Psychiatric Illness in the Clergy?

A post on Mind Hacks was discussing psychoanalysis of clergy members. The author found a 1969 article about several monks who underwent psychoanalysis, only to discover about themselves that they felt that they desired a married life to a life of God.

The incident that inspired the ’69 article occurred in 1961. It was decided that psychoanalysis would be beneficial to clergy in training, so 60 monks participated in psychoanalysis therapy. After the therapy, only 20 decided to remain clergy. The other 40 felt a calling to married life.

Similar results occurred when a group of nuns attended psychotherapy. A large percentage left the covenant, with a few converting to lesbians.

In retaliation, the pope banned clergy from participating in psychoanalysis.

The 1969 article was titled “Psychiatric Illness in the Clergy”. I may be wrong, but I don’t feel that the desire to marry and have a family should be considered a psychiatric illness. Nor do I believe that recognizing your sexual orientation to be a psychiatric illness. And, I feel like it is doing the potential-clergy and the rest of society a disservice by banning psychoanalysis of clergy. How can one successfully serve God if they aren’t happy with their life? A life of religious celibacy isn’t for everyone, and I think that people have the right to know if they are right for the job.

Swine Flu

So if you haven’t heard of the latest pandemic, it’s swine flu! While I’ve heard everyone talking about it, I haven’t heard anyone really describe what it is, how it’s different from other kinds of flu, etc. Has anyone heard of why it’s “swine” flu? I know they said that the genetic material of the virus is of a Eurasian swine background (not a North American one, apparently) but I don’t remember hearing about a pandemic virus killing off great numbers of pigs any time recently. Are they just carriers who are actually immune to the virus? I’m not sure. However, every time there is a new possible pandemic that emerges, it is interesting to sit back and watch the panic and posturing that goes on. I’m not trying to sound callus, it’s just that as news media latches on to each new story, with blazing headlines and colorful graphics with daunting music for segment titles on programs, people tend to whip themselves into a huge frenzy before anything concrete starts to emerge that might actually be newsworthy. Obviously in our modern world a pandemic has the opportunity to spread much, much more quickly that it would have even one hundred years ago. Travel is available in a variety of different mediums, nearly all of which are significantly faster than anything that used to be available. Because of the population explosion that has occurred even over the last fifty years, there are a greater number of people living together in the same area of land, meaning that the disease or virus has a much better chance of finding a new host very quickly, even long before it would damage or kill the first one.

The ATA has been all up in arms over Vice President Biden’s comments about not using air travel or traveling in other confined spaces, but the CDC isn’t as worried as the VP. Though the pandemic level has been bumped up to “5” today and the WHO is instructing countries to mobilize (or at least dust off) their pandemic preparedness plans, there are still few things known about the pandemic and so it is really too hard to say what is and is not a proper precautionary measure. Though it is not necessary to cease air travel, stop taking public transportation, or stop shopping at the grocery store, it is important to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough, to wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based sanitizer if you’re not near a bathroom, and to rest up if you start to feel symptomatic. These are normal, basic measures that people should be taking on a daily basis no matter what the time of year, simply because it’s proper hygiene – not to mention courteous to those around you. It seems like standard operating procedures like these are revived every time there is a “new” pandemic (which is never really seems to come to fruition as an actual pandemic) and then quickly forgotten once the excitement has worn off. Hopefully someday people will begin to pay more attention to taking care of themselves and those around them all of the time, not just when some fancy new virus pops up.

ADHD Medication Equals Higher Test Scores?

A study done with children from kindergarten through 5th grade studied how taking certain medication for ADHA has increased their scores on reading and math compared to those not on medication. Their scores were still significantly lower than those without ADHD, but this study was done to show if the medication would help with bettering their grades because kids with ADHD have high dropout rates in school and get poorer grades than, that of their average classmates. I had ADD when I was in kindergarten and I took medication for this, which made me gain weight and just become a lot more tired and less active. Even though I was not diagnosed with ADHD, this still has the same type of effects that I experienced. It allows them to slow their hyperactivity down and allows them to concentrate more on their work in school. Some parents do not like having their kids take medication because of these side effects.

Teachers often advocate medication because it can calm disruptive behavior. But it’s a contentious issue for many parents, worried about putting their kids on drugs that can have side-effects including decreased appetite, weight loss and insomnia.

A psychiatry professor from the University of Illinois-Chicago said that not every kid should be put on certain medications to control this disorder. He also said that there has been research done that most kids with ADHD can benefit from taking these meds. I would agree that in some sense in certain situations like school, it may help, but it depends on the kid that is taking the medication, how the family feels, etc. I know that I could not tell if the meds I was taking for my ADD were helpling, but they certainly made me lazier and fatter starting in kindergarten. Who knows what could happen with many other kids. There was one 19 year old that was diagnosed with ADHD since he was 5 and burns off some extra excess energy by working out. So there can be many alternatives to it, but for kids who knows, can it be the only way?

No Stricter Gun Laws After 10 Years?

r217576_849287Of course there has to be a post on the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. I was trying to watch the news all day, especially for this, on what different updates there were about if there were going to be any news on the gun laws from the shooting that happened at Columbine. Obviously there was not, especially in the 2007 attack of Virgina Tech, which I believe is the Columbine of the new millennium, sadly. I even read a news report that a kid even brought a gun to his own school on the 10th anniversary of the shooting and went to jail for it. Also the fact that it was loaded made it even worse. I am not surprised whatsoever that gun laws will be put to rest just because there are so many people with so many guns already that I find it hard to believe that not every single person will get searched for it. On the brighter side, the Columbine shooting gave students a new found lease on life and have successful careers becuse of this incident. This shooting was a reminder that people should not take life for granted.

turn off tv week

this article suggests way to cut back time spent watching tv.

The average American watches over 35 hours of TV a week[1] and the average Brit over 25.[2] If you find yourself addicted to the “boob tube” and want to break the habit, or if you’re just celebrating TV Turnoff Week[3] the key is to wean yourself off using the steps below, watching TV less and less until you stop watching it altogether.

Gotta Have a Blog on 420!

I donno, maybe I just want to talk about weezy.

So I guess the movement to legalize pot is alive and kicking and this year a bunch of them think that they are getting closer and closer to achieving their goals.  You can check out this article, it talks about what is happening but honestly, I don’t see anything revolutionary in it.

Pot is a weird thing in America… So like, it is illegal, right?  Yet, it is not really frowned upon to smoke it, and it is legal for medical use, and with the exception of some folks, it seems like everyone agrees that weezy is a hell-of-a-lot better than alcohol in terms of adverse effects on society, and there is a national holiday for people to rejoice in the fact that they use the plant.  And, and, and…

There is nothing new to report here, I just figured we gotta have a blog on 420.  And…

pot-bellied  I love these goofy-looking guys.

drug monitoring

A post on Mind Hacks was discussing a new controversial issue- drug monitoring by microchip. A small microchip is swallowed, and internally measures drug levels in the body, and physical issues such as respiratory rates, and heart rate.

The microchip can be used to ensure compliance to prescribed meds (like anti-psychotic drugs), or to monitor illegal drug/alcohol use. So potentially, it could ensure compliance for people on probation/parole, or patients needing medication for some condition.

The post discusses how this could be helpful, but also an invasion of privacy by making your personal ingestion choices public to your doctor.

Great for patients who volunteer for this, it would be medically beneficial to make sure medication is working properly, and to avoid any harmful reactions. But what if it is involuntarily forced on an individual. Is this a great idea? Or violation of personal privacy?

Whether good or bad, I am constantly amazed at modern technological advances.