Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flight of Ideas

Pride of lions
Fleet of ships
Host of angels...

Flight of ideas.

It's a lovely phrase.  Isn't that what ideas do -- fly?

I think so.  But evidently, not everybody.


A Visit from the Goon Squad

I was looking to meet new people in my new home town, and went to the library's book club.  The selection for my second meeting was Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad.  Sex, drugs, rock and roll, and, oh yes, suicide -- these characters were my tribe!  No, I haven't lived their lives.  More to the point, I have asked their questions.

I wasn't sure how Egan's characters would be received in this group of middle-aged and older women.  I didn't know the book club members yet, but they seemed pretty respectable.  Then again, I can seem pretty respectable, too.  I expected a lively discussion.

Nope.  No lively discussion.  No discussion at all.  They were so dismayed, they were speechless.  The librarian resorted to reading reviews.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Defending DSM-V -- Sort Of

Good mental health reporting takes research, careful analysis, nuance and a whole lot of work.  And in the end, it doesn't sell newspapers.  Which is why you see so much bad mental health reporting, even where you thought you'd find better.


[I like to think that opening sentence explains why I post no more often than once a week.  I work to provide a quality product.  But that is for you to judge.]

The long awaited publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Edition V has generated a blizzard of easy-to-whip-off articles with sensationalist headlines, just the thing for you to share on Facebook on a boring weekday afternoon, and get a nice Ain't it awful rant going among your friends when, really, you should be doing your life.

The Spectre of the Butterfly Net

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Brain on Tetris

What happened to that hour?  That other hour?  The one after that?  Where did they go?

My son's best friend from childhood, whom I haven't seen in ten years, sent me a message with this link to a BBC story, The Psychology of Tetris.  When he saw it, did he remember that I used to ask my son to hide the Gameboy?

Friday, February 1, 2013

More Guns = More Suicides


Compare states to states.  Compare regions to regions.  Compare states within regions to other states within the same region.  Compare people of the same age group, in any age group, men to men and women to women.  Compare unemployed people to unemployed people, working folk to working folk.  Compare city dwellers to city dwellers, country folk to country folk.

Compare people with depression to other people with depression; people who are suicidal to other people who are suicidal; people who have a plan to other people who have a plan; people who have a past suicidal attempt to other people who have a past suicidal attempt, for God's sake!

More Guns = More Suicides.

Get it?