All Articles Tagged "mental illness"
And The Twitter Beefs Continue: Amanda Bynes And John Legend’s Outspoken Fiancée, Model Chrissy Teigen Exchange Words
After starting the week off trying to have a back and forth Twitter war with Rihanna (who simply replied, “Ya see what happens when they cancel intervention?”), getting arrested and accusing NYPD of “slapping her v*gina” when they arrested her recently for marijuana possession, attempted tampering with evidence and felony reckless endangerment after she allegedly threw a bong out of her apartment window, Amanda Bynes is back to squabbling with people on Twitter. This time she took aim at Chrissy Teigen, the pretty outspoken model fiancée of John Legend, who shook an imaginary finger at people she felt were supporting Bynes’ odd behavior. Teigen feels it is unacceptable seeing as Bynes has real mental issues:
The fact that Amanda Bynes has any “support” to retweet is really unsettling.
Support people with mental illness, yes. But don’t condone/enable scary and poor behavior.
Bynes of course caught wind of these Tweets and went on an extremely long rant in response:
@chrissyteigen Ur not a pretty model compared to me. I signed to Ford models @ age 13. I don’t look up to u beauty wise. I’m far prettier than u! I’m offended that you’re saying I have a mental illness when I show no sign of it, but thankfully not one man that wants me wants you and you are an old ugly model compared to me! You look 45! You’re not pretty so I’m not intimidated by you! I think you’re jealous that you’re just an ugly model whos career is uninspiring! I don’t respect you! You’re no beauty queen! I’m a beauty queen!
When Teigen’s followers found out about what Bynes had to say in response, they tried to throw shade her way, but Teigen tried to be the bigger person. She told her followers to not respond to her, seeing as how there’s something deeper going on with Bynes:
Nope. Not going to indulge. Wish the best for her, truly.
Don’t, guys. Just don’t.
I never ask anything of you guys but please. I don’t need defending and please stop writing her. It’s not funny, it’s sad.
Sad is definitely the word. But at the same time, if these celebrities aren’t really going to lend a hand to help Bynes get the support she needs, they might want to stop baiting her online (Rihanna, Drake and Jay-Z are exempt from this since she dissed them for no reason). Clearly she’ll come for anybody that says anything about her that she doesn’t agree with, and we all know this. Teigen probably meant well, but let’s keep it real. Bynes isn’t going to get the help she needs unless someone sits her down and she’s ready to do it for herself.
Like many others, we watched Amanda Bynes appear in court this morning, tugging on her Halloweenish wig before she was whisked off to a psych ward. Immediately, the office, my co workers and I, started playing psychologist, talking about what could be going on with her, the child star we’d grown up watching on television. A couple of us were certain that what Amanda is going through right now is probably something mental. After all, Amanda Bynes had a very successful career back in the ‘90’s and was able to keep her composure for over a decade afterward. Something had to have happened. My coworker and I speculated that Amanda was suffering from some type of mental illness.
But one of my coworkers couldn’t be certain. She questioned us, how do we know it’s mental illness? Aside from her family saying that she was bipolar and had stopped taking her medication, what evidence was there that she had suffered from some type of mental dysfunction.
I argued that the type of behavior she’s been exhibiting is consistent with someone whose thinking is off.
Then my co worker brought up a good point asking, if behavior like Amanda’s is due to a mental illness, how are we supposed to hold people accountable for their actions?
I argued that just because someone has a mental illness, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s carte blanche to behave any type of way. Somehow Chris Brown’s name came up in the situation and I said that based on the evidence in the way he attacked her, biting, punching, all while maintaining control of the car, blacked out in a rage, shows that he was out of his mind. Another co worker argued that because Chris had grown up seeing his mother being abused, his conditioning led him to believe that type of behavior was acceptable. I still say believing that behavior is appropriate is a form of mental illness. Not being able to control your anger is a mild form of mental illness.
And I don’t mean that because his mental state was altered, that he deserved to get off scott free.
Essentially, I was trying to argue that mental illness is not as uncommon or “other” like the media would make it seem. Any one of us could snap at any moment. Our brains our constantly receiving signals, reacting to hormones and processing information that will ultimately affect our behavior. An altered mental state doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in that state permanently. There are varying degrees of mental instability. And while someone who is depressed or schizophrenic or suffering from some form of dementia shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for their actions, there are altered states of mind that we can control and should subsequently be willing to suffer the consequences.
