|Wild fires in California|
Friday, 28 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Was the aircraft high-jacked by terrorists? Did it crash as a result of pilot error or mechanical malfunction? Or did the aircraft fly into some atmospheric black hole equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle? The latter is the favourite theory. The media has generated a certain amount of frenzied speculation.
After nearly 3 weeks a British satellite firm claims to have pinpointed broadly where MH370 might be found. A type of investigative analysis never used before was employed to shed light on the plane's possible location - in the Southern Indian Ocean somewhere West of
The Chinese don’t believe it.
There are some things in the universe, even with cutting edge technology, string theory and the rest, remain unfathomable. The spookiest and most mystifying of them all is the human psyche, described by Carl Jung as “a mystery that challenged the adventuresome with the prospect of rich discovery and frightened the timid with the threat of insanity”.
Monday, 24 March 2014
A very senior person in the Blair Government once told me that part of my job, in the role I occupied then, was to impress on Black and Asian people that they should be more like African Americans, and ‘own’ and ‘act’ their ‘British- ness’. This was the New Labour version of Tebbit's cricket loyalty test
Saturday, 22 March 2014
The book illustrates the mirror imaging going on between ecological and personal health crises, both physical and mental (and yes I do mean that the Planet itself is having a nervous breakdown) blended with the out of left field perspective of transpersonal psychology. I believe that we no longer have to talk about climate change because, to paraphrase Winston Churchill when he called the British people to action just before World War II: a time of procrastination is over; we have entered a period of consequences.
warming or cooling, the planet will go through a period of transition. It is at this point scientists warn of dire consequences for parts of the world.
Saturday, 15 March 2014
With terrible prescience Dean had once said that the only way he would escape his confinement in the dungeons of the mental health service would be in a body bag.
How do we escape the confinements of the asylum mentality? The asylum was all about the exclusion and control of those people not mentally in tune enough with society’s values, even if they hadn’t broken any law.
I am reminded of the time when I acted in the role of advocate on behalf of a client whose psychiatrist had said ‘I won’t section you this time’. When would it be 'that' time? Would there be prior notice of when the anti-psychotic drenched hand would fall or would it be sudden without warning? It was a distinct threat, not founded on any solid, irrefutable evidence that this person was a danger to self or others. The fear this arouses is unimaginable.
Thursday, 13 March 2014
When did we last have it so bad?
- Income inequalities have been increasing, both recently and over longer time periods. These inequalities have been increasing at both ends of the spectrum. In other words, the poorest have fallen further behind the average, and the richest have moved further ahead.
- Over the last decade, the poorest tenth of the population have, on average, seen a fall in their 'real' incomes after deducting housing costs. In other words, after adjusting for inflation, incomes are, on average, slightly lower than a decade ago. This is in sharp contrast with the rest of the income distribution, which again on average, has seen substantial rises in their real incomes.
- The richest tenth of the population have seen much bigger proportional rises in their incomes than any other group.
- The poorest tenth of the population now have, between them, 1.3% of the country's total income. In contrast, the richest tenth have 31%. The income of the richest tenth is more than the income of all those on below-average incomes (i.e. the bottom five tenths) combined.
- Inner London (said to be the business capital of the world) has by far the highest proportion of people on low income (29% in the poorest fifth) but also a high proportion of people on a high income (28% in the richest fifth).
Monday, 10 March 2014
- Average or above-average intelligence
- Difficulties with high-level language skills such as verbal reasoning, problem solving, making inferences and predictions
- Difficulties in empathising with others
- Problems with understanding another person’s point of view
- Difficulties engaging in social routines such as engaging in ‘small talk’
- Problems with controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
- A preference for routines and schedules which can result in stress or anxiety if a routine is disrupted
Friday, 7 March 2014
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
Death must be then one of the portals through which the soul goes home.
My preoccupation with death and dying comes from the unexpected departure of my friend Dean; he with whom I had a short sojourn in the jowls of the mental health system – the underworld – last year. (See series of 7 posts on the theme in July 2013 from Madness and Human Chaos to Shadow of the Wounded Healer plus Psychiatrist, Avenger & Me). At just 39 years of age, Dean died in his sleep. His journey this time, was complete. Death is such a shock, always, expected or not.
From his perch somewhere in the cosmos, Dean would have loved it all. And so my tribute to him was and continues to be Mary Elizabeth Frye’s: