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Studies that attempt to models stress have been limited by the ambiguity surrounding the stress concept. To address this conceptual lacuna, this article proposes a new approach to conceptualizing stress. Through a historical survey of ideas relating to stress, clarity will be brought to the conception of stress through a synthesis of insights on the nature of stress arousal, particularly focusing on the dynamic of generation of stress in the mind. Stress, resulting from both positively and negatively appraised events, is experienced in proportion to the certainty with which we assess an impact to something to which we have attachment (Sanskrit, upãdãna), whether physical or ideological. Ultimately, this ancient conception of the psychological dynamic of stress has borne fruit in philosophy, religion, and psychotherapy, making it a sound candidate for a fundamental psychological conception of stress.
- Go to article: Mental Health Professionals as Pawns in Oppressive Practices: A Case Example Concerning Psychologists’ Involvement in the Denial of Education Rights to Roma/Gypsy Children
Mental Health Professionals as Pawns in Oppressive Practices: A Case Example Concerning Psychologists’ Involvement in the Denial of Education Rights to Roma/Gypsy Children
This article examines a 2006 European Court of Human Rights judgment concerning educational discrimination against Roma children in the Czech Republic and the involvement of educational psychologists in the case. The court held the school to be the proper final arbiter on the question of the best interests of the child regarding educational placement. Based largely on culturally biased psychological testing results, the Roma children in question were declared mentally handicapped by educational psychologists. On that basis, they were placed in a segregated school for the intellectually disabled where the curriculum was quite deficient. Despite statistical evidence of the overrepresentation of Roma children in such segregated Czech schools, and of widespread discrimination against Roma in schools and in the larger society, the court rejected the claim that the children’s right to an education had been violated. The implication for psychologists and educators internationally, to avoid becoming pawns contributing to an oppressive human rights situation, is discussed.
Until the 1930s, the term “autism” was not mentioned in the literature. Until then, vaccination programs did not exist in the United States. Leo Kanner applied the term “early infantile autism,” detailing 11 cases of children born in 1931. He thought these children seemed like they inhabited a world of one, hence the term “autism,” originally derived from Bleuler (1911). Kanner furnished the following description: “aloneness that, whenever possible, disregards, ignores, shuts out anything that comes to the child from the outside.” He initially claimed parents of children with autism were often cold and humorless perfectionists (Kanner, 1943), considering them to be “emotional refrigerators,” a characterization that haunted him, one he deeply regretted and ultimately recanted. There has been a significant rise in autism. Some of this is probably due to looser definitions, widened to include a broad “spectrum” of behaviors. However, even when I tightened up the criteria for inclusion, I still was able to observe a rather sizeable—in fact, dramatic and alarming—increment. Curious about why this might be so, I began to investigate. I discovered a great deal of secrecy, nontransparency, obstructionism, mystification, and even falsification of data in which people in high places were engaged. This article is intended to disclose facts heretofore obscured, hidden, or reassembled in fanciful ways and to raise questions and make scientific statements and social commentary on this highly important issue. Possible sources of toxicity are listed.
- Go to article: Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human Sterilization Then and Now: “Therapeutic” or in the Social Interest?
Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human Sterilization Then and Now: “Therapeutic” or in the Social Interest?
Practitioners of psychiatry and psychology have played an important role in the sterilization of tens of thousands of Americans throughout the past century. This article examines a number of questions relating to the origin and continuation of sterilization as a treatment and preventive. What social and medical beliefs lead to the use of sterilization as a treatment and preventive for both the individual and society? What ills are being treated and prevented? Who becomes a candidate for sterilization? To what degree are ethical concerns raised, and what is the response to these concerns? And finally, Who is the client—the individual, potential children, or society?—and how do practitioners distinguish the interest of the individuals from that of their potential children and society?
Over the past 30 years psychiatry has made a paradigm shift within a medical model from a psychological to a biological explanation for mental disorder. Depression is attributed to an imbalance of monoamines in the brain caused by depletion of neurotransmitters at receptor sites. The standard of care for treating depression is prescription of antidepressant medications alleged to correct this chemical imbalance. Research results testing the chemical imbalance theories for depression have been contradictory to the theories. Analyses of data from studies and meta-analyses of the efficacy of antidepressants indicate selective publication fostering an inflated impression of effectiveness and that antidepressants offer little more than placebos. Several sources of error, particularly breaking of the blind, may have determined outcome in studies showing drug/placebo differences. Despite negative results regarding the theory and pharmacotherapy for depression, the frequency of diagnoses of depression and prescription of antidepressant drugs have increased enormously. Economic interests more than science appear to be determining the treatment of depression. Prescription of antidepressant drugs as the standard of care for depression warrants reconsideration. A biopsychosocial model may be more useful than a disease model for conceptualizing and treating depression.
- Go to article: The Backstory on the 500-Pound Gorilla and the Elephant Meeting in the Consulting Room for Critical Perspective on Evidence-Based Practice and Nosology in Mental Health Establishmentarianism: A Possible Way Out of the Conundrum of Multiculturalism and Cultural Competence in Psychopathology
The Backstory on the 500-Pound Gorilla and the Elephant Meeting in the Consulting Room for Critical Perspective on Evidence-Based Practice and Nosology in Mental Health Establishmentarianism: A Possible Way Out of the Conundrum of Multiculturalism and Cultural Competence in Psychopathology
Mental health establishmentarianism (MHE) is rebuked for pursuing the installing of evidence-based practice (EBP) as standard operating procedure for two reasons: (a) EBP precludes a priori including the authentic African personality construct and its associated conceptualizations of psychopathology contained in the Azibo Nosology II (and by logical extension many other non-Eurasian formulations or interpretations about personology and psychopathology), thereby rendering the EBP movement fundamentally an imperialist, colonial, ethnocentric, pseudoetic undertaking; and (b) replete with “false concepts” vis-à-vis African descent people (ADP). The neo-Kraepelinian enterprise pertaining to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders nosology alongside the imperialist dictum of “shattering culture” are revealed as integral to accomplishing the installation. In the process of critiquing this underside of MHE, psychopathologists are treated to a novel categorizing of themselves from a sociology of knowledge framework and psychopathology is offered a reframing of how to formulate holistic diagnostic impressions of ADP encompassing authentic culture.
Five patients with hepatitis C (HCV), three of whom were treated with peginterferon alfa-2 (IFN) and two who were not treated with IFN, developed homicidal ideation (HI) during a 4-year period. Following accepted rules for determining causation, there appeared to be a causal relatedness between IFN use and the development of homicidal ideation for those patients taking IFN. None of these patients attempted a homicidal act while on treatment with IFN, nor in the follow-up period after treatment. The incidence of HI while treated with IFN in our patient population is estimated to be less than 1%. The ability of prescription medication to cause homicidal ideation is reviewed, and legal implications are discussed.