I needed to crack the firewall on the Mental Health Center’s computer to answer your message, but I really enjoyed it! It feels almost like if I’m some famous guy that people see walking down the street and they wave at him saying “Hiii!”.
No, really it didn’t feel like that, I’m just saying random things because I’m so terribly bored.
before the big bang! Thank you.
The nothing of the physics is not the philosophical nothing, it is just the absence of matter.
I don’t know if physicists thinks there’s a beginning for the laws of physics, but from what I understand, their models always imply that the laws of physics were the same, even before the Big Bang.
Anyway, I feel that this kind of questions are tricky for at least 2 reasons:
- they often end up having some implications for “philosophical" questions;
- they are almost completely speculative.
Maybe it’s because of these characteristics that these questions are so fascinating.
Quarks and leptons are the building blocks of matter, they are the “elementary particles”, that means that it is thought they can’t be broken down into other smaller particles. Quarks in particular combine forming composite particles collectively called hadrons. Protons and neutrons are hadrons. There are 6 types (flavors) of quarks: up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom. The quark model was indipendently proposed by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweiz in 1964. While Zweig preferred the name ace for these particles, the name quark, proposed by Gell-Mann who took it from the book “Finnegan’s Wake” by James Joyce, became the popular (and official) one.
If you want to know something more check this out: Quarks.
Before someone starts screaming let me say this: I’ve only a superficial knowledge of Bettelheim’s work but one thing I can say for sure: Bettelheim’s theory was wrong and have been largely discredited. His views about autism as a psychosis induced by mothers who were cold, distant and rejecting towards their child is simply crap.
Since I didn’t watch the documentary I don’t have much clue about those children you saw, so I will address your question from another, and more general, point of view.
It’s debated if it’s possible to diagnose psychosis in children, there aren’t actually clear different diagnostic criteria for child and adults. We know how to spot schizophrenia during (late) adolescence, but it’s much more difficult in children. Moreover, psychosis is very very rare in children. There are some researches on this topic, see this just as example: Children Can Display Symptoms of Psychosis.
I also suggest you to read this: Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? It may give you an insight of how difficult are this questions and how much they are debated (although, you should read the article carefully, I feel some biases in it). The mother of this kid the articles tells about, says: “I’ve always said that Michael will grow up to be either a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer." I’ve seen a kid like that and I’ve heard the exactly same words coming out the mouth of a psychologist.
To go back to your question: Do I think that children that display symptoms of severe mental illness can ever be “healthy” adults? Yes. Statistics shows that only a fraction of at risk children end up having schizophrenia as adults, for example. I’m (strangely) optimistic in this matter. This could sound shallow (maybe it is), but if you ask me I’m inclined to think, in general, that nobody is predestined.
What I meant is that the specific place where I worked was a toxic environment. I don’t think all the private sector is toxic. But I will say more about the negative aspects I’ve seen in that specific place.
But first you should know that before I went there I know almost nothing about learning disabilities and working with children. That wasn’t my field of expertise at all.
The negative aspects that I feel were the most important were this two:
1. Incompetence. They were all psychologists or speech therapists. They used a treatment for dislexya that consists in two books, one contains stories any of which elicit one specific difficulties of reading, the other contains excercises the kids should do to overcome such difficulties. After a while I was there, I tried to understand more about this “treatment”. I discovered that those books were written by a teacher and was aimed for teachers to use, not for psychologists. Basically, using those books wasn’t a treatment at all.
Also, to use those books requires for the child to sit on a chair, to listen, to read and to write. This is all possible in theory. This is easy to theorize if you are a teacher. This is something that almost never happen easely with children with that kind of problems. Those kids are always very anxious about all the things concerning reading and writing, they often feel those things as a torture because those are the exactly the things in which they are inadequate. They don’t want to read and write. They already do that in school, they don’t want to do that even more. So, basically, some kids don’t sit on the chair. This is where being a psychologist should help you. But even being a normally sane and intelligent person would do. Do you know what was the common strategy used to make the reclutant children sit and do what they were required to do? Manipulating the kids saying something like: “If you do that, I’ll let you play with the toy you really like”. With some of the youngest, the used candies. If the kid did what was asked, he was given a candy. Something that reminds me of training a dog.
One time I personally saw a speech therapists hold a kid in a chair by force in a way that was explicitly violent.
This is just one of the many examples I could give of the enormous incompetence I’ve seen in that place.
2. Exploitation. I wasn’t the only trainee there. In fact we were five. We weren’t paid (of course). That was a private center. This means that people paid a lot of money for an hour of therapy. An hour of therapy require at least a trained professional. Many, many times, the director of the center placed one of us trainee to make the work of a trained professional. Alone. Without saying anything to the parents. It’s illegal and unethical and simply wrong in so many ways. This is an exploitation of a the trainee. I was asked to do that, and I have done it the first times I was asked, but after a while I was wise enough to find a way to escape this requests. The other trainees were not wise as me. I can understand why, it’s a difficult situation because in a way you feel flattered, you want to make a good impression, and even if you feel that all the thing is wrong, is hard to say no. I’ve paid for saying no. It is also an exploitation of the children. They wouldn’t dare to do that with adults, because an adult would kick their asses. They do that with children because children are more easy to manipulate.
I don’t think this is what normally happens in the private sector. I think I was very unlucky to end up in that specific place. I had some very negative experiences there, and when I was deciding where to do my second traineeship I absolutely didn’t want to go back there, and I tried to find a place that was different from there as much as possible.
Yet, I need to say that it was also a very fun and educational experience. This is partly because I managed to find a little corner in which all the negative aspects of the place were greately reduced: after I realized what was going on I chose one of the psychologist, and I worked only with her. She was nice, competent and ethical. But it was mostly because of the children. They were wonderful. And thanks to them I was almost always happy (contrary to what is happening in my current traineeship).
I doubt this could be useful to you, but, well, now I’ve written it, so…
To talk about improvement rates is really difficult (and maybe impossible) because children with learning disabilities and adults with schizophrenia are really different. The impression is that children I’ve seen improved more than the adults I’m seeing now. But does that mean tha that attitude and kind of treatment was better? I don’t think it’s right to deduce that. In fact (I will expand this in my next post) I think that the psychologists I’m working with right now are far more competent thant those with whom I’ve worked back then.
That said, I don’t thing there should be a dichotomy. As far as it is possible in the clinical practice, I think mental health professionals should aim for objectivity, but this doesn’t mean necessarily detachment. I see detachment as a very natural reaction, a defence mechanism to cope with the awareness that you’re using a huge amount of energy to achieve a very small thing, like a patient that starts saying a few words instead of staying always silent, another that find the strenght to get out of his house for an hour a week, or just a patient that doesn’t deteriorate more.
Maybe it’s inevitable that children and adults are treated differently, but I really don’t want to think that.
That is a different question, the other follower was clearly referring to extraterrestrial humanoids visiting Earth with their advanced spaceship.
The hypothesis that life in the form of bacteria might have arrived on Earth with colliding asteroids is more plausible, but I admit that I don’t think is probable.
I don’t, I don’t like those kinds of shows.
I think that no extraterrestrial had a role in human evolution. I don’t believe any extraterrestrial has ever visited Earth.
Anonymous: Do you know any good articles about asexuality?
I don’t know if it’s good, but I’ve written a post about asexuality a while ago.