it really bothers me when people are rude, mean or dismissive to people who have incorrect spelling or grammar. the value of a person's idea is not based in it's gramatical correctness. shaming people for spelling things wrong is a form of silencing. it especially silences those who don't have access to a lot of formal education, those who have learning disabilities and others. i don't care if people spell shit wrong or not. i want people to speak and express themselves and tell their stories, especially those who are often silenced and ignored. people will be afraid to speak if they know they will be publicly humiliated for making spelling errors. so they might not speak. and that scares the fuck out of me. please stop shaming people over spelling. i think it's bullshit.
“Though I clearly prefer shows of tolerance to shows of intolerance, I nonetheless still have certain reservations about the word “tolerance” and the discourse it organizes. It is a discourse with religious roots; it is most often used on the side of those with power, always as a kind of condescending concession… Tolerance remains a scrutinized hospitality, always under surveillance, parsimonious and protective of its sovereignty. In the best of cases, it’s what I would call a conditional hospitality, the one that is most commonly practiced by individuals, families, cities, or states. We offer hospitality only on the condition that the other follow our rules, our way of life, even our language, our culture, our political system, and so on.”—Jacques Derrida
“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is vertical, so it’s humiliating. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.”—Eduardo Galeano
What do you know about PTSD? In particular, late-onset PTSD? So many things I read either make me feel like there's no hope or that it's been too long, and I shouldn't be feeling like this now when for so long I was 'okay.'
How late is ‘late-onset’? I can’t claim to be an expert, especially as I do not have it myself, but I can try to give you some information in specific areas. I know I also have a lot of followers who would be willing to send in words of help for you, too. However, I will say that you mustn’t feel guilty that you’re experiencing adverse psychological consequences to your trauma ‘late’ after being ok for ‘so long’: you must remember that, by definition, PTSD occurs any time (correct me someone if I’m wrong) >3 months after trauma. It also currently has 3 sub-classifications: acute, chronic and delayed-onset - there are so many other people out there experiencing delayed symptoms that there is a diagnostic category for this. I don’t know if it’s comforting for you to know that your not alone in terms of presentation of symptoms, but I’m telling you just on the offchance. Are you seeing a therapist or taking presctibed meds? Do get back in contact if you can.
i was very excited to find your blog (i'm a psych major and have been obsessed with psychology for years now, it's my passion). i definitely appreciate the accuracy of your blog, i've grown quite tired of how much the media and such have skewed studies and the entire concept of psychology. keep up the good work <3
Thanks so much! It’s always nice to hear form similarly passionate people.
About the post talking about the stereotype that autistic people lack empathy. I have an eleven year old brother who is severely autistic. He is extremely violent, for he knows no other way to express anger, disapproval, or disappointment. I am fifteen years old. Due to his medication, Risperdal (Risperidone), he is overweight. When my brother hits me, it is very painful and I cannot help but to cry. Immediately upon seeing my tears, my brother looks at me with a face full of regret and says, "Toni, please stop crying." Although this is just one of his well rehearsed and memorized sentences, I know he truly means it. He understands the pain. He not only empathizes, but sympathizes. He tells me that he is sorry and repeatedly tells me to stop crying until I do stop. Although "I love you" is just a memorized sentence to my brother, I know he truly loves me and cares about me. He empathizes, he understands. It's time that everyone else understands him.
Neurodiversity is an idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. Differences may arise in ways of processing information, including language, sound, images, light, texture, taste, or movement.
Yes, some prescribers play it fast and loose with the scripts. It’s that idea of, ‘oh, you’re shy and get butterflies before a test? You’ve got an anxiety disorder, you need some Zoloft for that’— that’s called anxiety, not an anxiety disorder, but more and more people can’t seem to recognize the distinction. I think some of the ‘progressive’ views of meds being useless could stem somewhat from that practice.
That said, I was absolutely speechless the first time I heard someone say that they thought psychiatric meds were ‘useless’ and ‘unneeded.’ They are not unneeded, because I need to go to work and school, and I’m pretty sure I can’t do that if I’m hallucinating and unable to speak or read or recognize my family members. When I don’t take my meds, people are scared of me. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to live with that?
My meds saved my life…something which, yeah, I kinda need.
A really common rhetoric I see within the “progressive” community is that of people who think that all medication for people with mental health problems is phony and unneeded - merely created my the pharmaceutical company’s to dupe naive people into thinking that their personality traits are medical.
Do you even know how fucking insulting that is?
I take meds, I know many friends that take meds - we’re not naive, we have a health problem that can be controlled and managed using the correct medicines.
I think that this shows a lot of peoples attitude to mental health and how unknown it actually is. Because you can’t see mental health problems, there is no physical evidence of them and to be honest, when people spout bullshit about meds, then I can tell that they don’t think mental health problems are real - that they can be made better with some fairy dust and positive thinking, right? This attitude, just props up and supports the taboo around mental health. You would never tell someone with a chronic physical illness to stop taking their tablets would you? No, because you have your proof that they are ill - that they need medication - and as long as your appeased and can see how much they need them they you will grant you oh so special blessing. All this type of thinking does is reinforce the stereotype that people with mental health problems are just over-emotional attention seekers, who can’t accept themselves and must have a medical reason when they are upset or angry.
Well I’ve got news for you good buddy, these medical health problems are really fucking real and can mean that people like me can’t physically live our lives. Also, I can assure you that they aren’t “quirky” personality traits. Not being able to leave my be for a week and a half, not washing and crying and cutting my self is not a fun personality trait. It’s something that is very detrimental to my life, my studies and my relationships.
No-one is saying that pharmaceutical company’s aren’t fucking awful - of course they are. The extortionate prices they charge for drugs is disgusting and they directly effect very vunerable people. But the drugs they make? Not evil and very fucking nesscary for thousands of people around the globe.
You are not progressive or different for spouting this bullshit. I know it makes you feel like your this really cool cat that questions the status quo, but your not. You’re a douchebag, plain and simple. All you are doing is belittling and demeaning the person and their struggle. Do you think that we like being on tablets, sometimes for the rest of our lives? Before you became oh so progressive, did you bother to even talk to people with mental health problems? You know about how some of us really struggle to even accept tablets into our lives (sometimes because of rhetorics like yours?) and how that the delay that sometimes happens while we think about tablets can lead us to physically harm ourselves.
No, of course you didn’t talk to anyone, because who knows about our struggle better than you, right? Seriously take your progressive head out of your arse and actually listen to people instead of shaming them because “you know better”.
Medication is not the problem here, your assumptions are. Taking medication is not a decision took lightly by anyone, whether it be for a physical illness or a mental illness. You will never be able to comprehend what it’s like to receive a diagnosis that tells you that your going to be ill forever, that it can only be managed, not be cured. To be told that the feelings of hatred and anger you feel towards yourself every day will never go away. The light at the end of that tunnel is often medication and you shaming people who take it doesn’t help anyone. Where is your proof that we’re not actually ill? I bet you can’t find any and when you can’t find your proof you are quite simply telling people you don’t believe in their treatment, for no good reason.
I tell you what you progressive people, we’ll make a deal. You don’t tell me how “right” you are and I won’t shove a boot up your ass, okay?
Given the 100+ likes and reblogs of my beginner’s guide to the brain in the past hour or so (thank you so much!), I will be taking the time to write more of these kind of things from now on. I’m really passionate about making these concepts available to everyone - knowledge is empowering, and neuroscientific concepts shouldn’t be hidden at the top of an ivory tower. I think it can be really comforting to know about the ways that your body’s actions and reactions can affect your emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
As ever, do let me know if I’m pitching my writing too low or too high - I would hate to be patronising or intimidating. Ok awesome!
I’d personally consider it the cause of the death, since without that primary condition then it’s likely the person would survive. They would be healthy. I consider mental illnesses as being potentially fatal in that they can lead to suicide, etc.
I really want to pretend I’m an undergrad again and get into a philosophical argument about causation and I said I’d drop it but this is a totally good point: without the primary condition i.e. Alzheimer’s, the secondary (deadly) conditions would not be present, so if you trace the causal chain back I think it is entirely reasonable to say that Alzheimer’s can be deadly. Same goes for mental illnesses. As Stephen Fry put it in something I blogged the other day:
“It [bipolar disorder] is a morbid condition and any doctor will tell you it’s one of the most serious morbid conditions at present in Britain… The fact that I’m lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean I won’t one day kill myself. I may well.”
In relation to Alzheimer's Disease, technically people do not die from the disease itself, they usually die from complications of the disease such as pneumonia. Accurate diagnosis can't be made until postmortem, using both biochemical tests and general pathological changes. Although it is progressive, therefore if secondary complications aren't encountered theoretically people could die from it.
Saying that, from personal experience it does kill the person so to speak. It pretty much destroys them, and is heart breaking. Having seen a brain of an Alzheimer's patient this isn't surprising.
Interesting points, thank you. This is the last I’ll be posting on this for a while - I think we could go forever otherwise!
Alzheimer’s itself does not cause the death though, its complications relating to Alzheimer’s. In addition the diagnosis cannot be made accurately until postmortem therefore, technically, it cannot be on the death certificate
I think suddenpanic is right though, there are two definitions of causation here; the scientific one, and the experiential / phenomenological one. Though official and precise postmortem would place causation on related complications such as pneumonia, many (especially those close to the affected person) would say that it was the AD that killed the person. I think we have to respect two experiences here.
Just thought I'd say, you can dee because of alzheimer's. Basically you brain can whither away until you forget how to eat etc.
Trust me, I've seen it happen with family (and I'm a student nurse)
Thank you for interjecting on that. I’m really no expert on Alzheimer’s (I have no first hand experience), but I was aware that brain mass can decrease to a deadly point. I really know nothing of where people place causation on mortality.
Why do you refer to the men and women in your image descriptions as people instead of men and women? I hope I'm not coming across as ignorant here, it just reads a little odd.
