Ideas

In COVID Times, Diary Of A Noted Hypochondriac

Every pang or cough could be the virus, or something worse.

-Essay-

MADRIDI had a slight pain recently on the left-hand side of my torso, just above my hip. Appendicitis, I thought. Or maybe a still undiscovered COVID symptom? The nagging mind chatter that has accompanied me for as long as I can remember continued its monologue: What, you thought you'd be healthy forever? Millions have died over the past two years while you were sitting pretty. That's over! You'll die alone, in a foreign land...

Or was the pain on the right-hand side? Where does appendicitis strike? I cannot recall, but the pain of sorts came and went. Like a warning shot!

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In Haiti, Where Vodou Steps In For Lack Of Mental Health Care

With the country's mental health care severely lacking, Haitians seek the assistance of Vodou priests.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — At exactly 12 p.m., the time when treatment rituals are performed, Moléus Jean enters the peristyle and begins bowing and tossing water from a white cup. He sits in a large chair and lights a candle. A Vodou priest for the past 20 years, he is dressed in a red robe symbolizing Erzulie Dantor — one of the main Vodou spirits, a mother protector for those who suffer oppression and abuse. A red handkerchief is tied around his left arm.

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Where Are My Meds? Cubans Facing Mental Illness In COVID Times

While Cuba has historically been praised for its health care system, the pandemic has struck the population hard, even those not infected. Among the victims are those suffering from psychological ailments whose prescriptions couldn't be filled because of closed borders and economic crises.

Chavely was raised with strict discipline: she couldn't bring friends home or go out to play for long periods of time, and her television and reading consumption was closely monitored.

The pressure grew in the preparation courses for university entrance exams. Chavely began to get low marks in math, physics, and chemistry. They changed her to a different classroom, then to a new school. She had extracurricular studying time and meeting up with friends became strictly forbidden. At home, she faced continuous scolding. The most difficult moment of her life was while preparing for the university entrance tests.

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Norway’s Bow-And-Arrow Attack: Muslim Terrorism Or Mental Health?

The bow-and-arrow murder of five people in the small Norwegian city of Kongsberg this week was particularly chilling for the primitive choice of weapon. And police are now saying the attack Wednesday night is likely to be labeled an act of terrorism.

Still, even though the suspect is a Danish-born convert to Islam, police are still determining the motive. Espen Andersen Bråthen, a 37-year-old Danish national, is previously known to the police, both for reports of radicalization, as well as erratic behavior unrelated to religion.

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Society
Kristin J. lieb

"Emotional Stripping," A Pop Idol's New Path To Exposure

Billie Eilish and Demi Lovato represent a new kind of performance artist for our confessional times.

In Billie Eilish's 2019 video for "Bury A Friend," the then-17-year-old singer blurs the lines between being in a nightmare and being committed to a psychiatric hospital.

"I want to end me," she repeats six times before the song ends.

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LGBTQ Plus
Julie Zaugg

LGBT In China, Victims Of Brutal 'Conversion Therapy' Industry

From shock therapy treatment to nausea pills to fake marriages, Chinese gays, lesbian and transgender are targeted by clinics and family trying to turn them straight.

BEIJING — The device included a small square box connected to two long antennas, Yanhui Peng, a 34-year-old Chinese man, recalls. It was placed on a table near a couch in the center of the doctor's office in Chongqing, in western China.

"He told me to lie down and close my eyes," says Yanhui Peng, who goes by the nickname Yanzi, meaning "swallow" (as in the bird) in Chinese. "Then he hypnotized me. When I was slipping away, he told me to think about men's bodies and to move my fingers if that aroused sexual desire in me."

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Germany
Anna Kröning

Study Finds Link Between Homophobia And Mental Illness

Though homophobia is not itself a mental illness, a new study finds that people who are prejudiced against gays and lesbians often do have mental disorders. But it's unclear what we're supposed to do with this insight.

BERLIN — Having a general antipathy towards homosexuals is often linked to a mental disorder. Psychotic symptoms such as alienation and an irrational imagination are most likely to come with a general homophobic attitude. These are the findings of a study conducted by several Italian universities, which has been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

People with immature defense mechanisms, meaning they haven't learned how to solve problems like adults, are more prone to negative feelings towards gay people than steady personalities.

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blog

Hip Hop May Help Cure Depression, Cambridge Study Says

When Grandmaster Flash wrote "The Message" and The Notorious B.I.G. turned out "Juicy," it was not just a way to share a glimpse of everyday life in New York's toughest neighborhoods, but also escape it.

"It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from goin" under" Grandmaster Flash raps, urging himself on amidst the urban turmoil of 1980s' South Bronx.
Across town in Brooklyn, Biggie would later boast: "Now I'm in the limelight "cause I rhyme tight."
Expression through music has always been an effective method of self-therapy.
But according to a new Cambridge University study, the act of listening to hip hop in particular could be a bonafide psychological help for people suffering from depression or mental illnesses. In an article just published in the medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry psychiatry researchers Akeem Sule and Becky Inster studied how "hip hop can be implemented as a unique tool for refinement of psychotherapies and psychoeducation ... and to help with public health education and anti-stigma campaigns."
Grandmaster Flash's "The Message", The Notorious B.I.G."s "Juicy" but also J Flexx's "Lady Heroin" are three tracks the researchers particularly recommend.

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Future
Roland Coutanceau*

After Newtown: Why Most Mass Murderers Are Actually Not Mentally Ill

PARIS - Adam Lanza, killer of 20 children and seven adults, including his mother, is a mass murderer – he murdered a large number of people in a short time in one place. He then committed suicide in a classroom.

Ending your life or having the police shoot you dead is often part of the mass murderer’s plan – as opposed to the serial killer who usually tries to escape the police and kills repeatedly, not in a single strike.

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