Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Men's Health List of "100 Angriest Cities in America"

The higher the number, the more steamed-up the people are likely to be.

How did we gauge rage? Statistically (and from a safe distance). We calculated the number of aggravated assaults per capita (FBI), the number of people with high blood pressure (CDC), the amount of time spent in traffic during rush hour (Texas Transportation Institute), and the number of anger-management specialists per capita (American Psychological Association).

Most PO'd
100 Detroit, MI
99 Baltimore, MD
98 St. Petersburg, FL
97 Las Vegas, NV
96 Newark, NJ
95 Charleston, WV
94 Dallas, TX
93 Houston, TX
92 Philadelphia, PA
91 Miami, FL
90 Riverside, CA
89 Memphis, TN
88 Oklahoma City, OK
87 Louisville, KY
86 Los Angeles, CA
85 Jersey City, NJ
84 Fort Worth, TX
83 Jacksonville, FL
82 Indianapolis, IN
81 Boston, MA
80 Chicago, IL
79 Orlando, FL
78 New Orleans, LA
77 Stockton, CA
76 Oakland, CA
75 Sacramento, CA
4 Washington, DC
73 St. Louis, MO
72 Phoenix, AZ
71 Baton Rouge, LA
70 San Jose, CA
69 Tampa, FL
68 Aurora, CO
67 El Paso, TX
66 Winston-Salem, NC
65 Birmingham, AL
64 Tucson, AZ
63 Santa Ana, CA
62 Bridgeport, CT
61 Billings, MT
60 Tulsa, OK
59 Manchester, NH
58 New York, NY
57 Lexington, KY
56 Little Rock, AR
55 St. Paul, MN
54 Charlotte, NC
53 San Diego, CA
52 Fresno, CA
51 Atlanta, GA
50 Cleveland, OH
49 Columbus, OH
48 Lubbock, TX
47 San Antonio, TX
46 Plano, TX
45 Richmond, VA
44 Greensboro, NC
43 Providence, RI
42 Albuquerque, NM
41 Denver, CO
40 Austin, TX
39 Kansas City, MO
38 Jackson, MS
37 Bakersfield, CA
36 Milwaukee, WI
35 San Francisco, CA
34 Chesapeake, VA
33 Corpus Christi, TX
32 Nashville, TN
31 Sioux Falls, SD
30 Raleigh, NC
29 Toledo, OH
28 Laredo, TX
27 Cincinnati, OH
26 Buffalo, NY
25 Minneapolis, MN
24 Norfolk, VA
23 Honolulu, HI
22 Wilmington, DE
21 Durham, NC
20 Seattle, WA
19 Des Moines, IA
18 Fort Wayne, IN
17 Pittsburgh, PA
16 Boise, ID
15 Omaha, NE
14 Portland, ME
13 Virginia Beach, VA
12 Portland, OR
11 Columbia, SC
10 Anchorage, AK
9 Reno, NV
8 Wichita, KS
7 Cheyenne, WY
6 Salt Lake City, UT
5 Madison, WI
4 Colorado Springs, CO
3 Fargo, ND
2 Lincoln, NE
1 Burlington, VT

For more information, go to Men's Health.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who's the Crazy One Around Here?

From New Hampshire ran the following curious story:

A public backlash has followed the comments of a 91-year-old freshman state representative who said Thursday that funding for the mentally ill should be cut because he doesn't support state funding for "the crazy people" who should be sent to "Siberia."

State Rep. Martin Harty, R-Barrington, told Sharon Omand, a program manager at Community Partners, which provides behavioral health and developmental services for Strafford County, that he believed in eugenics and disagreed with her about the need for funds for mental health services.

"The world population has gotten too big and the world is being inherited by too many defective people," he told her....

..."New Hampshire is committed to taking care of those less fortunate and has a long history of doing so," said Republican former state Sen. George Lovejoy in a statement sent to the paper. "The goal of the new Republican majority of our legislature is to serve the voice of the people and Representative Harty does not."

Kate Messler is a special-needs student at Oyster River High School, and a player-manager for the girls' basketball team. She has been featured in Foster's for her participation in team sports.

Her mother, Patricia, said she was sickened by Harty's comments.

"The importance of groups like Community Partners and the support services within the schools are why Kate has prospered," she said. "Without them Kate would not be the person she is today."

Messler added there are no defective people.

"Everyone can make a difference whether you're able or disabled," she said. "There are no defective people in this world. No one is perfect."

