Suicide is a significant problem for many adolescents in Native American Indian populations. American Indian Life Skills Development Curriculum is a course for high school students and some middle school students that is designed to drastically reduce suicidal thinking and behavior.
Created in collaboration with students and community members from the Zuni Pueblo and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, this curriculum addresses key issues in Native American Indian adolescents’ lives and teaches such life skills as communication, problem solving, depression and stress management, anger regulation, and goal setting. The course is unique in its skills-based approach. After first increasing awareness and knowledge of suicide, it then teaches students specific methods to help a peer turn away from suicidal thinking and seek help from an appropriate help-giver.
The skills-based approach of this curriculum follows well-established teaching methods to develop social skills. Teachers and peers inform students of the rationale and components of a particular skill, model and demonstrate the skill for them, and later provide feedback on individual skill performance.
In The Body in Late-Capitalist USA, Donald M. Lowe explores the varied social practices that code and construct the body. Arguing that our bodily lives are shaped by a complex of daily and ongoing practices—how we work, what we buy and consume—Lowe contends that as a result of the commodification of these and other social practices in the late-twentieth century, what we often understand to be the needs of the body are in fact means for capital accumulation. Moving beyond studies of representations and images of the body, Lowe focuses on the intersection of body practices, language, and the Social to describe concretely the reality of a lived body. His strongly synthetic work brings together Marxist critique, semiotics, Foucaultian discourse analysis, and systems and communications theory to examine those practices that construct the body under late capitalism: habits of work and consumption, the ways we give birth and raise children, socialization, mental and physical healing, reconstructions and contestations of sexuality and gender. Lowe draws upon a wide range of sources, including government and labor studies and statistics, diagnostic and statistical manuals on mental illness, computer manuals, self-help books, and guides to work-related stress disorders, to illustrate the transformation of the body into a nexus of exchange value in postmodern society.
In this extraordinary study, Michael Dorland explores sixty years of medical attempts by French doctors (mainly in the fields of neuropsychiatry and psychoanalysis) to describe the effects of concentration camp incarceration on Holocaust survivors. Dorland begins with a discussion of the liberation of concentration camp survivors, their stay in deportation camps, and eventual return to France, analyzing the circulation of mainly medical (neuropsychiatric) knowledge, its struggles to establish a symptomology of camp effects, and its broadening out into connected medical fields such as psychoanalysis. He then turns specifically to the French medical doctors who studied Holocaust survivors, and he investigates somatic, psychological, and holistic conceptions of survivors as patients and human beings. The final third of the book offers a comparative look at the “psy-science” approach to Holocaust survival beyond France, particularly in the United States and Israel. He illuminates the peculiar journey of a medical discourse that began in France but took on new forms elsewhere, eventually expanding into nonmedical fields to create the basis of the “traumato-culture” with which we are familiar today. Embedding his analysis of different medical discourses in the sociopolitical history of France in the twentieth century, he also looks at the French Jewish Question as it affected French medicine, the effects of five years of Nazi Occupation, France’s enthusiastic collaboration, and the problems this would pose for postwar collective memory.
In 2008, three years after Hurricane Katrina cut a deadly path along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, researchers J. Steven Picou and Keith Nicholls conducted a survey of the survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi, receiving more than twenty-five hundred responses, and followed up two years later with more than five hundred of the initial respondents. Showcasing their landmark findings, Caught in the Path of Katrina: A Survey of the Hurricane's Human Effects yields a more complete understanding of the traumas endured as a result of the Storm of the Century.The authors report on evacuation behaviors, separations from family, damage to homes, and physical and psychological conditions among residents of seven of the parishes and counties that bore the brunt of Katrina. The findings underscore the frequently disproportionate suffering of African Americans and the agonizingly slow pace of recovery. Highlighting the lessons learned, the book offers suggestions for improved governmental emergency management techniques to increase preparedness, better mitigate storm damage, and reduce the level of trauma in future disasters. Multiple major hurricanes have unleashed their destruction in the years since Katrina, making this a crucial study whose importance only continues to grow.
To attract readers, journalists have long trafficked in the causes of trauma--crime, violence, warfare--as well as psychological profiling of deviance and aberrational personalities. Novelists, in turn, have explored these same subjects in developing their characters and by borrowing from their own traumatic life stories to shape the themes and psychological terrain of their fiction. In this book, Doug Underwood offers a conceptual and historical framework for comprehending the impact of trauma and violence in the careers and the writings of important journalist-literary figures in the United States and British Isles from the early 1700s to today.
Grounded in the latest research in the fields of trauma studies, literary biography, and the history of journalism, this study draws upon the lively and sometimes breathtaking accounts of popular writers such as Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, and Truman Capote, exploring the role that trauma has played in shaping their literary works. Underwood notes that the influence of traumatic experience upon journalistic literature is being reshaped by a number of factors, including news media trends, the advance of the Internet, the changing nature of the journalism profession, the proliferation of psychoactive drugs, and journalists' greater self-awareness of the impact of trauma in their work.
The most extensive scholarly examination of the role that trauma has played in the shaping of our journalistic and literary heritage, Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss discusses more than a hundred writers whose works have won them fame, even at the price of their health, their families, and their lives.
Cutting, a form of self-mutilation, is a growing problem in the United States, especially among adolescent females. It is regarded as self-destructive behavior, yet paradoxically, people who cut themselves generally do not wish to die but to find relief from unbearable psychological pain.
Cutting and the Pedagogy of Self-Disclosure is the first book to explore how college students write about their experiences as cutters. The idea behind the book arose when Patricia Hatch Wallace, a high school English teacher, wrote a reader-response diary for a graduate course taught by Professor Jeffrey Berman in which she revealed for the first time that she had cut herself twenty years earlier. At Berman's suggestion, Wallace wrote her Master's thesis on cutting. Not long after she finished her thesis, two students in Berman's expository writing course revealed their own experiences as cutters. Their disclosures encouraged several students in another writing class to share their own cutting stories with classmates. Realizing that so many students were writing about the same phenomenon, Berman and Wallace decided to write a book about a subject that is rarely discussed inside or outside the classroom.
In Part 1, Wallace discusses clinical and theoretical aspects of cutting and then applies these insights to several memoirs and novels, including Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted, Caroline Kettlewell's Skin Game, and Patricia McCormick's Cut. The motivation behind Wallace's research was the desire to learn more about herself, and she reads these stories through her own experience as a cutter. In Part 2, Berman focuses on the pedagogical dynamics of cutting: how undergraduate students write about cutting, how their writings affect classmates and teachers, and how students who cut themselves can educate everyone in the classroom about a problem that has personal, psychological, cultural, and educational significance.
Written in 1927 but barred from timely publication by the Lincoln family, The Dark Days of Abraham Lincoln's Widow, as Revealed by Her Own Letters is based on nearly two dozen intimate letters written between Mary Lincoln and her close friend Myra Bradwell mainly during the former's 1875 incarceration in an insane asylum. By the 1920s most accounts of Mrs. Lincoln focused on her negative qualities and dismissed her as "crazy." Bradwell's granddaughter Myra Helmer Pritchard wrote this distinctly sympathetic manuscript at the behest of her mother, who wished to vindicate Mary Lincoln in the public eye by printing the private correspondence. Pritchard fervently defends Mrs. Lincoln's conduct and sanity, arguing that she was not insane but rather the victim of an overzealous son who had his mother committed.
The manuscript and letters were thought to have been destroyed, but fortunately the Lincolns' family lawyer stored copies in a trunk, where historian Jason Emerson discovered them in 2005. While leaving the manuscript intact, Emerson has enhanced it with an introduction and detailed annotations. He fills in factual gaps; provides background on names, places, and dates; and analyzes Pritchard's interpretations, making clear where she was right and where her passion to protect Mrs. Lincoln led to less than meticulous research and incorrect conclusions. This volume features an easy-to-follow format that showcases Pritchard's text on the left-hand pages and Emerson's insightful annotations on the right-hand pages.
Following one of the most revered and reviled, famous and infamous of the First Ladies, this book provides a unique perspective of Mrs. Lincoln's post-White House years, with an emphasis on her commitment to a sanitarium. Emerson's contributions make this volume a valuable addition to the study of the Lincoln family. This fascinating work gives today's Lincoln enthusiasts the chance to read this intriguing interpretation of the former First Lady that predates nearly every other book written about her.
In Depression: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich combines memoir and critical essay in search of ways of writing about depression as a cultural and political phenomenon that offer alternatives to medical models. She describes her own experience of the professional pressures, creative anxiety, and political hopelessness that led to intellectual blockage while she was finishing her dissertation and writing her first book. Building on the insights of the memoir, in the critical essay she considers the idea that feeling bad constitutes the lived experience of neoliberal capitalism.
Cvetkovich draws on an unusual archive, including accounts of early Christian acedia and spiritual despair, texts connecting the histories of slavery and colonialism with their violent present-day legacies, and utopian spaces created from lesbian feminist practices of crafting. She herself seeks to craft a queer cultural analysis that accounts for depression as a historical category, a felt experience, and a point of entry into discussions about theory, contemporary culture, and everyday life. Depression: A Public Feeling suggests that utopian visions can reside in daily habits and practices, such as writing and yoga, and it highlights the centrality of somatic and felt experience to political activism and social transformation.
In the twenty-first-century world of juvenile justice policy and practice, nearly everyone agrees that one of the most pressing issues facing the nation's juvenile courts is their proper response to delinquent youths with mental disorders. Recent research indicates that about two-thirds of adolescent offenders in juvenile justice facilities meet the criteria for one or more mental disorders. What are the obligations of our juvenile justice system, then, as the caretaker for delinquent youth with such disabilities? How do issues of adolescent development create special challenges in determining the court's proper response to delinquents with special mental health needs? Thomas Grisso considers these questions while offering new information to assist the juvenile justice system in its responses to the needs of our children.
Double Jeopardy considers the newest data on the nature of youths' mental disorders—their relationships to delinquency, the values and limits of methods to treat them, and the common patterns of adolescent offending. That information is used to chart a rational course for fulfilling the juvenile justice system's duty—as a custodian of children in need of health care, as a legal system promoting fairness in youth adjudication, and as a protector of public safety—to respond to delinquent youths' mental disorders. Moreover, Double Jeopardy provides a scientific yet practical foundation for lawmakers, judges, attorneys, and mental health care professionals, as well as researchers who must fill the knowledge gaps that limit the juvenile justice system's abilities to meet youths' mental health needs.
Gravity Hill: A Memoir
Maximilian Werner University of Utah Press, 2013 Library of Congress F834.S253W47 2013 | Dewey Decimal 979.2258033
“The sound of parenthood is the sigh.” So begins Gravity Hill, written from the perspective of a new father seeking hope, beauty, and meaning in an uncertain world. Many memoirs recount the author’s experiences of growing up and struggling with demons; Werner’s shows how old demons sometimes return on the heels of something as beautiful as children. Werner’s memoir is about growing up, getting older, looking back, and wondering what lies ahead—a process that becomes all the more complicated and intense when parenting is involved. Moving backward and forward between past, present, and future, Gravity Hill does not delineate time so much as collapse it.
Werner narrates his struggle growing up in suburban Utah as anon-Mormon and what it took for him, his siblings, and his friends to feel like they belonged. Bonding in separation, they indulged in each other, in natural and urban landscapes, and sometimes in the destructive behaviors that are the native resort of outsidersincluding promiscuous and occasionally violent sexual behavior—and for some, paths to death and suicide. Gravity Hill is the story of the author’s descent into and eventual emergence from his dysfunction and into a newfound life. Infused with humor, honesty, and reflection, this literary memoir will resonate with readers young and old.
According to traditional Navajo belief, seizures are the result of sibling incest, sexual witchcraft, or possession by a supernatural spirit—associations that have kept such disorders from being known outside Navajo families. This new study is concerned with discovering why the Navajos have accorded seizures such importance and determining their meaning in the larger context of Navajo culture. The book is based on a 14-year study of some 40 Navajo patients and on an epidemiological survey among the Navajos and among three Pueblo tribes.
The first of its kind, A Hunger So Wide and So Deep challenges the popular notion that eating problems occur only among white, well-to-do, heterosexual women. Based on in-depth life history interviews with African-American, Latina, and lesbian women, Becky Thompson's book chronicles the effects of racism, poverty, sexism, acculturation, and sexual abuse on women's bodies and eating patterns. By demonstrating how these girls and women use eating to "make a way outa no way," A Hunger So Wide and So Deep dispels popular stereotypes of anorexia and bulimia as symptoms of vanity and stresses the risks of mislabeling what is often a way of coping with society's own disorders.
With its multicultural focus, this book not only brings women of color and lesbians into our picture of eating problems, but also clears up many demeaning and sexist ideas about these problems among white women. By featuring the creative ways in which women have changed their unwanted eating patterns and regained trust in their bodies and appetites, the author offers a message of hope and empowerment that applies across race, class, and sexual preference.
