“Broke and Alone”: I review Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

at The American Conservative: Because most of the traditional pathways to adulthood—marriage, economic independence, stable job—seem out of reach or prove to be reversible, working-class young adults have developed a new definition of maturity. This new pathway relies heavily on therapeutic culture: You become an adult by overcoming the trauma of your past, whether that involved abusive parents, drug addiction, mental illness, or less flamboyant hardships. Young adults who take on this new def … [Read more...]

“Demons in Exile”: Marc Maron on Addiction

Lots of stuff I liked here. I don't buy sentences of the form, "Addicts/alcoholics are all [negative generalization]" (because I'm defensive of other people, not because I think those generalizations are especially untrue about me personally) but other than that, good for him. Not sure if I still need to notify you all when there's cussing, but yes, there is....Slate: A big problem for psychiatrists when it comes to understanding addiction is that there are many of us have no experience with … [Read more...]

From Robert Stone, “Children of Light”

She let her song rise again and spread out her arms. In Louisiana the old black people called that kind of singing a bajo or banjo song, a homesick blues for where you've never been, which for them was Africa but for her was God only knows.Be there, Lu Anne sang. Be there, Sweet Jesus. Be there.She leaned back in the lounger, exhausted, When she turned to the mirror she saw her own secret eyes. No other person except her children and the Long Friends had ever seen them. She had used them … [Read more...]

“Deployment to War Doesn’t Figure in Majority of Military Suicides”: LA Times

reports: ...The most recent Pentagondata show that a slight majority — 52% — of troops who have committed suicide while on active duty were never assigned to Afghanistan or Iraq.The numbers, from the years 2008 to 2011, upend the popular belief that a large increase in suicides over the last decade stems from the psychological toll of combat and repeated deployments to war.To researchers trying to unravel the causes of the rise, the statistics suggest that the mental health and life cir … [Read more...]

Years of Solitary Confinement. Lightless Cells with Plastic Bags Instead of Toilets.

Rats sold as pets? The grim tabloid conditions of "One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons": It has been an extraordinary three weeks in the history of the American penal system, perhaps one of the darkest periods on record. In four states, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the … [Read more...]

Ask Your Doctor If Solidarity Is Right for You… or AA, CBT, LOL

I have a lot of small thoughts about this piece at The Fix about the similarities and differences between cognitive behavioral therapy and the 12 Steps. I don't know that these small thoughts come together into one big Voltron thought, so I will just put them out there in a list. As always, my opinions are worth exactly what you paid for them.First, although this post will focus on what's left out of the article, I want to make clear that I'm basically pro-CBT and I know several people who … [Read more...]

“Clinical Sentiments”

This chorus ultimately gives way to “St. John of Gods” as an alternative mantra.  St. John of God is a psychiatric clinic in a southern suburb of Dublin, run since 1882 by the religious order of that name. Though it offers a range of services, it is best known for alcoholism treatment. The legend of the original St. John of God, a 16th-century Portuguese monk, holds that following a dramatic conversion experience, he was locked up in an asylum for the insane and mistreated.  This inspired him to … [Read more...]


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