How to Help a Troubled Family Member

In this era during which there is a daily barrage of troubling news, and reasons to feel concerned and fearful, many are feeling the weight of mental fatigue. While not always the case, many have family and friends who are there for them. When your close family member seems to be going down a dark path, however, you can feel lost and distressed.… [Read more]

Mental Illness Can Be a Real Disability, So Shut Up

When a child is born with a disability, do we brush it off as an illusion? Do we insist that it’s just a weakness or deficiency in character? Of course not! So why does society’s thinking change when that disability, instead of twisting the body, is a mental illness? If you know someone who thinks mental illness isn’t a “real” disability, let’s talk.… [Read more]

Donald Trump Really Might Be a Sociopath

It’s been a trend since the beginning of the 2016 election — medical professionals expressing their concerns about the health, both physical and mental, of our now Commander-in-Chief. From a distance, he’s been diagnosed with everything from clinical narcissism to being a full-fledged sociopath. Is it possible Donald Trump is truly a sociopath?

What Is a Sociopath?[Read more]

Avoiding Abuse: What Genetics Have to do With Addictive Tendencies

For many years, doctors, psychologists and medical scientists were completely baffled by people who were addicted to drugs or alcohol. They could help to get them sober by putting them through a medical detoxification process, but the majority of people were unable to remain so. Science today benefits from the leaps and bounds made in past years in uncovering why addicts do what they do, but there is still a stigmatization about addiction that hinders the ability of addicts to seek the help they need.… [Read more]

One Step Forward For Mental Health, We Hope

Almost as soon as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed in to law a ban on gay to straight conversion therapy for children under the age of 18 in his state, the conservative lobbyists flew in to action. Spearheading the movement behind their unfounded complaints is a group known as Liberty Counsel. This organization has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Camden, N.J.… [Read more]

Things that don’t mix

Many things don’t mix well, such as:

  • Drinking and driving
  • Tea and Pepsi
  • Negligent actions and guns
  • My mother and a garden hose (don’t get in range, you’ll get wet, very wet)
  • Republicans and common sense
  • Mental health issues and guns

It’s the last item that I’m going to write about today.

Several weeks ago I wrote in a post or comment about a young man with whom my wife has conversations.… [Read more]

Understanding the Need to Take Time off to Reflect

Waterlily

It’s summer and half the year is already over. Days tend to pass very quickly when one is busy with work or  taking care of kids. Sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming as there are so many things to do on a daily basis. You can get mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the day.… [Read more]

Suicide as a Disease, according to New Scientist

The other day, I came across this article Suicidal behaviour is a disease, psychiatrists argue on the website of New Scientist. To my skeptical mind, this article is profoundly dishonest, yet another example of self-serving opinions placed by vested interests with the goal of turning the debate on mental disorder in directions that suit themselves. In 1000 words, I can’t deal with every point it raises but we can have a look at some of the major inconsistencies.… [Read more]

The Preventable Tragedy of Jessica Upshaw

When the news wires revealed that a Mississippi Republican state representative apparently shot herself to death Sunday, the hurried rush to look for possible scandal was tempered with the restraint passed on to current day scribes by journalists before us,

I am a political columnist. That means I’m one of the writers inhabiting the great Washington swamp chronicling the food chain in action. … [Read more]

Mental Illness and ‘Expendable’ People

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost a quarter of adult Americans suffer some type of diagnosable mental illness in a given year.

They also state that mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the US and Canada.

And that 45% of people with a mental disorder suffer from more than one mental illness at a time.… [Read more]

Legendary Sniper and Pal Take Marine with PTSD to Gun Range. What Could Go Wrong?

With all the talk about guns and mental health, and the post-traumatic stress syndrome of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, what better idea could one have than to grab your neighbor and take a homecoming Marine who has psychological problems out to a gun range and put a weapon in his hands.

What could possibly go wrong?… [Read more]

The Fake Tough Guys of the Gun Lobby

“Dirty” Harry Callahan had his .44 Magnum while James Bond preferred the sleeker Walther PPK. John Rambo and Tony Montana preferred larger automatics—the M60 E3 and M16 respectively. Omar Little and Ash Williams touted shotguns. And countless other action icons wield some type of Glock as their go-to firearm.

For decades now, possessing the bigger and badder gun has been a sign of toughness in American culture, most often associated with “manliness.” Real men not only own guns, they own the biggest, most effective ones; they master their uses; they fetishize them.… [Read more]

New Rules will Challenge Laws Surrounding Mental Healthcare

According to the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), those suffering the loss of a loved one could be classified as depressed rather than bereaved, which was the old approach to such a catastrophic event. Now, exhibiting such characteristics as loss of appetite, lack of sleep, or irritability for more than two months after the passing of a loved one, a psychiatrist could prescribe medications for something entirely different from what the patient needs.… [Read more]

Getting Bent

Yesterday, I noticed a theme on my Facebook news feed; many of my ‘net friends were making posts about Straight-Edge. It soon became apparent that October 17th was Straight-Edge Day. I don’t know where the idea for this punk rock Hallmark holiday came from, but as with the Straight-Edge movement itself, everybody seems to have an opinion about it, and many maladjusted people looking for an excuse to get into an argument have found just that.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, The Final Chapter

Another semester goes by and I ought to be feeling great. I’ve gotten straight A grades and a national honors award that could earn me admission and scholarship to any 4-year program I choose. Teachers and classmates are heaping on the praise, certain that I will make a great therapist. My bosses say I practically am one already, because the clients I’ve been assigned are really enjoying their time with me.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, Part Tres

Halfway done with a 2-year Mental Health certificate program, with another 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of grad school to look forward to after that (if I want to get a “real” career and not have to beg for a couch to crash on ever again), and I’m already burning out. The dull and dry reading and writing assignments, the suspect perspectives being voiced in class discussions, the skewed theories that raise more questions than they answer; this wasn’t what I had signed up for.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, Part Duex

In case you missed the first installment: At 24 years of age, after an impressively protracted derelict adolescence culminated in broke, broken, homeless desperation bad enough to make me feel sorry about how I was living, I figured it was time to “get it together.” So off I went to my community college to begin a career in “mental health” work, to get my head out of my punk ass and serve people with much bigger problems than mine.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, Part One

There was a time in my life, a painfully misguided detour into the depths of insanity, during which I lost my way. A term which I have used more than once in this column, “quarter-life crisis,” could be used to describe what I experienced, but with one catch: for most people, this is the time in their lives they spend staving off the impending doom of adulthood by avoiding responsibility and commitment at all costs.… [Read more]

The Face-Eating Guy, The Collegiate Cannibal, and Why They Can Make Liberals Look Foolish

I think by now we have all read and heard about the zombie attack, sorry I mean face-eating horror, in Miami. But what you might not be familiar with is a Jeffrey Dahmer-esque murder in Maryland, which I read about in The Huffington Post. Some psycho college student thought it was a good idea to kill his roommate and then dine on part of his brain and all of his heart.… [Read more]