"Becky W. Thompson has provided a rigorous and impassioned study of eating problems, casting a special light on the experiences of women of color. Linking unhealthy eating patterns to the oppression women suffer in a society both sexist and racist, Thompson breaks new ground and offers hope for the multitudes of women who have swallowed their pain." Evelyn C. White, editor, The Black Women's Health Book
"Thompson is making an important contribution to the field of eating disorders. The diversity of these women's experiences makes it particularly crucial that we hear their perspectives. Thompson's work should help us to reevaluate our assumptions about race, ethnicity, sexism, and violence in the etiology and maintenance of eating problems." Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention
"Compelling stories appear in her book." San Jose Mercury News
"Eating disorders have been a disastrous and dangerous problem for women for decades. A Hunger So Wide and So Deep sheds light on the seldom-noted fact that eating disorders do not discriminate. A Hunger So Wide and So Deep should be read by all women with eating disorders, parents who want to raise healthy children, and friends, lovers, spouses, and siblings of the women who struggle with eating disorders." Hispania News
"In a Hunger So Wide and So Deep, psychologist Becky Thompson refutes this media image of the victims of eating disorders and builds a foundation for an entirely different perception of what causes these diseases. Her results are both surprising and alarming. Thompson argues-quite convincingly-that eating disorders happen most frequently in women of color, lesbians, and women under severe economic distress. Hunger is stuffed full of footnotes and references to statistics, studies, psychological profiles and other data to bolster her well-reasoned argument that eating disorders are most often caused by a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) response to racism, sexism, homophobia and other abuses suffered by women. Thompson's theories are complicated but never murky and are presented in a clearly delineated manner that never deteriorates into academese. Hunger refutes an enormous number of popularly held theories about eating disorders. Thompson's research belies the notion that it is teens and college students who are most at risk for these diseases; according to Thompson's studies, women in their 30s are the most frequent victims of eating disorders. And her most potent find, that non-white, non-heterosexual women are also frequent victims means a total redefinition of what these illnesses are about. Thompson urges a second look at our national obsession with weight and proffers theories and practices that could save the lives of women of all colors and sexual orientations." Lambda Book Report
"A Hunger So Wide and So Deep is a wonderful book: gripping, creative and profoundly humane. In lucid prose Becky Thompson offers an original explanation for women's eating problems. She argues that many women turn to food-bingeing, dieting, purging, or starving- as a sensible means of coping with physical and psychic 'atrocities' deriving from 'racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, the stress of acculturation, and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.' Thompson breaks new ground by examining the experiences of lesbians, women of color and working-class women. Her inclusive approach produces a serious challenge to the stereotype that eating problems stem primarily from a concern with thinness." Women's Review of Books
"In addition to an excellent analysis of the issues, we get a real sense of each of the women she interviewed. Although well documented and an asset to other researchers, the book is also accessibly written and an important read for anyone who wants to understand more about eating problems and women's bodies." Body Image Task Force Newsletter
"Becky Thompson criticizes current feminist theory on women and eating disorders for utilizing gender almost exclusively as the category of analysis, ignoring race, class, and sexuality. She demonstrates that women of color and women of many classes and sexual orientations can be included in feminist analyses in a more meaningful way than simply saying 'these groups are affected, too'." Feminist Collections
"Thompson's A Hunger So Wide and So Deep provides a bridge between the micro- and macroanalyses of eating disorders. Thompson's is the only study to my knowledge that deals systematically with race and sexualities, and it is this diversity of interviewees as well as Thompson's careful listening that shapes her analysis. More than even the feminist therapists, Thompson allows her interviewees to tell their stories. Most significant, Thompson derives her theory of disturbed eating from the stories the women told, while not reducing the behavior to personal problems." NWSA Journal
"This book offers a message of hope and empowerment across race, class and sexual orientation. This book represents the postmodern challenge to us all: to question the dominant stories and pay attention to each individual's knowledge about her own life. It has been refreshing to read this book and, using these descriptions with others I see, to bring help and vision from one woman to another." Journal of Feminist Family Therapy
Becky W. Thompson is an assistant professor of sociology at the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and coeditor (with Sangeeta Tyagi) of Beyond a Dream Deferred: Multicultural Education and the Politics of Excellence. She is the author of A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism and Mothering without a Compass: White Mother's Love, Black Son's Courage.
Over the course of several centuries, Western masculinity has successfully established itself as the voice of reason, knowledge, and sanity - he basis for patriarchal rule - in the face of massive testimony to the contrary. This book boldly challenges this triumphant vision of the stable and secure male by examining the central role played by modern science and medicine in constructing and sustaining it.
In 1875 Robert Todd Lincoln caused his mother, Mary Todd Lincoln, to be committed to an insane asylum. Based on newly discovered manuscript materials, this book seeks to explain how and why.
In these documents—marked by Robert Todd Lincoln as the "MTL Insanity File"—exists the only definitive record of the tragic story of Mary Todd Lincoln’s insanity trial. The book that results from these letters and documents addresses several areas of controversy in the life of the widow of Abraham Lincoln: the extent of her illness, the fairness of her trial, and the motives of those who had her committed for treatment. Related issues include the status of women under the law as well as the legal and medical treatment of insanity.
Speculating on the reasons for her mental condition, the authors note that Mrs. Lincoln suffered an extraordinary amount of tragedy in a relatively few years. Three of her four sons died very young, and Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. After the death of her son Willie she maintained a darkly rigorous mourning for nearly three years, prompting the president to warn her that excessive woe might force him to send her to "that large white house on the hill yonder," the government hospital for the insane.
Mrs. Lincoln also suffered anxiety about money, charting an exceptionally erratic financial course. She had spent lavishly during her husband’s presidency and at his death found herself deeply in debt. She had purchased trunkfuls of drapes to hang over phantom windows. 84 pairs of kid gloves in less than a month, and $3,200 worth of jewelry in the three months preceding Lincoln’s assassination. She followed the same erratic course for the rest of her life, creating in herself a tremendous anxiety. She occasionally feared that people were trying to kill her, and in 1873 she told her doctor that an Indian spirit was removing wires from her eyes and bones from her cheeks.
Her son assembled an army of lawyers and medical experts who would swear in court that Mrs. Lincoln was insane. The jury found her insane and in need of treatment in an asylum. Whether the verdict was correct or not, the trial made Mary Lincoln desperate. Within hours of the verdict she would attempt suicide. In a few months she would contemplate murder. Since then every aspect of the trial has been criticized—from the defense attorney to the laws in force at the time. Neely and McMurtry deal with the trial, the commitment of Mary Todd Lincoln, her release, and her second trial. An appendix features letters and fragments by Mrs. Lincoln from the "Insanity File." The book is illustrated by 25 photographs.
In 1881, Joseph Camp, an elderly and self-trained Methodist minister from TalladegaCounty in eastern Alabama, was brought by his family to BryceHospital, an insane asylum in Tuscaloosa, where he remained for over five months. Camp, misled by relatives concerning the purpose of the trip, was shocked and angered at his loss of freedom and his treatment in the hospital. After his release, he composed an account of his stay and published it at his own expense, providing a rare glimpse of 19th century mental health care from a patient’s viewpoint. Camp’s account reveals his naive trust in others, but also a sharp and retentive memory. Camp is remarkably accurate in his account of the details of his treatment and the operation and staff of the hospital, although his emotional assessments reflect his unhappiness with his situation. Adding to the importance of Camp’s account is the fact that in the 19th century Bryce was considered a remarkably humane institution focused on recovery. Camp provides a glimpse into how treatment for the insane felt to the recipient.