Because I aim to provide a safe space for the discussion of gender, for genderqueer, transgender and cis persons alike, image descriptions will favour gender-neutral descriptions of people and use ‘they’ pronouns, unless the person(s) in the image are known by me to identify as a certain gender. It just avoids potentially offensive assumptions about people’s gender identification on the basis of bogus ‘clues’ such as hair length and what they are wearing. The mental health profession is in large part vulnerable to these assumptions and even pathologizes violations of them. It might read a little odd to see ‘they’ pronouns where you are used to ‘him’ or ‘her’, but you’ll get used to it! I hope that answers your question.
you can’t actually die from alzheimers, just sayin’.
you can die with alzheimers but not because of it.
i get what this is saying, i just think it could have been worded better.
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. I think what they were perhaps alluding to was the finding that the mean life expectancy following diagnosis is 7 years, due to related complications and ailments.
Mölsä PK, Marttila RJ, Rinne UK (August 1986). “Survival and cause of death in Alzheimer’s disease and multi-infarct dementia”. Acta Neurol Scand74 (2): 103–7
Does it bother anyone else that the family are talking about how tragic this was and acting like they’re the victims in all this when they’re the ones that agreed to all this abuse? And even actively took part in it?
To think if his mother wasn’t so damn afraid that her boy would, heaven forbid, grow up liking dolls and feminine clothes and such he’d be still with us, goddamn.
I think the siblings have every right to be upset: they were young at the time and seemingly not in a position to stop it happening. The brother talking about how he tried to defer punishment tokens on himself is revealing of some kind of attempt at the time to help. I’m not in a position to pass judgement on the parents as I don’t know the situation well enough. What I do know is that the ‘therapists’ were involved in definite abusive practices. If I’m not mistaken, homosexuality was still classed as a mental illness in the USA at the time that this was happening. It’s all really very sad and, disappointingly, not the first case of its type that I’ve heard of.
A stunning story about an experiment on a five-year-old boy. His parents thought he had too many feminine traits.
A government funded research program in the 1970’s at UCLA set about trying to change this little boy. The result his family now says was tragic.
Truly horrifying. A classic example of abuse under the guise of behaviourism. (I’m not saying all behaviourism is bad, I’m just saying it’s potentially dangerous when ‘therapists’ evidently don’t know what they’re doing with it).
There is something that’s eating away at me within this whole conversation about “phobia” as a suffix being ableist. I don’t have a problem with the language being changed, especially if its ableist/problematic on any level.
I’ve gotten some people talking about how to…
This brings up points similar to what I’ve been trying to say about the role of fear in the treatment of gender-variant and queer people, too. Saying that it’s not the same thing as a phobia should not turn into denial that fear plays any part in it.
This. I am probably going to piss a lot of people off by saying this, which is one of the reasons I have not weighed in publicly on the ongoing debate re:-phobia as a suffix, but I am fucking done with this shit and I don’t care who I piss off. I am a disability rights activist and I am extremely angry right now about the ongoing language wars, and the fact that many ‘allies’ as well as some PWDs appear to believe that disability rights is solely about language, when it is about many huge complex things that include language. I am especially angry at people who barge into spaces to scream at people for using the wrong word while ignoring the entire conversation and the context. And as someone who very much supports the use of language for self identification, I also support the use of language by marginalised groups to define their own oppression. I am also transgender and transphobia describes the attitude I encounter from people who hate me, who FEAR me, who do not want me to exist. Xenophobia, as discussed in this excellent piece, is a word that has a place in language just as homophobia and transphobia do. These words describe a very specific form of oppression and I say this, before someone jumps all over me, as a person with mental health diagnoses that include phobias. This is an example of language wars taken to an illogical conclusion, where there is a hyper focus on a word to the exclusion of a larger conversation.
Disability rights activists and ‘allies’ making this argument, that -phobia as a suffix is ableist and should be eliminated, do not speak for me. And if you’re using my work to support your argument, please stop. I often regret the monster I appear to have unleashed by talking about language, and this kind of thing is exactly why.
I’m not queer, nor Muslim, nor a woman of color, and while I have one or two real phobias, they’re manageable enough most of the time… So I won’t put in my two cents here. But I did want to point out these parts of the discussion over the call for new words to replace “homophobia,” “transphobia,” “xenophobia,” and “islamaphobia.” While fears and phobias are different things (and it would be wise to keep the difference in mind), it is incredibly important to also keep in mind how fear-of-the-other factors into oppression in these discussions.
An interesting discussion is going on here. Bold emphasis added by me to indicate agreement.
Some people trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to hear. While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer. Platitudes don’t cure depression.
Image descriptions are a quick and simple way of increasing the accessibility of a website to a wider audience, including:
Those with visual impairments (reduced acuity, blindness, agnosias etc)
Those with learning disabilities
Those who access the internet on a slow dial-up connection or a mobile device
Many people enjoy the use of screen readers, which ‘read out’ these image descriptions. I have recently started using image descriptions as I want this blog to be as accessible as possible to a wide range of people. Mind Over Matter aims to fight against mental health discrimination, but because of the interconnected nature of systems of oppression, it would be hypocritical of me to exclude those with other disabilities or without access to a fast internet connection.
If you have any suggestions as to how to make this blog more accessible, please do send me another message.