Tag Archive | psychology

Erin Listens: The Gateway

Just finished listening to The Gateway: a 6-part podcast series about “Teal Swan, a new brand of spiritual guru, who draws in followers with her hypnotic self-help YouTube videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.”

(So if you don’t want to read a long post about those things, you should bail out here.)

I’d never heard of Teal before this, and I still don’t know anything about her beyond what’s in this report. But I do know a few things about psychiatry that aren’t in the series.

And based on that…I have complaints.

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Fun stuff: Trump leaks, drunk Stonewall, and more

I’ve been sick since Friday, which means my days have been passing in a blur of naps, coughing, periodically getting up to make another bowl of chicken soup, and watching the clock to see if it’s time for another dose of Nyquil yet.

I tried to go in to work on Monday, and boy, was that a mistake. Staggered home after an hour. Current plan is to give it another shot on Thursday, so we’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, here’s some fun Internet things.

Owen Ellickson’s TRUMP LEAKS — pinned on his Twitter — are a delight.

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Kickstarter for a GOP-inspired dating sim. With Megyn Kelly as your roommate/wingman. I really hope they get enough to make the stretch goal where they’ll add Fiorina to the cast of romanceable candidates.

Marsha P. Johnson sparks the Stonewall Riots, as told by Drunk History. Apparently they even took the time to find trans actors to play the trans historical figures! Good times.

“We asked the BuzzFeed Community to highlight moments in television shows that have helped them when they were experiencing depression.” At first I thought this was going to be a figurative “happy scenes that people really enjoyed” list, but no, it’s genuine “I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out” scenes.

“The [Trans-Neptunian Object] orbits in a plane that’s tilted 110 degrees to the plane of the solar system. What’s more, it swings around the sun backwards unlike most of the other objects in the solar system. With this in mind, the team that discovered the TNO nicknamed it ‘Niku’ after the Chinese adjective for rebellious.”

Mini wind turbines shaped like artsy sculptures. Imagine if we could get a few in every park.

Some thoughtful personal identity reads.

Because after that debate I think we’re all thirsty for some substance.

“If you can distinctly recall the excitement of walking into your weekly computer lab session and seeing a room full of Apple 2Es displaying the start screen of Oregon Trail, you’re a member of this nameless generation, my friend.” (Calling myself a millennial is usually not a bad fit, but yeah, this is my subcategory.)

“Five months in, I can’t remember the last time a stranger read me as a woman, and my mask of manliness is melding into my being, becoming part of me. It’s becoming comfortable. I don’t have the same sudden clarity that came with top surgery, but every new difference – smaller hips, bigger shoulders, a thicker neck – removes another layer of noise. Changing my physical self and my social self didn’t have to change my identity, but I think it might have. I still call myself genderless, but I also lump myself in with trans guys without thinking. ”

“At first, I didn’t believe I had anything wrong with me. But after meeting my current therapist, Dr. Samoon Ahmad, I began to understand and accept my diagnosis — I was bipolar, and my nude jaunt was part of a manic episode. It wasn’t until I got out of Bellevue three weeks later that I saw the front page of The Post with the headline ‘Ball Drop in Times Square.'”

“I am dark enough to not live within the tent of whiteness, but I am light enough that many people experience significant confusion when trying to class what level of ‘not-white, maybe heading toward-Black, deficient’ I am. Depending on the year and location, I am a ‘dirty Arab/Muslim,’ a fellow Latina, a Mulatto, a Mizrahi Jew, a half-white person who suspiciously may not be down with Black folks.”

“I didn’t want some American sales clerk knowing I couldn’t understand simple, elementary-school English. We’d look for that Ziploc bag in another store. I wasn’t about to let anyone think we were Middle Eastern immigrants coming here to steal jobs from honest Americans. I would not be responsible for a surge in Islamophobia over a Ziploc bag.

Good things: housing for veterans, scholarship money for good grades, PTSD therapy for parrots, and more

Connecticut [is] the second state in the nation to say it’s ended veteran homelessness, after Virginia made its own announcement in November of last year. Nineteen cities have also done the same.”