Our jobs are often a big part of our identities, and when we are fired, we can feel confused, hurt, and powerless—at sea in terms of who we are. Drawing on extensive, real-life interviews, Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health shines a light on the experiences of unemployed, middle-class professional men and women, showing how job loss can affect both identity and mental health.
Sociologist Dawn R. Norris uses in-depth interviews to offer insight into the experience of losing a job—what it means for daily life, how the unemployed feel about it, and the process they go through as they try to deal with job loss and their new identities as unemployed people. Norris highlights several specific challenges to identity that can occur. For instance, the way other people interact with the unemployed either helps them feel sure about who they are, or leads them to question their identities. Another identity threat happens when the unemployed no longer feel they are the same person they used to be. Norris also examines the importance of the subjective meaning people give to statuses, along with the strong influence of society’s expectations. For example, men in Norris’s study often used the stereotype of the “male breadwinner” to define who they were. Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health describes various strategies to cope with identity loss, including “shifting” away from a work-related identity and instead emphasizing a nonwork identity (such as “a parent”), or conversely “sustaining” a work-related identity even though he or she is actually unemployed. Finally, Norris explores the social factors—often out of the control of unemployed people—that make these strategies possible or impossible.
A compelling portrait of a little-studied aspect of the Great Recession, Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health is filled with insight into the identity crises that unemployment can trigger, as well as strategies to help the unemployed maintain their mental strength.
Through a dual engagement with the unconscious in psychoanalysis and Islamic theological-medical reasoning, Stefania Pandolfo’s unsettling and innovative book reflects on the maladies of the soul at a time of tremendous global upheaval. Drawing on in-depth historical research and testimonies of contemporary patients and therapists in Morocco, Knot of the Soul offers both an ethnographic journey through madness and contemporary formations of despair and a philosophical and theological exploration of the vicissitudes of the soul.
Knot of the Soul moves from the experience of psychosis in psychiatric hospitals, to the visionary torments of the soul in poor urban neighborhoods, to the melancholy and religious imaginary of undocumented migration, culminating in the liturgical stage of the Qur’anic cure. Demonstrating how contemporary Islamic cures for madness address some of the core preoccupations of the psychoanalytic approach, she reveals how a religious and ethical relation to the “ordeal” of madness might actually allow for spiritual transformation.
This sophisticated and evocative work illuminates new dimensions of psychoanalysis and the ethical imagination while also sensitively examining the collective psychic strife that so many communities endure today.
In the late 1970s, Barbara Taylor, then an acclaimed young historian, began to suffer from severe anxiety. In the years that followed, Taylor’s world contracted around her illness. Eventually, her struggles were severe enough to lead to her admission to what had once been England’s largest psychiatric institution, the infamous Friern Mental Hospital in North London.
The Last Asylum is Taylor’s breathtakingly blunt and brave account of those years. In it, Taylor draws not only on her experience as a historian, but also, more importantly, on her own lived history at Friern— once known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum and today the site of a luxury apartment complex. Taylor was admitted to Friern in July 1988, not long before England’s asylum system began to undergo dramatic change: in a development that was mirrored in America, the 1990s saw the old asylums shuttered, their patients left to plot courses through a perpetually overcrowded and underfunded system of community care. But Taylor contends that the emptying of the asylums also marked a bigger loss, a loss of community. She credits her own recovery to the help of a steadfast psychoanalyst and a loyal circle of friends— from Magda, Taylor’s manic-depressive roommate, to Fiona, who shares tips for navigating the system and stories of her boyfriend, the “Spaceman,” and his regular journeys to Saturn. The forging of that network of support and trust was crucial to Taylor’s recovery, offering a respite from the “stranded, homeless feelings” she and others found in the outside world.
A vivid picture of mental health treatment at a moment of epochal change, The Last Asylum is also a moving meditation on Taylor’s own experience, as well as that of millions of others who struggle with mental illness.
NEW EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback ISBN 978–0804012362 / Electronic ISBN 978–0804041201
NEW EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback ISBN 978–0804012362 / Electronic ISBN 978–0804041201
Joe Thorndike was managing editor of Life at the height of its popularity immediately following World War II. He was the founder of American Heritage and Horizon magazines, the author of three books, and the editor of a dozen more. But at age 92, in the space of six months he stopped reading or writing or carrying on detailed conversations. He could no longer tell time or make a phone call. He was convinced that the governor of Massachusetts had come to visit and was in the refrigerator.
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and like many of them, Joe Thorndike’s one great desire was to remain in his own house. To honor his wish, his son John left his own home and moved into his father’s upstairs bedroom on Cape Cod. For a year, in a house filled with file cabinets, photos, and letters, John explored his father’s mind, his parents’ divorce, and his mother’s secrets. The Last of His Mind is the bittersweet account of a son’s final year with his father, and a candid portrait of an implacable disease.
It’s the ordeal of Alzheimer’s that draws father and son close, closer than they have been since John was a boy. At the end, when Joe’s heart stops beating, John’s hand is on his chest, and a story of painful decline has become a portrait of deep family ties, caregiving, and love.
Love In A Time Of Hate
Hollander, Nancy Caro Rutgers University Press, 1997 Library of Congress RC451.4.P57H65 1997 | Dewey Decimal 616.8521
"First, we are going to kill all of the subversives; then their collaborators; then their sympathizers; then the indifferent; and finally, the timid". -- General Iberico Manuel Saint-Jean, governor of Buenos Aires province, 1977Nancy Caro Hollander profiles ten Argentine, Chilean, and Uruguayan psychologists and psychoanalysts who experienced firsthand, and later strove to comprehend, the crushing political and social oppression that occurred under the military dictatorships in these countries during the 1970s and 1980s.She recounts how psychoanalysts employed what she calls "liberation psychology" to understand the systematic exploitation suffered by the populace under fiercely repressive regimes and then to help themselves and others to confront and survive a culture of intimidation, coercion, and torture. As Hollander writes in the introduction, the men and women profiled "have striven to understand the interrelationship between alienated personal existence and social relations, between individual anomie and social oppression, and between individual mental health and collective empowerment".-- Introduction to liberation psychology, a new psychological methodology.-- Examination of psychological effects of state terror.
"A very important study that will appeal to a disability studies audience as well as scholars in social movements, social justice, critical pedagogy, literacy education, professional development for disability and learning specialists in access centers and student counseling centers, as well as the broader domains of sociology and education."
---Melanie Panitch, Ryerson University
"Ableism is alive and well in higher education. We do not know how to abandon the myth of the 'pure (ivory) tower that props up and is propped up by ableist ideology.' . . . Mad at School is thoroughly researched and pathbreaking. . . . The author's presentation of her own experience with mental illness is woven throughout the text with candor and eloquence."
