A brief article that describes some rudimentary techniques that forensic psychologists employ to weed out malingerers.
Despite popular belief, the insanity plea is hardly used in the court system (roughly 1% of felony defendants enter this plea), and it is even rarer that the plea is successful. I would’ve liked to see some more numbers regarding criminals that fake mental illness in the article, but it is from The Slate. There is this: “Surveys show that of the roughly 60,000 “competency to stand trial” referrals forensic psychologists evaluate each year, anywhere from 8 percent to 17 percent of the suspects are found to be faking it.”
So why fake mental illness for a crime that you committed? That needed to be explored more in the article. Criminals that are granted the insanity plea can actually spend more time in an institution for their crime than if they had pled guilty. However, in some states, you are able to get out of a death penalty with the plea. Or the criminal is extremely
stupid confident and believes ze can fake it the entire time ze is being watched.
Classes start on Monday for me, so I thought I’d share an article that gives some stress relieving tips.
- Take Your Dog to Work
A study published this year found that employees who brought their dogs to work had reduced stress levels as the day wore on. On the other hand, those without pups became more stressed throughout the day, as did dog owners who left their pet at home.
- Drink Chamomile Tea
A study found that people who suffered from generalized anxiety disorder experienced a significant reduction in their stress levels after ingesting chamomile extract.
- Eat Dark Chocolate—Every Day
Results from a clinical trial published in the Journal of Proteome Research recommend eating 40 grams of dark chocolate for two weeks to reduce stress; the participants reported reduced cortisol levels after doing so.
- Turn Up the Music
Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that when people listened to their favorite songs, their blood vessels opened wider, which is good for blood pressure, heart rate, and mental state. But note: Most people experienced more positive effects when listening to country music and felt anxiety when listening to heavy metal.
- Play a (Violent) Video Game
One might associate violent video games with higher stress, but somewhat controversial research shows that playing them does the complete opposite. Turns out that young adults who play violent video games become less depressed and hostile, and deal with stress better than those who don’t play games at all.
- Dab on Lavender Oil
A study found that moms who bathed their baby in lavender-scented bath oil were more relaxed and smiled more. Lavender also calmed the infants, who cried less and slept longer post-bath. The mothers’ and babies’ levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, were both shown to decrease, too.
- Grin and Bear It
There’s some truth to this common phrase. People who smile while performing a stressful task are more likely to have lower heart rates afterward, according to a recent study published in Psychological Science. That goes for fake smiles, too; those who were forced to smile (using chopsticks, of all things) also reported a positive effect afterward.
No nudity. No sex. Just cuddling.
That’s what one New York woman is selling, for $60 an hour or $90 for 90 minutes. Yes, it’s legal outside Nevada, and no, it’s not what you think. Jacqueline Samuels’ appointment-based business, The Snuggery, offers private, boundary-driven sessions to the snuggle-deprived. She’s doing it because she believes in the healing power of touch—psychological and physical benefits she says Americans are sorely lacking.
Photo by pinkparakeets
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD
This is brilliant.
Because I really wanted to irk people today.
A few of my favorites.
Alva Noe, philosopher, UC Berkeley
From an old post. All the talk of the internet and addiction reminded me of his commentary.
David Maisel, Asylum.
Portions of the abandoned Oregon State Hospital, formerly known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum.
Anna Schuleit, Bloom.
After 91 years of continuous use, the Massachusetts Mental Health Center was set be demolished and rebuilt with new structures. Anna Schuleit was commissioned to mark the transition and decided to place thousands of flowers throughout the hallways, offices, rooms, and staircases. Each hallway had a different flower, each was a different stretch of color.
All of the flowers were in bloom at the same time, creating a continuous, unbroken composition of color and scent throughout the building:
So that for four days in November of 2003
the Massachusetts Mental Health Center
was in bloom.
External stimuli triggering conditioned physiological responses eliciting negative emotional reactions…
or external stimuli triggering conditioned emotional responses triggering physiological reactions?
I wonder how many fake smiles I gave today.
Credit: Micael Carlsson/Getty Images
Codependency is an unhealthy form of love. It is where my need to take care of you compromises or harms my quality of life. Although it’s usually seen in romantic partnerships, it can occur in any relationship, including family, friends or peers. Characteristics of codependency include:
1. I feel good about myself when you like and approve of me.
2. Your problems and concerns disturb my peace of mind.
3. A lot of my mental energy is focused on helping and rescuing you (either solving your problems or relieving your pain).
4. A lot of my mental energy is diverted into protecting you.
5. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get you to do it my way (ie. Being manipulative).
