeking my records. I suspect that, nowadays, it would have included post traumatic stress disorder. I'm certain there would have been some diagnosis that spoke of characterological disorders.
* When were you diagnosed?: Was first placed in an institutional setting at age 9. I was there about two years. We were never spoken to by staff about the reasons for our being there, though we spoke about it between one another and remember being provided medications, something nobody discussed with us, we were just required to take drugs, given out usually befoe or afer meals.
* How long do you believe you have suffered from mental illness? Not sure I have an answere for this. Others clearly thought so back to my childhood.
* What medications are you taking for your disorder? Currently I take no prescribed meds, though I to consumer a complex regimen of vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies.
* Tell us about an episode. I really recommend reading and exposing yourself to MANY first person accounts, since each of our "episodes" differ so much from one another's.
* Do you feel ashamed about suffering from a brain disorder? I am not ashamed to be who I am.
* What advice do you have for other sufferers? Learn how to speak up for your rights. If clinicians won't listen to you, find someone to speak on your behalf who they can't ignore.
* What advice do you have for those who don’t suffer from your condition?
* Is there anything you want to say to Tom Cruise? What's up with the Scientology thing? If you are so opposed to psychiatrists because they might practice mind control, how on earth do you explain being into Scientology? I caught on to their scam after only one meeting.
For the undiagnosed [Yeah, I'm answering both categories. Doesn't that frost ya? Butthe questions are relevant and warrant response]
* Do you believe in mental illness? I believe that people experience a range of conditions that get dubbed as "mental illnesses". Some experiences are trauma based and due to having lived through / been subjected to severe kinds of mistreatment and abuse. Others are likely the result of uncommon [even rare] electro/chemical responses that make the person experiencing them horrific, paranoid, withdrawn, shut down. I agree with William James' premise that some people have thrust upon them some overwhelming psychic/spiritual experience without ever having had the time or the conditioning to work thourgh it and remain stable.
* Are there any mentally ill persons in your family? yes
* What is their disorder? various
* Are they compliant with taking their medication or resisting? I hate this question! So many people are so focused on meds "compliance" yet totally lack the understanding [or the interest to find out] about the adverse aspects of each and ever psychiatric medication provided. Furthermore, the question rests on the very stupid assumption that repairing psychic damage can be corrected witha couple of fucking pills [and no, I'm not referring to Viagra here]. Talk therapy, meditation, exercise, proper nutrition, endocrinology, creative expression, ~ having loving, tolerant, caring friends and family who standy by you [for gosh sakes!] even channelling one's rage in a positive direction, are all among other "treatment modalities" that most treaters dob't even seem to recognize can help.
* Are you afraid of the mentally ill? I'm more fearful of society's attitudies toward those who suffer psychic pain than I am of anyone with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Waht to take part in this meme? Here's the questions
Hot on the tail of Ford pulling its print advertising in gay + lesbian publications Ford announced it's new line of muscle trucks The Klansman
Of course, the engineers at FoMoCo will then have to redesign all their perverted interiors clearly designed with promoting the homosexual agenda
THANKS TO: Pam Spaulding for alerting me to this and to Jesus General for doing the excellent investigative reporting behind it all |
It's always Christmas for VISA
comes out this year with an animated zinger about Credit Cards
and who benefits from their use. I'll give you one hint. It isn't
your or me.
What can you do about this? Well, I suppose after watching Congress quibbling over how much more they'll give in tax-reduction give-aways
for the super rich, it may seem like not very much. According to the Washington Post "...The disconnect between gross economic measures and public sentiments is occurring partly because many economic benefits are not making their way to ordinary workers. Poverty is up in the nation, inflation outstripped wage growth during a recent 12-month period and median household income has declined for five straight years....
Even if we can't get Congress to listen now, and make creditcard and bankruptcy laws more fair to the middle, working and fiscally impoverished classes we can, indeed, continue to press that greedy bastids for some fiscal equity, if not now, then some day. Until then, check out CU's new commercial...
...and then just st back and wait for the economic treason trials
. When we finally have them, they ought to be as much fun as a medieval public hanging
blips + updates
found at recent visist to favorite sites
writes about blurring the line between education and therapy
. When do kids get to learn about informed consent?
on a man, falsely accused of rape is released after 24 years in prison
That Colored Fella
recaps the news behingd the ethical wasteland that is the Bush government's elite corps
wonders why some Christian mega-churcheswith be closed for Christmas Day
and provides a link to an article identifying how American Christians totally lack an understanding
on the teachings of Christ.
provides a link to a story of two readnecks who assaulted a college professor
for criticizing "Intelligent Design". That's smart.
