Category: Violence

Violence

Shootings. Stabbings. Rapes. Acts of terror. These can’t happen here. But they do. A wave of violence is sweeping our land, the world. In the U.S., violence is an epidemic. AMHF is doing something about it. In April 2016, the foundation will publish Violence: Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce the Risk […]

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Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

How many roads must a man (or woman) walk down before you call him (or her) a…human…with a heart? Jared Loughner. James Holmes. Adam Lanza. All suffer from serious mental illness. All represented tragic cries for help. All, among the 4 percent diagnosed with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, might have been helped. Maybe their […]

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Staff Victims of Psychiatric Patient Assaults: A Worldwide Perspective

(This is the second of two companion essays on assaultive psychiatric patients. The first focused on the characteristics of patient assailants. This second essay focuses on staff victims. The interested reader will want to read both essays to have a comprehensive understanding of this worldwide problem.) Psychiatric patient assaults on healthcare staff are a worldwide […]

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Psychiatric Patient Assaults on Healthcare Staff: A Worldwide Perspective

Dateline: Anywhere, Any Time The voice in Daniel’s head kept saying “The nurse is trying to kill you. The nurse is trying to kill you. The nurse is trying to kill you.” Daniel, a twenty-two-year-old patient with schizophrenic illness, became very frightened, then terrified, then explosively angry. “Time for medicines. Patients please come to the […]

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AMHF: Advancing Mental Health for 90 Years

The Fourth Annual Report of the American Mental Health Foundation

Following is the fourth Annual Report (November 1, 2013, to October 31, 2014) of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. In 2014, AMHF celebrates ninety years of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health.” Vision: Building a More Compassionate Society—Get Involved! This […]

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Caring Attachments: Their Role in Good Physical and Mental Health

All of the great religious and ethical codes in the history of civilization have had one common denominator: Love one another. This dictum of caring for others has been explained in extensive writings in the fields of theology, philosophy, and literature that cite the resultant benefits to the recipients, the sense of altruism in those […]

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Managing Stress in a Global World

Traffic jams, delayed flights, long lines at checkout, college tuitions, no work/mandatory overtime, credit-card debt, family responsibilities, few cost of living increases. The list goes on. Ours is an age of global markets, intense competition, and time scarcity. As a result many of us feel overwhelmed, irritable, and worn-out. It need not be this way. […]

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More Abuse in Group Homes

For several years the New York Times has devoted investigative reporting to the issue of abuse in group homes for the developmentally disabled in New York State. This can be an extremely sensitive topic for parents, who read a story like this and wonder how widespread the problem really is. The Times article implies that […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Crime Doctor” (1943; series 1943-49)

Counting all ten films in the Crime Doctors series as one, this is the nineteenth of twenty-one Hollywood films, from AMHF, devoted to images of psychiatry, psychiatrists, and psychology. These (basically) one-hour films are in a time-honored, formulaic tradition. As comic-book writers fashioned superheroes with separate, mundane identities, so, a little closer to the workings […]

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Bullies and Food Allergies

Pediatrics, the flagship peer-reviewed journal of that profession, recently reported on a study of over 200 young people who have been bullied., according to an article in the New York Times. The researchers discovered that almost one third of this group reported being singled out for a food allergy. For children with peanut butter allergies, the […]

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More on Privacy Laws and Violence

Today’s Washington Post offers yet another article on the effect of (often) well-meaning privacy laws when they are applied to potentially violent persons who are not following treatment guidelines or showing premonitory signs of becoming psychotic along with a chance of potential violence. Wide-ranging privacy laws came into effect under the Health Insurance Privacy and […]

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Dr. Joyce Brothers, R.I.P.

Dr. Joyce Brothers, who paved the way for television figures as diverse as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Dr. Drew Pinsky, and was essential in making the mass-cultural discussion of deep-seated and uncomfortable emotions in the U.S. a more open forum, died yesterday. As my friend notes in the Los Angeles Times obituary—which quotes him […]

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Mental Illness and Churches

Newly minted pastor Ed Stetzer, writing in CNN.beliefnet, writes of his dealings with a man in his congregation. This person would often disappear for days at a time, and later Stetzer would hear that the fellow had spent hours praying the psalms. Later the man killed himself, leading Stetzer to reflect of aproaches churches could […]

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Books from Colleagues at ACA

Here are some worthwhile books that can be ordered from the American Counseling Association (ANA): 1. Hays, D. G. (2013). Assessment in Counseling: A Guide to the Use of Psychological Assessment Procedures. Fifth Edition. This is a bestselling text, and the latest version includes updates and changes in assessment procedures. Test selection, interpretation of findings, […]

