David Thompson
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April 19, 2016

Comments

Alice

How could you tell?

Snork. Tip jar hit.

Tim Newman

And, of course, I had grown up as a closeted trans girl of colour in a cis, white supremacist society.

She should have taken her chances in a country not ruled by white men.

bilbaoboy

So it's my fault she/he is a c**t?

I mean I am white cis-gendered male, knocking on (but not yet dead, at least I wasn't this morning). So it must be.

I want one of theose get-out-of-jail-free cards so I can be stupid, unpleasant and a pain in the arse and not feel guilty or responsible.

Ho hum

David, you are right. You spoil us terribly.

David

Our healer of the world goes on to say,

If everyone had access to security and healthcare, if our social systems were more open to diversity of psychological experience and expression, I truly doubt that mental illness as we know it would exist.

Which is to say, if glorious socialism prevailed upon the Earth, and if chronically obnoxious and abusive behaviour were indulged and excused as a matter of routine, then such behaviour would somehow, magically disappear. And kittens would smell of candy floss.

Andy

Why are these ridiculous people always poets and performance artists? why don't they ever have proper jobs?
and as Tim said above, if Canada is so awful then move somewhere else,
or ideally just fuck off you pathetic,talentless narcissist.
I sometimes think that the reason these people constantly harp on about their torment and pain is because once they do transition into their preferred gender they`ll no longer be a special unique snowflake and they`ll have to shut the hell up and start paying their own way through life, after all, once you are a woman you can`t whine and bitch about how much you want to be a woman.

Anna

"I'm an angry, manipulative messed up person who lies a lot and blames other people. Why does nobody like me?"

Jonathan

tl;dr: Me,me,me,me,me,me,me.........

bilbaoboy

Just watched the second video between meetings. A total utter irrelevance.

Ticked all the boxes:
- show off
- take your clothes off (very important, that one)
- say things which amount to nothing
- show off (oh, did I already say that)
- total lack of talent
- boring, boring, boring.

Why oh, why are they always PERFORMANCE ARTISTS? Because you can get away with murder?

jones

It just isn't fair.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If everyone had access to security and healthcare, if our social systems were more open to diversity of psychological experience and expression, I truly doubt that mental illness as we know it would exist.

IOW, if we decide that any psychopathology is just a normal variant, then there would be no mental illness. Right; that is some deep thinking along with the profundity that if we decide a fasting blood glucose of 1600 is normal, there will be no diabetes.

From that first video;

Lady Sin Trayda was Slam Kingston's sintillating feature poet for June 2013. Sadly, the video cuts off abruptly as my camera's battery ran out before the end. Or maybe it just couldn't handle that much continuous awesome.

Yeah, no, the camera probably committed seppuku.

RY

So she'd feel empathy for a cis white male who was a psychopath? Or not?
Just asking.

theresa

A social worker? What, like an ant?

Patrick Brown

"Borderline personality disorder" = clinically an arsehole.

Bill de Haan

Which is to say, if glorious socialism prevailed upon the Earth, and if chronically obnoxious and abusive behaviour were indulged and excused as a matter of routine, then such behaviour would somehow, magically disappear.

I suspect it's more a matter of victory by definition.

There are numerous examples, but the classic is when a new government came in and boasted that unlike the heartless (ie. conservative, right wing) previous government whose policies resulted in 10% of the population being below the poverty line, their new progressive (ie. liberal, left wing) policies had only 7% of the population being below the line.

Note at no point did they claim to have actually reduced the number of people in poverty, they just threw out the raw numbers. As it turned out, they'd simply lowered the poverty line; people who'd been counted as being impoverished under the old regime were suddenly no longer considered such. Their situation was no better, and when comparing apples to apples, it was discovered that, gasp, there were actually more people under the old poverty line than before.

They didn't lie; they just changed the definitions. But this isn't about helping people, it's about being right, and caring.

So "I truly doubt that mental illness as we know it would exist." is actually quite viable. It's just likely to be accomplished by decreeing that those behaviours currently deemed "mentally ill" would simply be reclassified. If we replace "alcoholism" with "substance enthusiasm", we can eradicate alcoholism and have lots of people happily drinking; in fact more than before!

Conversely, behaviours currently considered political choices, such as disbelief in anthropomorphic global warming, are likely to be deemed thoughtcrime and mental disorders, as per many totalitarian states.

David

“I’m an angry, manipulative messed up person who lies a lot and blames other people. Why does nobody like me?”

That does seem to be lurking in there somewhere. I also like the idea that the world should be reorganised in such a way that abusive, manipulative, dishonest, irresponsible, emotional unstable, chronically angry, self-preoccupied people feel right at home.