Over at Pax Nortana [I've been spending a lot of time there lately] is an arguement about the use of the word "Crazy"
. Appearntly, a woman used the word while refering to someone else. She got called on it. She defended herself back by saying that this was merely an "epithet" and, as usch, was no different than if she had used "wingnut" or "wacky neighbor". She went farther, indicating that she "...meant to characterize [the other person] as eccentric, erratic, and/or irrational...
and defended criticisim of her use of the word "crazy" as "...perverse (one might even say “crazy”) to pathologize such common human traits
My own thoughts on the matter:
An epithet? Do you mean “…a defamatory or abusive word or phrase…”? I don’t know the context of the arguement, but when abusive comes up in the meaning, even second hand, it seems as though the point was not to provide clarity to an issue, but to defame, to debase, marginalize the other party. Perhaps the use of “crazy”, then, served it’s intended purpose.
One does not have to be a clinician to use the word “crazy” in a manner that is intended to negatively characterize another. I work in a maximum security psychiatric facility and, unfortunately, I hear clinicians frequently use the word and, yes, they intend the listener interpret it as a diagnostic ..albeit a horribly inarticulate one.
On the other hand, my own belief is that the term “crazy” can and ought to be used by those labeled, rather the same way the N-word and “Queer” get utilized by members of the target groups; in a reverse, in-your-face out-and-proud kind of way.
So, to get personal, based upon my life history and present circumstances I could call myself a “crazy queer” but someone else who had never been identified in either of those groups, could not.
Words, and their use are powerful and sometime hurtful tools that mental health system clinical personnel use in a disparaging way. Likewise, and it’s only rarely challenged, the general populace uses words against citizens with psychiartic disabilities without thought or concern as to how deep and hurtful the use of a particular epithet can be. At times, words, such as "crazy" are intended to pathologize.
I know of many times where people have used words such as “Crazy” or “Queer” when refering to others and knew that their purpose was to demean and render invalid comments and values of those who were so addressed or referred to.
Never underestimate the power of words. The spoken language, like the pen, can be more powerful and damaging than any blunt instrument.
In the comments section Joel relates an experience he had when a woman diagnosed with schizophrenia questioned his
use of "crazy". He thought about it agreed it was inappropriate and was more thoughtful of how he used the word in the future.
Mind you, I'm not trying to impose PC speech restrictions. As noted, there can and are times when using words like "crazy
" or even the N-word
are apt. Just cautioning the importance of people actually thinking about what they say before they speak it.
I'll now get off the soapbox.
Joel Sax reminds us that Saturday, December 10th is International Human Rights Day
. This year, in recognition, the World Health Organization [WHO] has put the focus on recognizing the Rights of peoples with mental health disorders and how their basic human rights are often violated. A photo essay entitled Forgotten people: Mental Health and Human Rights
, profiles some of these violations and shows how they can be prevented. |
Joel has also posed a new meme: Mental Health Awareness
It’s specifically for those who suffer from mental illness. There’s a shorter meme for those who don’t following it. The main purpose of the meme is simple: tell us how it is.For people with mental illnesses
* What is your diagnosis?
* When were you diagnosed?
* How long do you believe you have suffered from mental illness?
* What medications are you taking for your disorder?
* Tell us about an episode.
* Do you feel ashamed about suffering from a brain disorder?
* What advice do you have for other sufferers?
* What advice do you have for those who don’t suffer from your condition?
* Is there anything you want to say to Tom Cruise?
Thank you for your courage.For the unafflicted
* Do you believe in mental illness?
* Are there any mentally ill persons in your family? What is their disorder? Are they compliant with taking their medication or resisting?
* Are you afraid of the mentally ill?
Please include all the questions when you answer this meme. Do a trackback to Joel's site
[from NY1] A Republican bill that would ban some forms of flag burning has one Democratic co-sponsor: Senator Hillary Clinton. Ms. Clinton is the sole co-sponsor of a bill that would make it a crime to intimidate anyone by burning a flag, burn someone else's flag, or destroy a flag on federal property.
Right in the middle of a multi-state fund raising campaign New York State's junior Senator tells folks she wants a law passed banning buring the flag. The bill does not address the issue of a Constitutional amendment banning flag burning. Congressional lawyers believe the bill will withstand judicial review.
I'm not a fan of Hillary's, but I had much greater expectations of her drive and initative at promoting legislation that might foward the cause of social justice. Silly me.
May I see your papers, please?
