Archive for mental illness

Bullying - Learned In School, Practiced In The Adult World - It Must Stop



We've all been exposed in real life to bullying -- either as an innocent bystander, perhaps even as a swept-up in the moment participant or sadly as a victim. Let's be real with ourselves, even if we can't be with others. We're more likely to have contributed at some point than to have rushed to someone's defense. That doesn't make us bad. It means we're all human and we're all vulnerable. Nobody wants to be on the outside looking in. There are pressures many times to join in or be ostracized ourselves. So we take the weak or cowardly way out. The course of least resistance.

Like sucking our thumbs or picking our noses, we generally outgrow these dirty habits. Some of them are learned naturally, others in school. They generally start when we're young and vulnerable. That's where they're most likely going to be corrected. Yet for many, the bad habits continue on to later in life when the damage can be even worse.

If we don't find ourselves early enough, if we don't develop the strength to stand up for justice, fairness and tolerance for others not as well off or popular, the future isn't pretty. Below is a video that's worth looking at.

Bullying - Catch it early or it'll catch us: The translation at the end says,

"A day of work doesn't have to be like this. Nor a day at school. Bullying is learned!"


Dogboy & Mr. Dan Look At The Affordable Care Act


sychronized head in the sandGOP Synchronized Head-In-The-Sand Class

The Republicans are in such a hurry to destroy the Affordable Care Act (I'm getting tired of giving into the misleading Republican nickname for the law) that they can't see the forest through the trees or as they'd prefer to mock, you can't see the doctor through the patients. These GOP'ers just don't get it. They would prefer to stick their head in the sand than face the music and dance.

So, clever satirist and political cartoonist Mark Fiore has made another 2 minute episode of Dogboy & Mr. Dan. It's smart, funny and boy, does it pack a wallop. Now if only John Bonehead and Eric Cantorwont would carve out a few minutes from their hectic schedules of misinformation and obstruction to check this out, maybe they'd actually learn something. Oh, but that would be crazy. Wait. Crazy? Mental health is covered under the new healthcare law -- the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act --now that the provisions are finally taking effect. All Republicans should take advantage of it. And they don't have to worry about it being a pre-existing condition. The ACA has fixed that loophole.

I know it's a lot to ask of them, but hey, would you like to see what the Republican Talking Machine is blathering about? Sometime the truth hurts. Under the Affordable Care Act, Bonehead and Cantorwont would actually be covered for that, too.

Just click on the picture below, and you'll be whisked away to a few minutes of fun satire:

Dogboy & Mr. Dan2

Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Linzack


Cops Rape Autistic Boy Of Innocence, Then Arrest Him


bad dog

The parents of a child with any sort of physical or mental disability live a life-long sentence. As long as you have your child you're always be wondering what if they hadn't been born, or developed their affliction. What did my innocent child do to deserve this? What did we parents do to deserve this? Why my child? Why him/her? Why us?

You can ask all you want, but there generally are no answers. None that will provide comfort, anyway.

I speak from first hand experience. My younger brother at four years of age was diagnosed as mentally retarded. Then, with advances in medicine and diagnosis came new names, mentally challenged, trainable mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, then years later autistic and then he was tagged as having Asperger's Syndrome. But giving his condition a title didn't make life any easier.

Now 60, by brother is physically like anyone else his age -- you'd not know or suspect anything unusual about him -- until he opened his mouth. Then you'd realize that you were talking to perhaps a 10 or 12 year old child on an emotional level. Intellectually he's a savant. He read a Spanish/English dictionary one time through, and now knows every Spanish word and it's English meaning. He can't speak the language, but his memory is such that he remembers everything.

Yet just like in Rain Man, there are certain things he can and can't handle. Change is one of those challenges. He's Mr. Routine. If anything becomes out of the ordinary, he'll have a meltdown. Not physically a threat to himself or others, just a total emotional quagmire, lugubrious confusion.

Growing up he never had a friend. Never. And he was used and abused by the local kids. So anxious to be accepted, to be their friend and liked by them, he'd do anything they told him.

You can imagine the hurt and pain that resulted in -- both to him and those who loved him.

On one occasion the front bell rang. My mother opened the door and standing there, with dog poop in his mouth and smeared all over his face was my brother. While my mother went into shock, she saw the other kids scamper away, laughing and shouting "He ate dog shit, he ate dog shit!" as they fled.

So pain goes deep when thinking about the plight of any handicapped child for me. As I've gotten older, I've certainly learned to cope and be tolerant of others who aren't as enlightened as humanity requires.

My heart was crushed and empathy oozed when I read the Raw Story:

Parents of autistic teen arrested in undercover drug sting sue school district

Police used a mentally challenged, special needs student as a shill in a marijuana sting, then arresedt him. They played on the boy's disability... and for what?

If you don't want your stomach turned, don't go on any farther. The video is below if you have the fortitude to watch it. But in it you're going to hear how a 17 year old autistic boy came home from his first day in high school this year with startling news. He had made a friend in art class. A friend. Something he never had before. He was the happiest he'd ever been. And his parents, stunned by this news, had a ray of hope for the first time. Was their boy on the road to a seemingly normal life?

Over a few weeks, the two boys retained their "friendship". The new friend, according to the parents:

Snodgrass-Reason-TV Doug and Catherine Snodgrass

...pressured their lonely and vulnerable son with more than 60 text messages over about three weeks into buying half a joint from a homeless man.

The mentally challenged boy felt he was doing wrong but if it meant he could keep his friendship, he'd do it. The normal kid said they couldn't be friends anymore if he didn't buy a second joint. Reluctantly the challenged boy did buy the joint for his friend. When he handed it over, the normal boy slapped handcuffs on the autistic kid and arrested him. He wasn't a friend or even a real student. He was an undercover cop who used this autistic child in a sting, then arrested him for breaking the law.

The parents weren't even notified that their boy had been put into jail. They had to discover that hours later on their own.

Is this what police work has resulted to? This whole sting netted 22 students, most of them special needs kids. They were used. Want to see the disgusting whole story:

Since his arrest, the autistic boy has relapsed. He's regressed and all because the police in Temecula California and the school department needed to nab some non-violent, victim-less "criminals." These criminals are of their own making.

Is this what police investigations and sting operations are all about? If so, shame on them.

It's the crime against humanity that the police should be charged with. This boy and the others who were co-opted into this sting will bear the scars of this for a lifetime. Perhaps they'd never have lived full, productive, lives. But like my brother, who I love dearly, they'd have had a chance. Now who knows?


Gun makers set our national policy. "Is having such easy access to guns worth the carnage?" No.



Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "13 dead in D.C. shooting," Sept. 17

For too long we have allowed the gun lobby to set our national gun policy. It has been a perilous experiment that has cost American lives, including 12 innocents at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.

The gun lobby's only interest is to sell more guns, plain and simple, so it steadfastly opposes any and all attempts to implement the most common-sense regulations, such as requiring a background check for every firearm purchase. Too many spineless politicians kowtow to the lobby's demands.

Mass shootings committed with dangerous weapons easily obtained by dangerous people have become commonplace. It's time to establish a national gun policy that has saving American lives as its priority.

Loren Lieb



The elephant in the room grows larger by the day and still goes unnoticed.

What a sad commentary it is on the state of our society when mental illness goes improperly untreated, as it apparently did for gunman Aaron Alexis. How many opportunities arose in his life when he could have been treated?

We live in a society that puts such a stigma on mental illness that we would rather let those afflicted go untreated with the possibility of harming others or themselves rather than have a system of true mental health care.

Russ Levine



In the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, we will read the usual barrage of letters both for and against gun control, which is par for the course.

But 12 more individuals have been massacred and the gunman is dead, so each and every one of us must ask ourselves one question: Is having such easy access to guns worth the carnage? Any honest, thoughtful individual would assuredly say no.

Jack Wolf



Sadly, my reaction to the latest massacre is one of cynicism grounded in logic, given our inability to achieve responsible gun control in our country. After reading about the tragic event in our nation's capital, my questions are these: What's new about this, and when can we expect the next slaughter?

Joan Horn



VIDEO: "You know who has the job of deciding whether or not contractors get security clearances? Contractors."


good guys bad guys animated gif

shooter aaron alexis psych issues warning to Navy

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Rachel Maddow reminds us how privatization has failed us once again:

So much of what we do in national security now is done by contractors, that you know who has the job of deciding whether or not contractors get security clearances? You know who has that job? Contractors.

Contractors clear other contractors in terms of their security clearances. A private firm apparently called "First Advantage" checked out Aaron Alexis as recently as July for his clearance.