---Linda Ware, State University of New York at Geneseo
Mad at School explores the contested boundaries between disability, illness, and mental illness in the setting of U.S. higher education. Much of the research and teaching within disability studies assumes a disabled body but a rational and energetic (an "agile") mind. In Mad at School, scholar and disabilities activist Margaret Price asks: How might our education practices change if we understood disability to incorporate the disabled mind?
Mental disability (more often called "mental illness") is a topic of fast-growing interest in all spheres of American culture, including popular, governmental, aesthetic, and academic. Mad at School is a close study of the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture. Investigating spaces including classrooms, faculty meeting rooms, and job searches, Price challenges her readers to reconsider long-held values of academic life, including productivity, participation, security, and independence. Ultimately, she argues that academic discourse both produces and is produced by a tacitly privileged "able mind," and that U.S. higher education would benefit from practices that create a more accessible academic world.
Mad at School is the first book to use a disability-studies perspective to focus on the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture at institutions of higher education. Individual chapters examine the language used to denote mental disability; the role of "participation" and "presence" in student learning; the role of "collegiality" in faculty work; the controversy over "security" and free speech that has arisen in the wake of recent school shootings; and the marginalized status of independent scholars with mental disabilities.
Margaret Price is Associate Professor of English at Spelman College.
The Madness of Mary Lincoln
Jason Emerson Southern Illinois University Press, 2012 Library of Congress E457.25.L55E46 2007 | Dewey Decimal 973.7092
In 2005, historian Jason Emerson discovered a steamer trunk formerly owned by Robert Todd Lincoln's lawyer and stowed in an attic for forty years. The trunk contained a rare find: twenty-five letters pertaining to Mary Todd Lincoln's life and insanity case, letters assumed long destroyed by the Lincoln family. Mary wrote twenty of the letters herself, more than half from the insane asylum to which her son Robert had her committed, and many in the months and years after.
The Madness of Mary Lincoln is the first examination of Mary Lincoln’s mental illness based on the lost letters, and the first new interpretation of the insanity case in twenty years. This compelling story of the purported insanity of one of America’s most tragic first ladies provides new and previously unpublished materials, including the psychiatric diagnosis of Mary’s mental illness and her lost will.
Emerson charts Mary Lincoln’s mental illness throughout her life and describes how a predisposition to psychiatric illness and a life of mental and emotional trauma led to her commitment to the asylum. The first to state unequivocally that Mary Lincoln suffered from bipolar disorder, Emerson offers a psychiatric perspective on the insanity case based on consultations with psychiatrist experts.
This book reveals Abraham Lincoln’s understanding of his wife’s mental illness and the degree to which he helped keep her stable. It also traces Mary’s life after her husband’s assassination, including her severe depression and physical ailments, the harsh public criticism she endured, the Old Clothes Scandal, and the death of her son Tad.
The Madness of Mary Lincoln is the story not only of Mary, but also of Robert. It details how he dealt with his mother’s increasing irrationality and why it embarrassed his Victorian sensibilities; it explains the reasons he had his mother committed, his response to her suicide attempt, and her plot to murder him. It also shows why and how he ultimately agreed to her release from the asylum eight months early, and what their relationship was like until Mary’s death.
This historical page-turner provides readers for the first time with the lost letters that historians had been in search of for eighty years.
Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
An incitement to re-assess how society relates to persons with poor mental health
Mainwaring explores the societal contexts of those who suffer poor mental health, and in particular the relational dynamics of how identity, agency, and dialogue are negotiated in personal encounters. This work seeks to serve as an experiment, such that interested readers might better understand the dynamics of relational power that pervade encounters with persons with poor mental health.
Foucauldian analysis of the relational dynamics of poor mental health used to re-imagine hegemonic relational dynamics
Close readings of encounters between individual characters to evaluate how mutuality operates in those encounters
Study of mutuality as it has emerged in mental health literature, feminist theologies, and theologies of disability
In 1875 Mary Lincoln, the widow of a revered president, was committed to an insane asylum by her son, Robert. The trial that preceded her internment was a subject of keen national interest. The focus of public attention since Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, Mary Lincoln had attracted plentiful criticism and visible scorn from much of the public, who perceived her as spoiled, a spendthrift, and even too much of a Southern sympathizer. Widespread scrutiny only increased following her husband's assassination in 1865 and her son Tad's death six years later, after which her overwhelming grief led to the increasingly erratic behavior that led to her being committed to a sanitarium. A second trial a year later resulted in her release, but the stigma of insanity stuck. In the years since, questions emerged with new force, as the populace and historians debated whether she had been truly insane and subsequently cured, or if she was the victim of family maneuvering.
In this volume, noted Lincoln scholar Jason Emerson provides a documentary history of Mary Lincoln's mental illness and insanity case, evenhandedly presenting every possible primary source on the subject to enable a clearer view of the facts. Beginning with documents from the immediate aftermath of her husband's assassination and ending with reminiscences by friends and family in the mid-twentieth century, Mary Lincoln's Insanity Case: A Documentary History compiles more than one hundred letters, dozens of newspaper articles, editorials, and legal documents, and the daily patient progress reports from Bellevue Place Sanitarium during Mary Lincoln's incarceration. Including many materials that have never been previously published, Emerson also collects multiple reminiscences, interviews, and diaries of people who knew Mary Lincoln or were involved in the case, including the first-hand recollection of one of the jurors in the 1875 insanity trial.
Suggesting neither accusation nor exoneration of the embattled First Lady, Mary Lincoln's Insanity Case: A Documentary History gives scholars and history enthusiasts incomparable access to the documents and information crucial to understanding this vexing chapter in American history.
The Memory Sessions
Suzanne Farrell Smith Bucknell University Press, 2019 Library of Congress BF376.F37 2019 | Dewey Decimal 153.12
Suzanne Farrell Smith’s father was killed by a drunk driver when she was six, and a devastating fire nearly destroyed her house when she was eight. She remembers those two—and only those two—events from her first nearly twelve years of life. While her three older sisters hold on to rich and rewarding memories of their father, Smith recalls nothing of him. Her entire childhood was, seemingly, erased. In The Memory Sessions, Smith attempts to excavate lost childhood memories. She puts herself through multiple therapies and exercises, including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, somatic experiencing, and acupuncture. She digs for clues in her mother’s long-stored boxes. She creates—with objects, photographs, and captions—a physical timeline to compensate for the one that’s missing in her memory. She travels to San Diego, where her family vacationed with her father right before he died. She researches, interviews, and meditates, all while facing down the two traumatic memories that defined her early life. The result is an experimental memoir that upends our understanding of the genre. Rather than recount a childhood, The Memory Sessions attempts to create one from research, archives, imagination, and the memories of others.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
How does a parent make sense of a child’s severe mental illness? How does a father meet the daily challenges of caring for his gifted but delusional son, while seeking to overcome the stigma of madness and the limits of psychiatry? W. J. T. Mitchell’s memoir tells the story—at once representative and unique—of one family’s encounter with mental illness and bears witness to the life of the talented young man who was his son.
Gabriel Mitchell was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age twenty-one and died by suicide eighteen years later. He left behind a remarkable archive of creative work and a father determined to honor his son’s attempts to conquer his own illness. Before his death, Gabe had been working on a film that would show madness from inside and out, as media stereotype and spectacle, symptom and stigma, malady and minority status, disability and gateway to insight. He was convinced that madness is an extreme form of subjective experience that we all endure at some point in our lives, whether in moments of ecstasy or melancholy, or in the enduring trauma of a broken heart. Gabe’s declared ambition was to transform schizophrenia from a death sentence to a learning experience, and madness from a curse to a critical perspective.
Shot through with love and pain, Mental Traveler shows how Gabe drew his father into his quest for enlightenment within madness. It is a book that will touch anyone struggling to cope with mental illness, and especially for parents and caregivers of those caught in its grasp.
The New Gay Teenager
Ritch C Savin-Williams Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HQ76.25.S395 2005
Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager's mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today.
The evidence at hand: an autobiography—complete with their mother’s edits—written by his brilliant and disturbingly religious sister; a story featuring actual childhood events, but published by his mother as fiction; the transcript of a hypnotherapy session from his adolescence; and perjured court documents hidden in a drawer for decades. These are the clues Robin Hemley gathers when he sets out to reconstruct the life of his older sister Nola, who died at the age of twenty-five after several years of treatment for schizophrenia. Armed with these types of clues, Hemley quickly discovers that finding the truth in any life—even one’s own—is a fragmented and complex task.
Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness is much more than a remembrance of a young woman who was consumed her entire life by a passion for finding and understanding God; it is also a quest to understand what people choose to reveal and conceal, and an examination of the enormous toll mental illness takes on a family. Finally, it is a revelation of the alchemy that creates a writer: confidence in the unknowable, distrust of the proven, tortuous devotion to the fine print in life, and sacrifice to writing itself as it plays the roles of confessor, scourge, and creator.
Upon its first release in 1998, Nola won ForeWord’s Book of the Year Award for biography/memoir, the Washington State Book Award for biography/memoir, and the Independent Press Book Award for autobiography/memoir.
Since they began in 1955, the Duke Longitudinal Studies have aging have been regarded as landmark investigations, amassing invaluable data on the typical physical changes that accompany aging, typical patterns of mental health and mental illness, psychological aging, and the normal social roles, self-concepts, satisfactions, and adjustments to retirement of the aged. Comprising information on more than 750 aged and middle-aged persons, these studies have contributed enormously to our ability to distinguish normal and inevitable processes of aging from those that may accompany aging because of accident, stress, maladjustment, or disuse.
In The Occupied Clinic, Saiba Varma explores the psychological, ontological, and political entanglements between medicine and violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir—the world's most densely militarized place. Into a long history of occupations, insurgencies, suppressions, natural disasters, and a crisis of public health infrastructure come interventions in human distress, especially those of doctors and humanitarians, who struggle against an epidemic: more than sixty percent of the civilian population suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or acute stress. Drawing on encounters between medical providers and patients in an array of settings, Varma reveals how colonization is embodied and how overlapping state practices of care and violence create disorienting worlds for doctors and patients alike. Varma shows how occupation creates worlds of disrupted meaning in which clinical life is connected to political disorder, subverting biomedical neutrality, ethics, and processes of care in profound ways. By highlighting the imbrications between humanitarianism and militarism and between care and violence, Varma theorizes care not as a redemptive practice, but as a fraught sphere of action that is never quite what it seems.
There is little doubt among scientists and the general public that homelessness, mental illness, and addiction are inter-related. In Of Others Inside, Darin Weinberg examines how these inter-relations have taken form in the United States. He links the establishment of these connections to the movement of mental health and addiction treatment from redemptive processes to punitive ones and back again, and explores the connection between social welfare, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system.
Seeking to offer a new sociological understanding of the relationship between social exclusion and mental disability, Of Others Inside considers the general social conditions of homelessness, poverty, and social marginality in the U.S. Weinberg also explores questions about American perceptions of these conditions, and examines in great detail the social reality of mental disability and drug addiction without reducing people's suffering to simple notions of biological fate or social disorder.
Private contractors have been deployed extensively around the globe for the past decade and may be exposed to many of the stressors that are known to have physical and mental health implications for military personnel. Results from a RAND survey offer preliminary findings about the mental and physical health of contractors, their deployment experiences, and their access to and use of health care resources.
Until February 15, 2001, Howard Reich’s mother, Sonia, had managed to keep almost everything about her experience of the Holocaust from her son. That night, she packed some clothes and fled her house in Skokie, Illinois, convinced that someone was trying to kill her. This was the first indication that she was suffering from late-onset post traumatic stress disorder, a little-known condition that can emerge decades after the initial trauma. For Howard, it was also the opening of a window onto his mother’s past.
In Prisoner of Her Past, Howard Reich has written a moving memoir about growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors and finding refuge from silence and fear in the world of jazz. It is only when Sonia’s memories overwhelm her and Howard begins to piece together her story that he comes to understand how his parents’ lives shaped his own. The paperback edition includes an epilogue by the author that relates developments since the publication of the cloth edition.
Pills replaced the couch; neuroscience took the place of talk therapy; and as psychoanalysis faded from the scene, so did the castrating mothers and hysteric spinsters of Freudian theory. Or so the story goes. In Prozac on the Couch, psychiatrist Jonathan Michel Metzl boldly challenges recent psychiatric history, showing that there’s a lot of Dr. Freud encapsulated in late-twentieth-century psychotropic medications. Providing a cultural history of treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses through a look at the professional and popular reception of three “wonder drugs”—Miltown, Valium, and Prozac—Metzl explains the surprising ways Freudian gender categories and popular gender roles have shaped understandings of these drugs.
Prozac on the Couch traces the notion of “pills for everyday worries” from the 1950s to the early twenty-first century, through psychiatric and medical journals, popular magazine articles, pharmaceutical advertisements, and popular autobiographical "Prozac narratives.” Metzl shows how clinical and popular talk about these medications often reproduces all the cultural and social baggage associated with psychoanalytic paradigms—whether in a 1956 Cosmopolitan article about research into tranquilizers to “cure” frigid women; a 1970s American Journal of Psychiatry ad introducing Jan, a lesbian who “needs” Valium to find a man; or Peter Kramer’s description of how his patient “Mrs. Prozac” meets her husband after beginning treatment.