Like the Clown Quarter of academia, but spread everywhere.

MikeG81

"If everyone had access to security and healthcare"

Whatever "security" means...

But "healthcare"? Sweet Jesus, she lives in Montreal. In Quebec. In Canada. A country whose identity rests on hockey and single-payer healthcare. A province that prides itself on being further to the left than any other province.

Oy vey.

David

Incidentally, the number of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) is estimated as somewhere between 1% and 5% of the population, the majority being female. This may be related to gender differences in brain structure, specifically, the ‘wiring’ of the amygdala.

Apparently, men are more inclined to obsessive-compulsive disorders. Which I didn’t know.

Trevor

... also holds a Master’s degree in clinical social work ...

How come I never find any advanced credentials in my cornflake boxes?

Stuck-Record

So, her theory is that aggressive behaviour should be tolerated by society because it is society that has caused it in the first place. How else is the aggressive shit supposed to cope with their place in such an oppressive existence.

I may be wrong, but I'm assuming her stupid belief system wouldn't survive an encounter with a male version of herself. Say an equally aggressive male who, "...manipulates others into giving them love when they’ve never been able to get it any other way."

Manipulates them with his fists. Or a knife.

Tom

"This may be related to gender differences in brain structure, specifically, the ‘wiring’ of the amygdala."

So, you're saying that men and women may be different? Psshaw, I say! And harrumph!

Back in the real world, I have met several men with OCD of varying degrees but I've never met a women with it, as far as I could tell anyway.

rabbit
My “symptoms” fit the profile of a mental disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition closely associated with psychopathy. It was, the textbook said, historically considered untreatable.

To quote the National Institute of Mental Health...

BPD is often viewed as difficult to treat. However, recent research shows that BPD can be treated effectively, and that many people with this illness improve over time.

And from the Canadian Mental Health Association...

Treatment for BPD can be very effective. It may include a combination of therapy (counselling), medication and self-help.

So what's going on here? Thom claims to be therapist. She should be well up on her own condition, which she obviously takes a keen interest in. And yet she seems unaware that her condition is considered treatable.

Did she not have time for a two-minute Google search? Or is she trying to make her plight appear more hopeless than it really is?

David

Ms Kai Cheng Thom wants us to believe that erratic, abusive and manipulative personalities are caused by “society,” or “white supremacist society,” and in particular by a lack of socialism. That somehow these things, and in fact all mental illness, would simply disappear if the social furniture were moved about more to her liking. But the possible social causes of the disorder she claims to have, BPD, are as yet unclear and there’s quite strong evidence that it has a genetic component, as suggested by the fact that those with a first-degree relative afflicted with BPD are five times more likely to develop the same disorder. And it’s hard to see how socialism could affect a person’s genes.

Steve E

"Being the loudmouth that I am, I wrote an essay for this teacher arguing that teenagers were disempowered members of society, and deserved more rights. She told me that this was ridiculous, because teenagers could not be DIS empowered, since we never HAD any power to begin with.

I’ve always remembered that: A teacher who believed that youth have no power."

Apparently, even when you agree with her you're disagreeing with her.

Joan

Rejection of those we deem too aggressive to function in mainstream society is not a good enough answer.

Works for me.

rabbit

David:

Yes, she says this...

I believe that no one “goes crazy” on their own — that we live in a society that is crazy-making in its capacity for trauma, denial, and rejection of its own complicity in the creation of disturbed and violent individuals.

Someone should alert mental health professionals about this exciting new theory, as they seem to think that people sometimes develop mental illnesses without any external cause.

Bill Elder

....so of course the properly prog thing to do to combat all this self-loathing, abnormal psychological illness is to give into it and, through irrational psychopathy justify what amounts to self destructive demeanour and uncivil behaviour.

Good going, Marxism claims another would-be suicider.

Rafi

I'm confused. Should violent psychopaths have special taxpayer funded psychopath bathrooms?

David

Heh.

rabbit
I also like the idea that the world should be reorganised in such a way that abusive, manipulative, dishonest, irresponsible, emotional unstable, chronically angry, self-preoccupied people feel right at home.

They've made a fine start in NYC.

Spiny Norman

Ms Kai Cheng Thom is, of course, a social worker and an aspiring therapist.

Oh, great. Just what the Narcissist needs: a steady supply of vulnerable, easily manipulated victims.

Criticas

Why oh, why are they always PERFORMANCE ARTISTS? Because you can get away with murder?

Because it makes one the center of attention, offers cachet with a certain crowd, and requires no real talent?

Daniel Ream

Sorry, now you're playing in my backyard.

Borderline Personality Disorder has gone through a number of name changes as psychiatry shifts from a symptomological basis (what does it look like) to a pathological one (what's caused/causing this).

