There is an assumption among many Americans that doctors are pretty darn smart and always know what they’re talking about. Psychiatrists work with the mentally ill, so they are certainly smarter than their patients. Because, after all, their patients are “crazy.” Right?
In this episode, our hosts discuss all the times that psychiatrists and therapists didn’t live up to the hype – or stereotype.
Narrator: [00:00:09] For reasons that utterly escapes Everyone involved. You’re listening to A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic and A Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer. Thank you for tuning into A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic and A Podcast. more
In the early 2000s, when there were just two psychiatrists serving over 12 million people, Zimbabwe had to get creative to treat depression. Now, one bright idea — the Friendship Bench — is spreading far and wide.
Dixon Chibanda spent more time with Erica than most of his other patients. It wasn’t that her problems were more serious than others’ — she was just one of thousands of women in their mid-20s with depression in Zimbabwe. It was because she had traveled over 160 miles to meet him. more
Apparently, therapists and psychiatrists also go online, and even these professionals can’t resist throwing their anecdotes into the fray for upvotes.
Below are highlights from several incredible AskReddit threads asking mental health workers to share stories from their patients. Most of the responses are from two threads that ask psychiatrists or psychologists to share “the most profound and insightful comments” they’ve heard in the line of work.
Many of them also made clear that they had changed enough details to keep anyone from identifying patients. Enjoy, and hopefully you don’t realize yours is the psychologist who goes by the username Dr. PonerBenis. more
When a friend or family member has been hospitalized for a mental-health related difficulty, sometimes loved ones may feel at a loss of what to bring when they visit. While it’s important to remember people who’ve been hospitalized for a mental illness often appreciate many of the same gifts you might give to someone hospitalized for a “physical” condition, restrictions on items brought into the psych ward can making choosing a gift a little trickier. A good rule of thumb is to avoid items with sharp edges (like scissors or shaving razors) and strings (on hoodies or drawstrings on pants). Mental hospitals have different rules and restrictions, so before you bring anything with you, it’s a good idea to check out the hospital policy online.
In addition to these restrictions, every person is different, so what one person wants might be different than what another wants. Keep your loved one in mind, and think about what they might find useful or comforting while in the hospital. more
Complex computer modeling demonstrates that obsessive-compulsive disorder patients learn about their environments but don’t use that information to guide their actions
About 10 years ago David Adam scratched his finger on a barbed wire fence. The cut was shallow, but drew blood. As a science journalist and author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, a book about his own struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam had a good idea of what was in store. His OCD involved an obsessive fear of contracting HIV and produced a set of compulsive behaviors revolving around blood.
In this instance he hurried home to get some tissue and returned to check there was not already any blood on the barbed-wire. “I looked and saw there was no blood on the tissue, looked underneath the fence, saw there was no blood, turned to walk away, and had to do it all again, and again and again,” he says. “You get stuck in this horrific cycle, where all the evidence you use to form judgments in everyday life tells you there’s no blood. And if anyone asked, you’d say ‘no.’ Yet, when you ask yourself, you say ‘maybe.’” more
Not great, says psychologist and film buff Danny Wedding.
Look at any classic horror film—Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Shining—and you’re likely to find mental illness. It’s a convenient, if inaccurate, explanation for the maniacal violence that makes up the backbone of these stories. But in most films portraying mental illness, especially violent and bloody horror films, real life pathology is willfully abandoned in favor of melodramatic storytelling. At best, it’s lazy; at worst, it publicly and repeatedly demonizes the people who need the most help. In a recent article I wrote about the mentally ill being killed in disproportionate numbers by police, many people commented along the lines of “Well, of course, they’re much more dangerous,” which anybody working in mental health can tell you is not only untrue, but is the direct result of the media’s focus on a fictitious link between mental illness and violence.
I spoke with Dr. Danny Wedding, a former director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health and co-author of Movies and Mental Illness: Using Films to Understand Psychopathology, to learn more about some of the more common movie myths. more