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William James on Child Discipline

William James (1842-1910) became one of the leading thinkers of his day, and through his writings he remains one of the most influential psychologists and philosophers the United States has ever produced. There is a certain wisdom and kindness that runs through his work that I particularly admire. So, in an earlier post when I wanted to come up with ideas on how parents can best…

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Is Spanking Harmful?

What the Latest Research Says

Raising kids is one of the more challenging responsibilities that many of us take on in our lives. I know this from personal experience. My wife and I raised two rambunctious boys, and I’d be lying if I claimed I never once lost my temper. I remember one particular incident when one of our boys was about ten. I had a pretty rough day at work,…

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Is ADHD a Genetic Disease?

Welcome to From Insults to Respect. This week we are going to see if there is a more respectful way to view people said to have ADHD than the unjustified names in common use. In an article published in Science Daily, Professor Anita Thapar, referring to a study she is a coauthor of, is quoted as saying, “Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease.”…

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Should Dylan Accept Nobel Prize?

Welcome back to From Insults to Respect. I hope you all are having a delightfully colorful autumn. As most of you know, controversy has flared since the announcement that Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. Some are heatedly arguing there are others more worthy of the prize. In this vein, a guy named Rob Delany tweeted: “Bob Dylan wins the Nobel…

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Are Mental Illnesses Really Genetic Diseases?

At 39-years of age, Ron had been a respected employee in a department store for nearly ten years. If he had made it to ten full years, he would have qualified for some extra benefits. Upper management chose to replace him with someone new a week before the ten years were up. Discovering that landing a new job was leading to one rejection after another, Ron…

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Are Mental Illnesses Really Brain Diseases?

In an article titled “The Roots of Mental Illness,” the author, Kirsten Weir, tells us about Eric Kandel, MD, who believes that the experiences that doctors refer to as mental illnesses are brain diseases. Dr. Kandel defends his belief with the following statement: “All mental processes are brain processes, and therefore all disorders of mental functioning are biological diseases. The brain is the organ of the…

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The Pathologizing of Human Experience

Today, if your behavior, thoughts, or feelings begin to concern you or a family member, for a fee many doctors will translate your experiences into mental illness terminology. Synonyms for mental illness, are mental disease, mental sickness, mental disorder, and psychopathology. These terms, as metaphors for experiences someone doesn’t like, have been with us for centuries. When used in this way, it can communicate something about…

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The Disrespectable Pharmaceutical Industry

Over the past few weeks, we have been hearing about a couple of unsettling stories involving the pharmaceutical industry, one involving suicide under pressure and the other, about the exorbitant cost of life saving EpiPens. Suicide Under Pressure On August 11, the New York Times carried a story titled “Driven to Suicide by an ‘Inhuman and Unnatural’ Pressure to Sell.” Here we learn about a 27-year-old…

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My 2016 APA Speech On Psychiatric Diagnoses

Welcome to “From Insults to Respect.” Regular readers know that I have some serious objections to how mental health service providers treat those seeking their services. As things stand now, unless you can afford to completely pay for such services without any insurance coverage, to access services you are very likely to be required to be labelled as having a mental disorder. Now, many mental…

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Are Antipsychotics Beneficial?

Recently I provided a post titled, “Are Mental Illnesses Really Illnesses? And Why do People Care?” There are a lot of people out there who were very supportive of the post, but at the same time, some were angry that I would even raise the question. One of the most angry person mentioned that the proof that mental illnesses are real illnesses was that the…

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