I’ve watch in amusement the last few month as another cultural icon, teen heart throb Justin Bieber, self destructs publicly. Of course, he is one of an endless series of vapid actors an singers we idolize, only to lament in their humanity. In fact, an uneducated, un-mentored “artist” who rises to fame is the least likely person to handle it well and the most likely to look foolish in the process. It’s our reaction the is the most curious.
Hero worship is a way to role model after someone who has traits we wish we had, i.e.: singing well and being popular. We then assume that person has other traits (maturity?) too and that they in fact may be “perfect”. We then psychologically attach to the idealized object, bolstering our sense of self. A narcissistic self object you use to self nurture. But what if your role model is Justin Bieber?
Bieber’s music and 12 year old appearance never did anything for me. He lost me forever several years ago when visiting Anne Frank’s home in Amsterdam. He stated “She was teenage girl. She would have been a Bieber- head!”. A woeful misjudging of his place in history (he never took it!) and total disrespect for a true cultural icon! And he’s now the little boy who’s never been told “NO” and behaving like an ass.
It’s thought that one measure of maturity occurs when you realize you no longer have any heroes. I’m not sure this ever entirely happen ( I’ve still got Dr. J and Batman!). But choose and reevaluate your heroes wisely. You are the only you and, I promise you, you do not want to be a Justin Bieber!
A recent survey, reported int his weeks Newsweek, confirms what those of us int he field have known for decades: our ranks are shrinking. There are 15% fewer psychiatrists in practice now than in 2000 and, of that group, there is a drop of 20% in those who accept insurance coverage in their offices. This due, in part, to a two decade cut in benefit payments to psychiatrists and decreased public support, including weakening of the commitment laws. As a result, fewer doctors are specializing in psychiatry and those who are trained are dropping off insurance panels. It is worse on impatient units where psychiatrist don’t want to take 24 hour responsibility for disturbed patients at such reduced pay. As a result, access to basic psychiatric care is at an all time low.
All the recent shooters in the nations mass killings have been persons with active psychiatric illness receiving inadequate treatment. “Penny wise, but dollar foolish”, as Ben Franklin said.
The psychiatric care system is now so damaged that it would take decades to rebuild, if we were so inclined. In the meantime, the top 5% of earners can afford adequate “out of pocket” private care, and the other 95% has only short term stabilization available. And, the mass shootings will continue unabated. Madness…
What’s Wrong With My Family, and How to Live Your Best Life Anyway
Family. We all have one. And with all the gifts they bring, along comes at least a few lumps of coal-from some friction to downright anger and dysfunction. What’s a healthy family anyway? What’s a toxic one? Where is the middle ground? And how do you navigate family relationships to negotiate conflict resolution? WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY FAMILY explores the problems stemming from even the healthiest to the most destructive ones. Most important, it teaches what issues arise within you from your own family of origin, and how to heal from the wounds. A book of hope, it shows that no matter where you come from, you can live your best life anyway.
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Get your copy of What’s Wrong With My Family now and prepare for the annual holiday chaos!
A recent VA study has confirmed that opiate based medications are being overused in returning veterans with PTSD from war trauma. Many of the veterans suffered physical wounds, but a large portion do not, and the opiates are simply being used to mask emotional symptoms. This is due to the lack of funding for treatment of PTSD in the VA. The current techniques of individual and group therapy combined with EMDR (a hypnotic induction treatment) are highly effective, but time consuming and expensive. Opiates are cheap and feel good. At least for a while!
There is a long history of opiate use in the military. Milk of poppy was given to Roman soldiers entering battle to quell fears and keep them from feeling wounds. The first large-scale study was post Civil War where “old soldiers disease” was described, referring to men chronically addicted to Laudanum. Every town square in America was populated by hopelessly addicted veterans, many with chronic pain and other with PTSD. Psychotherapeutic treatments had not been developed.
The science of PTSD treatment today is well advanced and effective. The treatment of chronic pain is also much more efficient is providing relief. Giving opiates to treat PTSD while avoiding real, legitimate treatments is a disgrace we all share. We must ensure our veterans receive proper access to effective care!