But that’s just my opinion. The truth is the mind is still such a mystery that it’s all just theory at this point.
What does mental illness mean to you? When is it appropriate to hold someone responsible for their actions despite mental instability?
Sneak Peek: Lifetime Releases Extended Trailer For ‘Call Me Crazy,’ Starring Jennifer Hudson And Octavia Spencer
A couple of weeks ago we told you about a new Lifetime movie, titled Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, starring Jennifer Hudson, Octavia Spencer, Brittany Snow, Ashley Judd, Chelsea Handler, Melanie Griffith and many other notables. Executive produced by Jennifer Anniston, the film will tackle mental illness
As previously stated, Call Me Crazy will consist of five shorts that follow the lives of five different characters impacted by mental illness. Spencer will be playing a psychotherapist, while Hudson will be playing a female soldier who is struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The network released an extended trailer for the film recently, and if the movie is as good as the trailer paints it out to be, then we are in for quite a treat. It really seems like the movie will offer an informative depiction of what life is like for those struggling with mental illness, while squashing silly stigmas that many of us have unknowingly picked up over the years.
“What’s it like hearing the voices?” Jason Ritter’s character asks Brittany Snow’s character, a law student who has learned that she’s been living with Schizophrenia.
“It’s terrifying,” she responds.
In another scene Hudson sheds light on the conflict faced by those who suffer from PTSD in silence, as they attempt to protect the military’s reputation.
“PTSD is real,” one character expresses.
“And it makes the miliatary look bad,” Hudson’s character regretfully chimes in.
The trailer closes with an emotional Hudson saying, “I don’t want people looking at me like I’m crazy.”
Call Me Crazy: A Five Film premieres on Lifetime Saturday, April 20th at 8 pm.
Turn the page for a first look.
The next Lifetime movie will be an A-list actor, star-studded event, including a couple of our favorites, Academy Award winners Jennifer Hudson and Octavia Spencer. The film, Call Me Crazy: A Five Film tells five interwoven stories each dealing with a type of mental illness. In addition to Hudson and Spencer, the film will also star Melanie Griffith, Chelsea Handler and Ashley Judd and Jennifer Aniston will be behind the camera acting as one of the film’s executive producers. Here’s what she had to say about the project:
“When we started researching this topic, we were all surprised to learn that one in four adults lives with some sort of mental illness. With so many people dealing with this in their private lives, there is still so much stigma and shame. It’s time we bring it out of the closet and into the light of day.”
In the first of the five films, a law student is shocked to learn she is living with schizophrenia. Octavia Spencer will play a psychotherapist in this film. In the second, a teenage daughter is struggling to help her mother living with bipolar disorder. The third film, a comedy, lightens the mood as a family adjusts to a daughter returning home from an inpatient treatment center. In the fourth, a comedian is suffering from depression. And in the last, a female solider, played by Jennifer Hudson, returns from war to a husband and son and has to adjust to life living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
It sounds like a whole lot but Lifetime has never been known to shy away from the tough, touchy issues and mental illness is far too prevalent to be ignored.
The Lifetime movie will air on Saturday, April 20 at 8pm.
If you want more information on the film, including info about the all star cast, read the full press release here.
Will you check this movie out?
If you caught Sunday night’s episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, you know that the gloves really came of in the ongoing dispute between Phaedra and Kenya. When the former Miss USA learned that Phaedra was referring to her as a bipolar alcoholic, you could almost instantly tell that a nerve had been hit. In a recent blog post on Bravo.com, Kenya opens up about the role mental illness played in her life and why Phaedra’s statements bothered her so much. Here is some of what she had to say.
On dealing with mental illness in her personal life:
“ Mental health has always been a passion of mine when I sought answers from my mother’s behavior toward me growing up.”
“My mother literally tried to destroy me. But I’m still here and I’m thriving. And I’m not easily broken. Being emotional at times, reactionary, or angered does not make you are chemically imbalanced. It makes you human.”
On why Phaedra’s comments were insensitive and mean-spirited:
“There are people who greatly suffer from mental illness and this is no laughing matter and certainly not one to be made a mockery of with terms like “bipolar” thrown around simply to humiliate or smear an individual for revenge.Being bipolar is a lifelong disorder marked by great suffering from extensive depressive states that often are accompanied by suicidal thoughts most often successively followed by manic states presenting over two weeks or more. These symptoms are crippling and render the patient often unproductive or functional in daily life. I am none of the above. People have real and actual mental health issues, and I have seen the possibility of this from my own mother. I feel Phaedra’s atrocious mischaracterizations were especially cruel considering she was the only woman on the show I confided in regarding my lifelong struggles with my family regarding this. “
While I’m no fan of Kenya, she makes a valid point. Bipolar disorder is in fact a serious illness and people who actually suffer from this disorder should be considered when the word is frivolously thrown around as an insult.
What do you think? Does Kenya have a point?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Photo courtesy of WENN
Lark Voorhies is still trying to undo the damage she says People magazine did when they ran a report claiming that she suffers from Bipolar disorder. The “Saved By the Bell” actress just did an interview with ET and told the host contrary to recent rumors, she does not hear voices, she is not seeing a doctor, and she does not have a mental illness.
“I don’t understand why they chose to take that angle, quite frankly,” she said about People’s interview with her mother, Tricia. ”I can only come forward to correct and state for the true record what is in fact factual.
“I have no worries myself, nor do I exude, exhibit or possess within my living stratus any reason why someone should worry [on] my behalf. … It’s completely fictional.”
According to Lark’s mother, though, her 38-year-old daughter has been traumatized by things in her past and is in denial about the effect they’ve had on her. Lark, on the other hand, says she knows how to overcome adversity, much like what she’s dealing with now.
“It’s much like fighting,” she said. “When you enlist in the Army, you get yourself physically fit, mentally fit and informational-wise fit, so it’s just the same. It’s like stage boot camp. You know, you put all the right elements together and you keep them going … we have to be entertainers. This is our particular angle.”
Check out snippets of her interviews here.
It’s a given that not everyone was happy President Obama was re-elected Tuesday night but one Virginia man took his paranoia about four more years under the Commander-in-Chief’s leadership to the extreme when he murdered his wife and kids, and then took his own life Tuesday afternoon.
According to a preliminary investigation from police, all of the victims died of gunshot wounds to the upper body. Albert Peterson, 57, a wealthy defense contractor reportedly shot his wife Kathleen, 52, who worked for Blackbird Technologies, a company that specializes in defense, law enforcement and intelligence work, and their sons Matthew, 16, and Christopher, 13, then shot himself as well.
As tragic as that news is itself, it’s even more peculiar that the motive for the killings appears to be the impending doom Peterson thought awaited his family and the entire country if Obama was re-elected. Despite Peterson’s success, a family friend who only wanted to be identified as “Maggie,” told the Daily Mail Online that the business man continued to be haunted by demons from his past.
“He’s had difficulty his whole life,” Maggie said. “He had a rough time with paranoia.”
At a young age, Maggie said, both his father and his uncle committed suicide.
“His dad suffered from alopecia and it was something he couldn’t live with,” Maggie said.
After Mr Peterson’s Uncle John killed himself, Maggie said that both Petersons were unnerved as they had frequently sent their children to his home to spend time with him.
“When Uncle John died, [Mr Peterson] kicked himself and said ‘God, what would have happened if our sons were there when it happened?’” Maggie recalled.
Thinking back on the eerie precursor, Maggie is still dumbfounded.
“It just never crossed our minds,” she said.
Mr Peterson’s life was punctuated by bouts of paranoia that became so severe, he wallowed in his depression, gained weight, and contemplated taking his own life.
In one dark episode, after his mother died five years ago, his wife had to pull him from the brink of suicide.
“Kathie was a strong person and she probably put her foot down, like she did five years ago,” Maggie said. ‘Kathie couldn’t believe the way he was acting and how he thought.’
“She wanted to be out doing something – biking, hiking, tubing and I know that frustrated Al. She just wanted to be living life and he took that from her,” she said.
Maggie said that this spring, Mr Peterson lost his Uncle Bill to an infection, whom he looked up to as the family patriarch. “He felt like there was no one left in his family,” Maggie said.
As if that weren’t enough, Peterson recently began sending paranoid emails to family and friends on a daily basis about Tuesday’s election.
“I got emails and the emails stopped all of a sudden last week,” Maggie said. “He felt that our God-given rights were being taken away. He didn’t like where the country was going.”
Mr Peterson, also mentioned pressures at work that troubled Maggie.
Explaining his increasingly erratic behavior, she said: ‘He said he wanted to expose something at work. He also got the impression at work, that if they didn’t vote for Obama and get him elected, they would lose their jobs,”
“We don’t know. Maybe she put her foot down Sunday night and told him “Al get it together,”‘ Maggie said, noting that both Kathleen and Albert had security clearances.
“When Al was here last time, he was pretty worked up,” Maggie said. “They were very well off people and they saved a lot of money. He couldn’t understand how the government could be so irresponsible and he thought it would be on the backs of his boys.”
Police noted that Peterson did seem to be unusually passionate about politics, but they are hesitant to say Obama’s re-election prompted these murders.
“We don’t know the motive in this tragic case,” Lucy Caldwell of the Fairfax Police Department said.
“We are aware that the father had strong political opinions but cannot speculate as to how those opinions related to this case. We will, most likely, never know exactly why this occurred.”
It’s so unfortunate when the threat of going from having it all to losing it all causes this type of reaction.
We know what a polarizing topic corporal punishment is and the line between those who do and those who don’t is probably about to get a lot thicker now that a study has claimed to have found a link between being spanked as a child and developing a mental illness as an adult.
In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers examined data from more than 34,000 adults and found that being spanked significantly increased the risk of developing mental health issues as adults. Specifically, corporal punishment was associated with mood disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as personality disorders and alcohol and drug abuse. According to investigators, as much as 7 percent of adult mental illness may be attributable to childhood physical punishment, including slapping, shoving, grabbing, and hitting. Furthermore, the study concludes that spanking increases the risk of major depression by 41 percent, alcohol and drug abuse by 59 percent, and mania by 93 percent.
Study author Tracie Afifi, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, said in a statement:
“We’re not talking about just a tap on the bum, we were looking at people who used physical punishment as a regular means to discipline their children. [This study] definitely points to the direction that physical punishment should not be used on children of any age.”
For the results the researchers observed, it would seem they were talking about physical punishments far more severe than a parent getting a switch and hitting their child with it, but their analysis excluded individuals who reported more severe punishments such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, or exposure to intimate partner violence. Most of us know someone who was regularly disciplined as a child by spankings and was better off for it (heck, we might even be that person), and as one facetious commenter said on a Yahoo write-up of the study:
“In a related study, children who were given no consequences at all for bad behaviors turned out to be psychopaths, sociopaths, and politicians.”
I think studies like this need to be clear about the line between spanking and beating or physically harming your child. I don’t think physical punishment should always be the first choice of discipline but there are times when it’s needed and there was a time when it was socially acceptable without the threat of being labeled a child abuser because of data like this.
Thankfully, psychologist Robert Larzelere, of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, provided more of a voice of reason when asked to comment on the study by USA Today. He said:
“Certainly, overly severe physical punishment is going to have adverse effects on children, but for younger kids, if spanking is used in the most appropriate way and the child perceives it as being motivated by concern for their behavior and welfare, then I don’t think it has a detrimental effect.
“[This study] does nothing to move beyond correlations to figure out what is actually causing the mental health problems,” he added criticizing the fact that the study relied on adults’ memories of events from years earlier, adding that it’s not clear when punishment occurred. “The motivation that the child perceives and when and how and why the parent uses [spanking] makes a big difference. All of that is more important than whether it was used or not.”
What do you think about this study? Do you think spanking and physical punishment is dangerous to kids’ psyches?
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When I was looking at Madame Noire over the weekend, I was shocked to see the news that Erica Kennedy had passed away. I instantly recognized her gorgeous face and was hit with memories of blog posts I’d read of hers, and like most people, instinctively wondered, what happened? I tend to get sort of obsessed with death in a weird way, as though I have to read every possible article I can to soak up whatever last bit of knowledge I can of the deceased, and with Erica I was no different, searching the Internet for cues to a question no one had explicitly answered: what happened.
I began to piece together news from some sources, drawing conclusions about what being “found” dead in her apartment meant, with anecdotal stories like those from her friend, Bassey, who writes openly about her bout with mental illness. When it came to Erica, she wrote in a strikingly open post, “I would come to learn that Erica and I had far more in common tha[n] I would have liked. I’m not here to tell her story because she was fiercely guarded and private,” and later adds that Erica recommended alternative medications for her. The inference that Erica may have succumb to a mental illness of her own and consequently taken her own life was there, but it’s a liberty one has to be careful in taking when speaking on things or people which they do not know.
It’s funny because I’d instantly thought about writing an article along the lines of, you never know what a person is going through, but I stopped because I knew I was being assumptive and no matter what I had pieced together from the blogosphere, I still didn’t really know what Erica had been through or what the circumstances of her death were and I realized I needed to leave that alone. Interestingly, on Essence, the magazines’s executive editor has connected the dots in the same way I had in my mind but didn’t dare relate as fact, writing:
“As of this writing, no official cause of death had been released, although the word on social media seemed to link it to her depression. I don’t know if Erica sought help, but if the buzz is confirmed, I do know this: We as Black women have to stop holding it in and start letting it out. Tell somebody. Find somebody to listen. Don’t be afraid. We have to stop pretending everything is okay, like Superwomen on steroids, and start admitting that we can get vulnerable. And sad. And low. And that’s okay.”
The article uses an understandable news hook to speak to a much larger issue black women are dealing with, but as remarks in the comment section show, the message has been lost on the assumptive nature of the prose. Meanwhile on XO Jane, commenters are responding to Bassey’s article, almost demanding that those closest to Erica expose the mental illness the court of public opinion now believes she has, insinuating that keeping her battle private only adds to the stigma of mental illness in our community. While I do agree with that sentiment in a lot of ways, Erica’s battle with depression or whatever other condition she may have had is no one else’s business to out.
When you think about Erica being a writer and the amount of personal information she’d disclosed in her 42 years on this earth, I think it’s safe to say that if she wanted the world to know about her struggles, she would have shared it with us, much like her feminist ideals. I think it’s also a bit naive on people’s parts to not realize that a lot of the stigma surrounding depression and suicide comes from observers who have no idea what it’s like to live that life. Many see suicide as a selfish decision, or even a weak one, and depression as a dramatic mood swing when it is so much more. While there could be a lesson in her life and death if she were known to suffer from any of these conditions, she had and still does not have any responsibility to be that symbol, no more than a homosexual has to come out of the closet and openly declare his sexual orientation. I’m also sure that if it were to be made known that either of these conditions led to Erica’s passing, her reputation and her legacy would change unnecessarily. Like a celebrity has no obligation to share their personal lives with the public, the loved ones of those who have passed on owe us no explanation just to satisfy our curious minds.
Amber Euros wrote an excellent response on the XO Jane posting, encompassing all that is wrong with the way in which we approach unexpected an unexplained deaths. She said:
“I am sharing what I have recently begun sharing with my friends which is: Stop asking me what happened to her. She died. I’m sad. End of story. Can you not understand my sadness without knowing why she is no longer here? Does it make it less sad to know how or why? Is my sadness only justified if her death fits your mental makeshift maslow’s hierarchy of sadness?
WHY is her DEATH not sufficient enough reason to be sad? WHY is her impact on me and the others lives she touch not sufficient enough reason for someone to share their story on how she allowed them to be more open about their own truths?
What age do we live in that the DEATH of a friend does not suffice as reason enough to feel an outpouring of emotions, be they sadness, anger, confusion or otherwise?”
The age we live in is one where we think we are entitled to know everything about everyone (thank you Internet and Social Media) and it’s high time we changed that and started to honor the words we say about someone when they have died: rest in peace.
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If that number shocks you, it should. The Centers for Disease Control’s latest statistic that 1 in 88 kids in the US has autism is twice the number of autistic kids that was reported just five years ago.
A positive point about the finding is that it doesn’t necessarily mean more kids are becoming autistic. The definition of autism has changed over the years causing more children to be identified, and the CDC’s report also found that previously about 40 percent of children weren’t being diagnosed until after the age of 4. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autism screening for all children at 18 months and 2 years.
This finding is based on 2008 data from 14 states and suggests that the rate of autism in the US has increased 23 percent since 2006. Incidence is the highest in boys and white children, but the biggest rate increase was seen among Hispanics, from 1 in 270 in 2002 to about 1 in 125 in 2008.
CDC officials say more research into the causes of autism will help them determine whether there has been a true increase in the disorder or simply better diagnosis. They are also considering a revision to the 1994 manual for diagnosing mental illness that would streamline the criteria for autism, but some critics say the new definition would be too narrow and exclude some children with educational and behavioral issues.
Genetics is also believed to play a role in the potential increase of the disorder. Although studies have found no connection between childhood vaccines and autism, researchers are looking into other factors such as the mothers’ illnesses or medication during pregnancy. First results from the CDC study are expected next year.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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