Despite the arrests, the weapons charges, the shooting incidents, the mental health issues, he apparently came up clean, got his pass, got his contractor job, got into the navy yard and presumably did what the voices in his head told him to.

If our national security state is too big to run well, then it is too big to run.

Edward Snowden only stole secrets. Aaron Alexis stole a dozen lives. What's next...?

shooter aaron alexis still able to pass security checks

Here is the entire segment. Imagine how many more people would have been killed had Alexis had an AR-15. And by the way, gun fondlers: The "good guys with guns" were the people he shot dead first, which of course allowed him to use their weapons to kill others. The "good guys with guns" couldn't stop this "bad guy with a gun":

shooter aaron alexis no AR-15 guns

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The Times reporting tonight, that the apparent shooter, Aaron Alexis, tried to buy an AR-15 military style semi-automatic assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week, but he was stopped from buying that particular weapon because of the state law that prohibits the sale of that particular kind of weapon to buyers from outside the state of Virginia.

While he was at that gun store, he did test fire the AR-15, he expressed interest in it. but because of that state law, apparently, he instead purchased a pump action, what they call a law enforcement style Remington shotgun and ammunition.

And it is that loaded shotgun that officials believe was the weapon Mr. Alexis brought with him into his assault on the Navy facility. He reportedly used that shotgun to shoot one or more police officers immediately inside the facility, and then he took handguns from police in order to continue his assault.

So he had the shotgun and two handguns, is the best understanding now of what he was armed with. He tried to get an AR-15 and could not get it from that particular shop in Virginia.


Cartoons of the Day- Navy Yard



Bill Day


Deb Milbrath


Jimmy Margulies


Joel Pett


I Just Got The Results Of My Self-Diagnosis


introverted person

Damn it. If what I've just read is true, I have a personality disorder. No, I'm not talking about anxiety or an inferiority complex. I'm talking about the big one--"introverted personality disorder" or IPD.

AMA dictionary

Ever read about or look up a disease and its symptoms and become convinced you had  it too?

Well, thanks to HuffPo and their article, "23 Signs You're Secretly an Introvert," I'm sure I got it. Maybe you do to. If you're brave enough to want to find out, just click that link and see for yourself. Beware. I took the test and now I'm "mental."

I knew I had problems, but now these have manifested themselves into a full-blown, on the list of mental illnesses, illness. Thanks to Obamacare, I won't lose my coverage for a pre-existing condition.

The first thing I did was I started doing comprehensive research to find out more of my condition. According to Psychology Today:

So what makes you an introvert? You're probably an introvert if you choose activities like reading, writing, and solving complex conundrums (think Neil Armstrong) over gunning for "life of the party" status. And introverts are better at thinking in their heads than on their feet. However, even if you contribute to advances in the sciences, technology, the arts, and the humanities, just being an introvert comes with a stigma. You may be passed up for a promotion because you don't speak up more, or seen as a snob because you don't attend a social event, or assumed to be depressed because you want to reflect rather than talk.

How come I haven't seen a commercial for this yet? I've seen them for ED, anxiety, stomach distress, sleeplessness, allergies, iron deficiency, even restless legs syndrome. C'mon, FDA, aren't you going to help? Is this cure going to be harder to find than 'Lorenzo's Oil?"

I can't believe they don't have a cure, yet. I'm doomed to have IPD for the rest of my life.

Find a quiet corner and think. Think!!

Wait a minute, maybe this isn't really an illness at all. Maybe I'm being sold a bill of goods to get me in on the ground floor. Today drug companies make billions because they make the cures before they make the illness. That way when the AMA starts calling something a disease, there's already a cure for the doctors to sell you to fix you right back up again, good as new. Patients win. Doctor's win.  Big Pharma wins.

Phewww. This simple 23 question test had me going for a while. But having an analytic mind and this introspective conversation with myself  has saved me. Yeah. I did it-- alone!

Go ahead, World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association with your authoritative manuals used for diagnosing mental disorders. Make introverted personality disorder a certifiable diagnosis. Big Pharma's got my six.


I'm proud to have this affliction, and I'm going to stay home, talk to myself and maybe read and write more about it. I'm going to enjoy it even more now that I've been self-diagnosed. And I'm even going to take advantage of this IPD. I'm going to come out and sell free "pass" cards you can give people the next time they invite you over for a party and you don't want to go. Just give 'em your pass. Available only through the internet -- this way we can avoid having to meet and carry on an interaction. Go Introverts.