BPD has been renamed (Emotional) Unstable Personality Disorder and now Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, because it turns out that it is nearly always a result of severe childhood sexual or more rarely physical abuse that the victim has to keep hidden and therefore never receives treatment for. It this state lasts past age 25 or so, neural plasticity declines and the condition becomes essentially permanent and effectively untreatable.

"Borderline personality disorder" = clinically an arsehole.

More accurately - a terrified child doing anything their undeveloped mind can conceive of to not get abused again. Yes, this will include lying, manipulating, severe emotional lability and irrational generalizations of cause and effect. Victims get permanently mentally and emotionally "stuck" at the age they were initially abused because they end up in pure survival mode all the time and never develop.

Note this isn't an excuse for their behaviour. It isn't a rabid dog's fault that he's rabid, but that doesn't make him any safer to be around.

[...] the majority being female. This may be related to gender differences in brain structure, specifically, the ‘wiring’ of the amygdala.

More women are sexually abused as children than men, although there is some evidence that men aren't as affected by it as women are.

And from the Canadian Mental Health Association

CMHA and CAMH are a giant pack of loons whose pronouncements about anything should not be taken seriously. Part of the reason BPD/UPD/CPTSD is considered so hard to treat is that victims are very good at saying what they think people want to hear. They'll tell their therapists exactly what the therapist is expecting to hear from someone getting better, then turn around and go right back to being crazy in their personal life.

Part of the reason I'm highly skeptical of this person's claim is that ironclad disavowal of responsibility is a hallmark of BPD sufferers. Anyone who says they've got BPD probably doesn't, simply because admitting it would mean acknowledging their own abusive behaviour. I've seen BPD sufferers insist that they did not physically abuse their children or spouses, even when confronted with unimpeachable video recordings of the incident (Note: not "they deserved it" or "they made me", but "that didn't happen, the video is a lie"). Which is why...

[..] there’s quite strong evidence that it has a genetic component, as suggested by the fact that those with a first-degree relative afflicted with BPD are five times more likely to develop the same disorder.

Growing up in a house with a parent or relative with BPD certainly counts as "suffering long-term childhood abuse that has to be covered up until well into adulthood". It's environmental, not genetic.

David

Growing up in a house with a parent or relative with BPD certainly counts as “suffering long-term childhood abuse that has to be covered up until well into adulthood”.

Fair point. As long as we’re agreed that a combination of socialism and indulging bad behaviour won’t fix it any time soon.

pst314

"I'm confused. Should violent psychopaths have special taxpayer funded psychopath bathrooms?"

Yes. In an insane asylum.

dicentra

Daniel's got it right: Personality disorders develop in response to relentless, hellish childhood abuse. So while we can feel sorry for the child who was thusly abused, the adult with the personality disorder is such an insufferable sack of shit that any sympathy for the injured child quickly dissipates.

The upshot is that Ms Kai Cheng Thom does not suffer from borderline personality disorder: she just makes sure that everyone else does.

David

Elsewhere in bedlam

Theophrastus

Well, we shoot rabid dogs. And we used to contain the asocial and disturbed humans in prisons and asylums.

dicentra

If we replace "alcoholism" with "substance enthusiasm", we can eradicate alcoholism

You just won the thread.

Paul

Elsewhere in bedlam…

Some people are just *determined* to be unhappy.

David

Some people are just *determined* to be unhappy.

Yes, I think so. But there’s also a fashion element to consider, especially among the “social justice” contingent. It’s apparently quite the thing to be seen as having some kind of misfit status – whether it’s a niche sexuality or an improbable mental problem, something to make a person seem incredibly fascinating.

Daniel Ream

the adult with the personality disorder is such an insufferable sack of shit that any sympathy for the injured child quickly dissipates.

And the entitled, over-indulged millennials and people with real, serious psychiatric disorders mingle freely and adopt similar affect, making it difficult to tell who needs a spanking and a time out, and who needs to be carefully segregated for their own and others' protection.

Hal

Lady Sin Trayda was Slam Kingston's sintillating feature poet for June 2013. . . .

A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.
---Robert Heinlein

David

And the entitled, over-indulged millennials and people with real, serious psychiatric disorders mingle freely and adopt similar affect,

Quite a few of my niece’s and nephew’s school friends have, it seems, recently become afflicted with everything from very specific dietary requirements to gender fluidity and other exotic ailments. It’s quite competitive. Being gay or vegetarian just doesn’t cut it any more.