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The Future, the Brain

President Barack Obama made headlines with his proposal to encourage American scientists to work toward understanding the great mysteries of the brain. Done as a massive project, this could rival past collective enterprises such as Getting a Man to the Moon; when President Kennedy suggested this, it took everyone’s breath away. It looked unattainable in […]

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Psychological Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Part 2, Treatment and Interventions

In part 1 of this essay we examined the nature of psychological trauma, an individual’s physical and psychological response to sudden, usually unexpected, potentially life-threatening events, and the emergence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) thirty-one days later. We reviewed the disruptions that may occur in the domains of good physical and mental health (reasonable mastery, […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Vertigo” (1958)

Do you know what acrophobia is? The 1950s, like the 1940s, was a rich era for Hollywood depictions of “psychological problems” and themes—especially around words, terms, and concepts not generally known to audiences as such are today: in part, though we often do not realize it, thanks to the very movies we are putting “on […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Rain Man” (1988)

This is the fifteenth movie in the AMHF series of twenty-one. Rain Man won four Academy Awards at the sixty-first Oscars show: Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Director, and Actor—Dustin Hoffman’s second in a remarkable performance. The film revolves around the relationship between a younger, self-centered brother, likewise played to perfection by Tom Cruise, an inheritance, […]

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Psychological Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Part 1, Its General Nature

It was seven o’clock in the morning when she awoke, after yet another terrible night’s sleep with her recurring nightmares. As usual, fifteen-year-old Maureen was paralyzed from the waist down. This paralysis had terrified her at first but now she was used to it. It would go away when he left for work. The “he” […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “An Angel at My Table” (1990)

This is the thirteenth of twenty-one films in the series on psychiatry in film. The plot summary is provided by Judd Blaise Rovi. New Zealand poet Janet Frame is the subject of Jane Campion’s biographical drama, which presents a poetically evocative look at the author’s turbulent life. The film begins with Frame’s childhood, showing her […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Bedlam” (1946)

Have you ever felt that you were in hell? As the word pandemonium derives from John Milton’s Satan and his crew in Paradise Lost—in The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis refers to the environment/condition as “The Kingdom of Noise” (“the mind is its own place, and can make a heaven of hell and a hell […]

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Man with Down Syndrome Dies in Police Custody

A young man with Down syndrome has died at the very hands of the police he idolized, the Washington Post reports. The death of Robert Ethan Saylor, aetat. twenty-six, occurred while being handcuffed with at least three set of cuffs as he was being taken by three deputies from a theater in Frederick County, Maryland. […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Kings Row” (1942)

“Where’s the rest of me?” Ronald Reagan implores, having had legs amputated. Former President Reagan even used this famous line as the title of a 1960s memoir. Goethe essentially asks the same question in his 1773-74 Goetz von Berlichingen; or, the Man with the Iron Hand. Are we our legs? Our arms? Our faces? Even […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Fear Strikes Out” (1957)

Movie number nine in the American Mental Health Foundation series of twenty-one relating to its mission stars Anthony Perkins (who would famously make a career of playing disturbed individuals: for example in the appropriately named, from the standpoint of this series of essays, Psycho) and the superbly versatile Karl Malden as his unreasonably domineering father (reminiscent of […]

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More on PTSD

It seems we are reminded every day about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It reveals itself in soldier suicides, which are occurring in a way that is more than we can bear. Shootings continue. In one city (Chicago), one mother has been so badly traumatized: She has lost four children over the years to street violence. […]

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Suicide and the Hemingway Family

A new documentary film presents the emotional health history of a famous American family of artists—the Hemingways—according to CNN, whose sources we quote. This film, Running from Crazy, premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival. Oprah Winfrey is executive producer. “‘Suicide has no rhyme or reason,’ [Mariel] Hemingway said. ‘Some people, it’s 20 dark […]

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“I Have Been to the Mountaintop”

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When I was in college (several years after Dr. King’s assassination), I took a bicycle trip down the East Coast. One of the stops was Washington, DC. There, I stood on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and had the same view King had when he gave his […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Spellbound” (1945)

This is the seventh film under under close scrutiny in the AMHF series of films. (We “analyze” other movies in different blogs. But not all are come within this series of, eventually, twenty-one.) Alfred Hitchcock had worked under David O. Selznick five years before, directing Rebecca. The association of two such egos was more a […]

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State of the State of Mental Health 2013

This month governors and the President are reflecting on what is going on in their respective territories. I thought this would be a good time to look at the state of the state of mental health and to offer my own reflections. DSM V Will Be Issued This year will inaugurate the new DSM V. […]

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Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)

Of the twenty-one films for discussion on this Web site, here is number six, which stars Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in signature roles. Thus is the plot, in slightly condensed form, from Wikipedia: In 1963, Randle Patrick “Mac” McMurphy (Jack Nicholson)—a recidivist anti-authoritarian criminal serving a sentence on an Oregon-prison farm for statutory rape […]

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