She instantly picked up a $100 scholarship credit just for having taken her high school pre-algebra class, she said, and an additional $1,500 for getting A’s in more than a dozen courses. She added an additional $250 for having visited a local Penn State campus.”

“The $2.1 million cost of the program was to be offset by $1.1 million in savings from the estimated 1,475 people not qualified for benefits after testing positive for drugs.” How many people did Kansas actually disqualify? 20.

Let’s hear it for unarmed civilians: “According to the FBI’s report on active shooter events between 2000 and 2013, only about 3 percent were stopped by a civilian with a gun. Unarmed civilians actually stopped more incidents — about 13 percent.” Whoa.

“Handling those phone calls made it very real very quick. As the jobs went on, we realized we were potentially saving lives.” A moving company who gets people away from their abusive partners.

“In other words, today’s teens aren’t just more responsible about sex than their parents were when they were their age; in many cases, they’re more responsible about sex than their parents are now.”

‘‘The guys are sitting around, all stoic, arms crossed, not saying anything,’’ she recalled. ‘‘They’d been like that for a number of weeks. So for a change, I took them up to Ojai to help build some new aviaries there. All of the sudden these same tight-lipped guys are cuddling up to the parrots and talking away with them.’’

(Mad) science: preserved mammoths, super-vision, life on Mars, and brainlets-in-jars

“An expedition led by Russian scientists earlier this month uncovered the well-preserved carcass of a female mammoth on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. […] But what was more surprising was that the carcass was so well preserved that it still had blood and muscle tissue.”

Found: a woman who has the inverse of color-blindness, a functioning extra cone that allows her to distinguish more colors than the average human. By a factor of 100.

Organoid310“Using molecular markers tuned to specific parts of the brain, Lancaster showed that the organoids develop a variety of distinctive zones that correspond to human brain regions like the prefrontal cortex, occipital lobe, hippocampus, and retina. They also included working neurons, which were produced in the right way.” These are lab-grown, human-stem-cell-derived mini-brainlets-in-a-jar.

“The difference between us and the people we were trying to serve: they probably had less food than we did. We were starving under the best possible medical conditions. And most of all, we knew the exact day on which our torture was going to end.”

“We don’t even have to speculate to see the impacts. The report notes that dozens of weather events in recent years have shown how vulnerable the energy sector is to even a moderately hotter climate (the United States has warmed about 1.5°F over the past century).”

Interactive tracker for the Mars Curiosity mission one year in, including a timeline and a ton of photos.

Speaking of the red planet, oxidized molybdenum levels suggest that the microbes whose heirs are all the life on Earth might have originated on Mars.

Psychology: schizophrenia, bipolar, trauma, care

“After interviewing many people with this illness the scientists compiled a short clip of what a schizophrenic might hear during an episode, or just day to day. I listened to this from my laptop speakers, not the recommended head phone approach (Which I’m glad that I did!)”

“Results of a preliminary trial, announced today at the Wellcome Trust in London, demonstrated how people with schizophrenia could overcome their auditory hallucinations by conversing with an avatar representation of the voice in their head.

A woman with bipolar disorder tells the story of her life, achievements, and struggles: well-written and moving, and makes you wish everyone could have the kind of financial security she did while trying to recover.

“Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85%.” This miraculous new approach boils down to “pull aside the kids who blow up, and ask them how they’re feeling and if there’s anything stressing them out.”

“In the wake of last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, many conservative lawmakers and state leaders called for strengthening America’s broken mental health care system. But now, the GOP’s stubborn opposition to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is preventing 1.2 million poor and mentally ill Americans from getting basic mental services, according to an analysis by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).”

“Well, you should learn to control your temper”

Earlier today I came across a post about critical examination of media. It’s engaging and well-written and makes a lot of very good points, and I agree 100% with its conclusion.

But I take issue with one of her examples, and it’s one that people bring up a lot, so allow me to tear it apart unpack it.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is not an abuse-apologist narrative.

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