Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Soundtrack to my Life

In light of this holiday season I'll start off my soundtrack with my one of my favorite Christmas songs..

Pennies From Heaven ~ Who ever sings it in Elf.  That song has the best beat and can ALWAYS cheer me up no matter what.

Hundred ~ The Fray.  I've always wanted to learn this song on the piano, and I've tried, but never ended up  learning the whole song.  It's most definitely been my favorite song since Freshman year of High School.. wait, this song totally just came up when I pressed "next" on my iTunes.. awesome, it's like my computer knows!!

You Got the Love ~ the XX cover of Florence and the Machine.  Probably one of the coolest songs I've ever heard... ever.

Sweet Disposition ~ Temper Traps.  I heard this song on a Coke commercial when I was in Hawaii and I could not find it on youtube to save my life, then my brother found it a few months later... never thanked him for that.


Call Me Irresponsible  ~ Michael Buble.  He has the voice of an angel.. and I went through a swing-dance phase and Call Me Irresponsible was on the Swing station I was listening to.  Embarrassing as it is to admit, I changed into what I would consider a 1920s dress and danced to that song in my kitchen while making brownies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Impact of Pro-ana Websites?

Frampton, I. (2008). Practitioners' toolkit. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 13(4), 207.

“In this way, a pro-ana mythology has been allowed to develop, reinforced by a lack of publication from the research sector and undifferentiated observations in the mass media” (Frampton, 2008, p. 96-98).

Although many attempts have been made to restrict pro-anorexia (pro-ana) activists from glorifying anorexia on the web, it has been found that using such measures have no impact on the number of websites that are available online.  Pro-anorexia or pro-ana websites have gained widespread virtual popularity.  These websites are viewed in 1 of 2 ways, either as a positive form or a negative form of information.  Pro-ana websites promote anorexia for women as a way of life rather than as a mental illness that should be treated.  These forms teach people suffering from anorexia how to disguise their extreme diets from friends, families and to seem like they are living a regular, healthy life diet-wise.  Practioners’ Toolkit addresses how practitioners and clinicians have very little knowledge on the effect of internet communication in terms of these pro-ana websites.  They do not know how to address them or how to identify them and that these websites should be researched much more thoroughly.

Pro ana (2008). Retrieved from

“First of all I would just like to say that this site is not for wannarexics its for people that are currently experiencing anorexia or have been diagnosed with it and want some support.  This website has lots of things to help you with and hopefully for you to meet other people with an ED. Any age, any gender, no matter who you are you are welcome to this site ...”

This is the home page of a pro-ana website.  This explains the positive aspect of having a pro-ana website, which is to create a safe community where people can talk about their anorexia.  This website provides information on “weight management, covering up, songs, quotes, reasons 2 b thin, other sites, bmi chart, bmr calculator, height weight, myths, and statistics” for anorexics.  The section on “Covering Up” includes ways to hide anorexia from doctors, family members, friends and the general public.  This is one of the reasons that makes pro-ana websites so controversial, because they promote how to disguise their mental illness which makes it more difficult for people to help anorexics get help.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley

In Chapter 10, “The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley,” Jon Ronson explains the evolutionary process of the DSM handbook and how it has impacted many people’s lives by labeling ordinary behaviors as mental disorders.  Ronson attends a Scientology banquet and listens to the cheers of people applauding Lady Margaret McNair for naming normal behaviors people do and diagnosing them as mental disorders that can be found in the newest edition of DSM.  He researches how the DSM was formed and finds that Robert Spitzer created DSM to be used as a personal handbook for people to compare their behavioral characteristics to checklists of different mental disorders in order to diagnose themselves.  Speaking with Allen Frances, Ronson is told that the DSM created 3 false epidemics, the most popular being childhood bipolar disorder.  Many people diagnose children with bipolar disorder because the behavior of the child matches many of the characteristics on the checklist.  However, Ronson knows that many of these behaviors are actually ordinary and playful childhood behaviors.  He speaks with Byrna who has a son who’s been diagnosed as bipolar and has been taking medication for it for 10 years.  Ronson believes that her child, like many others, has been inaccurately diagnosed.  Lastly, Ronson emphasizes that misdiagnosing children as bipolar is harmful to their development by telling the tragedy of Rebecca Riley and how the 4 year old died of an accidental overdose of bipolar medication that she was given by her parents.  Ronson states that her death would be avoidable if Rebecca’s mother wasn’t falsely diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so that her mother wouldn’t have the medication in the first place. 

I think that the DSM should not be used as a device for people to diagnose themselves.  It would just make a lot of people go crazy believing that they have a mental disorder that they most likely do not have.  I think it is ironic that they wouldn't diagnose a psychopath in DSM because they don't want to unreliably measure psychopath's traits when they are diagnosing many other mental disorders with ambiguous characteristics.  I think my favorite part of this whole book is when Tony makes an avatar on x-box of one of the nurses and makes her look like a zombie, and especially when Ronson responds with his own comment that his son had made zombie looking avatars of him and he thought it was funny.  THEY'RE FUNNY!!! I don't know if it's too soon for Tony to be making jokes about being a psychopath when he finally is released from Broadmoor, but I find his humor extremely entertaining.  I'm glad Tony got out! I hope he makes good decisions.  I still don't understand the mystery of Being or Nothingness.  It is clever that they put 21 filled pages and 21 blank pages in it though.  Oh, Jon Ronson.  What a wise guy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

David Shayler..... Really.

In Chapter 8, “The Madness of David Shayler,” Jon Ronson realizes people are entertained by others who display madness that is similar to their own, but to a much greater extent.  Chapter 8 begins with Rachel North explaining the aftermath of creating a group for victims, like her, who have survived the bombings of 7/7.  She is then criticized by David Shayler for her blogs by declaring that everything she writes is a lie, that the bombings on 7/7 as well as Rachel North, herself, never existed.  Ronson later speaks with Shayler and realizes that he lusts for attention by creating ridiculous theories that 7/7 never existed, that the plane crashes in 9/11 were actually holograms and that he was the Messiah chosen by God.  Ronson analyzes the responses of society to each theory seeing that the first one was not mad enough, the second was the correct amount, and his last one was too obviously mad.
            I felt really bad for Rachel in Chapter 8.  It must have been so frustrating for her to be continuously told that her near-death experience was all a lie and never happened.  If I were her, I would have gone crazy, probably to the point of literally knocking some sense into the nonbelievers.  David Shayler seems absolutely ridiculous to me.  Coming up with the decision that he is the Messiah? How ridiculous! I thought it was really funny how Ronson made a graph of Shayler’s attention-seeking theories and compared it to the responses he was given for each.  Ronson’s conclusion at the end of Chapter 8 makes complete sense though.  It’s what I said during lecture while we were discussing why we watch reality TV shows! As for Chapter 9, I think that story about Collin is so unfortunate!  And also that Paul Britton was really dumb.  He doesn’t blame himself, but the others and when Ronson asks him a question that proves that Britton should take partial blame, Britton asks confused and apologizes for not understanding the question.  The PCL-R Checklist really is a dangerous weapon since it is just like criminal profiling, both can misdiagnose people and ruin their lives.