UPDATE: Harty is resigning due to the "slightly unfavorable publicity" generated by his comments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Efforts to Stop "Suicide by Cop"

In this rather lengthy Miller-McCune article, Julia Dahl describes the problem facing law enforcement when confronted by mentally ill or desperate individuals seeking to end their lives in a hail of bullets. One solution that has been producing results and preventing needless shootings has been CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training, but not all police departments have embraced this technique.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Army Considers Using a New Class of Drugs for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

This hot news item was mentioned by Bob Brewin in his blog, What's Brewin', dated 2 March 2011:

The Army plans to test neuroprotective drugs to treat traumatic brain injury, the service's top scientist told members of the House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Dr. Marilyn Freeman, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology, told lawmakers the service plans to test the effectiveness of drugs that help prevent damage to axons, which carry electrical impulses from nerve cells.

The drugs, so the theory goes according to this video, help prevent TBI by ensuring axons don't die as a result of a brain injury.

I wish I had paid better attention in biology class.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

DBSA Colorado State Now a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit!

It involved some trouble and expense on our part, but the DBSA Colorado State organization has achieved 501(c)(3) status, and can now receive tax-deductible contributions. This milestone is a necessary step in our efforts to become a positive force for mental health consumers in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.

Staying Cool Under Pressure

A Slate Magazine article revisits a topic addressed in books such as The Survivors Club.

"When I was researching Nerve, my new book about how people deal best with fear, pressure, and stress, I got quizzed about this constantly. Is cool-headedness born, people wanted to know, or is it made? We've been arguing about this question since the days of Socrates, but until recently, psychologists had very little hard data about how genes and experience interact to determine how we respond under stress. We now have a far more solid idea of where cool comes from, however. Poise under pressure, it turns out, does indeed have a strong genetic component—yet our poise is mostly the result of what we do to build it up throughout our lives."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Another Way of Saying, "Hollywood Eats Its Own"

The Bookworm Room blog makes this statement about actor Charlie Sheen's ongoing meltdown:

England’s Bethlem Royal Hospital, founded in the 13th Century as [St. Mary Bethlehem] part of a convent, eventually transformed itself into the world’s first facility dedicated to the mentally ill. By the 16th Century, when it housed only the mentally ill, it was famous for the cruelty with which those patients were treated. The word “bedlam,” which describes a situation that is completely out of control, is a bastardization of the hospital’s name....

The practice of making insanity a public show changed only when people realized the indecency and immortality of laughing and staring at people who were helpless victims of their own mental illnesses. People of good will now think to themselves, “I never would sink to such a low practice.”

Apparently the American media is not made up of people of good will. For as long as I’ve been aware of him, Charlie Sheen has been a substance abuser and a loathsome individual. Now, though, it’s apparent that his vices have caught up with him and rendered him mentally ill. Reading the transcripts of his interviews his definite evidence that he has parted with reality. Normal people, even eccentric people, do not say “I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

In a decent world, Sheen would get the treatment he requires. In an indecent world, he’s paraded around for the media’s profit, just as the inmates at Bethlem Hospital were once paraded around for the profit of their ostensible caretakers. It’s embarrassing to watch someone sink into such complete degradation.

Some might say that Sheen wants this publicity. He’s actively seeking it, after all, as he has done for the length of his career. There’s a difference, though, between a mentally functioning person (even a low functioning person) taking appropriate steps to advance his career, and a mentally ill person treading that same path. It reminds me of the arguments the ACLU always makes about the paranoid schizophrenics on the streets of San Francisco: “They want to be there.” Yes, that’s true. They do indeed want to live on the streets, eating garbage, crawling with lice, and having suppurating wounds all over their body. But they want to live that way because they’re crazy as loons. Their desire to be dysfunctional (starving, filthy and diseased) on the streets is evidence of their insanity. A decent society, rather than saying “Great, eat garbage,” helps them out...

Stating the Obvious: Study Shows Speed Dating Rarely Works

An article in confirms what you probably figured out on your own by now.


* Humans and other animals can only handle so much variety before confusion and indecision set in.
* Speed dating usually presents us with an unnatural number of choices, so people often choose the wrong mater or can't choose at all.
* The findings help to explain problems with other situations involving variety, such as long menus.

Prior research indicates non-human animals also make poor choices, or none at all, when confronted with too much variety. For people, the discovery could help to explain all sorts of transaction and social failures, from inability to select a proper home after viewing dozens to what could be called the "George Clooney effect" -- the inability of some people to fully settle down even when dating multiple attractive, wealthy and otherwise desirable partners.