Nothing "Crypto" about this. Last four numbers of your "social", your mother's maiden name, Why are you wearing that strange hat?Arrested on a bus in Colorado | Miami Police Search
Really, Don't laugh. Your home town could be next. Get enraged. Do something about it.
Reporters Without Borders' Handbook for Bloggers & Cyber-Dissdents
. New to this realm? Then you need to read this.
Center for Public Integrity
. Who has bought your state legislator, and how much did they go for?
. Give youself several hours and you won't have scratched the surface of this site. Beautiful, appalling, obsessive!
A Collection of Word Oddities
. Vocabularly not large enough? Try this on for size.
. If the famous Danish Astronomer were alive today, this would probably be his personal webpage.
Gregg Avedon, Famous Model
. You've seen him on the cover of Men's Health and can still find some of his images among the at International Male, but never knew who he was. Now you do.
While wandering about the blogosphere I came across Transmat,
a site which charcterizes it's postings as "Resources in Transcendental Materialism
". As if that weren't enough of a concept to pique my interest, the entries include a half dozen online books, each apparently as thought-provoking as the next.
I realize this won't draw attention from the VH-1 crowd [a viewer of whose recently griped that Ted Koppel was too much an egghead for his tastes] but I'm not solititing the low-end reader anyway.
There was one book in particular that caught my attention. That is Justin Barton's Thought, Bodies and Intensive Cartography
. [Hmmm. I think I heard another dozen readers leave from the title alone
] The book's thesis is also about a very difficult book by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – namely, Capitalism and Schizophrenia: A Thousand Plateaus.
There are drawbacks to the book-length essay, including the length. But the biggest is the fact that it's written in abstruse, dense language that even I might shy away from. It's a philosophical treatise.
But, dense text aside [it's certainly no less readable than some clinical abstracts
], the author [or authors, it seems at times to be a dialogue
] work at taking on the real meaning of mental disorders as varies as autism, Tourette's Syndrome and schizophrenia.
There is a beauty to theory. It suggests that someone out there is considering a bit more than what the diagnostic shorthand of symptoms would suggest a thought phemonenon might actually be.
For this, if no other reason, I provide you the link.
ONE MORE THING: Transmat is also part of a fascinating family of websites known as the Cinestaic Research Group. Other sites based there are equally interesting. There's even one there for the visual crowd, Pete Wiseman's comic strips |
The Year in Space
. Those of you reading this may consider that my thoughts are sometimes out there, so here's something relatively inexpensive to keep me grounded. Or maybe ground someone else.
That's right, the annual desk calendar. Guaranteed to keep you up-to-date and apprised of your appointments with the rest of the world; assuming, of course, that you use it to write your appointments down. Click on the picture to order your own copy.
The grim photo collection of Collection of James Allen and John Littlefield, Without Santuary
is something I wrote about in May 2004
. The site is a history of lynchings in America; most of the victims [though not all] were African-American men, but women, children and the occasional Caucasian straggler got murdered in this fashion.
Some may think that bringing this subject up as we go into the winter holiday season is unseemly. Personally, given that the Christ was brutally curcified on a cross well before his teachings were universal, provides a sobering counterpoint to spiked punches and punchy relatives. And, actually, since in other parts of the world hanging is still an acceptable form of execution
[even the event is not American, but global history] the connect seemed timely. Mike Powers wrote a similar post
Bsides, Without Santuary
changed its URL location, so I'm keeping my readers current.
Knots and Knitting
. Mike Power
brought this to my attention: Animated Knots by Grog
because looking at knots already tied is not the same as seeing how they are done. While you won't find every single knot tying example as an animated work, most of the 69 knots on display, provide step-by-step stop action examples. This one goes on my list of links pages somewhere. Thanks Mike.
Then, while working on this, I noticed that a young woman named Marianne
stopped by via her webpage. She's a knitter. Right now she's travelling, but she brough her skeins of yarn for the ride. Of the two, Grog's site is more hand-on and useful. But I was also taken by the beautiful photos Marianne has posted on her blog as well.
Precision Lawn Chair Marching Dads
. Honestly, I don't expect to see these guys in the Philadelphia Mummers Parade
come January 1st. The weather is frankly just too cold.
Who are they? "A group of Dad’s marching down the street with black socks, American flag boxer shorts and white tank tops; barking out cadence like: "She don't know and I don't care, I'm wearing yesterday's underwear." Or “All our wives say we are lazy, our laying around just drives them crazy”. Many people jump out and hand off a cool malt beverage to our group. We perform twice as hard for those people. Why wouldn't we?
Says group founder Kent Welch, “This group needs to have national exposure
They do this as a fundraiser for local charities.