Prozac on the Couch locates the origins of psychiatry’s “biological revolution” not in the Valiumania of the 1970s but in American popular culture of the 1950s. It was in the 1950s, Metzl points out, that traditional psychoanalysis had the most sway over the American imagination. As the number of Miltown prescriptions soared (reaching 35 million, or nearly one per second, in 1957), advertisements featuring uncertain brides and unfaithful wives miraculously cured by the “new” psychiatric medicines filled popular magazines. Metzl writes without nostalgia for the bygone days of Freudian psychoanalysis and without contempt for psychotropic drugs, which he himself regularly prescribes to his patients. What he urges is an increased self-awareness within the psychiatric community of the ways that Freudian ideas about gender are entangled in Prozac and each new generation of wonder drugs. He encourages, too, an understanding of how ideas about psychotropic medications have suffused popular culture and profoundly altered the relationship between doctors and patients.
Psychiatric Encounters presents an intimate portrait of a public inpatient psychiatric facility in the Southeastern state of Yucatan, Mexico. The book explores the experiences of patients and psychiatrists as they navigate the challenges of public psychiatric care in Mexico. While international reports condemning conditions in Mexican psychiatric institutions abound, Psychiatric Encounters considers the large- and small-scale obstacles to quality care encountered by doctors and patients alike as they struggle to live and act like human beings under inhumane conditions. Beatriz Mireya Reyes-Foster closely examines the impact of the Mexican state’s neoliberal health reforms on how patients access care and doctors perform their duties. Engaging with madness, modernity, and identity, Psychiatric Encounters considers the enduring role of colonialism in the context of Mexico's troubled contemporary mental health care institutions.
The second edition of Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups features the introduction of six new chapters that complement full revisions of original chapters with advances in the field since its initial publication. The first part begins with a new chapter on the current ethical issues relevant to working with deaf clients. In subsequent chapters it provides updated information on the diversity of consumer knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. Deaf therapists and their involvement in the Deaf community also are scrutinized in this context.
The revised second part examines psychotherapy for various constituencies, including deaf women; lesbian, gay, and bisexual deaf populations; children of deaf parents; and people with Usher syndrome. Part Three chapters consider interventions with African American deaf clients, American Indians who are deaf, and Asians who are American and deaf. A new chapter expands information on therapy for Latino deaf clients.
The final section incorporates three new chapters on other deaf populations — deaf college students, recipients of cochlear implants, and deaf elderly clients. Also, new information has been added to chapters on the treatment of deaf survivors of sexual abuse and deaf clients with chemical dependency. The last addition to the second edition outlines dialectical behavior therapy for deaf clients, a valuable option for clinicians.
Diagnosed with severe anxiety, PTSD, and OCD in her early twenties, Sarah Fawn Montgomery spent the next ten years seeking treatment and the language with which to describe the indescribable consequences of her mental illness. Faced with disbelief, intolerable side effects, and unexpected changes in her mental health as a result of treatment, Montgomery turned to American history and her own personal history—including her turbulent childhood and the violence she faced as a young woman—to make sense of the experience.
Blending memoir with literary journalism, Montgomery’s Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir examines America’s history of mental illness treatment—lobotomies to sterilization, the rest cure to Prozac—to challenge contemporary narratives about mental health. Questioning what it means to be a woman with highly stigmatized disorders, Montgomery also asks why mental illness continues to escalate in the United States despite so many “cures.” Investigating the construction of mental illness as a “female” malady, Montgomery exposes the ways current attitudes towards women and their bodies influence madness as well as the ways madness has transformed to a chronic Illness in our cultural imagination. Montgomery’s Quite Mad is one woman’s story, but it offers a beacon of hope and truth for the millions of individuals living with mental illness and issues a warning about the danger of diagnosis and the complex definition of sanity.
Chester Pierce was born in 1927; by 1952 he was a graduate of the Harvard Medical School. He went on to become president of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and president of the American Orthopsychiatric Association. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences and had an annual research seminar named after him by the National Medical Association.
Founding chair of the Black Psychiatrists of America, Pierce has profoundly affected American psychiatry and the thinking of African American psychiatrists during the last two decades. While recognized for his substantive scholarship on coping with extreme environments such as the South Pole, he is probably best known for his theories regarding how blacks cope with racism in the United States.
In Race and Excellence, Ezra Griffith, also an African American professor of psychiatry, engages Pierce in a dialogue with the goal of clarifying the inter-connection between the personal and the professional in the lives of both black scholars. The text melds the story of Pierce's life and his achievements, with particular attention to his theories about the predictable nature of racist behavior and the responses of oppressed groups. Having earned his doctorate a generation after Pierce, Griffith approaches his conversation with Pierce as a face-to-face meeting between mentor and student. Retelling Pierce's life story ultimately becomes for Griffith an exercise in conceptualizing his own experience. As he writes, “I never just wanted to tell Chet's story; I wanted to work his story out, to measure it, to try it on, to figure out which parts are good for me and other blacks so earnestly seeking heroes.”
Anand Prahlad was born on a former plantation in Virginia in 1954. This memoir, vividly internal, powerfully lyric, and brilliantly impressionistic, is his story.
For the first four years of his life, Prahlad didn’t speak. But his silence didn’t stop him from communicating—or communing—with the strange, numinous world he found around him. Ordinary household objects came to life; the spirits of long-dead slave children were his best friends. In his magical interior world, sensory experiences blurred, time disappeared, and memory was fluid. Ever so slowly, he emerged, learning to talk and evolving into an artist and educator. His journey takes readers across the United States during one of its most turbulent moments, and Prahlad experiences it all, from the heights of the Civil Rights Movement to West Coast hippie enclaves to a college town that continues to struggle with racism and its border state legacy.
Rooted in black folklore and cultural ambience, and offering new perspectives on autism and more, The Secret Life of a Black Aspie will inspire and delight readers and deepen our understanding of the marginal spaces of human existence.
An engrossing and beautifully crafted memoir of imagination, obsession, and disaster from the couch of old-fashioned four-times-a-week psychoanalysis.
Slow Fuse of the Possible is a poet’s narrative of a troubled psychoanalysis. It is also a commanding meditation on the powers of language, for good and for ill.
From the beginning of their time together, it is clear that the enigmatic analyst and Daniels are not a good match, yet both are determined to continue their work—the former in nearly complete silence, and the latter as best she can with the tools at her disposal: careful attention to language, deep reading, and literary imagination. Throughout, the story is filtered through the mind of Emily Dickinson, whose poetry Daniels uses as a fulcrum for the interpretation of her own experience. The book is saturated with Dickinson’s verse, and Dickinson is an increasingly haunting presence as crises emerge and the author unravels.
This compelling lyric memoir, so richly steeped in all facets of language and the literary, allows readers a glimpse into the mind of a renowned poet, revealing the dazzling and anguished connections between poetry and psychoanalysis.
Survivors of political violence give testimonies in families and communities, trials and truth commissions, religious institutions, psychotherapies, newspapers, documentaries, artworks, and even in solitude. Through spoken, written, and visual images, survivors' testimonies tell stories that may change history, politics, and life itself. In this book Stevan Weine, a psychiatrist and scholar in the field of mental health and human rights, focuses on the testimony of survivors for the hope it might hold-hope expressed by survivors again and again that, no matter what horrors or humiliations they have endured, some good might come of their stories. It is through the thinking of Mikhail Bakhtin, and his approach to narrative, that Weine seeks to read the testimony of survivors of political violence from four different twentieth-century historical nightmares--and to read them as the stories they are meant to be, fully conveying their legitimacy, resourcefulness, power--and, finally, hope.
A deeply involving, compassionate, occasionally confrontational blend of practical hands-on experience and dialogic theory, emerging from the author's decade-long work in Europe and Chicago with survivors of the Balkan wars, this book is committed to the proposition that efforts to use testimony to address the consequences of political violence can be strengthened--though by no means guaranteed--if they are based on a fuller acknowledgment of the personal and ethical elements embodied in the narrative essence of testimony. These elements are what Testimony after Catastrophe seeks to reveal.
Historians are increasingly looking at the sacrifices Germans had to make during World War II. In this context, Svenja Goltermann has taken up a particularly delicate topic, German soldiers’ experience of violence during the war, and repercussions of this experience after their return home. Part I of her book explores the ways in which veterans’ experiences of wartime violence reshaped everyday family life, involving family members in complex ways. Part II offers an extensive analysis of the psychiatric response to this new category of patient, and in particular the reluctance of psychiatrists to recognize the psychic afflictions of former POWs as constituting the grounds for long-term disability. Part III analyzes the cultural representations of veterans’ psychic suffering, encompassing the daily press, popular films, novels, and theater.
Originally published in German as Die Gesellschaft der Uberlebenden, The War in Their Minds examines hitherto unused source material—psychiatric medical files of soldiers—to make clear how difficult it was for the soldiers and their families to readjust to normal, everyday life. Goltermann allows these testimonies of violence, guilt, justification, and helplessness speak for themselves and sensitively explores how the pension claims of returning soldiers were to compete with the claims of the Holocaust victims to compensation.
Stevan M. Weine is a psychiatrist who has spent the past decade working with Bosnian survivors of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. As he listened to their testimonies, Weine concluded that these narratives were capable of bearing a complex truth about the horrific events in Yugoslavia that often were lost in more analytic works on the subject. When History is a Nightmare also explores how these traumatic events affected not just individuals, but an entire society and its culture.
Weine investigates the survivors’ attempts to reconcile the contrasting, collective memories of having lived in a smoothly functioning, multiethnic society with the later memories of the ethnic atrocities. He discusses the little-known group concept of merhamet. Denoting compassion, forgiveness, and charity, merhamet was a critical cultural value for the Bosnian Muslims.
Weine also explores how ethnic cleansing was justified from the vantage point of psychiatrists who played prominent roles in instigating the horrors. He also provides personal portraits of leaders such as Jovan Raskovic and Radovan Karadzic. He concludes by describing the recovery efforts of survivors—how they work to confront the destructive nature of their memories while trying to bring about healing, both individually and collectively.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, “hysteria” was a medical or psychiatric diagnosis applied primarily to women. In fact, the term itself comes from the Greek, meaning “wandering womb.” We have since learned, however, that this diagnosis evolved from certain assumptions about women’s social roles and mental characteristics, and is no longer in use.
The modern equivalent of hysteria, however, may be borderline personality disorder, defined as “a pervasive pattern of instability of self-image, interpersonal relationships, and mood, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.” This diagnosis is applied to women so much more often than to men that feminists have begun to raise important questions about the social, cultural, and even the medical assumptions underlying this “illness.” Women are said to be “unstable” when they may be trying to reconcile often contradictory and conflicting social expectations.
In Women and Borderline Personality Disorder, Janet Wirth-Cauchon presents a feminist cultural analysis of the notions of “unstable” selfhood found in case narratives of women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. This exploration of contemporary post-Freudian psychoanalytic notions of the self as they apply to women’s identity conflicts is an important contribution to the literature on social constructions of mental illness in women and feminist critiques of psychiatry in general.
Women Living With Self-Injury
Jane Wegscheider Hyman Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress RC552.S4H95 1999 | Dewey Decimal 616.85820082
They cut their arms and legs with knives and razors; scratch at their skin; burn, bruise, or stick themselves with cigarettes, hammers, pins, and other objects; bang their heads and limbs; and break their own bones. Although women who live with self-injury have recently gained recognition in the media, they have, as a result, become even more stigmatized.
In this book, author Jane Wegschneider sheds light on this misunderstood condition. Fifteen women talk about their battle with self-injury and explain how and why they repeatedly and deliberately injure themselves. Most admit they do it because it makes them feel high or safe. They also describe living with ceaseless shame, secrecy, and fear of discovery which could make them unemployable and ostracized. Candidly discussing their attempted and successful recoveries, they reveal the impact living with self-injury has on their day-to-day lives -- where they are competent workers, partners, friends, and mothers.
Hear the voices of these women as they speak to a public that generally sees self-injury as frightening, senseless, and repulsive. Concealing scars or other signs of injury is crucial for them and partly dictates their daily routines, choice of clothes, and the lies they tell to excuse any traces of injury. For these productive women who work outside of the home and often raise children, hiding self-injury is of paramount importance during their workdays and in their relationships with partners, families, and friends.
Hyman's approach is unique in that she not only talked to these women but also really listened to their stories -- something rare in the misunderstood realm of self-injury. Professionals, perplexed by self-injury, have not always tolerated its complexity. As a result those who injure themselves have remained shrouded in secrecy, isolation, and shame -- until now.
This book offers compassion as well as encouragement for recovery by making available the emotional experiences of sufferers in their own words. It is an important book for those who self-injure, their loved ones, anyone who knows of or suspects self-injury in a friend, and mental care professionals.
From the authors of The Harvard Guide to Women's Health
This concise guide goes beyond facts and figures to get to the practical theories of women's emotional health. Here, in one volume, is what the experts know about maintaining emotional well-being in women, and about preventing, recognizing, and treating the psychological disturbances and disorders that women experience in their own way.
Just as depression and anxiety are more common among women, many psychiatric disorders are exacerbated by the natural rhythms in a woman's life cycle, such as menarche, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. This book offers expert insight into why and how such patterns occur, as well as coping strategies for insomnia, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse which can occur at any stage of life. Most importantly, the authors answer such pressing questions as: What works best for treating panic attacks and phobias? Should psychotherapy be used in tandem with drugs? How does one choose among group, individual, or family therapy? What are the benefits and drawbacks of drugs such as Prozac? Of beta blockers? Of tranquilizers? Are psychiatric problems passed on to one's children? What are the merits of acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, sex therapy?
From the complexities of schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder to the delicate practicalities of sexual response, this guide offers all that a woman might want to know about protecting her psychological health.