6. My self-esteem is boosted by solving your problems or helping to relieve your pain.
7. I set aside my own interests, hobbies and goals as I’d rather spend my time doing what interests you.
8. I feel how you look, how you behave, and what you achieve (or do not achieve) reflects on me – and is a judgment of me.
9. I’ve lost touch with feelings as I’m totally consumed with how you feel, and how your feelings are changing.
10. I don’t really know what I want any more – as I’m so wrapped up in you, and what you want.
11. The hopes and dreams for the future are all tied to you.
12. My fear of rejection or abandonment by you determines how I act and what I say.
13. My fear of upsetting or making you mad determines how I act and what I say.
14. I use giving as a way to feel safe and secure in my relationship with you.
15. My friends and social circle gets smaller and smaller as I involve myself more and more with you.
16. I value your opinions more than my own opinions, and am willing to sacrifice my personal values to be accepted and valued by you.
I think a lot of people confuse love with dependency. While it is possible to love a person and be dependent on them at the same time, this isn’t the type of love that is the most fruitful or the most rewarding. Measure your level of dependency when you are experiencing love.
NIMH National Suicide Rate Map. Why does it always take so long for newer data to appear?
National suicide rates provide important information, but it is important to understand that suicide rates are not the same in each state. Some states have rates that are below the national average, and some states have rates above it.
1. Mood disorders
2. Personality Disorders
3. Eating disorders
6. Anxiety disorders
7. Panic attacks
8. Bipolar depression
10. Autism spectrum disorders
To be fair, a lot of therapists would (and should) tell you these things. Check out this list written by the people over at PsychCentral.
1. I honestly don’t know whether I can help you or not.
Most therapists honestly believe they can help most people with most problems. However, until you get in there and start working with a therapist, a therapist can’t really predict whether they’ll be able to help you or not.
2. I’m not your friend, but I want you to open up to me anyway.
As I’ve written about previously, the therapeutic relationship is not a natural one. Nowhere else in our lives do we have this kind of professional relationship that demands openness, honesty and intimacy (not of the sexual kind). Without those components, your therapy isn’t likely to be as beneficial. It feels like a close friendship sometimes, but it isn’t.
3. If you ask to see your chart, I’ll probably give you a hard time about it.
Despite the rights of patients to be able to view and have a copy of their own medical records and data, most mental health professionals still resist attempts for a patient to view their own mental health chart.
4. I’m not supposed to give you advice, but I will anyway.
The first thing a young therapist in training learns is that psychotherapy is, Do not give advice to your clients. “If a person needs advice, they should talk to a friend,” one of my professors said in class.
5. This is probably going to hurt, but I may not tell you that up-front.
Good psychotherapy requires you to make changes in your life — in your thinking, in your behavior, and how you interact with the world around you. This isn’t easy, and it usually takes most people a lot of hard work, effort and energy. And if you start digging around in your past (as some, but not all, therapies do), you may find it very painful indeed.
6. My graduate degree probably doesn’t matter much; neither does where I graduated from.
As long as the mental health professional has a Master’s or better in education, it’s likely they will all be equally just as helpful. There’s no evidence to support the idea that a graduate degree from one psychology program is better than another, or that a Ph.D. is better than a Psy.D. for your feeling better, sooner. Find a therapist that you feel comfortable in working with. As long as they are licensed (or registered) and paid for by your health insurance, you’re good to go.
7. If I’m pushing a particular brand of medication, you can likely thank a pharmaceutical company.
You can’t throw a Google keyword without hitting a blog that talks about how various pharmaceutical companies have influenced physicians’ prescribing practices (including psychiatrists’) over the past few decades.
8. I work for you, but battle your insurance company to get paid.
Yes, you pay your $10 or $20 co-pay to see a therapist, but the majority of their fee will often come from your insurance company. And what your therapist will rarely tell you is how much work it can take to actually get themselves paid from your insurance company.
9. I will give you a diagnosis whether you need one or not.
Nobody likes to admit this, but without a diagnosis, the therapist won’t get paid by your insurance company. And it can’t just be any diagnosis (despite the mental health parity law passed last year). It has to be a “covered” disorder.
10. I love my job, but hate the long hours, client’s often-slow progress, and the difficulty in being understood as a profession.
Like most people, a therapist isn’t always going to be in love with their jobs. There are a lot of daily frustrations a therapist faces, including those mentioned above. Unless the therapist is well-established and successful, many therapists work 10 hour days, or up to 6 days a week.