Category Archives: Abnormal & Clinical Psych

America’s Most Outrageous Legal Decision of 2013

affluenza

There have been many profoundly unjust decisions in the United States this year. One of the worst would have to be the setting free of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, who committed absolutely no crime and was literally trying to run away from Zimmerman, who was wielding a gun. Yet, an even more outrageous case has surfaced recently, which I can only succinctly  describe as: the worst legal decision of the entire year.

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Biographical, Culture, Legal Issues, Psychology | 1 Comment

Exorcism, the Human Stun Gun, and Suggestion

Pope Exorcism

When the world ended last year, I pointed out the there is a certain degree of relativism to the apocalypse. That is, you, the reader, must have been impervious to the apocalypse. Why? It’s simple – you never believed it. And therefore, it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, many people do believe in things for which there is no evidence, including the end of the world. In the Vatican City, new Pope Francis has nothing to say about the end of the world, but he may have just performed his first exorcism as Pope, which is yet another phenomenon for which there is no evidence. And it reminds me of the “Human Stun Gun.”

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Biographical, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Possessed by Demons, Animals, and Nonsense

Green Snake hand art

“Japan doesn’t have that stuff. That’s more of a Western thing.” Just like I constantly have to remind Westerners how they’re horribly wrong about the bizarre and ridiculous stereotypes of Japan, I had to show my Japanese friend that she was totally wrong in her idea about “us” and “them.” The notion that only Westerners believe in exorcisms and demonic possessions is simply wrong. In addition to the many stories I mentioned in an earlier post about exorcisms in Japan, yet another case occurred recently in Japan where the belief in possessions reared its ugly head.

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Schizophrenia is NOT Multiple Personality Disorder

“Acting is not that far from mental disease: An actor works on splitting his character into others. It is like a kind of schizophrenia.” –Vittorio Gassman

Most people erroneously believe that schizophrenia is the mental disorder characterized by alter egos, or multiple personalities. This is probably because of simple linguistic confusion, mixed with the recurring mistakes we see in popular culture and online. I just want to set the record straight, because it’s important not to perpetuate misinformation.

“Schizophrenia beats dining alone.” –Oscar Levant

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Culture, Psychology, Science | 5 Comments

Top 5 Reasons that Prove Life is Not Fair (in April)

There have been a lot of recent news stories that make us just sit back in awe. April was full of them, and some were more publicized than others. Let’s look at the stories that were not so publicized, under five categories that organize the absurdity thematically. The five things which prove this month that life is not fair are: Health, bosses, craziness, wealth, and school. It was certainly an eventful month.

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Hypnosis, the Power of Suggestion, and the Science of Hypnotherapy

You are getting very sleepy… As I count to three, you will fall into a deep trance. 1… Your eyes are scanning the words across the page, getting ready to read the rest of this post. You’re preparing for the amazing two BBC documentaries below that will together answer virtually every question about hypnosis of which you have ever conceived. 2… You’re going to understand what hypnosis really entails; including how it works, and its strengths and limitations. You will finish this article, say “Wow, that was amazing,” and write a fabulous comment below. …3!

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Medicine & Health, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Exorcism in Japan, and Another Dead Child

“With God by your side, you can do no wrong,” says Father Jose Francisco Syquia, who heads the Manila Archdiocese’s Office of Exorcism in the Philippines. And he should know, since he’s been through hundreds of exorcisms. Indeed, he should know, but clearly he has no idea what it means to be “wrong,” or else he would not try to justify the torturous treatment of mentally ill people. But this caliber of fool doesn’t understand that demonic spirits don’t reside in the victims of exorcisms, but in the minds of those who perpetuate this archaic practice.

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Activism, Japan, Pseudoscience, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments