Monday, February 15, 2010

Go Outside

It's been an eventful week. Looks like the DSM IV is becoming the DSM V. That's the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the American Psychological Assn. We could just call it the Big Book of Official Mental Illnesses. It is time for the 5th edition (V) because we know so much more and some "conditions" are now perceived differently. It's often a good thing, but not always. Case in point the proposed changes for Asperger's Syndrome. The Aspies, as they like to call themselves, are angry about being lumped together with Autism. They should be. There is such a variation of Autism, and Asperger's Syndrome has an even wider variation. A former student of mine, an Aspie, is most vehement about this proposed reclassification. The fact that he is about to graduate college and is a powerful thinker and writer says it all. A final note before turning this page: I will be curious to see the new material on Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder when the 5th edition comes out. By the way, it should all be online too. Seems to me that Bipolar has become the mental illness de jour lately. It's tossed around effortlessly and often worn as a badge to explain all manner of questionable behavior. If history serves us, the section labeled Personality Disorders will probably have a few new names this go round. Can't wait to see what's next.
Go Outside
I read an article the other day about the impact of the film Avatar on some young people. In brief, the article said that recent research showed a rise in depression after seeing the film. Apparently a fair amount of people become depressed because they realize they are not, nor never will live in a world as beautiful as that one. Now I've heard that 3-D glasses can mess with your brain, even your perceptions but this one begs the question:when was the last time you looked, really looked at this planet? Major irony here is that some of us need to look now...Right now! If you think the beautiful blue world of Avatar can make you envious to the point of depression, just think what destroying this planet will do.
I'm very fortunate. I live in the state of Oregon. I can find Avatar in the Cascades anytime I want.

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