Hal

Note at no point did they claim to have actually reduced the number of people in poverty, they just threw out the raw numbers. As it turned out, they'd simply lowered the poverty line; people who'd been counted as being impoverished under the old regime were suddenly no longer considered such. Their situation was no better, and when comparing apples to apples, it was discovered that, gasp, there were actually more people under the old poverty line than before.

Apparently that's what's going on in Brazil at the moment.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

On Sunday, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil faces an impeachment vote in the lower house of Congress. The charge? That she manipulated government accounts to make the deficit look smaller than it really was before the last election.

But that’s ridiculous. Governments always try to downplay the deficit before an election. It’s naughty, but it’s not a hanging offence.

But the knives are out for Rousseff, and if she loses the congressional vote, she is heading straight for impeachment. So who would take over while Rousseff is on trial?

Vice-President Michel Temer, and he would be more than happy to do that. In fact, a recently leaked audio tape reveals him rehearsing the speech he would make if Rousseff were suspended.

Rousseff was furious, accusing Temer of betrayal, and she now talks about him as the chief conspirator in a coup plot against her democratically elected government.

But Temer is himself facing impeachment, on the same charge of cooking the government books to hide the scale of the deficit.

Hal

Growing up in a house with a parent or relative with BPD certainly counts as "suffering long-term childhood abuse that has to be covered up until well into adulthood". It's environmental, not genetic.

Ayup.

Through my version of a childhood, I got basically everything except sexual abuse, extending over years, and still had the reactions to that background echoing long after. And, even with the assorted reactions, unofficial assessments from assorted associates have been variations on rock steady and reliable. For official assessments, there was one time I landed in the middle of several someone else's screwup that was so spectacular that I went to get checked out by a couple of shrinks, and the official assessment was of my being stone cold sane and healthy as a horse . . . .

Hal

Quite a few of my niece’s and nephew’s school friends have, it seems, recently become afflicted with everything from very specific dietary requirements to gender fluidity and other exotic ailments. It’s quite competitive. Being gay or vegetarian just doesn’t cut it any more.

Kate Fox, Watching The English.

As noted in That Entire Page . . . . .

aelfheld

Rejection of those we deem too aggressive to function in mainstream society is not a good enough answer.

Shooting, however, is.

Joe Ego

Violence is the symptom of a system that is larger than individual people.

I'm disappointed she didn't specify a "cis, white supremacist" system. Now I'm confused if she is advocating for more and larger systems that negate individuality, but only when run by mentally abnormal racial minorities.

The other highlight was noted by Spiny: she claims to be a therapist. Who could possibly certify this nutjob? Who could this nutjob possibly assist (aside from serving as an example)? What risk does she pose to those she works with?

Daniel Ream

The social work, counselling/therapy, and abnormal psychology fields are full of deeply disturbed people avoiding their own disorders by "helping" other people with theirs.

Chester Draws

Quite a few of my niece’s and nephew’s school friends have, it seems, recently become afflicted with everything from very specific dietary requirements to gender fluidity and other exotic ailments. It’s quite competitive. Being gay or vegetarian just doesn’t cut it any more.

Indeed. My daughters' school is similar. Every day they come home with stories of someone's new mental affliction/dietary requirement/sexual twist.

It's a good reason to pick an old-fashioned school. I'm not Catholic, but the Catholic school I work at basically kills all this nonsense dead. We have boys with actual dietary issues, and who actually are confused sexually, but none of the made-up nonsense. It's mainly down to our counselors who, being Catholic, have none of the SJW foolishness. It doesn't stop any of the boys being gay, for example, it just prevents them from gloating about it as if it were a cause of superiority.

james

As a social worker in a child psychiatry department

Oh Lord! I take it then that helping the patient is not the primary aim of that psychiatry department

dicentra

The social work, counselling/therapy, and abnormal psychology fields are full of deeply disturbed people avoiding their own disorders by "helping" other people with theirs.

My dad was dept chair of the psych department and also a cerebral narcissist. He could diagnose a personality disorder at 30 paces but never suspected that he had one.

If something were wrong with him he would KNOW, see.

His fellow faculty members were likewise a motley crew of weirdos and suchlike.

BTW, one of the fastest ways to rule out a personality disorder is when that person voluntarily seeks out professional counseling. PDs only darken the doorway of a therapist's office when ordered by the courts, a spouse, or when they're trying to prove to someone else that there's nothing wrong with them.

THERAPIST: I think you may have a problem.

PATIENT (later): He said I was just fine.

james

Quite a few of my niece’s and nephew’s school friends have, it seems, recently become afflicted with everything from very specific dietary requirements to gender fluidity and other exotic ailments. It’s quite competitive. Being gay or vegetarian just doesn’t cut it any more.

Worse again, there is a type of parent who is quite happy to encourage this.

It used be that parents lived vicariously through their kids' academic, artistic and sporting achievements.

You can now add exotic victimhood to that list

Hal

My dad was dept chair of the psych department and also a cerebral narcissist. He could diagnose a personality disorder at 30 paces but never suspected that he had one.

If something were wrong with him he would KNOW, see.

His fellow faculty members were likewise a motley crew of weirdos and suchlike.

Mount Misery, Samuel Shem, M.D.

Along with his previous book, The House of God, highly recommended--- House, in fact winding up so recommended that the 1978 novel got its own book of essays thirty years later.

Hal

Hmmm. An example of something other than screaming Look At Me!!!! has turned up.

Rainbow-colored nooses that caused uproar at Tennessee university were a student art project

The official statement from on high declares that;

“This is a lesson for everyone about sensitivity and respect for all people and how inclusive and understanding we need to be as a campus community,” Austin Peay President Alisa White said in a statement. “While we support the freedom of expression on our campus, we also have to keep in mind that there are symbols that have very specific and negative meanings to everyone, especially if context is not provided. Therefore the artwork was inappropriate and had to be removed for the safety of our campus.

“I am deeply sorry for the impact this has had on our campus community and we will learn from this and ensure something like this does not happen again.”

But not all are joining in in with, so to speak, hanging their heads.

Another Facebook user, however, argued that “this is what art is about.”

“As an actual lesbian,” she wrote, “I’m going to say this: If the piece truly was about suicides in LGBT community, than (sic) it was a spectacular piece. It needs to have attention, not just small articles here and there. Suicides in the LGBT community is an epidemic.

“Whoever the student was, bravo, you have the attention of the people, that is what art is about. It’s not always going to be pretty, it’s going to be raw, and from the heart. Art tells a story.”

Jason

...ever day, in every way, I really, really want to follow the example of Wonko the Sane.

Frank
"Borderline personality disorder" = clinically an arsehole.
Yes, yes. From experience of the receiving end of the BPD equation I think you missed out the all important fuckwit aspect of things. These people tend to be nasty fucking idiots. Run away for god's sake.
ACTOldFart

"I'm fat, ugly and stupid, what's the Government going to do about it?"

Why, give you a performance arts grant, of course.

Dom

Another cake hoax. A gay activist in Texas says Whole Foods wrote the word "fag" on his cake. Whole Foods says he did it himself, and -- be still my heart -- is suing the activist.

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/19/whole-foods-were-suing-the-gay-activist-who-claimed-we-sold-him-a-cake-with-a-slur-written-on-it-and-we-have-video/

Bill de Haan

The social work, counselling/therapy, and abnormal psychology fields are full of deeply disturbed people avoiding their own disorders by "helping" other people with theirs.

I forget who said it, but the quote "I've yet to meet a psychiatrist who didn't need a psychiatrist" comes to mind.

Bill de Haan

But "healthcare"? Sweet Jesus, she lives in Montreal. In Quebec. In Canada. A country whose identity rests on hockey and single-payer healthcare.

You left out the Mounties, Tim Hortons, maple syrup, beavers, canoes and kayaks, Nanaimo bars, toques, poutine...

A province that prides itself on being further to the left than any other province.

You've never been to British Columbia, I take it. Referred to by the rest of Canada as "The Left Coast", with reason.

Bill de Haan

Back in the real world, I have met several men with OCD of varying degrees but I've never met a women with it, as far as I could tell anyway.

I've met lots of obsessive people, of both genders, though I suspect my choice of vocation (software development) may explain that through selective sampling.

Engineers tend to joke that they're all OCD, but I've met a couple of people actual clinical OCD, and it really is no joke. I'm talking about people who've scrubbed their fingernails off, or combed their hair until theirs scalps bled, that sort of thing. It's anecdotal, of course, but of the three I've met, two were women.

Bill de Haan

"Rejection of those we deem too aggressive to function in mainstream society is not a good enough answer."

Shooting, however, is.

There's a far better use for these types - the armed forces. I've met quite a number of two-time losers with waaaay too much aggression, and time on their hands, who were headed for a lifetime behind bars. Instead, they got, shall we say redirected into the service (I'm most familiar with the Navy types), usually by the courts.

It doesn't always work, of course. But more often than not, putting a hyper aggressive type in a tin can with 50 other guys who won't take any of his crap, plus teaching him a trade, and giving him a purpose in life, and a reasonable hope that he can make his life better if he chooses to do, quite often turns a lot of these guys around.

Or, as one colleague once put it, "Are you seriously telling me this guy beat up three of our guys in a bar, and threw two MPs through a plate glass window, and you want to lay charges? Get this son of a bitch in a uniform! Sign him up!"

Tim Newman

Kate Fox, Watching The English.

Great book.

Hal

Hang on, lemme get that italic you spawned.

'k, that should do it---these fixes never show in the preview.

Or David'll be up in a bit anyway.

Hal

Right, cascade fixed.

Now, getting back to the thread, would anyone have any job leads for a general back office staff person, which're near a Bart station?---For those not on the US left coast, that's the general SF bay area . . .

The general description has been general operational support, helping run projects, explain things, document things, customer support, system facilitation, the stuff of being a very general stage manager/circus ring master/Sergeant Major, where someone has to keep the background plumbing going so that the department, division, company leads don't have to . . .

The question has gotten asked of what kind of company is being considered, and the uniform answer really is simply near a Bart station. Regular repeated assurances have been of doing such administration really well, where from there the preferences are rather agnostic about what kind of company, and with distinct flexibility from there . . . And responses do keep piling up from clients/customers of Thank you, thank you, that was wonderful, that's exactly what I needed, etc., so there is the ongoing assurance of getting assorted job and project work done very well.

---And there is a particular niche possibility that people have indeed thought was really interesting, but no backing so far . . .

Daniel Ream

It's anecdotal, of course, but of the three I've met, two were women.

There's a curious trend I've observed of educated, intelligent women with raging BPD instead self-describing as having Asperger's or an autism spectrum disorder like OCD, despite their behaviour not matching those criteria at all. It seems to be yet another way for them to excuse being terrible to people. "It's not my fault! I have OPD!"

David

‘k, that should do it—

Good man. Help yourself to cake.

Chester Draws

The type of hyperattention to detail and lack of care for social niceties that Sheldon Cooper typifies is very male. But it is not OCD. It might verge into obsessive but it's rarely compulsive.

Of course you can be both, but OCPD is not crippling and OCD is.

Hal

Good man. Help yourself to cake.

Thank you, thank you . . . albeit for dessert I did already have a large mass of pie washed down with Lapsang Souchong . . .

And yeah, the cake I'm looking for is rather more that in the followup post . . .

Meh.

Bloody ()*#@^$&_()*^& Meh.

Tim Newman

Thanks, Hal.

My HTML isn't so good at 3am.

JJM

Back in the old days people like this were institutionalized to protect both themselves and society.

Isn't progress wonderful?

rabbit

Daniel Ream:

To claim that mental health issues are always the result of a traumatic childhood is just flat-out wrong. Many such problems arise from no obvious external cause.

WTP

she claims to be a therapist. Who could possibly certify this nutjob? Who could this nutjob possibly assist (aside from serving as an example)? What risk does she pose to those she works with?

There's the nut of it, pun intended. Very messed up people get into psychology. They're trying to figure out why they're messed up and thus once they (think) they do figure it out, they must be good at such and thus some with little other prospects go into the field professionally. The profession has some very serious quality control issues.

The quality control issue is quite similar to what has gone on in the Clown Quarter of Academia. Once the credentialers of credentialers slip in quality, the wheels come off.

WTP

Ah...and reading the very next comment, Daniel says similar and others...So Daniel, since you seem to be in the know on this stuff, is there any chance the profession will right itself?

Daniel Ream

To claim that mental health issues are always the result of a traumatic childhood is just flat-out wrong.

How fortunate, then, that I said no such thing.

So Daniel, since you seem to be in the know on this stuff, is there any chance the profession will right itself?

I think it's about as likely as academia rediscovering a dedication to objective truth and the classics of great Western thought, and for the same reasons. It's even more difficult to objectively measure outcomes in psychology than in medicine, so fads abound and can't be easily proven or disproven. Add to that that there are a lot of very unstable people on the wrong side of the therapist's couch and I don't see anything changing.

As our understanding of neuropsychiatry and brain structure improves, we're learning a lot more about the biological basis for personality, thought and behaviour, but unfortunately that's also leading to a "medicate the hell out of everything" approach.

dicentra

To claim that mental health issues are always the result of a traumatic childhood is just flat-out wrong.

No shit, Sigmund. Which mental health issue makes you read things that aren't there?

Personality disorders are 100% psychological. That which is organic is -- by definition -- not a personality disorder. There is often co-morbidity of a PD with a brain disorder (bipolar, schizophrenia, addiction), but they are two different things.

I know someone who is bipolar AND who has paranoid personality disorder (which results from an overly combative childhood environment -- she and her sibs had to call the cops on their parents' fights). One of her parents was likely bipolar, too, so she inherited bipolar biologically but developed PPD from the hellish environment that her parent's brain disorder fomented.

Depression runs on my father's side. His grandmother's depression contributed mightily to the abusive environment in which my grandfather and father were raised, leading them to develop NPD, which, like all personality disorders, is a psychological defense mechanism gone horribly wrong.

I've inherited the depression but I did not developed NPD, because there were enough mitigating factors in my childhood environment that I didn't need to develop the PD to protect myself.

There's lots of entanglement with brain disorders and personality disorders through the generations, but the etiology of each is completely different.

Which, you don't need to be a licensed therapist to know that (I'm not), you just need to be halfway observant and not be a black-and-white thinker.

dicentra

The type of hyperattention to detail and lack of care for social niceties that Sheldon Cooper typifies is very male. But it is not OCD. It might verge into obsessive but it's rarely compulsive.

Sheldon Cooper is a quintessential Asperger's guy, exaggerated for comic effect. His writers are obviously familiar both with the clinical definition AND they know (or are) plenty of Aspies.

I recently saw an episode of BBT wherein it was discovered that Leonard had failed to return a video to the video store many years earlier; Sheldon freaked out and Leonard protested that he was overreacting.

So Sheldon asked Leonard to understand what it's like to be Sheldon: until Leonard resolved the video issue, he had to wear an itchy sweater (Brit: "jumper") next to his skin.

The Aspie brain continually torments its owner with the itchy-sweater treatment over all manner of irregularities, flaws, crooked pictures, anything awry or aslope or atilt, anything that is Not How It Ought To Be.

When an Aspie straightens the picture, however, the itching goes away; for the sufferer of OCD, the itching never stops, because the brain never produces the "all's well" signal.

The human brain is monster. Its malfunctions don't produce bunnies and rainbows but instead an unrelenting hell.

Also?

Asperger's occurs more often in males than in females, which is why software development is overwhelmingly male.

THAT'S THE ONLY REASON, OK? Female software developers are Aspies, too.

Chester Draws

When an Aspie straightens the picture, however, the itching goes away; for the sufferer of OCD, the itching never stops, because the brain never produces the "all's well" signal.

Nicely put.

Hedgehog

"It's not my fault! I have OPD!"

And what is OPD, may I ask? Other People's Disorder?

dicentra

So this morning in the break room at the software development company where I work, someone noticed that the levers on the Foosball table had been left awry.

"It's an OCD test," someone else remarked, and then explained that sometimes he likes to set the time on one of the two microwaves ahead by a minute, just to see how long that lasts, but that if someone leaves unused time on the microwave he can't leave it there.

Which, the display on one of the microwaves was ":38" and yup, I ran over and hit cancel to Right the Universe.

"Gotta recycle those seconds," we all agreed.

Fuel Filter

"I believe that no one “goes crazy” on their own — that we live in a society that is crazy-making in its capacity for trauma, denial, and rejection of its own complicity in the creation of disturbed and violent individuals."

Ah yes, "The Myth of Mental Illness"

Paging Thomas Szaz...(did I spell that right?)

David

Which, the display on one of the microwaves was “:38” and yup, I ran over and hit cancel to Right the Universe.

At Guild of Evil HQ we have some overlapping vertical blinds that have to overlap just so, spaced equally, lest it bother me. But I maintain this is an aesthetic matter, not a sign of catastrophic brain fever.

I’m not sure The Other Half is entirely convinced.

Daniel Ream

Sheldon Cooper is a quintessential Asperger's guy, exaggerated for comic effect. His writers are obviously familiar both with the clinical definition AND they know (or are) plenty of Aspies.

I have to disagree with this. Having known a handful of people with actual diagnosed Asperger's syndrome, I'd describe Sheldon as a neurotypical's idea of an Asperger's sufferer.

Rather a lot of people who have no real disorder beyond being rude and antisocial are laying claim to Asperger's these days because it has a cachet to it.

Asperger's occurs more often in males than in females, which is why software development is overwhelmingly male.

THAT'S THE ONLY REASON, OK? Female software developers are Aspies, too.

I've been working in the software engineering field for twenty years, and I have never met anyone with actual Asperger's Syndrome. The number of people I've met with Sheldon Cooper Syndrome I can count on one hand, because neither Asperger's Syndrome nor Sheldon Cooper Syndrome actually make you skilled at anything, and software engineers by definition have jobs where they have to get along with other people.

Software engineering is overwhelmingly male for the same reason that conventional engineering is overwhelmingly male: men and women are interested in and good at different things, and men tend to skew more towards the design and engineering skills. That's not Asperger's Syndrome. That's like saying that the reason there are more women in child care is that obsessive attachment disorders are more common in women.

dicentra

neither Asperger's Syndrome nor Sheldon Cooper Syndrome actually make you skilled at anything

I have no idea what kind of Asperger's Syndrome you're talking about, then. It's not the one my nephew has (having been duly diagnosed, and who participates in neurological studies at Vanderbilt wherein they suss out his Aspie wiring). Not the one I've researched. Not the one that my co-workers have to one degree or another.

I don't give a rip about people who lay claim to Asperger's or any other brain configuration to excuse their bad behavior.

Aspies only appear to be rude. They have zero intention of offending people and are often perplexed if not devastated when they find out they've hurt someone. They just have a hard time picking up on the unspoken rules that neurotypicals live by.

One of my genius-level Aspie co-workers used to razz me in exactly the same way that guys razz each other, and at first I was taken aback because it felt downright rude.

Then I realized that he just hadn't picked up on the unspoken rule that you tease girls slightly differently than you do other guys. I knew him well enough that I knew there was no malice in his intent, so I just rolled with it. I also could tell that he didn't know he was making a faux pas.

Not all my co-workers would make that mistake. Most of them have enough savvy to not do that. But the less likely they were to make that mistake, the more likely the full-on Aspie could destroy them at chess without breaking a sweat.

I'm a tech writer with a background in the humanities. It's my job to understand what the developers are doing and translate it into English. The difference between them and me is NOT that they took different classes in college: it's in the way they THINK, and it's fundamentally different from how humanities pukes think or even how the marketing and sales peeps think.

Are you a therapist, a software developer, or just another know-it-all, like me?

Geezer

(did I spell that right?)

Close. It's Szasz.

dicentra

I went back and reviewed the clinical definition of Asperger Syndrome (albeit on Wikipedia).

I've been using the term "Asperger Syndrome" imprecisely (not to mention adding an apostrophe S where it doesn't belong, an unforgivable sin in itself).

I was wrong to do that, so I'm issuing a correction.

My nephew definitely has Asperger Syndrome. My co-workers do not, although some of them might have met (or appeared to have met) the clinical definition when they were children.

I've been erroneously applying the term "Aspie" and "Asperger['s] Syndrome" to refer to characteristics that differ from AS in terms of degree more than of kind, but that nevertheless do not qualify as AS.

For example, one classic symptom of AS is undue interest the parts instead of the whole — hyper awareness of the trees without caring about (or relating to) the forest.

I often run into difficulty with software developers, because when I ask them about a feature they begin from details rather than starting from a general description and then drilling down.

I once spent four hours with a couple of product managers (coders themselves), trying to understand what their new product did. I was too new to ask the right questions at the beginning (what problem does this product solve?), so I had to piece together the answer from the scattered descriptions of discrete processes.

Once I finally got it, I was able to describe the product to my fellow tech writers in five minutes, because I started with the general concept and drilled down to the details.

Another time, I participated in a presentation wherein some developers and I were explaining our product to the team that was going to translate the UI and documentation. The developer started with how to set the IP address for the management interface. I had to interrupt and explain the general use case for our product, as well as explain a LOT of Networking 101 stuff that for the developer was as obvious as water to a fish.

The translators were not technical people, and the developer knew it, but it didn't occur to her that she needed to take several steps back and see the product from the perspective of total ignorance. Had I asked her to do so ahead of time, she still would have struggled to explain our product to an amateur

I run into the detail vs. general problem almost every day.

I often ask developers a very specific question about a feature and get a firehose of information about the feature that doesn't answer my question.

"When the user clicks that button, will they still see X?" Instead of yes or no, he describes the entire process launched by pressing the button; if I'm lucky he'll say something from which I can infer my answer. But usually not.

"Is X still visible after the user clicks the button?"

He repeats what he told me the first time. It can take several tries before he'll confine his answer to the information I asked for. Or I'll say, "OK, so the answer is no, it's not visible."

"Oh, you mean on the UI? No, it's not visible on the UI."

Which is the only thing I document, and he knows it, but he can't seem to focus his mind on what the feature looks like from the user's perspective.

Which, our product is used only by enterprise-level networking professionals. The coders are developing a product for their peers. But they still have a hard time putting themselves in the user's place, even though the user's knowledge base isn't all that different from theirs.

Here's the thing: my Aspie nephew would make that mistake if he were a coder. (He's only 18, so he's not a coder yet.) But it's the kind of thing he does.

My MALE humanities colleagues (tech writers, fellow grad students) think more like I do, and the FEMALE developers think like the other developers, so it's not a MALE thing. It's an Asperger-type brain pattern, which occurs more often in males — a type of brain pattern that in a concentrated form meets the criteria for Asperger Syndrome and when even more exaggerated is Autism.

So I'm going to stop insisting that my co-workers are Aspies. They're not. They're just Aspie-like.

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